10 Pieces of Crossfit Merch Serious Crossfit Experts Own

In the world of Crossfit there are many products and brands that marketers and brand influencers want you to buy to stay at the top of your game. But what are the best items to own as a serious Crossfitter? This list will provide you with the top 10 pieces of gear that you should own to prove how serious of a Crossfitter you are.

 

  1. Jump rope

The jump rope is one of the most common items that you can find in a Crossfit gym. This simple activity is great for cardio and is often featured in many of the Crossfit competitions. When looking at different jump ropes, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account.

Handle grip and weight are two of the bigger factors when determining what rope is best to buy. Handle grip is important because you are going to want a handle that doesn’t slip out of your hands easily, especially when you factor in sweat and how fast you will be jumping rope. You want handles that aren’t going to budge when you are jumping as fast as you can. Weight is also an important aspect of the jump rope. The lighter the rope is the easier it is going to be to jump faster and hit those double unders.

Here is a link that provides a list of the best jump ropes to buy right now.

 

  1. Shoes

The right type of shoe is essential to getting serious about Crossfit. Wearing the wrong kind of shoe can be detrimental to your workout and can cause injury. Many weightlifters will prefer to use shoes that have flat bottoms, like converse, so that their bodies are more aligned during the lifts. Other athletes that have more cardio intensive workouts will prefer shoes that stabilize their body during their workouts.

Crossfitters happen to do both types of workouts during their WOD’s (workout of the day). So it is important to find a shoe that both stabilizes the body but also can handle all of the extra weight from the heavy lifting aspects of the workout.

Healthlisted.com put together a great list of the best shoes for every type of Crossfitter.

 

  1. Hand grips and Wrist Wraps

Many of the movements and lifts that Crossfitters do, can put a strain on your wrists and can tear up your hands. Using wrist wraps and hand grips can prevent these types of injuries from happening. When it comes down to it, most of the wrist wraps and hand grips are relatively the same. Picking out the best brands for you can be personal preference.

WODreview.com has a detailed list of the best types of wrist wraps for everyone’s preference.  

Kippintitreal.com goes through the seven best Crossfit hand grips and gloves and details what makes them unique.

 

  1. Weighted Vest

Next on the list is the weighted vest. Most famously introduced to Crossfitters during the “Murph” event of the Crossfit games, contestants wore weighted vests to accomplish one round of workouts.

The weighted vest has since become a staple to how Crossfitters train and has become an essential part of the Crossfit ensemble. So far the heaviest vest that the Crossfit games have used has been a 20-pound vest for the men and a 14-pound vest for the women, so you don’t need to be buying vests that hold a large amount of weight.

Pythagorean Health has a great list of vests to buy ranging from price range to how much weight that the vests can hold.

 

  1. Shorts built with Kevlar

This one may seem odd at first but can really help you in the long run by helping your shorts last longer. Crossfitters do many sessions of weight lifting with high reps. Many of these lifts will have the bar come in contact with your shorts and can cause damage to them over time. The best way to prevent your shorts from ripping during your workout is to get some shorts with kevlar built into them.

Reebok offers a great selection of shorts that have kevlar built into the thigh area of the short.

 

  1. Lacrosse ball

The lacrosse ball has become a great tool for athletes and Crossfitters alike. The thick and hard material that the ball is made out of is great for relieving tightness in the muscles. It’s kind of like a personal massage to roll those tight muscles out.

You can buy a lacrosse ball at pretty much any sporting goods store but doing a quick google search can pair you up with the cheapest option for a single ball or the cheapest option if you want to buy in bulk.

 

  1. Socks

Socks are an important part of the serious Crossfitters wardrobe. If you are not wearing the right type of socks you can do some damage to your shins as well as your feet. Crossfitters prefer to wear knee high socks so that when they are doing lifting movements like deadlifts, their shins won’t get torn up during the lift.

Rogue Fitness has a great selection of socks that every Crossfitter can wear.

 

  1. Knee wraps

Many Crossfitters will experience pain and discomfort in the knee when they are doing their exercises or when they are recovering from their workouts. This is because, throughout a Crossfit workout, the athletes are performing high-intensity workouts that put a lot of pressure on the knee.

Knee wraps can help prevent these injuries and make your workout better by getting rid of that knee pain.

Rigor Fitness put together a great review for the best knee wraps on the market.

 

  1. Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape, like the wraps and grips, can help prevent injury and loosen your muscles as you are working out or after you’re done working out. Kinesiology tape can help you work out longer and stronger than ever before.

RockTape has become one of the leading brands in Crossfit. Check them out here.

 

  1. Post workout snack

The post workout snack is a great resource for gaining back all the nutrients that you lost during your workout. Most of these snacks are natural and made up of fruits, vegetables, and added supplements to get you back to normal.

Fuel for Fire is a company with a great supplement that many of the elite Crossfitters use to gain back their energy. Check out their products here.

Now you know what it takes to be a serious Crossfitter and take your WOD’s to the next level.

2 Ways Nature Transforms Your Health

Nature has been a source of inspiration and awe since the earth came into existence. People have long benefited from its treasures, foods, and views since time began on this earth. Unlike many things, nature can be a common ground for any person anywhere, regardless of time period or era. Nature has numerous health benefits, particularly health benefits that are physical and social.

Nature has physical benefits.

One way physical health benefits manifest themselves is in the brain. People report reduced depression and anxiety after being in nature for one hour. Nature has a way of bringing people back to their roots. They see the ground beneath them, the sky above them. They see animals scurrying around on the ground, climbing up trees, or flying in the sky. The sounds and smells overcome a nature-lover in a pool or jovial ecstasy and release them from their former worries. The feel of the bark on trees, the softness of leaves, and the dirt on the ground brings people back to a primordial understanding of their origins. All of these sensory experiences work together to bring a person outside to a feeling of home, peace, and gratitude for the simple things. People are often drawn away from their technological devices and spend time being present in the moment when outside. This helps the brain practice concentration skills without distraction, increasing brain activity and our abilities to focus. This is especially important in the highly distractible, digital age we live in.

When people are outside, they often do not stay sedentary for too long. The activities that one can participate in, while outside, are endless. They can do something simple like play lawn games or they could even cross country ski across a vast terrain. The activities may take place under the ground in caves, such like spelunking, or underwater. They make take place on the ground, such like playing a pickup sports game. They can even take place in the air, such like skydiving.

These experiences, although not all exercises, keep a person moving, increasing the likelihood of aerobic and anaerobic activity occurring, improving their overall health with each passing day.

Nature has social benefits.

Many hikers will go hiking alone, but some go in groups. Outdoor activities often openly invite numerous participants to get involved. Whether you are in the water, underground, on the ground, or in the air, such like in the previous examples, there is always an opportunity for “just one more” person to get involved. Nature provides an appropriate and thoroughly enjoyable experience for people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Most people can enjoy some form of outdoor activity, and these situations truly level the ground for all those involved.

What ways have you seen nature benefit you? Tweet me @JasonDrewelow to continue the conversation!

The 4 Essentials You Need to Hike Like a Seasoned Hiker

You look around. The sky doesn’t have a single cloud in it. The ground beneath you is soft and pliable. The air is crisp and fresh. You feel a gentle breeze that caresses your cheeks and brings a smile to your face. The sun is shining, and life couldn’t be better. You set off down a nearby trail, leading into the woods, and you feel the hairs across your body stand up on end with excitement. You explore the the gorgeous terrain ahead of you with the only goal in mind being to enjoy the journey.

Hiking experiences like this are not all that uncommon. Many people have experienced the joys associated with getting deep into nature, and hiking is an amazing way to do this. In order to hike, it’s important to be prepared for a large handful of situations you may face out on the open trail. Here are a few items you should consider bringing with you on each and every hike.

1) Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are the number one essential pieces of gear you should have with you at all times, when hiking. These boots are meant to offer your feet and ankles the support they need to overcome the highly variable topography throughout your hiking experiences. Once broken in, they prevent blisters and keep your feet safe, supported, and dry. People who have not used hiking boots while hiking can testify to the pain they have felt in using inappropriate footwear.

2) Adjustable Backpack

Adjustable backpacks are the number two essential pieces of gear that you should have with you when hiking. You can keep everything you need in there, from your wallet and personal identification cards to burn ointment and a swiss army knife. Adjustable backpacks allow people to make the backpacks hug their torso and backs in a comfortable, sustainable manner that keeps aches and pains from carrying gear to a minimum.

3) Protection from the Sun

If you are in the pathway of sunlight from up above, you need to make sure you protect your skin and eyes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and one breathable, long-sleeve shirt, in case sunburn is imminent.

4) “Just in Case” Materials

When hiking, don’t ever assume that “you will be fine” and “nothing bad could happen.” There are no rules out in the woods, and nature, although beautiful, is not on your side. Make sure to bring a small first aid kit, a swiss army knife, a fire starter; and non-perishable, fully-prepared food, such as nuts and snack bars for the short-distance traveler and MRE’s for the most intense hikers.

Avoid These Counterproductive New Year’s Resolutions

Making New Year’s Resolutions to be Healthier? Don’t do these

Every year, we go through a tradition where we list off habits or activities we want to add or eliminate from our lives. New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously useless. Forbes estimated in 2013 that only around 8% of those who make resolutions keep them throughout the year.

As of 2015, statistics suggest that three of the top ten most common new year’s resolutions have to do with becoming more healthy by eating better or breaking bad habits. Of course, making better lifestyle choices is a wonderful idea, but there are some common resolutions that either set your up for failure or are straight-up bad for your health, despite the common wisdom. Dodge these ill-fated or apocryphal resolutions for 2017 for a healthier, more fulfilled you.

“Lose Weight”

Too vague. You’re already set up for failure because your resolution doesn’t have tangible goals or ways to hold yourself accountable. To make this goal more realistic for yourself, try choosing a realistic number that you want to see at the end of the year, as well as check-points at quarterly intervals. Furthermore, weight may not be the best way to measure how healthy you’ve become over the course of a year. Measurements like the BMI don’t account for fat versus muscle and distract from really important health markers like waist measurement.

“Stop eating sweets”

It’s just silly to ask yourself to do something so drastic and stick to it for 365 days, so don’t set yourself up for failure. First off, resolutions framed in the negative (don’t do this, stop doing that), weigh heavily on your psyche. Try to frame what you want in a positive, more specific light. For example, you may want to replace some cooking ingredients with more healthful ones. Or you may resolve to eat an appropriate serving of fruits and vegetables every day.

“Cut out Carbs”

Not only is this nearly impossible, it could easily be bad for you. Despite some flashy research and the deluge of gluten-free recipe Pinterest boards, there’s very little evidence to support that it’s the culprit of any specific maladies, unless you suffer from Celiac’s disease. Reducing calorie intake if you’re prone to over-eating is a good thing, and breads are often a source of “empty calories.” You may want to reduce how much bread you eat regularly, but cutting out gluten altogether isn’t necessary by any stretch.

“Take more multivitamins”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with multivitamins, but for long-term health, most of the research suggests that it’s more cost efficient and better for your body to eat fruits, vegetables, and meats for your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Synthetically-produced vitamins aren’t absorbed the same way natural ones are, and the added benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to satiate you make eating appropriately the best option. Read Vitamania for more on this point.

 

Best CrossFit Gyms Around the World

CrossFit is a phenomenon that has taken over the fitness world in the last few years. People are devoted to CrossFit and the many benefits it provides for those who participate. Besides being a fantastic fitness workout, it gives you another way to bond with your “bros”, new diet options, and improved focus and dedication because of the hard work that must go into training. In my previous blog, I introduced you to three CEOs who do CrossFit. Now, we’ll look at some of the best gyms for CrossFit training around the world, so you can plan traveling around your training!

CrossFit North London, London, UK

While there are lots of CrossFit gyms to choose from in London, this gym is one of the largest and offers an extensive range of training and benefits. The gym was founded by two very experienced CrossFitters who have worked hard to make it what it is today. CrossFit training for levels 1 and 2 is available, along with weightlifting and endurance coaching, and even nutrition training, and various options for anyone who’s looking to get fit.

CrossFit Praha, Prague, Czech Republic

The focus of CrossFit Praha is holistic health that incorporates healthy training and nutrition. Instead of focusing solely on achieving your workouts, the owner helps you work toward your goals while keeping your body’s health in mind too, in order to avoid any serious injuries during intense exercises.

S2S CrossFit, Bali, Indonesia

This gym is currently Bali’s only CrossFit gym, but they have two locations where athletes can work on their CrossFit routines. Their name means “Strength to Strength”, which they work toward helping all their members achieve. When you feel like taking a break, you can enjoy some of the incredible surfing around the island.

Valley CrossFit, Van Nuys, California, US

This facility is built on over 15,000 square feet and is arguably one of the best CrossFit gyms in the United States, as well as the world. There are various everyday classes you can attend, as well as defense training classes. In addition to the impressive size of the gym, it has the incredible equipment, such as a 48-foot monkey bar system and a professional gymnastics floor. To see all the gym has to offer, start planning your trip to Van Nuys!

CrossFit Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia

A husband and wife team own this gym and have poured passion into it, so get excited to workout here! They value having a balanced mind in addition to a balanced body and encourage this goal for those who workout at their facility. They aim to help anyone who comes to their gym achieve their fitness goals, no matter what level of fitness they’re currently at.

CrossFit Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

This gym is proud to be the first CrossFit gym in the entire country of Thailand. It has indoor and outdoor facilities where lots of locals and travelers gather to enjoy their love of CrossFit together. In between exploring this beautiful country with lots of beaches and ruins, fit some time in for your CrossFit routine at this gym!

Have You Tried Crossfit’s Zone Diet?

Most athletes adhere to some type of nutritional eating plan. Crossfit’s Zone diet has gained a lot of popularity because it is well balanced, nutritional and takes your intake of fats, protein and carbohydrates into consideration. Eating healthy food of a high quality combined with the hormonal balance achieved with Crossfit makes a lot of sense. A lot of additional information is available at http://crossfitimpulse.com/the-zone-diet-explained-edited/.

The main purpose of the Zone diet is to give you the ability to control your hormones. This will positively affect the composition of your body, the amount of energy you use and the chemistry of your blood. Most people are shocked if you tell them food is a drug. A drugs definition is causing a physiological change in your body and that is exactly what food does.

The Zone diet achieves a balance in protein, carbohydrates and fats. This balance give you control over the three hormones the human diet generates. These are eicosanoids, glucagon and insulin. Too much insulin will cause you to gain weight and be unable to lose those extra pounds. Glucagon allows your body to release any carbohydrates your body has stored. Eicosanoids control your bodies silent inflammation.

The Zone diet codes proteins as pink, carbohydrates as blue and fats as green. Your meals are then divided into blocks. A one block meal is one of each color, a two block meal is two and so forth. Your meals are designed around these blocks. A small woman requires ten or eleven blocks each day. These blocks include snacks as well as meals. A chart is available so you can correctly figure how many blocks your body requires daily.

The Zone diet gets you into the habit of eating at the correct intervals each day so your hormones stay in balance. It’s as easy as setting your plate on the tare button. The weight of your plate will be deducted and you repeat the procedure for each item on your plate. Most people find after around a month they can correctly tell just by looking and no longer need to weigh their food. Then you convert your food into blocks. With a little bit of practice you will be able to look at the ingredients of prepackaged foods, protein bars, etc. and correctly identify the blocks.

This is an amazing and healthy way to eat. More information including ideas for meals is available at http://journal.crossfit.com/2004/05/zone-meal-plans-crossfit-journ.tpl.

What is the Crossfit ‘Bro’ Session?

You see them everywhere nowadays. Crossfit Bros. They’re easily recognized by their backwards cap and high priced fitness wear. Complete disrespect for the English language sneakers that cost more than a yearly subscription at the gym. Scratch that these are crossfit bros. You know that stuff expensive.

The first thing you notice at a crossfit gym is that it doesn’t look like any other gym you’ve been to. They’ve done away with the old fashioned benches and the weight plates. I guess common sense is old fashioned too. They have an open air design that allows lets you see from one end of the building to the other. They have an interior design sense that leaves one thinking it’s every crossfit trainers dream to one day host his gym in a decommissioned airplane hanger. What you’ll find inside the gym is ropes and straps and unrecognizable gizmos that give one the impression of a modern day inquisition. You know you’re into a crossfit gym when you have ask yourself if you’ve accidentally stumbled into a BDSM dungeon. And you might as well have. Everything about the place is torturous. The constant yelling. The cult like indoctrination into doing what are quite obviously stupid and dangerous exercises. If stabilizing your core means standing on top of a giant exercise ball and risking a broken neck then maybe you’re better off with an unstable core.

Yet you see them everywhere these crossfit fanatics. You certainly see them on TV, where they seem to be the main target demo for smart phones, smart watches, smart shoes, smart wear, pretty much anything with smart on it. It’s official. These guys need all the smart they can get. Crossfit bros (and sisters?) are an obvious target for advertising. They follow fads. They have the expendable cash necessary to get into crossfit, yet lack the critical thought and self awareness to see how silly a lifestyle built around a type of exercise is. You can’t blame the advertisers. It would be a mistake not to market to such an easily influence-able group. And yet how many apple commercials with crossfit bros running through downtown New York can they make. It’s time to stop.

So what is crossfit exactly. Everyone has a different explanation. They say crossfit is more than a workout its a way of life. Others say it’s a stupid waste of time. Who’s right. Maybe they both are.

Fall Hikes for the Ultimate Outdoorsmen

Exercise is part of any healthy lifestyle. Hiking is great exercise. We consulted various sources, including national park websites and veteran hiker and writer Will Phoenix, to bring you some of the best fall hikes for the ultimate outdoorsmen.

1. Old Rag Mountain
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
One of the most popular hikes in the U.S. is the Old Rag Mountain hike in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The hike is a little challenging for those who have not done a lot of hiking. It is nine miles long but includes some rewarding autumnal views.

2. Cornish Estate Trail Loop
Cold Spring, New York
The Cornish Estate trail is a loop trail. It’s just over five miles long and is especially attractive in the fall. It’s even accessible by public transportation.
Hikers can take the Metro to Cold Spring and stroll from the train station to the actual the trailhead. In fact, hikers can even purchase additional, last minute trail snacks right there. After the hike, they can even enjoy dinner in Cold Spring.

3. May Lake
Yosemite National Park, California
The May Lake is an exceptional albeit shorter hike in Yosemite. It is, however, a steep hike. Because of the elevation, you should take a break or two to take in the noteworthy scenery.

4. Jordan Pond Full Loop
Acadia National Park, Maine
For hikers who have not been out on the trails lately, the Jordan Pond Full Loop hike is a great way to warm-up and get back into the swing. At less than three and a half miles, it offers some breathtaking views of the surrounding Acadia National Park. You can even take your dog if you’re so inclined.

5. Quincy Quarries Climbing Trail
Quincy, Massachusetts
The best shortest fall hike in the US is the Quincy Quarries Climbing Trail located just 20 minutes outside of downtown Boston. It is only half a mile in length and features some stunning fall foliage. It also includes climbing rocks of different heights and some artistic graffiti. With colorful leaves and crisp air, it’s a nice little date “hike”.

6. Maroon Bells
Aspen, Colorado
In the fall the glacial valley of Aspen is full of its famous fall colors. This hike comes complete with snow-capped mountaintops in the distance. In fact, hikers may choose from a total of five different trails in the Maroon Bells vicinity. The lengths of the hikes range from one to 14 miles.

Cross Fit CEO Spotlight: Performance Meets Power

CrossFit has reportedly nearly 4 million participants across the globe and over 13,000 gyms in nearly 150 countries. This fitness phenomenon was begun by Greg Glassman who is the company’s current CEO. Glassman has had unprecedented success with the CrossFit movement, but he merely believes the organization met a need people had and a desire they felt to get back in shape and be healthy, instead of continuing to undermine their health.

Glassman’s background

Glassman is a veteran in the fitness industry; at 60 years old, he’s a former gymnast who has been training others for decades. In the 90s, he opened his first gym and the CrossFit phenomenon took off in the early 2000s. Even though people have criticized Glassman’s company, he continues on and deals with the criticisms, pointing to his success to show that what he’s doing is clearly something the public wants. Glassman has extensive fitness experience and knowledge about various fitness methods, so he’s merely combined them to create Crossfit, which “focuses on all-around fitness. It takes elements from weightlifting, gymnastics and endurance activities, skills such as pull-ups and rope climbs, and more traditional workout activities such as running, swimming and rowing and combines them in high-intensity workouts.” Glassman is confident that CrossFit will continue to be an incredibly popular fitness routine.

HIs recipe for success

Ultimately, Glassman believes that the success of CrossFit can be attributed to simply making smart business decisions. In a recent interview, Glassman gave three top pieces of advice when starting a new business and he’s certain these reasons are why CrossFit has been so successful. His first piece of advice is to avoid taking on investors. He believes it is a bad business model to give pieces of your company to others just so you can get cash; Glassman owns all of the stocks in CrossFit. Glassman’s second piece of advice is “build a business that benefits society.” Glassman considers CrossFit a way to be socially active and help serious issues – obesity and health – that hurt a large portion of the population. His final piece of advice for success is to offer consumers “a uniquely attractive opportunity.” By combining various aspects of fitness routines, Glassman offered customers a type of workout that they cannot find anywhere else.

Highlights from the CrossFit 2016 Team Serie

How fit are you? You might be a regular Dick or Jane and want to see how you compare to others around the world. You can get a good assessment during the CrossFit 2016 Team Series.

Exciting Crossfit Team Series

There are many extreme competitions, but few are as intriguing as the Reebok CrossFit Games. These have been run since 2007 and test the full range of strength, fitness and endurance.

“Fittest on Earth”

Imagine if you arrived at the Super Bowl and they told you that you were going to compete in wall climbing, ocean swimming and cylinder weight rolling. You might be quite surprised, but that is exactly what the CrossFit Games does.

The competitors are only told about events, hours or days beforehand. Can you imagine competing for a championship on workouts, for the first-time?

Ready for Anything

The CrossFit concept is similar to the US Navy Seals, who are “ready for anything.” You must have all-around fitness, endurance and strength to succeed. The team competition is fierce and an exciting way to build up camaraderie.

The CrossFit brand continues to grow from its roots at the small Dave Castro ranch in Aromas, California, United States. Now, with Reebok branding and more attention paid to the event, it was able to move into the StubHub from 2010 to 2016. There are great hopes for the CrossFit 2017 Team Series, which will take place in Madison, Wisconsin’s Alliant Energy Center.

From Individual Chaos to Team Mayhem

The team event might get the adrenaline pumping even more as groups battle for the coveted championship. The Reebok CrossFit 2016 Team Series is all about fighting for everything and leaving no doubt as to who is best. Just as Daniel Boone explored the wilderness of Tennessee – Rich Froning Jr. has become a famous native son pioneer.

From 2011 to 2014, Rich Froning Jr. was the individual CrossFit champion. In 2015, Champion Rich Froning Jr. decided to devote more time and energy to developing his “Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom” out of Cookeville, Tennessee. And this attention has resulted in some great fitness results.

The Crossfit 2016 Team Series champion was “Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom,” which one back-to-back titles. It all started with a 2013 debut and 27th-place finish, but now the team is the “Fittest Team on Planet Earth.”