Today’s post is my first-ever Feature Friday post! I’m so excited to start sharing awesome people, services, products, and anything and everything else I find that I think you, reader, will want to know more about!
An Awesome Guy Teaching an Amazing Technique
To kick things off, I want to introduce you to Coach Giancarlo, AKA Coach GC, and the fantastic pain prevention, strength conditioning, and health maintenance method he teaches called Foundation Training.
How We Got Here
Coach GC and I met about a year ago, in the ocean of course. He is also a super surf photographer, and we immediately wanted to start getting surf photos, catching waves, and collaborating on projects.
Who is Coach GC?
Coach GC began his active lifestyle at age 3, when he started playing soccer in Berkeley California. His background is in physical fitness and personal training. He has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Cal Poly in San Luis Obsipo, as well as an Orange Theory Fitness certification.
In the last year, he’s been able to add Foundation Training to that list. He is currently Level 1 certified, and on his way to Level 2 certification by next year.
At age 20, upon moving to O‘ahu, Coach GC became a passionate surfer. He is always paddling or swimming out, no matter the conditions, ready to catch some waves or get photos of surfers doing what we do best—being stoked.
Our Shared Passions
Giancarlo and I are both ocean-obsessed. I wanted to feature him on my blog because we are both advocates of so many of the same things: encouraging others, personal fitness for mind and body, health and wellness, sharing helpful information with others, and most importantly, spending as much time as humanly possible in the ocean (although he’s definitely got me, and probably quite a few other people, beat on hours in the water).
But anyway, you want to know what this feature is all about, right?
What is Foundation Training?
Coach GC discovered Foundation Training thanks to his girlfriend (shout-out to @meggcain, she is also a rocking human being), after struggling with his own chronic back pain for several years.
He bought a book and tried it out, unknowingly doing several of the exercises incorrectly, yet still finding significant “release and healing”. After testing it out with the book, he committed to several months of in-depth training through the company’s certification program.
My Connection to Foundation Training
When I asked him about my lower back pain, about 2 months ago, which I know is caused by a variety of things—sitting for hours in college, surfing, the physical requirements of when I used to bartend, chronically tight hamstrings, and a history of sciatica issues, he told me about Foundation Training.
Coach GC describes Foundation Training as:
a series of corrective exercise movements designed to help people strengthen their bodies and protect and prevent against chronic back pain and other chronic physical injuries…Foundation Training helps teach you how to create stronger core strength and flexibility in your body. We teach your body to resist gravity, getting stronger against it rather than getting compressed and weakened by it.foundationtraining.com
Sounds awesome, right?
I’ve been going to his Saturday morning class for the past 4 weeks, and I truly think this is something special for everyone.
But for us surfers, the techniques he is teaching are invaluable tools for improving our stamina in the water, our recuperation from injuries, and eliminating or minimizing surf-related injuries.
Why is Foundation Training so Valuable?
Our bodies are put through so much in surfing, from wipeouts to repetitive paddling to wave-riding, each movement in surfing puts strain on our hamstrings, quads, backs, core, spine, and neck. Coach GC has seen real results from Foundation Training in his own surfing.
He can now surf even longer, experiencing less damage from his sessions. The chronic back pain has ceased, and his strength has significantly improved, which we all know means paddling longer, carving harder, and surfing better overall.
One especially important aspect of our bodies Foundation Training emphasizes is training our core to do more work and alleviate the compression and stress our lower back often experiences.
It’s (hopefully) no big secret that core strengthening is important for protecting our backs, but we also know that when done improperly, all those crunches and sit-ups are doing more harm than good.
To avoid the potentially damaging effects of core strengthening, Foundation Training teaches you how to helpfully engage and train your core to best support your spine, rather than compressing it. Foundation Training,
“teaches you to take the burden of supporting the body out of your joints and put it where it belongs: in your muscles.”foundationtraining.com
Plus, different exercise techniques have different goals, and are specific to certain people (athletes, surfers, body-builders). These kinds of workouts are not easily accessible to most of us.
What I also love about Foundation Training is that you can be of any age, come from any walk of life, and still benefit from these techniques, because,
[t]he program meets you where you’re at and is easily adaptable to your unique needs and goals.foundationtraining.com
Give it a Try Yourself
Are you convinced yet? Are you thinking-Sign me up! What is this Foundation Training, anyway? How can I get started? Tell me more, -then Coach GC and I have got you covered with his 3 favorite Foundation poses for beginners.
3 of Coach GC’s Favorite Poses
1. The Founder
2. The 8-Point Plank (my personal favorite)
3. Decompression Breathing
And, you can practice them, right now, in your room, office, or closest beach or park, right now. Watch these short videos and start training your way to a better life, surf session, and healthier spine.
If you love these, then head on over to the Foundation Training website, here. Or even better, if you live on O‘ahu, come to any of Coach GC’s donation-based classes held Kapi‘olani park.
Wednesdays: 3:30PM, Surfer-Specific Foundation Training
Saturdays: 10:00AM, Foundation Training
Sundays: 8:30AM, Foundation Training
What to Expect
Each class is 45-60 minutes long, and we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and bringing a yoga mat or towel if you’re averse to being on the grass (as I am).
Considering that in our modern-day screen-obsessed society being hunched over a desk/ laptop/ phone/ tablet or combination thereof is the norm, rather than the exception, Foundation Training really is for everyone.
More than ever, we need ways to protect our bodies and improve our well-beings, and these classes help us to do just that.
More Feature Fridays Coming Soon!
I hope you enjoyed my first-ever Feature Friday post! I can’t wait to share more people, products, and services I believe whole-heartedly in with you as I find them.
These posts will not be about frequency, and you will certainly not see one every week, because I want to make sure what I am sharing with you is truly something special.
But, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next one, because I promise it’ll be featuring something else you absolutely do not want to miss.
As always, please comment below if you have any experience with Foundation Training yourself, or any comments and questions. I always want to hear from you!
Connect with Coach GC
Header and Image Credits unless otherwise noted: @meggcain