On this episode of the Get Better Project I have the honor of interviewing Kurt Garceau! Kurt is a CrossFit Games athlete, a multi-year CrossFit Regionals athlete, and just a really great guy!
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If you would like to read instead of listen… here’s the transcript
Joe Bauer: 00:29 All right. Welcome to the get better project where I’m excited to have CrossFit games athlete and multiyear CrossFit regionals. Athletes are. So Kurt, how are you doing today man?
Kurt Garceau: 00:41 Good. How are you? Thanks for having me.
Joe Bauer: 00:43 Yeah, I’m doing great. It’s pouring rain here in Seattle, but it’s a. it’s a good day.
Kurt Garceau: 00:51 Not Bad. That’s the west coast. East Coast is a little bit different. The sun is just starting to shine around there.
Joe Bauer: 00:57 Oh, there you go. Yeah. We kind get ups and downs around here. It might get sunny, but then we have pouring rain again. It is what it is. But uh, anyway, you know, I’m excited to have you on the podcast here! I got the privilege of competing with you last year in a competition. Just when you happened to be in town to support your brother. So when I started this podcast I thought, who would be awesome to have on the show and your name definitely came to mind. So, just thank you for being on here, and I’m excited to hear about how you’ve been and what you have to say about these questions that we have.
Kurt Garceau: 01:30 Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited to be on your podcast and um, you know, it’s really cool to kind of share experiences, you know, podcasts and videos and different things like that. So it’s so awesome to learn about different people and what they do. So thanks for having me.
Joe Bauer: 01:47 Yeah, for sure. So, let’s get started here and let us know, let the people listening (or watching) know.., how did you get started in CrossFit? And then like even before that, how did your life progress into your athletic career that led into CrossFit?
Kurt Garceau: 02:06 Uh, well it’s actually kind of funny. So I’ve always had an athletic background. I played division one lacrosse and that’s kinda how I started, but when I was all done with that, I felt the need to continue. Not my athletic journey, my fitness journey, and um, you know, I went down the route of being a personal trainer for a little bit, you know, trying to figure out where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. Um, so being a personal trainer, if you do the personal trainer thing, you train your clients, you spend hours in the gym or on the stairmaster for an hour, you lift for maybe three minutes, but you’re there for three hours talking to everyone, and um, you know, one day my cousin came up to me and she said, hey, I got this thing called CrossFit.
Kurt Garceau: 02:49 Do you want to try it out with me? Yeah, yeah, whatever, you know, what is it, a bootcamp or something like that. Um, so we went and I’ll never forget, it was a six minute workout and I’ve never ever felt that feeling after a workout before and going to all the sports that I’ve gone to, doing all the training, I just, the intensity level was so high. I’ve never felt like that and I haven’t looked back since. Um, so going, I spent about two and a half years going to the classes, doing all that, trying to be competitive, and then we finally found came up with the idea to open up our own CrossFit gym.
Joe Bauer: 03:36 Okay, cool. So how long have you been an owner of a CrossFit gym then?
Kurt Garceau: 03:41 Uh, so we actually just had our seven year anniversary anniversary, sorry, April second. Um, so we were, I wouldn’t say the earliest, but we were kind of on the brink of when it was breaking out to the mainstream before the CrossFit games got big. Uh, and it’s, it’s been pretty cool watching the whole thing CrossFit evolved into what it is today because it wasn’t always as big and as glamorous as it is now, you know, as you could probably tell those underground gyms, you know, that’s how we started and it was pretty cool to see, uh, what it’s become.
Joe Bauer: 04:17 Okay. So you’ve been a CrossFit gym owner for seven years and you got into CrossFit, you said a couple of years before that. Is that correct?
Kurt Garceau: 04:24 Yep. Yep. So I was in it for about two and a half years and not really knowing where my life was going, you know, uh, coming out of college, it’s just one of those things… what am I going to do? So we ended up taking a chance and just kind of rolling the dice and we jumped in and we opened up a gym. It was 1400 Square foot gym. Not Big at all, but I mean two rowers, six barbells, maybe six wall balls, just the basics. But back then that’s, that’s all you needed. We had classes, we had a full schedule of classes, but we didn’t really expand. So a year after that and that’s how it was. It was just all basic and not like these 10,000 square foot gym that we’re in today though.
Joe Bauer: 05:15 Wow. 10,000 today. Did it go from just the small gym to the big gym, or was there more steps in between?
Kurt Garceau: 05:21 Oh yeah, we had a couple, uh, increments in there. We just moved into our new facility about almost two years ago now. Uh, it’s a big spot. Yeah, it’s 10,000 square feet. We’re pretty lucky. We have an unbelievable community and uh, and they just allow us to grow and, you know, we found a home and in this spot it’s pretty sweet.
Joe Bauer: 05:43 Very cool! And how, at what point did you know that you wanted to be competitive (as an athlete)?
Kurt Garceau: 05:51 It’s funny that you asked that because I didn’t know anything about CrossFit when I started. I didn’t know the competitive side of it and the week I started, um, in the week we started at the end of the week, our gym was putting together a team to go to a competition. Back then it was sectionals, it wasn’t even regional, so sectionals before regionals. So they were putting together a team and they said, hey, you know, you’re strong, do you want to compete on our team? I said, yeah, what does that mean? So they said, well, we’re going to have an in-house competition this Saturday. Um, would you like to compete in it? I said, yeah, sure, you know, whatever it was. And they asked me after that, the day I walked into the gym, I think it was the second day, it was max deadlift and I pulled a 490 and they were were like, oh man, that’s impressive.
Kurt Garceau: 06:42 I mean for me, I didn’t know what that meant. It was just lifting, but to them they saw different things. So I ended up doing the competition at the end of the week and I’d never done chest to bar pull ups, and they came up, and I didn’t know what a kipp was. I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know that you had to touch your chest to the bar. So you got through the first round, then I hit the second round and crashed, and it was because of that workout specifically. It kept me from competing and sectionals, but I told myself after that competition, I’ll never let that happen again. So that’s what kind of forced my competitive drive right there. And then right after that competition.
Joe Bauer: 07:21 Did you start looking into at that point, like what the competitive side of CrossFit was?
Kurt Garceau: 07:28 Yeah, at the gym that I started at, they were pretty competitive gym, they had a lot of good guys and it kind of stirred that fire inside of myself. Before regionals it was, I just wanted to beat these guys, you know, because it was fun. We had a good time going back and forth and maybe someone who was a better runner. Maybe someone was a better lifter, but it constantly made you to push. And then once I realized, you know, I can kind of hang with these guys. That’s what made me broaden my horizon. Okay. What else is there out there and the local comps. Back then that was the big thing. Um, you know, regionals and sectionals… They weren’t as big as they are now. So, the local comps that’s where everyone went.
Kurt Garceau: 08:15 Everyone watched you. All your friends and all the gyms, all the local gyms, they all came and that’s kind of where you made a name for yourself. Um, and it’s funny because a lot of OG CrossFitters were at all the same competitions. Uh, I remember one competition in particular, it was called Beast of the East and it was at Ben Bergeron’s gym, and uh, Austin Malleolo was there, Spencer Hendel was there, all these guys that, you know today, but this is before anyone knew them. So you went up there and you’re watching these guys and they’re like, wow, these guys are incredible. And it’s funny because you just kind of grow with them and you see where they were, you see where I was, and it’s really cool being part of the community before it kind of exploded.
Joe Bauer: 09:03 Yeah, that’s super cool. I feel like we have an interesting, very tight knit community here as well, but it sounds like you guys were even more so in that those local cops and things like that, like people getting to know each other because of it.
Kurt Garceau: 09:20 Yeah, absolutely.
Joe Bauer: 09:22 Cool. So stepping back really quick, um, when you were growing up and into college, where you naturally strong or was that built over time?
Kurt Garceau: 09:32 Um, I would like to think that I was, I was pretty strong growing up through sports. Um, you know, I always enjoy going to the gym. I always kind of went, but it was, I didn’t technically really know what I was doing. It was more beach muscles. Chest Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you know, I mean we barely lifted legs. We barely did anything like that, but I was in a lot of sports where it was explosive. Hockey, Lacrosse, football, those sports, you use your explosive power for a little bit of time, then you rest. So it’s really funny how that transitioned to my CrossFit career. All short workouts, Fran, Grace, those types of workouts… I feel like I do very well. Where my weakness was was those 20 plus minute workouts. That’s where I had to learn and I had to train myself to try to get better because the carry over from my athletic career growing up didn’t carry over to that portion of CrossFit and it’s really interesting and I can see athletes and how they transfer over and it’s the exact same thing. So it was pretty wild.
Joe Bauer: 10:43 Interesting. So do you feel like with CrossFit is more advantageous to have a strength or an endurance background? I mean you come from the strength background so you have that, but what’s your opinion on that?
Kurt Garceau: 11:00 I would have to say having a strength background is definitely a positive. In the endurance space athletes I see a lot of them struggle to get their weights up. Um, and because the difference between a 315 clean and jerk and say a 330 clean and jerk in the Open is massive. So if you could tap into that 330 – 340 mark and not being 315. I mean, and that’s what I mean, you could train someone to get pretty strong, but it’s very, very difficult to get them over that hump. When you take a strong person and say they do have a 340 clean and jerk, but you scale them back and really work on endurance based workouts. Yeah, their clean and jerk will suffer a little bit. Maybe there at 330, but they’re still going to be ahead of 315 mark. Um, so I’m personally, and maybe because I’m a little biased, I think it’s a little bit easier to have someone who’s strong and to teach them the endurance aspect.
Joe Bauer: 12:05 So it’s interesting because I had a Jeff Evans on the podcast last week, and I was talking with him, and he’s a super strong guy as well, just like you, and he, uh, he said something similar, and I was talking with him about how developing CrossFit athletes is interesting in that it almost seems like there’s a trend right now to develop people that aren’t strong enough as strength athletes, not necessarily CrossFitters. Um, and then bring the endurance in. I’m speaking to if you want to be good at competitive CrossFit. So like splitting it up, putting together some really long strength cycles. What do you think about that?
Kurt Garceau: 12:50 I agree. I feel like the strength, especially for the athletes that come through our gym, the strength is the hardest thing. You know, you could have an athlete who’s unbelievable. And again, I have a couple of names that come to mind, but if that strength isn’t up to par, you know, especially let’s just take the Open, you know, you have one bad workout in the Open and that can bump you down hundreds of places, even thousands of spots if that one specific strength movement isn’t there. So, you know, with that being said, if you really, really work on your strength, everything else will kind of come into place, and that will give you leverage over other people who aren’t spending time and aren’t putting in the work for the strength. Um, so I would have to agree. Absolutely.
Joe Bauer: 13:36 Interesting. Cool stuff. I love talking with people like you that are coaches and athletes and have just tons of knowledge. So it’s fun. Definitely fun for me. But let’s get back to you a little bit more. What are your current goals with CrossFit?
Kurt Garceau: 13:51 You know, so my current goals across CrossFit, I’ve actually been pretty fortunate. Uh, this will be the sixth year I’ve been at regionals. I’ve been to the Games once. Um, you know, my current goal is trying to build our North Have CrossFit gym. Not necessarily brand, but build our vision, you know, CrossFit wise. For myself… I want to be able to let all the other people that go to our gym experience what I’ve experienced. You know, going to Regionals and going to the Games, it impacts your life way more than you would think. It’s a really, really cool experience, you know, in our sport. It’s the Mecca of what we can do. Um, I mean just to make it to Regionals alone has gotten harder and harder and harder every single year. So specifically my goal is to, you know, train the athletes around me to give them that same experience as me, you know, I mean, again, I’m 30, I still try to work as hard as I possibly can, but if I can impact someone else in the gym, that’s kinda where my vision and my focus is.
Joe Bauer: 15:01 Very cool! And do you have a very competitive gym, do you have a bunch of athletes that you are trying to get to Regionals?
Kurt Garceau: 15:11 Yeah. So, we have a pretty good competitive group. We have about 15, or 16 people who, who are a part of our competitive group. Um, you know, we’ve had, I think let’s see these five girls in the top 200 in the Northeast. Um, you know, I have another young kid who’s gonna be on a Regional team. He was top 50 in the Northeast. We have a good group and a good core and it’s really fun just watching everyone develop and seeing their potential be fulfilled. And that’s what kind of gets me excited because, you know, I know what it takes, I understand the sacrifice, I understand all the things you have to do to be a good athlete and if I can help these guys and I can help, you know, help them achieve their goals. That’s what fires me up, you know? So when I’m at regionals with these guys next to me and I know that they gave it their all, you know, that’s what, that’s what gets me going and that’s what I get excited about.
Joe Bauer: 16:09 Very cool. And how much time would you say that you and your competitive athletes are spending training in the gym?
Kurt Garceau: 16:19 And that varies depending on the season. Um, I try to program for as many people as I can. Um, but so leading up to regionals, you will probably spend, you know, I’d say two hours, maybe two and a half hours in training for that day because there are specific things that I want to accomplish through their programming. You know, we, definitely hit gymnastics. We do a lot of that, but it’s not, you know, do this WOD. It’s a lot of um, you know, isolation work, it’s a lot of um, you know, different things work on less than a minute and 20 seconds upside down in the handstand position. Try not to move, you know, and things like then we’ll do some strength work. And then we’ll do some, teamwork, some WODs as well. But, you know, I don’t want to beat people up when it comes to programming. But leading into regionals, you definitely want to have the appropriate amount of volume, um, so that they can be trained for whatever Dave Castro throws at them.
Joe Bauer: 17:25 Okay. So this is really interesting programming. Uh, yeah. Are you programming for the whole gym then? And if so, are you doing multiple programs?
Kurt Garceau: 17:39 So, I do the program for the whole gym. Um, you know, it’s one of those things that every single, time you sit down and write programming, like, Oh man, I got to do it again, but you know, love it because I can kind of put my ideas down on paper. So I program for the gym. I’ve been doing that since day one. Um, but I also program for the competitors as well. And that’s where it gets a little tricky because you can’t give every single person the exact same program. Um, you know, different people need to work on different things, but at the same time, you know, this is where, the struggle is, you know, these are people who like to work out together. So you have to figure out a balance between, do you isolate them in the corner and make them do all their things or do you bring them together?
Kurt Garceau: 18:24 You either throw in a class WOD, throw in a workout where they could work out with their buddies in. That’s where the tricky thing is finding that balance of how much they need, but at the same time don’t isolate them from the community, don’t isolate them from their friends. Um, so that, that’s in terms of the competitive program. And then we also offer a strength program at the gym. We just implemented it. We’re on an eight week cycle now have only lifting just to kind of get people better and there’s a lot of supplementary lifts that we do through the program and we had that at the gym as well.
Joe Bauer: 19:02 Wow. So how do you manage that? Let’s say that you’ve got a competitive athlete. Let’s say it’s even you. Let’s use you as an example. What’s one of your weaknesses?
Kurt Garceau: 19:12 Um, handstand pushups. That’s definitely always been a weakness for me. It’s just I have super long arms and that’s why, uh, that’s why I like dead lifts. They’re so easy for me, but, you know, a handstand, pushups and um, I would say maybe the endurance aspect of running.
Joe Bauer: 19:31 So let’s say that you have trouble with handstand pushups and running and you have a week of programming coming up and how are you going to program that so that you get extra handstand pushup work or overhead strength or however you’re going to do it and endurance, but then also make it fun because you get to work out with your buddies.
Kurt Garceau: 19:52 And again, that’s where the, uh, it’s, it’s a tough question because, you know, the workouts that I give other people, it’s more important for me to build a community a than it is to, I should say, do this specific workout. So if it’s ever a question of whether this will grow the community, whether it was a help, I will always go to the community side first. That’s the, that’s definitely the most important thing for me, uh, but in terms of myself and how to get myself to improve, if by chance, you know, I we’re here to do what all these guys are doing over here and you know, I just joined in, I would make sure to try to supplement something later on in the day, you know, maybe some running intervals, maybe some, you know, strict handstand pushup work, uh, you know, I don’t know, four by ten sets, something like that, that will bring me back to where I was, what I was supposed to do. Uh, you, but at the same time, I never want to, um, you know, segregate myself in terms of not being with the community. So if that’s the option, I’ll always go with the community side first.
Joe Bauer: 20:58 That’s totally cool. Totally cool. I get it. I think that it’s just, I feel the same, same things with our competitive athletes. It’s like how do you get the community and give them what they want and especially if there’s big holes, right? Like what if there’s a big hole and somebody that, you know, that could be very competitive, but let’s say that they need, you know, they’re snatches 30 pounds under what it needs to be, but that’s like the big hole, you know,
Kurt Garceau: 21:25 I don’t know, speaking of that, you know, you do have those. I mean we have a couple athletes whose endurance is unbelievable. You know, you look at the workout, if it’s, if it’s anything longer than 10 minutes they’re smashing everyone because they just don’t get tired. Um, you know, but their strength does lack. So, you know, you have to be very careful in terms of program because you don’t want to take that away from them. That’s their strength. That’s what makes them succeed. So if you take it away and they see oh man, my endurance has gone downhill because all in all we’ve been doing is strength, that does get a little discouraging for them. So you know, it’s, it is tricky and it’s almost a trial and error on every single person to figure out, okay, you know, we’re going to try this for this long and let’s see how you do, you know, let’s, let’s throw in some extra extra weights, let’s throw in some extra lifts. Um, and we’ll go from there. Let’s see if your workout suffer or if you still smashing everyone. So based off that, I do believe it’s, it’s definitely individualized and you know, it is trial and error in terms of everybody’s program.
Joe Bauer: 22:33 Cool, cool. Great answer. What about in a regular time of the year, let’s say three months leading up to the open, how would you say that you divide your accessory work, metcon, and strength for you personally? Like how do you divide that? Like how much time do you spend on each thing?
Kurt Garceau: 22:57 So I’m in the off season, you know, in terms of training, but let’s say October and, my goal is to try to get my, my metcon up as high as I possibly can. You know, strength is, is always an issue. And you always want to be stronger, but I feel like my engine is what’s going to separate me from everyone else who’s just as strong as me. So in terms of the separation, definitely in the off season, I really focus on, on hitting metcons. I really focus on trying to get those longer workouts and I’ll program about a 40 minute workouts for myself, um, you know, maybe at 85 percent intensity, but you know, something where I can just go and just focus on being, being present in nonstop moving just 85 percent go for that long and see how I do in that type of situation. Um, you know, strength wise, I have a consistent strength program where I really never alter what I do in terms of the intensity granted going into regionals, everything is up. But um, strength is pretty even across the board, whether it’s off season or, or you know, leading up to the Open, you know, or, you know, after regionals or something like that.
Joe Bauer: 24:28 So when you say that, do you mean like squat on Mondays? On Tuesdays you deadlift on Wednesdays, like that type of thing or what do you, what do you mean?
Kurt Garceau: 24:37 Well, it’s a little bit different variation wise, but I wouldn’t say that the intensity is any less or any more. Um, so I’ll run through a series, you know, so let’s just say, um, today we have snatch pulls, we’ll start with snatch pulls, you know, and then we’ll hit some power snatches, then will go into a power clean and jerks, then front squats and finished off with good mornings, or something like that. So that would be a series. I mean that’s literally four days a week for me. Um, you know, all throughout the year is just working on and, and based off of where we are, uh, I’ll change the volume a little bit or change the load, excuse me. Um, but you know, I always work on, on drilling technique because that’s, definitely super important for me. I’m always trying to get that technique better.
Joe Bauer: 25:40 Cool. Uh, do you have a favorite recovery method?
Kurt Garceau: 25:46 So it’s a, it’s funny if you ask anyone at my gym that they would, they would probably give you a straight answer, you know, when it comes to recovery, I’m not the best, you know, I don’t really have one, it’s more so. Oh, I finished a workout and I’ll grab a shake and Oh, I’m coaching class. Let me jump right into that. You know, recovery wise has definitely been a weakness in my game and something that I try to tell myself you need to work a little harder at it, but you have to recover, not, not my forte. So I kinda just, you know, put on my sweatshirt and just like, hey, let’s go to breakfast or something.
Joe Bauer: 26:31 Do you have anything that, if you, let’s say, had more time to do it that has worked for you in the past? You’re like, damn, if I didn’t have to coach a class right now, I would do this…
Kurt Garceau: 26:40 Yeah. You know, I mean I’ve done. Um, I’ve done ROM WOD and I really do enjoy it and I think it’s, I think it’s a great, a great thing to do, but it’s uh, you know, when it’s on in someone else’s is doing it I’ll jump in with them, you know, but I really, I really don’t have too much of a recovery routine there on after my workouts.
Joe Bauer: 27:13 How about dietary habits? How would you explain those?
Kurt Garceau: 27:18 Um, it has been pretty consistent across the board. I jumped into RP strength about about two years ago. Um, you know, learning, learning the templates in the templates, in my, um, it’s about 90 percent, you know, and I try to stick with that, but, you know, you do have your days where you go do something, um, you know, you’re out. So, um, I don’t, I try not to get myself to the point where I’m so strict because again, I have a family, you know, it’s tough. We do things, um, you know, but it’s about 90 percent RP.
Joe Bauer: 27:54 Do you know what your macros are?
Kurt Garceau: 27:57 Uh, yes. Um, I do. Uh, but it’s, it’s more so it’s more so, um, you know, portion sizes. That’s kind of how I figured out all my stuff because at the beginning you had to weigh all your food and do that. Um, you know, but I probably say have about 3,400 calories a day.
Joe Bauer: 28:24 Okay. And do you know what your percentages are?
Kurt Garceau: 28:29 Not offhand. I wouldn’t be able to tell you it’s around there 3,400, give or take.
Joe Bauer: 28:35 Okay, cool. And I feel like the more time that people spend doing that, the more they’re… The answer is similar to that where it’s like, yeah, I’ve been doing it for so long. And it works. And is it about what I’m doing?
Kurt Garceau: 28:50 Yeah. You know, I mean at one point, and this is a year and half, two years ago, you know, you’re sitting there, you’re weighing everything, you’re writing everything down and making sure it’s good, you know, and then after a couple of months you’re like, well, it’s the same thing every day. Let me just, I know what it looks like. Let me just do that. And uh, you know, and that’s when you kind of learned, but that, that’s what makes it fun because you have a basic understanding, you can make it quick and you know, and then you can just head on out.
Joe Bauer: 29:15 Yeah, for sure. And I think that a lot of people need to understand too, is that like even a top athlete, like you went through the process of going through and weighed enough times that you can now look at it and be like, oh, that’s about what I need. And I hear people talking a lot of times they don’t go through that, that little bit of struggle and then they try and just look at it and I’m like, well, it, you know, even top people, like you go through the little bit of struggle so you get it. And then, and then do that.
Kurt Garceau: 29:44 Trust me. Absolutely. I sat there with my little, my scale on the, on the counter, you know, I mean down to the precisely the amount of ounces, you know. But again, after so many repetitions, you finally figured it out. And again, RP is a great template, but there are some variations, you know, if you’re, if you’re getting a little tired, you know, and you over the course of two years you learned your body, especially when you work out what you need and it’s about creating a habit and creating, um, you know, a, an environment for you to succeed. So if you could do that through repetition, you know, when your food, uh, you know, figuring out what you need when you work out, what times you work out, you know, that’s when the whole picture makes it so much easier. So, I mean, for anyone out there that’s looking to hone in on their nutrition, it’s definitely super important.
Joe Bauer: 30:42 Cool. And do you, at this point, I know you have a family and whatnot, but do you schedule cheat meals or do you just kind of go with the flow and you know that you’re going to have 10 percent of the time you’re just going to eat whatever,
Kurt Garceau: 30:55 uh, you know, I don’t really necessarily schedule it during the week. It’s our routine. We know exactly what’s going on. Um, you know, as soon as Saturday hits, if we go out, um, you know, I’ve two little kids so, you know, if we go out and uh, you know, and they have pancakes, maybe I’ll eat a couple of bites that are pancakes. Um, you know, nothing crazy. It’s not like I’m sitting here, you know, going to Mcdonald’s and things like that, you know, when I say cheap meals, um, you know, for me it’s, it, it could literally be anything, you know, we go out and have coffee and they grab a cookie and I grab a cookie with them, you know, something, something like that in terms of, um, you know, you don’t want to jump off the wagon, but every once in a while definitely need to treat yourself.
Joe Bauer: 31:41 Cool. Cool. And, uh, I didn’t actually give you this question, but I feel like it’s an easy one that I should’ve had in there before because people ask me about it all the time. Do you take any supplements?
Kurt Garceau: 31:51 Uh, I do. Um, you know, I’m not huge into um, multivitamins and things like that only because, um, I just, I just forget, uh, so the supplements I take a, I take Xendurance, I’d take their pills, um, you know, I’d take their protein and I’d take a post workout carbs as well. It’s just an easy way to get those, again, comes down to RP a to get all your macros in right when you need them. Um, so it’s, it’s a real easy equation. So that’s why I like that.
Joe Bauer: 32:25 Sure. And I know that people tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the supplement industry and what supplements they should take and whatnot. Do you have any feeling of about supplements that do make a difference or do you feel like it’s just purely, you know, that little one percent that builds onto what you’re already doing?
Kurt Garceau: 32:44 You know, I do a, I think that supplements help, you know, and, and you’ll, you’ll hear from the same people, um, you know, when you take a protein shake or you know, take in carbs after your workout, you’re gonna feel you’re gonna feel better. You’re going to feel a kind of rejuvenated, you’re gonna feel, um, you know, not as run down as if you, if you weren’t, um, you know, and the best way to figure that out is do it for two months, go off of there for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. Um, you know, and I’ve tried that, you know, every once in a while you just brought out a protein, you forget to order it and then all of a sudden at the end of your workouts you’re like, man, I’m dying. But it’s, it’s, it’s, I definitely think it helps and you know, I would recommend, you know, is getting a supplement from a trusted brand. There’s some many brands out there, um, you know, get it from someone who you can rely on someone that’s not just, just sitting in a GNC store telling you, you know, what’s on sale or what they may commission off of, you know, supplementation is important because the regulations aren’t quite up to par. So make sure whatever you take is definitely a, you know, a trusted brand.
Joe Bauer: 33:57 Cool. Have you tried any experiments in the past, whether it be diet, training, modalities, recovery tools, whatever that did or didn’t work?
Kurt Garceau: 34:08 Um, you know, in terms of diet. I mean, I’ve been down, like I said, I’ve been with us for so long. We’ve done the Paleo, we’ve done, you know, the Paleo with carbs. So we’ve done, you know, we’ve done it all. And what I’ve found is that everything, everything works to an extent, but it’s how, how much are you willing to sacrifice, you know, how are you willing to sacrifice your in your life if you’re not going to eat carbs or if you’re not going to eat bread, you’re not going to eat this, you know, so how much are you willing to sacrifice? Because again, Paleo works, RP works and I’m sure the Keto Diet works for the people who have tried it, you know, I mean, it’s all designed, but it’s how, how willing are you to make the sacrifices in order to make it work, you know.
Kurt Garceau: 35:01 So in terms of diet, you know, I have tried those things. Um, you know, and I just found that RP works for me, a training modalities. I, I honestly feel, you know, the best experimentation is, you know, just throwing down with your friends, right in some stuff up on, up on a whiteboard, um, you know, going out for a hike, going out for a run, um, you know, doing things outside of the box, but doing them with people that you enjoy doing them with because that’s what makes you step out outside of your comfort zone. Um, you know, that’s the best way to get better in terms of recovery, you know, you know how I feel about recovery.
Kurt Garceau: 35:48 I’m still working, still working on finding out what works. Is it always something to work on, right. Always. But I mean, in terms of recovery, uh, I do have a um, massage therapist who’s really good. I do have a, you know, a chiropractor who is really good. Um, you know, so I’m lucky to have those people in my life, uh, you know, because they work on me. Um, so I just go there. I’ll have to do is show up.
Joe Bauer: 36:21 Cool. What about being a high level athlete is the most difficult for you?
Kurt Garceau: 36:29 Um, you know, in terms of being an athlete, I think the most difficult thing is to always be on your game. You know, you always have people watching you, you always have people you know, looking at your lifts that are trying to figure out what you do so you can never, and I’m not even going to say cut corners, but you can never turn, turn off the fact that you are an athlete because, you know, people do look up to you.
Kurt Garceau: 36:56 People do, you know, want to figure it out, how you got the way that you are. So, you know, you always have to be, um, you know, not in season, but you always have to be, you know, on top of your game, always trying to get better. Um, and sometimes that can wear you down in terms of, uh, just lifting all the time. Just always working on being better. Um, because you do a full time job. You know, I, I do run a gym. It’s not, we don’t just work out all day long. You have to do all your other things, so you know, when you’re in a 10, 12 hour day and all of a sudden you got to work out for an hour and a half, you know, sometimes you’re like, oh man, I just want to go home, you know, but you have all these people that are like, hey, you know, we were supposed to work out this afternoon, we’re going to work out.
Kurt Garceau: 37:46 So, you know, I think that’s the hardest part is, is always staying on top of that and always being on again.
Joe Bauer: 37:53 Cool. And what’s the most fun?
Kurt Garceau: 37:57 Ahh the most, the most fun is, is definitely, um, you know, when people write things on the whiteboard or you know, and let’s just say Dave Castro programming for regionals, the most fun part about it is not stressing on whether or not I’m able to do a movement. Um, you know, because you know, you in your mind, you’re like, all right, whatever he’s going to throw up, I’m going to do. It’s just how well, you know. And that’s, and that’s what makes it fun is you’re not nervous for specific lifts. You’re not nervous for a movement or a, you know, what your nerves are is how well am I going to do this? Am I going to beat the guy next to me?
Kurt Garceau: 38:41 Am I gonna, um, you know, or am I going to get smashed on this or how to break it up? Um, and I think that’s what makes it fun is because is because you always test yourself and you have decisions you have to make. All right, am I gonna go out the gate hard… Am I going to do, you know, 15 muscle ups or should I break this up? And that’s what makes it fun is because you really have to game plan what you’re going to do in, you know, at the same time, you’re not necessarily nervous about the movements, you know, you’re, you’re nervous about how you’re going to do it. So I, I mean, at least for me, that’s what I enjoy.
Joe Bauer: 39:16 Cool. So does that mean that you do these open workouts multiple times with different strategies?
Kurt Garceau: 39:24 Um, you know, it depends. The years I went individual. Yeah, I was, I was going, I was doing the workouts as many times as is my body could permit, I’m going team I want to do right by my team. So if I, if I did the workout the first time and I felt like I could do better, I mean one rep could, could help your team. So, you know, being a gym owner and managing that and being on a team, you know, you want to do right by them. So I had to do those workouts again if I feel like I could do better.
Joe Bauer: 39:57 Okay. And have you ever been injured?
Kurt Garceau: 40:03 I mean, knock on wood, I haven’t had any serious, serious injuries. Um, you know, I’ve just had tweaks in and, you know, I’m, I’m thankful because again, you’re like, I mentioned, you know, having a massage therapist, having a chiropractor, you know, to kind of take a look at things and, you know, help me out. That helps 100 percent. But, you know, major injuries, I haven’t had them. I mean, luckily, uh, you know, the worst, the worst thing I had is someone fell on my leg during a, during a hockey game that I was at a men’s league hockey. But yeah, in the last, in the last nine years, I haven’t had anything. Anything crazy. So knock on wood.
Joe Bauer: 40:50 Cool. So since you’re a gym owner and a coach and you know, athletes do get injured, how do you approach injury as a gym owner or coach?
Kurt Garceau: 41:00 Um, you know, and again, I think it, uh, I think it varies person by person, you know, but CrossFit as you know, as a sport in any sport, there’s, there’s a chance for injury and it can happen. I’m out of the blue or it could be something that, uh, you know, it’s been a pressing issue. And finally, you know, someone stepped forward and said something, um, you know, injuries are very, very hard to, you know, prevent in terms of, you know, listen, I mean, it’s not like, Hey, don’t do that. You’re going to get hurt. You know, like you would tell your kids, oh, I caught this wrong and I felt this or you know, I was doing a box jump and, you know, I smashed my knee into the box. So, you know, watching people in terms of injuries, you know, you can only guide them so much, but just like any sport, you know, anything could happen.
Kurt Garceau: 41:58 Um, and, and I’ve learned to just set the precedent that people be like, listen, you know, this is a sport, there are, there are a chance of injuries and the best thing that I could do is give you as much knowledge as I possibly can to help you prevent those injuries. And again, if you have anything, um, you know, we can modify, we can do things on that end to help you. So we don’t worsen the injury. We actually helped me strengthen it. Um, you know, but, but that’s, again, it’s a tough thing as a gym owner because you do see those injuries uh, more often than you want to.
Joe Bauer: 42:32 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I always have trouble with that as well, where it’s like the of the injuries that I’ve had, I’ve always learned a lot about them and you know, it’s made me a better athlete because of it. It’s hard to interpret that to an, an athlete at your gym that hasn’t really had many injuries or they don’t realize that it is a sport and that injuries happen.
Kurt Garceau: 42:55 So. And again, I try to set it up when they’re in the fundamentals class, like, Hey, this is a sport. If you feel anything, just let us know. We’ll, we’ll take care of it, we’ll look at it and we’ll figure out, you know, where to head from there.
Joe Bauer: 43:11 Sure, sure. Cool. And uh, as a high level athlete and as you said that some of it can get difficult at times, do you ever feel like giving up or do you ever feel like quitting? You’re like, man, there’s just too much and if so, or even if not like how do you get around that?
Kurt Garceau: 43:33 No, I mean I’m sure anyone who’s ever done a CrossFit workout was like, listen, I’ve done this stinks. You know, but it’s, it’s, it’s one of those things where as soon as you’re done, 10 minutes after the workout, you feel like you’ve accomplished something that, that is so above, above your mind. You’re, I made it through this. I battled through this. I worked hard, although I’m sweating on the ground and rolling around and could barely breathe as soon as you recover from that, the, the mental state that you’re in is incredible. And that’s what kind of drives me and that’s what makes me want to push harder because I loved that feeling. Um, you know, no one likes to feel pain, but the feeling after the pain is the feeling that outweighs that pain. So that’s what really, really pushes me. You know, when you’re in the middle of the workout and you feel like, man, I just want to quit. It’s, it’s that, okay. You know, if you quit, you all, you’re going to have his regret. But if you keep moving, you know you’re going to have that. And that’s, that’s what makes the difference. And that’s what pushes me through workouts. I mean, yeah, everybody wants to quit. I want to quit, you know, you’re in the middle of the middle of a workout, so I mean, who wants to keep doing that to themselves, but, you know, just keep your eyes forward and grind your teeth and keep going.
Joe Bauer: 44:57 Cool. How about as like a whole, as a competitive CrossFit athlete, like the grind of that same question, but, you know, as a bigger picture,
Kurt Garceau: 45:09 um, you know, I’d, I’d make, I make jokes with people all the time. Oh, I’m tired, I’m tired, you know, but watching these young, these young kids come in, it really motivates you because, you know, being competitive athlete my whole life, I don’t like to lose. And seeing these kids come in, you know, you just want to push with them. You want to grind with them, you know, you want to, you want to be at their level and you know, you always work out with people who are better than you and you always push hard with them. And I think that goes along the same lines of, of being competitive athlete. If you’re a competitive athlete, it doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 77. I mean, you’re always going to want to push and you’re always going to want to win. So I don’t think that’ll ever go away, uh, in terms of being a regional athlete or being, you know, trying for the Games each year. Um, you know, if my body allows it, I’m going to give it a shot. Um, I mean only time itself. So with that.
Joe Bauer: 46:09 Very cool. So we’ve talked about it a little bit already as far as like how you own a gym and whatnot, but I feel like a lot of people that I talked to that look up to people like yourself think that it can only be done or that you can only make these regionals runs in games runs pretty much as a full time athlete, but you’ve got a gym, you coach, you have a family, have kids. Let’s dig into that a little bit more. How do you really handle doing all of that that you’re doing?
Kurt Garceau: 46:39 Yeah. And so when you, when you own a gym, you know, that’s, that’s priority number one. Um, owning a gym is probably above all being a competitor and, and being, uh, being an athlete because again, now this is your livelihood . If you spend too much time on your competitive side, you’re gonna lose your base. And again, that’s, that’s a huge no, no in, in the business world, um, but balancing the business side and balancing the, the athlete’s side is, is definitely a balance because again, you’re a competitive athlete and you want to succeed. You don’t want to let your teammates down so you have to put in the work. Um, so time management is a huge, huge role when it comes to training. Um, I try to set a set a set aside time, um, you know, between these hours, this is what I’m going to train, this is what I’m going to get it done, uh, in, in.
Kurt Garceau: 47:38 I try to stick to that as best as I can. Because again, along with that, just like what you said, I do have a family. I do have to go home. It’s not like I can spend just an extra hour, I have to pick up the kids or drop the kids off and that’s again, it’s all about time management. If you can get that down, that’s the biggest, biggest, the biggest thing that you could possibly do is, is figuring out your time when you’re going to work out. And you know, a lot of guys, they all sit there and work out for three hours, four hours in the gym, you know, but again, they’ll lift the squat will do the things I had to do with. Then it’ll sit there and watch a class, go back, do a workout, um, which is fine if you have the time, go ahead and do it. Uh, but if you don’t have the time, you really have to compact it. And again, um, you know, it’s hurting your body and learning when you’re tired. If you do too much, you’ll obviously get smashed. You know, if you’re working out for two straight hours wanting, your body’s going to hurt. So learning your body, that’s, that’s huge. And time management is definitely the biggest piece.
Joe Bauer: 48:43 Cool. So just, I, I missed asking this question earlier, but you mentioned something that made it come up again. How do you deal with, and do you think that it’s a thing
Kurt Garceau: 48:54 Overtraining, you know, and I’ve been asked this question before. Um, I don’t necessarily think over training is a thing. I think um, you know, I think try and smart is, is a thing rather than overtraining, you know, if you’re doing, if you know your body and you know what you’re capable of, I’m in, let’s just say you’re going hard in the gym. Your body will tell you if it’s, if it’s being, you know, getting break it down. Um, and some of the athletes in the gym, they’re like, oh, I’m, I’m overtraining. Well, I said, well, why do you, why do you feel like that? Uh, you know, I just, I didn’t, I couldn’t, I couldn’t go as hard as I thought I couldn’t have workout, you know, to me that’s a mental thing. That’s not a physical thing. If you’re, if, if you were to tell me, Oh man, my body, my body hurts. I’m tweaked, you know, there are certain signs you could see when people are over training, but if it’s a mental thing, you know, and I have, again, you have to approach each issue different in each person differently, but if it’s a mental thing, you know, you have to break that mental therapy and sometimes training and stepping outside of your normal workout hours and going a little bit harder will help that. But, you know, in terms of overtraining, I don’t necessarily think overtraining is bad, it’s just trying to smart. You have to know when to turn it off and when to turn it on, whether to go to 100 percent or whether they go 90 or 80, um, you know, whether to drop your percentages or, you know, go for one more rep at a, at a higher weight. Um, and it, and all that. It’s just, it’s just practice. It’s just knowing your body, knowing what you’re capable of. Because again, training for the Games and training for regionals, I mean, people would look at the training and be like, this is overtraining. Well, it’s not overtraining. It’s guess what? That’s what regionals weekend’s going to be like. So, you know, you have to prepare your body, you have to know you’re going to be a little sore, you’re going to be a little tired, you know, but you have to break that, that mental barrier.
Joe Bauer: 51:03 Have you ever taking the physical part of that too far yourself and had to dig yourself out of a hole from being too banged up or anything?
Kurt Garceau: 51:16 I mean, personally, I don’t. I don’t think so. Um, you know, I, I grew up in sports where you just, you went and whatever your coach asked for you, whatever you did know you had to do it, uh, or else you didn’t play. So mentally I think I have a mental strong ah state when it comes to, all right, we gotta work, we gotta grind, we got to do this. Uh, I mean, granted, there’s good days and there’s bad days. Some days you just feel tired. Some days you don’t want to train, but once you step in there and once you start lifting and once you start doing your workouts, you know all that, all those thoughts go away. It’s not, it’s not like you’re sitting there in the middle of a workout being, I wish I wasn’t working out. No, you’re. Oh, let’s go. All right. It’s game time and, and I feel like that’s the difference. If I ever got to the point where I was in a workout being a, I don’t think this is good idea, I don’t think this is smart, then I would take a step back, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit that point.
Joe Bauer: 52:14 Okay, interesting. I think it’s just, it’s an interesting topic because there’s a lot of, with the volume that people do and, and me talking with top level athletes like yourself, um, I get interesting answers in that like you know, how much volume people can handle and if, if it is just breaking through mental barriers or did their bodies break down and what is, are those particular things that are happening. So I love ask asking the question and hearing the answers to it from people like yourself. So thanks for answering that one. Is there, is there anything else that you think that would be important for the listeners to know about you that we haven’t already talked about?
Kurt Garceau: 52:58 Uh, I think it’s definitely in, in. I try to tell this with as many people as possible. I think it’s definitely helpful to have a couple hobbies outside of the gym as well, you know, being, being in the gym and being competitive person, you can get so caught up in what the gym actually does, what CrossFit that actually does and you know, you lose track of things that are going by, you know, like, like to do photography and videography on the side. Those are a couple of my hobbies. And what it does is it allows me to get out there and do and step outside the whole entire world of CrossFit because again, for morning and night, that’s what I do is CrossFit. And even the competitive people, that’s all they’re thinking about, oh, it’s training, eating that. I get this until I go for my massage.
Kurt Garceau: 53:46 And I did it. Everything is wrapped around CrossFit. So if you’re a competitive person and, and you really enjoy competing, the best thing you could do for yourself as half an hour, two hours, where you just go out and do something else, you get your mind completely off of it, then you come back with a refreshed mind and not, all right, let’s tackle this, you know, and it’s not a constant 24 hour type type thing. That’s the best, best thing I can. I can advice I can give or at least the best thing that I did for myself.
Joe Bauer: 54:19 That’s cool. When I was doing research for this podcast, uh, some, uh, Kurt Garceau with videography and photography stuff came up and I didn’t even realize it was you. I was like, oh, somebody got the same name, but it was you
Kurt Garceau: 54:35 That’s right. That’s right. I do do that.
Joe Bauer: 54:37 Oh, that’s very cool.
Kurt Garceau: 54:40 It’s fun. I have a good time with it, you know. And uh, and one of the things is it allows me to do things, you know, if I want to do research on it. Now I’m not just sitting there watching this video or listening to this. I step outside of my world and I can focus a little, a little of my time on something else. Again, the time management and all comes down to that.
Joe Bauer: 55:02 Yeah. You have all the people that have talked to you. You seem to be the master of time management, so people should definitely.
Kurt Garceau: 55:09 Well, if you ask my wife, she wouldn’t. She would tell you something different. I try to work hard on it. I try to work on.
Joe Bauer: 55:18 Oh well, it seems like all the things that you’ve accomplished have been pretty awesome. So I’m, I’m taking notes on this one, so I appreciate it. So, uh, you know, I don’t want to take up any more of your time, but I would love to give you an opportunity to promote anything that you would like to at this point. So you know, whether you want people to check you out on instagram or you have any things personally that you want to promote right now. Let’s do it.
Kurt Garceau: 55:45 Yeah, absolutely. If you want to follow me on Instagram, my handle is kgarceau3. Um, you know, and you can check us out or you can check me out on instagram and our gym is North Haven CrossFit will be headed to the 2018 northeast regionals. It’ll be a good time. So if you’re on the northeast, come, come check us out. But otherwise, you know, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Um, you know, and, and, and I appreciate everything that you’re doing, spread the word and contact and all these, all these athletes. It’s the real cool thing.
Joe Bauer: 56:21 Cool. Well Kurt, I appreciate your time and I wish you guys all the luck in regionals. I hope that you guys crush it and uh, yeah man, thanks. Thanks again. We’ll be in touch and have a great day, man.
Kurt Garceau: 56:35 Absolutely. Thanks guys. Appreciate it.