“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”- Winston Churchill
How Athletes are Recharging Outdoors in the Off Season
In the sport of fitness, the off-season has long been a time when athletes began drilling in on their weaknesses and working on things they needed to improve for the upcoming season. However, for many athletes, it’s also a time to explore new elements of their fitness and passions as they take their focus away from training.
One big thing: One of the key pillars of CrossFit is not only being prepared for the unknown and unknowable but also being able to utilize your fitness outside the four walls of the gym.
For athletes at the highest level, the off-season is the perfect time to put that into practice as well as mentally reset from the rigours of the Games training.
Alec Smith finishes a triathlon: CrossFit Games athlete Alec Smith has long been known for his gymnastics skills, but this year he decided he would test his endurance in the off-season.
In early September, Smith completed his first triathlonin his home state of Virginia.
“I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know how much fun I would have,” Smith said in an Instagram post following the event.
While Smith admitted that he struggled with the road biking aspect, giving kudos to the 50-year-old woman who blew by him mid-race, he also ran a near sub 20 minute 5k.
“Can’t wait for the next one!” he continued. “Maybe I’ll blend in a bit more instead of sticking out like a sore thumb with all my CrossFit gear. Or not!”
Tia-Clair Toomey kicks off her bobsled season: In 2016, Toomey qualified for the Olympics in weightlifting, but her Olympic run is not done yet.
This year, Toomey joins the ranks of CrossFit Games veterans who have joined their country’s bobsled teams, including Blaine McConnell, James Newbury, Colleen Fotsch, and Kelsey Kiel.
Just over a month after her historic victory at the 2021 CrossFit Games, Toomey announced via Instagram that her bobsled season would be starting.
She joins the rest of her team in Lake Placid, New York as they prepare for the World Cup in November.
If Toomey qualifies for the upcoming winter Olympics in bobsled, this will be the second Olympic Games she has competed at in the off-season of CrossFit, the first being her Olympic Weightlifting debut in 2016.
Regan Huckaby goes hunting: Up in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest, individual and team Games veteran, Regan Huckaby, has utilized her off-season time to take up bow hunting.
“It’s been a GRIND. A straight obsession,” she said in an Instagram post.
“From sun up to sundown, you spend every waking moment thinking about the animals’ behaviors, patterns, when you’ll see them, where they went, etc….it’s so intriguing,” she added.
“More than anything, I realize this time has become my personal journey of discovery – a respite for reflection and renewal,” Huckaby concluded.
Patrick Vellner heads off into the mountains: A little bit further North, Patrick Vellner also headed into the mountains for five days of hiking and biking, or as he called it in an Instagram post, “5 days of blood, sweat, and gears”.
“We ground out 6-7 hours a day of hiking and biking to see who would crack first, but we all made it out,” Vellner said in his Instagram post.
“I’ll admit, I had no business being on some of those pitches and I took a few headers, but it was one hell of a ride and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he concluded.
The big picture: As the season comes to a close, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the sheer athletic phenoms that these athletes are. During the season, they dedicate their entire lives to training and recovery and it’s easy to forget that the fitness and capabilities of these athletes spreads so much further beyond the coliseum floor. From bobsledding to mountain biking, these athletes are proving the importance of getting outside and using your fitness in every way you can.
Are You Getting Enough Protein?
Looking to build strength and muscle this off-season? Lifting heavy is only half the battle.
If you’re constantly breaking down your muscles, you need a lot of fuel to keep building them back up.
With Trifecta’s Protein Calculator, you can easily find out if you’re getting enough protein to meet your training goals and have your best ever performance when the Open rolls around (yes, it’s always lurking).
How do you drink your coffee? In case you breezed past the intro, today is National Coffee Day and Crossfit’s favorite coffee brand — Caffeine and Kilos — asked Noah Ohlsen and Kari Pearce how they like to take their coffee:
Pearce: “My preferred brew method is now the Aeropress. With a gooseneck kettle. And I have a grinder. Every once in a while I’ll use a French press or a pod if I’m being lazy. I usually just have it black. You wanna enjoy the different blends; when you add too much it takes away from the flavor.”
Ohlsen: “Miami feels like one of the hottest places in the world, so we primarily cold brew down here. I normally will make it with a cup of C&K grounds, mix it with 5 cups of water, and let that soak in the fridge for ~24 hours. That’ll last us a few days or if we’re not getting too crazy it could last a week.”
CrossFit Games Podcast Ep. 5 featuring Noah Ohlsen, Danielle Brandon and Dave Castro. They discuss the final day of the CrossFit Games, specifically address the new freestanding handstand push-up and the standard they used.
Castro: “I was really surprised how accepting and understanding of the movement standard a majority of the athletes were.”
CrossFit launches affiliate roundtables for owners to connect with other owners around the world, ask ideas and get feedback. Meetings will be monitored and limited to nine participants.
How one Delaware gym adapted during the pandemic to stay afloat. The Washington Post profiled the efforts of George Dobbins, owner of CrossFit Dover and what they did during the pandemic to
“We now have an at-home exercise track, which our members can essentially follow in the convenience of their own house. That is something that we have kept during this time, especially as we transition back into the gym.”
Banned Substances: How Ostarine is Creeping into the Supply Chain
In an effort to increase transparency and hopefully help educate athletes along the way, we’re digging into the topic of banned substances within CrossFit. To begin, we must go where all athletes who pop hot go — the testing lab.
The testing labs we’re talking about do a number of things. From product testing to inspections and even certifying supplements to ensure supplies that their products are “clean.” There are a handful of reputable labs that specialize in testing for hundreds of sports teams and thousands of professional athletes such as Drug Free Sport International (CrossFit has partnered with since 2010), Banned Substance Control Group,LGC and NSF International. Essentially, these labs give the green light that products have been independently reviewed that comply with specific standards for safety, quality, sustainability or performance.
If the product passes the test, a stamp of approval, “certified for sport,”, is placed on the labeling to help athletes identity which supplements have gone through this rigorous testing. The screening tests for nearly 300 different banned substances ranging from stimulants, steroids, SARMS, masking agents, and anything that could result in a positive drug test.
Your Gym Owner Might be Taking Home $200 a Month: Still Think Your Gym is Expensive?
“CrossFit is too expensive.”
It’s a common complaint, and it’s understandable, as the $160 a month your CrossFit gym charges is significantly more than the $60 a month you could pay at the local community center or Globo gym.
But the reality is the costs and time involved to own and run a CrossFit affiliate, or small functional fitness gym, means many gym owners are putting in full-time hours and still aren’t even coming close to earning a living wage, let alone a professional wage.
The sad reality
Sean Pastuch, the founder of Active Life Rx put it this way: “Your gym owner is not crushing it.”
“I have news for you. With the rare exception, your gym owner is struggling. They are not charging you enough to pay themselves. They are working long, hard hours. They can’t even give you everything they want…they’re afraid to raise rates and live a secure life because they believe if you do you’re going to leave and you’re going to take your friends,” he added.
Load management is a real thing, and you should be careful about overdoing your training. But, this barbell workout with 400 reps is still one you should give a try next time you want to grind out some grunt work.
The new online competition (boasting an impressive array of Games athletes) is launching this October with a three-part contest open to all abilities and over $70,000 in cash prizes, $10,000 in raffle prizes, and $2,000 in affiliate prizes. Check out this clip to find out why, when, and how you can get involved.
If there's one man we trust to talk about lifting heavy objects, it's the man with 71 powerlifting world records, Ed Coan. Watch Ed explain the importance of bracing your entire body and give a trick on engaging your lats to add serious weight to your squat and deadlift.
Start tracking your body's performance with a free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and first months membership. WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Giving you the data you need for your top performance.
It may sound strange, but trust us on this one. Adding pumpkin to your mac and cheese makes for the creamiest, most delicious treat you could imagine. Throw in some bacon and a boost of veggies from the spinach, and you have a recipe the whole family will love.
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