Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

I’ve been to Infinity before as it is owned by an old High School friend of mine. I actually really like this box. It has the perfect mix of “hard-core workouts” and “the friendly place that you go where everyone knows (or wants to know) your name”.

I decided to go here to workout with my dad and ask Heather Lyons about Infinity. What makes them different (besides location/name/etc) and the normal questions that I ask… She completely surprised me when she said “well, we’re a corporate box.”
“This is a sister location of Regal Crossfit which is a corporate box.”
“What do you mean by that?”

Apparently, Regal is located with-in the Regal Beloit corporation which helps the company grow in multiple ways:
1) Their health insurance premiums go down by offering crossfit to their employees.
2) When normally the president of the company wouldn’t talk to a floor-worker, they do now! Everyone has a team mentality and works together better than they could have ever imagined.
3) There is a mutual enemy– and her name is Fran.

Other things that make Infinity different is that on Monday I learned how to link my double-unders. Something that I’ve been working on for ….oh….2 years. It just takes practice and a good musical beat, apparently!

I was walking around aimlessly in NY with 3 hours to kill– when I stumbled upon Reebok 5th Ave. From the outside, it looks like a Reebok Crossfit retail store. Shoes, socks, shirts, jackets, etc litter the inside of the shop– but if you go downstairs you start to see and hear the familiar sounds of blood/sweat and tears.

I asked a lot of people what makes 5th ave different than all the other boxes in NYC… Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) said “the trainers are the best in the world”(end quote). Of course, I’m skeptical. I informed them that I have been traveling around the world and, no offense, but the world is big… I mean, how can one even make such a claim? So I asked Bobby– the head coach.

“We’re the best in the world and we work hard to be the best.”

From what I gathered, all the trainers meet every week and we go over a principal. A lift/stretch/mobility exercise/something. Then they break it down, analyze the anatomy of the body when doing the principal, the muscles that are actually being used vs what we (humans/athletes) THINK are being used, what words should and shouldn’t be used when describing what is being done, scaling options, everything. This takes several hours. All the trainers contribute and they talk about the best way to teach this to athletes.

Because Reebok 5th Ave has anywhere from 10-40+ people per class, they have multiple coaches teaching each class so it’s necessary to have uniformity between all of the coaches.

This weekly coach-breakdown helps get that and helps them all grow significantly every week/month.

“If you don’t grow as a coach- you are a bad coach. That’s my opinion, anyway.”-Bobby.

In addition to having cool coaches (one dressed up as Rafael (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) during their explanation) they also hold Civilian Military Combine competitions and offer up their box for training for anyone who is signed up for tough-mudder/spartan runs, etc.

I should also note that, for downtown NYC, this box is HUGE! I can’t imagine what their rent is. Luckily for them, they have 450+ monthly members and have only continued to grow since opening up 9 months ago.

I was there on Wednesday– which means “partner wod” day.

Before the wod, though, we did a Split-Jerk skill for 20 minutes. Even though there were a lot of people, it was a great opportunity to practice muscle memory or PR (depending on where you grouped yourself). The coaches, like they promised, broke the exercise down into great “muscle-memory steps” that everyone (from beginner to advanced) could benefit from. The description of how to do the split-jerk (shown on PVC) was spot-on and thorough, which this (hopefully someday) trainer appreciated.

After 20 minutes of work, we got into the WOD. I found an awesome athlete (Jacqualine) who kept me excited and feeling accomplished the whole time— which just added to my overall “bad-ass/welcome feeling” of this box.

hand-release pushups

I should note that the following day I had to get on a plane and sit for 24 hours while I make my way to Australia– so lunges were a terrible idea… BUT! I’m so glad that I went and I’m sad that I can’t stay longer and hang out with this crew more often. I will definitely be returning when I’m back in NYC– and highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting/living there.

This is a guest post from the fantastic Melanie Bowen. As someone who has had multiple friends/family members diagnosed/die of cancer, I hope this message gets out.


High energy levels and an overall sense of wellness can seem especially elusive when a person is facing a cancer diagnosis.  Going through cancer treatments can have as big of an impact on the way a person feels as the disease does itself in many cases.  Numerous people who are facing a cancer diagnosis often find their lives in upheaval as they face fatigue, pain, financial dilemmas, family concerns and an on-going round of treatments.  Adjusting to the diagnosis and maintaining a sense of wellness can potentially be accomplished by using exercise and fitness as an ally to traditional treatment regimens.

Exercise and nutrition plans can have a big impact on how well a person feels each day.  Research has shown that even very minimal amounts of exercise each day can contribute to a person feeling stronger and being able to sleep better at night.  Many people may have no other choice but to exercise in very small increments if they are dealing with extreme fatigue levels and chronic pain.  However, with each minute exercised, a person is taking positive measures to improve the way he feels on a daily basis.  Gaining new strength and reducing fatigue is important to ensure the vitality and quality of a life of a cancer patient until the disease is defeated.

Setting goals and meeting with a medical provider to discuss the best type of fitness schedule is ideal because this allows the patient to begin a fitness routine under professional monitoring.  Friends and family members can get on board and be supportive to the cancer patient by joining in the same fitness plan and helping to prepare healthy meals and snacks that will provide nutritious antioxidants and appropriate protein intake.
If setting a fitness plan seems like a challenging feat, consider looking at just one week at a time.   For example, making a commitment to walk ten minutes each morning and then perform yoga ten minutes each evening can be a big benefit to a cancer patient.  Swimming and bicycling are also healthy activities that can help to reduce anxiety and build muscles.  Speak with your doctor to develop a fun and beneficial plan based upon your physical condition, diagnosis, and treatment schedule. There is a long list of activities to choose from so find what is right for you!

Exercising and promoting a healthy heart will help a patient progress physically and emotionally, which will go a long way in cancer treatment. It is important not to overlook the emotional benefits of exercise. Often, cancer patients are faced with depression and anxiety in the wake of their diagnosis, both of which can be combatted with exercise. Physical exertion releases endorphins into the body, which have mood-boosting effects and consequently are extremely beneficial for someone fighting for their life.

No matter what form of cancer you are fighting, whether it be breast cancer or mesothelioma, or anything in between, it is important to take all of the possible steps to get healthy. Start today and make some changes!

I joined Crossfit Fuse back in November, 2011– right when they first opened. I was a member there for 6+ months and they quickly became my family. (not even my 2nd family… my real family.)

It was the place that I went to hang out after I had a bad day at work. It was a place where “challenges” from the other members were hurled at me and bets were made. It was a place where I became the fittest I’ve ever been in my entire life and I was HAPPY (despite all the shitty seattle weather that ALWAYS hits me– no matter what I do). Apparently, “Doing crossfit at Fuse” was the key that I was missing.

Because this box is near and dear to my heart, this whole thing will be biased– however, I’ll try to be as accurate as possible.

1) The box is HUGE. It’s a little difficult to find (near Marymoor park– check their website for directions) but once you turn the corner, you’ll see a huge tire that says “FUSE” on it- and you’ll know you’re in the right place. You’ll probably also see some poor schmucks (read: you later) running with med-balls in the parking lot.

2) Troy is an amazing coach who is always up for trying new things and making his athletes the best at whatever they want to be good at. He’s been training/coaching for YEARS… possibly DECADES and his advice varies from “here’s how to do it” to “just try this… get good at this.” He also has a plethora of friends from other boxes that randomly come in to train/throw down with us which is also helpful and awesome.

3) There is a huge projector hooked up so we watched the games while doing a WOD. I fondly remember (the worst WOD ever) was something like “Helen”– then followed by a “cool down” of “row 2K, do burpees every 90 seconds”. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) Some of the wods left me wanting to kill Troy– if only I had the energy to crawl over there to do it. Most of the time, I just gathered up my stuff and came back the next day to get my ass handed to me again.

4) There is a PR/Brag board and a “monthly challenge” board. The monthly challenge is something like “do 500 burpees” or “do 1000 double-unders”. You could do them all in 1 day, or you could break it up– but either which way, it was something that was supposed to get you better at a specific skill (or made you hate it less). It was extra credit and, of course, it was all made public- so you were always mentally challenging yourself to be better than Bob or Joe or whoever.

5) Fuse also really loves their facebook account, which I’ve been following even though I no longer live in Seattle. They post the board (after a WOD) with a few shout-outs to the best performers of the day. They will occasionally throw up some helpful tips/great reading material or specials that are going on. Again, this may be my bias-ness, but out of all the Facebook Crossfit posts that I see, Fuse is my favorite.

My favorite wod was the 12-days of Christmas wod– where you did:

1 broad jump
2 burpees
3 10lb slam balls
4 pushups
5 pullups
6 lunge-w-twist
7 dips
8 everett mountain climbers
9 situps
10 kb swings (35lbs for women)
11 goblet squats (35lbs for women)
12(00) meter row.

I miss and love these guys and I highly recommend them to anyone who is going to be visiting the Seattle Area.

Strong Pack Crossfit was actually Panama City’s first crossfit gym (if the rumor is true!). It’s ran by a guy named Chino, and, like most of the crossfits around here, it was also hard to find (so email/call for directions before venturing out!)

Chino has been doing crossfit for years and doesn’t necessarily believe in “hard start times” for wods. He encouraged me to come around 8am for the wod, but not to worry if I was late. (This is Panama, after all… Kinda like the Italians, they run on their own time.)

I showed up at 8:15 and the 2 other people there had already done the warm-up and were stretching. They waited for me to do the warmup and then we all decided to start together.

“3, 2, 1 go” was yelled and we were off. I felt like I was doing a really good pace, even though I was gasping in between every set of situps. Chino would come over to me, ask/yell how many more I had to do, I would reply and he would say “OK! GOGOGO!” and persuade/encourage/PHYSICALLY SHOVE ME to continue! Shocking at first, but I ended up really loving the encouragement! It was reminiscent of high-school where you want to rest, but if you do, the coach will see and yell at you– so you’re better off dealing with the suck/pain and pushing through until you yell “time.”

To be honest, I’m pretty sure I kicked ass on my time because of this strategy.  So thanks, Chino!

Also, It was nice to meet the man who started all the crossfits in Panama City. (All of the other coaches I have met have trained with/under Chino at some point). Go visit him and see his winning smile, then get your ass kicked. 🙂

Dragaos Crossfit was an experience an a half.

Jamie focuses a lot on core strength and developing the core. His box is relatively new but he has quite a following already. 3 other guys showed up during the wod and worked out with me at 4pm in the afternoon.

By the way, this is the WORST time to work out in Panama City, because it’s SWELTERING! The humidity is actually worse than the heat itself (35C). I’m not one that removes clothing during a wod (I usually try to keep it on so I can sweat more!) but I had to take off my shirt after the warmup. (Fun fact: My shirt actually made a sweat-stain on the ground….. eww.)

The work out was pretty brutal (In a great way)- nothing overly complicated or show-offy. At the end of it, I felt done. Like I just did something amazing (aside from finding the place—which did take a bit of patience…. Call/Facebook message in advanced so you can ask for directions.) But I felt like I accomplished something great.

When I first showed up, Jamie asked if I could do a muscle up. I kinda giggled at him because, dude… how many girls do YOU know who can do muscle ups? (I don’t know that many). He showed me some exercises before we started on modified progressions.


-doing knees-to-elbow (not after a wod, mind you) and bowing your knees out (like you are jumping on a box) and getting your ass as high as possible is a good exercise for muscle ups.

-putting the balls of your feet flat on a box while you are hanging on the rings and working on the “worm” from that position is also great practice.

(Of course, you need to work on just getting your hips up in the first place… This just takes a few weeks of constant practice.)

Either which way- I greatly appreciated the extra attention and professional tips from Jaime at Dragao. I highly recommend this place to anyone who is traveling through Panama City.