Particularly topical, given the recent vacation to NYC & Boston, I thought I’d put pen-to-paper on my thoughts around training / working out whilst on holiday; but more specifically, dropping in at local Crossfit boxes when you’re travelling.
Regardless of your training routine, I don’t think it’s unusual to continue to workout whilst on vacation from work – hey, if you enjoy it, then surely any time off work is a chance to do more of what you like, right? The same can also apply when travelling with work, however in this case more of your free time is often constrained so it’s even more desirable to grab a workout if you can.
However what sometimes get’s a raised eyebrow, and even among some of my gym/Crossfit “fwends”, is when I get back off my holiday to some perfectly pleasant & relaxing location & say “… and we dropped-in at the local Crossfit box too”. Hitting up the hotel gym a couple of times or getting a few lengths in before the all-inclusive buffet isn’t unusual for most if you like to stay active, but to seek out box-jumps, barbells & (heaven-forbid) even burpees, can seem a little weird!
But often, when we’re looking at holiday destinations, I’ve got a second tab open with the Crossfit Affiliate Map covering the exact same area! Let me tell you why….
I’ve previous talked about why I love Crossfit & functional fitness (see: Why Chalking Fitness?) and whilst I’m pretty consistent in my training (and love the reward of a new PB from weeks under progressive overload) neither am I particularly precious about my training program. This is in no way a criticism of those that are; many people spend years dedicated to working toward specific measurable goals and staying focused on their own training is an important part of that. However I, as I’ve said previously, am a simple Crossfit fanboy & lover of all things functional fitness; a football fan whose happy to go support any team!
I’m therefore more than happy to jump in on any class and do my best to enjoy it. Such “unknown & unknowable” often requires some modification – if the box I’m dropping in at is in test week I’m not going to try and smash a 3RM back squat, especially if I’m still getting over long-haul travel. But that doesn’t stop me from getting something out of the class.
Exposure to different programming styles and coaching techniques can be really beneficial. I enjoy training at my home gym, but getting a pair of cold eyes on my sticky overhead squat, a new mobility technique or movement cue can be really insightful.
Then you’ve got the community side. On my last holiday, I tried to describe the desire to drop in at different Crossfit boxes to the sport of golf. If you like golf, you play golf, and when you go on holiday you want to relax and recharge – but the hotel had sure better have a golf course nearby too!
And finally, when you drop-in things are different and unfamiliar, which I think brings out the best in our gym communities. They have to show you where the changing rooms are, where the barbell collars are hiding and how not to get lost on the 400m run! During the WOD you share words of encouragement and after its all over bond over a shared ass-kicking or success before then getting the low-down on where to get the best coffee in town!
I’ve been lucky enough to drop-in to some incredible Crossfit boxes whilst on my travels and its always amazing how burpees & thrusters transcends language barriers and you can very quickly be made to feel welcome and at a home-from-home!
One final word to the wise though; remember why you’re visiting in the first place! In the past I’ve had to cancel a planned drop-in to CrossFit Stuttgart last minute (sorry guys!) as I realised getting a train into the centre of the city at 5:30am simply to train was probably going to make me late for the conference I was attending. Equally my lovey wife has had to put me back on track (and rightly so) to remind me that the holiday is not just about fitness! Enjoy meeting new people with common passions but don’t forget the bigger picture!