CrossFitting On The Road


Today’s post comes from CF West trainer Cliff H.  As owner of Adventure Out and an international man of mystery, Cliff travels the globe and the US on a regular basis.  Getting his CrossFit on while on the road is a very real problem for him and a lot of CrossFitters.  Here Cliff mixes good advice with tongue in cheek humor. Enjoy.

Spring has definitely sprung and summer seems to be just around the corner (actually judging from this weekend’s weather, summer is here).  If you’re at all like me, then summer means travel and being outdoors – and as CrossFitters, this might actually be a bit worrisome to a lot of us.  You’ve been in the gym 3-6 days per week all winter long, you’ve been seeing steady improvement, weekly PR’s, and plummeting WOD times. But now it’s summer, your significant other wants to take a long weekend to do that wine tour in Napa, your buddies want to head down to Mexico for a week of surfing and beer drinking, or maybe you and your dad are finally going to take that trip to Paris that you’ve always talked about to see the Louvre .

Whatever it is, it almost for sure means time away from the box. “OOOHHHHHH NOOOOOO!!!!  But what if I lose 5 lbs from my max clean while I’m gone? AHHHH!!! What if I drop down a place on the record boards? THE HORROR!!!”

First off, relax.  A few days off here and there aren’t going to ruin your training.  In fact, I think when  used sparingly and appropriately, 2-3 days off can actually help your training, both physically and mentally.  Being able to return to the gym on a “fresh start” always gives me extra intensity.  Additionally (and I hope I don’t piss anyone off here), if your CrossFit training does nothing more than make you better at CrossFit WODs, what’s the point?  For me, CrossFit makes me a better surfer, rock climber, and mtn biker.  For someone like Dion or Desmond, it is helping them to kick more ass in Jujutsu.  Our firefighters and medics are saving more lives.  The list goes on – CrossFit should be making us better at everything, so don’t be afraid to get out of the gym and take your new body for a spin.  See if that hike you went on last summer feels easier this time around. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

But if you are going to be gone for longer amounts of time, then it probably is a good thing for you to learn how to CrossFit away from home.  If you’re visiting a city that has an affiliate, go check them out.  I haven’t been to an unwelcoming affiliate yet. If not, get a little creative.  With no equipment at all you can put together a pretty tough gymnastics based workout (squats, lunges, pushups, burpees, etc). If you are flying somewhere, you can at least throw a jumprope and some rings in to your bag.  And if you are driving out of town, well, the possibilities are endless – throw a kettlebell or some dumbbells in the trunk and you won’t miss a beat while you’re away from the gym.  You can even get creative with substitutions for your equipment – try doing med ball cleans with a cinder block, or a farmers walk with water buckets. 

All of this however (what equipment to use, which movements to do), are just logistics, the easy part. The biggest challenge to CrossFitting away from home is going to be motivation.  I’ve given myself WODs to do all over the world, Indonesia, Montana, Barbados, Laguna Beach, Hawaii, Mexico, etc.  I can’t tell you how easy it is to skip out on your workout when “coach” isn’t around to bark at you.  Because of this, I highly recommend planning out your WODS and writing them down before you leave.  Having a structured regiment to follow will help you to mimic some of the structure that we have at the box, and I’ve found that it increases the likelihood of me actually doing the WODs ten-fold.  So if you’re leaving town, come to talk to me (or any trainer – I’m sure they’d all be happy to help).  We’ll plan out some WODs for you and make sure you can stay on track while away from home.

Here is my travel WOD that I did today (it took me 8:36), all I needed were dumbbells which I can pretty easily take anywhere:

5 Rounds

-10 Dumbbell Clean and Jerks (35 lb dumbbells)

-10 Burpees

Oh, and lastly, try to find someone to hold your stopwatch that is going to be a little more motivating than my “coach”.  Somehow the yells of “chest to the ground” and “3 more reps” were less-than-appreciated when coming from the hot tub.


What are your travel CrossFit stories?  Please post to Comments.

CF West’s beach volleyball terrors Vero and Kirsten start the beach volleyball season off today, Sunday the 19th, at Harbor Beach.  They will be playing on Main Beach next Saturday. All the info here.  While they certainly don’t need the help, in fact I almost feel sorry for their competition, come out and cheer them on.


Work up to a 3RM in the Front Squat and then do that weight for 3 sets.


AMRAP in 15 minutes

200m Run

11 KB Swings 73/53#

1 Rope Climb (10 Pullups)

Please post WOD and score to Comments.