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CrossFit

How to Dress Like a CrossFit Pro

Written on July 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm , by

Written by Macklin Stern, editorial intern

With so many athletes gearing up for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games this weekend, we’re already feeling super motivated to run to our nearest box (code for gym, for all you newbies) and sign up for a few classes. Better yet, we’ll just hop on the MindBody Connect app and register there. But signing up and actually working out is only half the battle. You have to look the part, too. And not to fit in – so that you can continue to burpee and box jump like it’s no one’s business.

Samantha Briggs, a CrossFit athlete who just so happens to be the fittest woman on earth, gave us some sweet tips on what to wear—and what not to wear—when you’re on your way to deadlift, snatch, and clean and jerk. And considering she trains seven days a week—four of those are two-a-days—we think she might know her way around the rings.

Compression gear is a must. “Loose-fitting clothes may get trapped in the bars,” Briggs warns. Makes sense – no one wants an unexpected wardrobe malfunction because there shirt got in the way of the equipment.

Just say no to pockets. “If you do muscle-ups, you don’t want pockets because your thumb can get trapped in them.” Even doing exercises on the rings can become a risk. “I’ve tried to do them with big pockets on my shorts and nearly got my thumb cut off,” she says. Noted.

Tall socks are in style. You see all the diehards wearing them, and they do it for a reason. The extra padding protects your shins from the bar when lots of lifting is involved, and a pair of gloves or gymnastic grips will protect your hands (strict gymnastics is one of the hottest trends in the CrossFit world right now, so expect to learn some bendy moves if you haven’t yet). “If you choose to spend a lot of time on the bar, you can get ripped hands,” notes Briggs.  ”You don’t want to rip your hands because you won’t be able to train after,” she says. And nobody wants that.

Get the right shoes. Running sneakers don’t belong here. Briggs suggests the Reebok Nano Inov-8‘s, which are built for the pounding and sharp movements you do in each WOD (workout of the day).

Be sure to tune in to ESPN tonight and ESPN2 on Saturday and Sunday to watch the CrossFit pros burn and firm (more info on times and streaming here). Then hit up a box near you to try the trend. Just be prepared to sweat. A lot.

Photo courtesy of CrossFit Games

More from FITNESS:

Burn and Firm: CrossFit Circuit Workout

10 Things Everyone Thinks During Their First CrossFit Class

Staffers Spill: What We Learned From CrossFit

 

Meet the Trainer: Megan May

Written on April 29, 2013 at 11:59 am , by

What’s on Megan’s fitness bucket list? Competing on a team at the CrossFit Regionals. (Photo courtesy of Ted Williams)

The second we entered Reebok CrossFit’s 5th Avenue box with trainer Megan May a few months back, we knew we were in for a sweaty, no-joke treat. Thanks to Megan’s can-do attitude and flawless technique demos (she made everything look so easy!), we pushed ourselves beyond our limits—box jumps, ring apparatuses and all. Megan thrives as a WOD motivator with an infectious fitness passion, alongside a background in gymnastics and professional bodybuilding. In our March Express, the 2009 World Natural Bodybuilding Federation’s “Ms. Fit Body” designed a routine full of dumbbell swings, Turkish get-ups and power deck squats to test even the biggest CrossFit critic. We approved! Read on to learn more about Megan, “bulkiness” misconceptions and why she believes strength is sexy.

Most of us are NYC transplants, how did you make your way to the Big Apple?
I was coaching for Mike and Nate, who own Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave, at their two locations in Miami, Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach and IMT CrossFit. When plans for the gym in NYC started to form, they asked if I would relocate. My first answer was “absolutely not.” My husband and I had just recently moved to South Beach from Atlanta and purchased a condo on the bay. I had no intention of leaving paradise. When I decided to ask them more about the relocation, they told me about the big plans for the flagship CrossFit box, and they were teaming up with Reebok to open on 5th Ave in New York. This was an unbelievable opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. Besides, I told myself that if I hated it, I could always move back.

How did get involved with CrossFit?
I first heard about CrossFit about four years ago from one of my best friends that had just left the Air Force and was training to become an Air Marshall. He told me about these crazy workouts called CrossFit they were using for training. I was a personal trainer and a figure competitor at the time, so I was always looking for new ways to spice up workouts. There was no CrossFit close, so I went to the CrossFit.com main page and pulled exercises and WODs to use in my training and bootcamps. It went right along with the type of training I was already doing and putting my clients through. It wasn’t until I moved to Miami to become the head trainer at the Gold’s Gym in South Beach, that CrossFit popped back into my life. Six months after moving there, what is currently Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach, opened across the street from my where we lived. My husband and I joined and were instantly hooked! Within six months I had earned my CrossFit Level 1 coaching certificate and was working out and training solely as a CrossFit coach and athlete.

What else do you do for working out besides CF?

I just started doing yoga, as a way to supplement my CrossFit training. It helps a lot with mobility, which is often overlooked. CrossFit hits every muscle group and energy system so I look just as good as I did when I was a figure competitions. 

We all know why CF is great—but what’s your most persuasive reason for getting newbies involved?
It is so much FUN! I think CrossFit is one of the most fun ways to workout. When you participate in the group workout, you never have to work out by yourself. This helps push you and keeps you motivated to get through incredibly challenging exercises that might seem otherwise impossible. The community that has built up around CrossFit is truly amazing. Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Running to the Kitchen

Written on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm , by

 

Gina zeroes in on her CrossFit workouts to drum up a good dose of sweat.

After a tough workout, the first place we tend to head isn’t the shower, but the kitchen – gotta squeeze in that recovery fuel within a half hour! As someone who loves food just as much as we do, it’s safe to say Gina of Running to the Kitchen does the same thing. After all, it’s in her blog name! This CrossFit junkie makes us drool with all of her beautiful recipe images, and she’ll make you do the same. Go ahead and check it out – we bet you can’t prove us wrong.

My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I know, I know, it’s all the rage right now and that’s a totally predictable answer, but I started CrossFit when it opened in my town last July and have been hooked ever since. It’s efficient, effective (hello, muscles I’ve never seen before) and an absolute blast. I think every box (read: gym) has  different vibe, but something that seems pretty consistent across the board is the rapport among members. It’s not only my workout for the day, but a time I get to hang out with like-minded people and have fun. An hour of endorphins pumping, music blasting and people cheering each other on beats any other workout I can think of.

On my fit life list: A strict unassisted pull-up. No marathons, no triathlons. Just one darn pull-up without a band or kipping.

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first half-marathon in less than two hours. 2010 was a year of a lot of change for me. I lost 20 pounds, revamped the way I ate (slowly) and started running. Having played sports all my life as a kid, running was always something I was “forced” to do, not a sport I enjoyed. When I decided to pick it up as an adult in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I had no idea I’d grow to love it as much as I do. What started as a little competitive bet with myself to run my first 5K ended with my first half-marathon seven months later. Finishing it in under two hours, when I couldn’t even run one mile eight months prior, was pretty awesome.

I’m happiest when I’m: Doing anything with food. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it – anything. As cliche as it may sound, food is definitely my life passion. I contemplated going to culinary school in my mid-twenties, and while that didn’t actually happen, my blog has become the perfect creative outlet for that passion.

Olympic sport I’d love to try: While I think I’d be horrendous at it, I would pick gymnastics! Considering I can stay in an unassisted handstand for about three seconds, at best, and still haven’t come close to mastering the muscle-up in CrossFit (both gymnastic-type skills), it would be interesting.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Fit Blogger We Love: Gabby’s Gluten-Free

Written on January 25, 2013 at 11:33 am , by

Gabby demonstrates the perfect form for cleans at CrossFit Full Circle. Check out that muscle definition! (Photo courtesy of Joshua Winn)

Gabby lives in foodie heaven as a blogger, freelance recipe developer and food photographer, not to mention she’s married to a chef! Almost two years ago, though, the bakeaholic had to make some major diet and lifestyle changes when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. With some of her favorite ingredients and meals no longer an option (she’s used to be a sucker for Belgian beer!), the self-proclaimed “kitchen explorer” had to take matters into her own oven-mitted hands to make gluten-free cooking taste not only good, but great.

Monotonous rice and lettuce-based meals were quickly transformed and with it—Gabby’s life. She felt better and food became more personal and exhilarating, thanks to a new-found creativity fueling her “science experiments.” From drool-worthy desserts (Grain-Free Chipotle Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze? Yes, please!) to energizing, on-the-go breakfasts, like Vegan Blueberry Power Muffins, Gabby shows that a food allergy doesn’t stop your meals from being tasty and fun! Read on to hear about how Gabby stays motivated and fit outside of the kitchen.

My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I love the combination of weight lifting (my favorite), intensity and focused training. Since starting CrossFit about seven months ago, I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been! The community you find yourself is second to none—your coaches and fellow athletes see you at your best and your worst, support you, cheer for you when you think you can’t keep going and keep you accountable.

On my fit life list: Deadlift 250 lb (current max is 230 lb), unassisted strict pull-up, do a muscle up, run a race with my mom in a different state (she is a great runner–me, not so much), stay healthy, lift weights throughout my life.

I’m happiest when I’m: Doing something I love whether that is cooking with my husband (he went to culinary school!), wine tasting with my family, doing food photography for my job (I work for a magazine) or just picking up a heavy barbell. Cooking and baking are my stress relievers and I’m lucky that I get to do that as a job. I’m convinced that there is not much a late night cookie baking session can’t fix.

My biggest motivator: My biggest motivation each day is that I want to be better/stronger/faster than I was the day before. Some days are great, some days aren’t but with support from my fellow athletes, coach and others, I move in that direction each day. A long-term motivator for me is trying to be the most fit I can be so that I can live life to the fullest. There is no doubt that picking up 200 pounds is satisfying on its own, but it’s also extremely beneficial—if something were to happen to my husband, I could help him, I have the capacity to move objects without assistance and I’m a better functioning human being because of it. I hope to be the grandmother who can still pick up her grandkids at 80 years old and can continue to do activities with my family—building and maintaining strength will make that possible.

Olympic sport I’d love to try: Olympic weightlifting or gymnastics!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Staffers Spill: What We Learned From CrossFit

Written on January 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm , by

There’s nothing like fitting in a hardcore workout at lunch!

This week the FITNESS crew took a little midday field trip. In lieu of a lunch break, we headed over to Reebok on 5th Ave to hit up their CrossFit box!

By now, many of you know about CrossFit and how it works – or you’ve at least heard about it. And like you, many of the staffers had learned about the craze that has taken the world by storm, but hadn’t tried it for themselves. Since that just isn’t acceptable, we banded together to get down and dirty with those who know the sport like the back of their hand.

After a refresher crash course on how to properly perform an air squat, box jump, burpee and ring row, it was time to move! Our trainers, Megan and Bobby, split our crew of 15 into five teams of three and asked us to create names. The winners?

  • Blue-Eyed B*tches
  • Team ACK
  • Fit Wits
  • Brunette Bruisers
  • Blonde Ambition

Before we knew it, the clock was running and as a team we all worked to complete 1 minute each of:

  • Box Jumps
  • Ring Rows & Planks (one teammate rows for 20 seconds while the other two plank, then switch!)
  • Sit-ups (high-five your teammates at the top!)
  • Burpees & Ball Slams (one teammate performs a ball slam while the other two burpee, then switch!)
  • Air Squats

Repeat 3 times for a total of 15 minutes, squeezing in as many reps as you possibly can while maintaining proper form. Talk about a speedy workout! Each team kept track of their reps throughout the circuit, and then added the scores after three rounds for the grand total to determine the winner. With 613 reps, Blue-Eyed B*tches came out on top!

Keep reading to find out what the staffers learned about their hardcore quickie workout!

Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: One Twenty Five

Written on July 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm , by

Liz conquered the Berlin Marathon, and made sure everyone knew her name while doing it!

If you’re looking for someone who lays everything out on the line, regardless of what other people are going to think of her, then you need to immediately click over to One Twenty Five. Liz, the writer behind this weight-loss blog, shares her uncensored thoughts, which is exactly what we love about her. Now if we could just pack up and visit her in Melbourne, life would be pretty swell, don’t you think?

On my fit life list: Drum roll please…an Ironman. I know it sounds ridiculous to say as, um, I’ve never biked more than a 5K or swam more than one kilometer. But (and this is a big but), I once dreamed of doing a full marathon when I was over 200 pounds and the mere thought of a 5K made my heart skip a beat. And guess what? I ran that full marathon. So I know it’s possible to dream big and accomplish something once deemed impossible.

I’m happiest when I’m: doing CrossFit or running. Wait, what? Did you really believe me? Let’s clarify that: I’m happiest when I just finished a CrossFit session or a run. The moment I stop my watch after a run I didn’t want to do, or the moment I fall to the ground to get my breath back after a CrossFit WOD (workout of the day), is always my favorite. They’re my happy, self high-five moments. It’s always a battle to get out there, but always so worth it when I’m done.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to is: Are you ready for this? I don’t actually listen to music when I run. Nope, I listen to super-duper-steamy-trashy romance novels. I found out when I get into peak training for a marathon, I can’t download music quick enough, so instead I listen to, “she felt his burning eyes…” They’re entertaining, cheap on iTunes and so silly that it’s easy to distract myself from the pain of a long run.

My “I Did It” moment: Since I decided not to be a couch potato and actually knock off some of my “bucket list” tasks, I have to admit I’ve managed to accomplish some pretty awesome things. Three full marathons, a month-long hike to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp, and a move to Melbourne, Australia, to name a few. But my favorite “I Did It moment” was, without a doubt, when I was running the last 50 meters of the Chicago Marathon. Going from obese to running a full marathon within a year is very emotional, and seeing that finish line was just incredibly overwhelming.

My motivation comes from: Knowing I am capable of more than I’ve done. Which yeah, I know sounds really corny, but I’ve decided I am no better or worse than anyone in this world, so why can’t I do all the awesome things out there? Exactly – I can.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email us at blog@fitnessmagazine.com.

Fit Blogger We Love: Chef Katelyn

Written on July 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm , by

Katelyn proudly dons orange, Syracuse's main color - no wonder she went to such an athletic school!

Katelyn and her blog, Chef Katelyn, can be summed up in four words, which happen to be her mantra: Eat Clean, Sweat Dirty. Always striving to live that phrase to the fullest, this Syracuse University college girl gives us the low-down on her hardcore workouts, delicious meals and the in-between stuff that happens in her daily life. She’s even nice enough to let us in on her blogging secrets (spoiler: you don’t have to carry around a huge camera to score pretty pictures), in case you want to jazz up your own site. Talk about the total package.

My favorite way to work out: Yoga or CrossFit. I also love tabata-style interval workouts. I’m a sweat junkie.

5 things I can’t live without: My iPhone (21st-century college student problems), Vega vanilla protein powder, coffee, my family (is that more than one thing?) and a super-boho pair of sandals.

My biggest indulgence: Frozen yogurt. Some of you might roll your eyes because “frozen yogurt is so healthy,” but it’s really not that healthy when I make it. Think: 25 percent frozen yogurt, 75 percent toppings. Most of said toppings are a variety of Reese’s (yum)!

My motivation comes from: My readers, fellow bloggers, Instagram-ers, Twitter buddies and FitFluential rock stars. I would say all of my motivation comes from inside, but the real boost comes when a reader shares his or her accomplishments of the day. It keeps me going!

My fitness mantra: #EatCleanSweatDirty. It’s the challenge, my logo and my daily mantra. I even put it on pillowcases.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Fit Blogger We Love: Food. Fitness. Fashion.

Written on July 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm , by

Ali's all for celebrating after hard, sweaty runs.

A former smoker, Ali from Food. Fitness. Fashion knows what it’s like to have difficulty breathing. But did she let that stop her from tackling a 5K? Nope. Nor did it hold her back from running 8Ks, half-marathons and even a marathon! Talk about a health comeback. We wanted to find out more about what this girl loves to run to and the gear she truly can’t get her sweat on without. Read on for her answers, then pop over to her blog for more fit-spiration.

On my fit life list: As a runner and Bostonian, running the Boston marathon is a huge dream that may become a reality this Spring! I’d also like to conquer a high ropes course this summer. I work at a program for teens with autism spectrum disorders, and I would love to model fearlessness for them on the ropes course, even though I’m terrified of heights!

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I’m not easily embarrassed, but there is one song I listen to when running that I will admit is super cheesy – “One Moment in Time,” by Whitney Houston. It reminds me of all of the times I exceeded my own expectations with regards to education, fitness and my career.

5 things I can’t live without: Besides my husband, Adam, and my miniature daschund, Oscar – coffee, my Canon Rebel camera, Garmin Forerunner 405, Brooks Adrenaline running shoes and red lipstick.

I’m happiest when I’m: Running and doing CrossFit! I love the feeling that running gives me and that I’m able to set small, measurable, attainable goals and reach them. CrossFit makes me feel strong, fearless, powerful and exhausted. To me, those are perfect workouts.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email us at blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Fit Links: Skinny Cinco de Mayo Treats and Finding the Perfect Sports Bra

Written on May 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm , by

Lighter libations ahead! (Photo by Brian McKay)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

We Tried It: The Ultimate Fitness Experience Workout

Written on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm , by

Do 10 push ups as fast as you can! (Photo courtesy of Denise Crew)

Celeb trainer Bob Harper’s a big fan, Jessica Biel has done it and firefighters, cops and other emergency responders swear by CrossFit, a workout that combines strength, stamina and high-intensity cardio for a total-body challenge. I was just telling myself that I should try a CF workout when I heard about New York Sports Club’s new CrossFit-inspired class, UXF. I signed up, half excited, half terrified.

NYSC Master Trainer Kris Flores  created the Ultimate Fitness Experience workout which combines high intensity weight lifting, body weight exercises, kettlebells and suspension training to maximize results and keep workouts fresh. Our workout started with warm up exercises and a quick review of proper form before launching right in. Here are the moves from the 25-minute circuit:

  • Reverse Rows with TRX straps, 10 reps
  • Push-Ups, 10 reps
  • Squats, 10 reps
  • Sit-Ups, 10 reps
  • Burpees, 10 reps

You might think to yourself, like I did, “How hard can a 25-minute workout be?” Well, after doing these moves non-stop, I’m pretty sure this is the toughest one I’ve done yet. Kris pointed out that this routine shows that anyone can squeeze in a good sweat session in just 20 minutes. The exercises change with each session so you’re never doing the same routine over and over.

UXF is offered in all New York City NYSC locations and is available at the Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia gyms, too. Members and non-members can sign up for sessions, which are held twice a week for four straight weeks.

Now tell us: Have you tried CrossFit or CrossFit-inspired workouts? What’s the toughest workout you’ve done yet?