Thursday, December 22, 2011

Travel Packing -- CrossFit Style

Traveling CrossFit-style.

I am going home to Hawaii for the holidays today!!!  So excited!!!!  I had a few requests for a "what to pack," CrossFit-style post.  Also, as I was packing I realized that more than half the items I put in my suitcase were for CrossFit purposes so here's the post!

I go through phases of traveling a lot and not traveling at all.  When I do travel, one of the first things I do is look up CrossFit gyms nearby (lol) and email them about dropping in.  In my email, I tell them my name, how long I've been CrossFitting for, that I am a paid member at NorCal CrossFit, and any injuries I may have.  I also like to ask about their visitor policy.  Also note that it is nice to buy a shirt from each box you visit, especially if they do not charge a drop in fee.  This is an awesome resource for finding CrossFit gyms nearby.  It is a Google Map with all the registered CrossFit affiliates plotted on a map. You can also check out a list of boxes I have visited for background info.
I usually somehow make time visit a local box, but just in case there are not too many CrossFit gyms nearby, or if my schedule is fully booked, I have a backup plan.  In addition to researching CrossFit gyms nearby, I also google for nearby parks or if I am staying in a hotel, I will check out what the hotel gym is equipped with.  So on a note in my notes app are: potential CrossFit boxes to drop in and all their contact info and schedule, nearby parks (running distance, if any), and a few bodyweight workouts.  I also have this awesome PDF of travel workouts to do based on what equipment is available on my phone.
So this is what is in my suitcase.  I like to travel relatively light, optimizing for time: duffle bag (no curb-side check!) + my Lululemon gym bag for short flights on small airplanes (< 500 miles),  or in a suitcase I can store in the overhead compartment for all other flights.  You might think I'm crazy after reading what I pack, oh well.  

2. Duffle bag and Lulu gym bag for short travel.

What I always bring, regardless of luggage size: CrossFit-related items (not including workout clothes and such):
  • Progenex More Muscle - I don't bring the whole bag because it gets everywhere and I have to worry about bringing a sticky bag back and forth.  Instead I put one serving into a Ziploc bag and make as many of these as I need to (# days on trip).  Once I have all the packets, I put them all into a giant Ziploc bag so it doesn't get everywhere.  The other nice thing is once all the packets are gone, it frees up a lot of room for all the stuff I buy while on vacation.
  • Progenex Recovery - I do the same as with the More Muscle, except I pack enough+1 for the number of days I plan to workout.
  • 2 (baby) 20oz Blender Bottles - one for More Muscle and one for Recovery.
  • Fish oil - enough for each day of the trip.  Normally I take the one from Stronger, Faster, Healthier, but that only comes in liquid format and it gets messy.  The SFH Fish Oil also comes in travel size containers but meh, it's still liquid so it still gets everywhere and sticky.  So I pack Barlean's.  I take about 6 capsules per day.  It's good fish oil, but just annoying to take all those damn pills everyday.  Great for travel though!
  • General, all purpose, CrossFit shoes -  I currently wear VFF Sprint since I don't fit 99% of the shoes out there for CrossFit.  For the most part they are fine, except for when I land too hard from the pull-up bar or from box jumps.  I can't wait until January when Reebok gets in a ton of their new CrossFit shoe, in alllllllllllll sizes.  It's also nice just to have an all-purpose pair of shoes with you so you can go hiking or whatever while traveling.
  • 1 batch of Primal Energy Bars - I always bring this as a backup food source.  They are especially handy when I stay at hotels that serve disgusting flour-based, gluten-infested, carby (not really a fan of bread) breakfast.  I like to workout early in the morning, especially when traveling, so that I have the rest of the day, uninterrupted (shower, changing, travel to the gym overhead), to do what I want.  Most businesses and stuff are not open at 6 or 7am anyway.  The Primal Energy Bars are trivial to make, have a long shelf life (>2 weeks, especially if you don't use banana), no dishes necessary, Paleo, and a quick eat.  They are also great snacks during the trip, while at the airport (I'm no fan of McDonald's), or while on flight (again, gross expensive airplane food).  For the flying process, I also like to bring a bag of mixed nuts or jerky.
  • Athletic Tape - some CrossFit gyms charge you for tape.  I bring my own roll just in case there are burpee pull-ups or something.  I also like to tape around my thumb for snatches.
  • Wrist Wraps - ever since I injured my hand, I started wearing wrist wraps for oly movements and overhead squats.  I like the Rogue ones since they are easy to put on and take off, and they are also cheap.  I accessorize.  Whatevs.
  • Lifting/Weight Belt - again, just for safety purposes and probably as a result of injuring my hand.  I usually wear a weight belt when lifting more than 1.5x body weight.  Jason recommended me the Schiek Nylon Lifting Belt and I absolutely love it!  Conveniently, it is also the only lifting belt out there that comes in a XXS, for those who have a 23-inch waist.  Like the wrist wraps and tape, this barely takes up any space.
3. Inside my duffle bag.  All the above and I still have enough room for going out clothing, heels, bikinis, and other personal stuff.  Duffle bags are nice since you can alwayssss put it in the overhead compartment regardless of plane size.  Flight attendants don't question you.

4. Inside my Lulu bag: Primal Energy Bars, fish oil, liquids, and I still have enough space for my purse, laptop, and DSLR (inside my purse)!

5. Progenex More Muscle and Recovery, travel packed.  This might look crazy, but it's efficient.

What I bring, when my carry-on luggage is slightly bigger (in addition to the above):
  • ROGUE WOOD RINGS - I have multiple sets of these!  My favorite CrossFit equipment probably.  Love, love, love them!
  • Weightlifting shoes: Usually CF boxes will let you come in early or come to open gym, as long as you do a class with them.  I have 2 pairs of basically the same shoe: the Pendlay Women's 2011 Classic and the 2011 Rogue Weightlifting shoe.  I think I'm also going to get the Adidas Adistar Weightlifting Shoe, as a present for myself.  I like to have duplicates of stuff I use everyday, haha.  One of the pairs will get packed.
  • Jump Rope: I actually own two Rx jump ropes, and one Again Faster Revolution Rope.  My favorite is the Again Faster one; I like how the handles are very light.  It is also cheaper and comes with a spare rope.  I got mine at the Games this year so they adjusted it for free.  They also have really good customer service.
6. Larger luggage (but still fits inside overhead compartment): All the essentials + lifting shoes, hiking shoes, rings, accessories, hair dryer, slippers, and other stuff.

As for eating Paleo/clean/Primal while traveling, this is no easy task.  Finding clean, paleo-friendly restaurants is difficult and cooking is hard, especially when staying at hotels.  You don't have your kitchen setup.  However, also remember you are traveling!  Try something new, Yelp for local favorites!  Live to eat, not eat to live!  I'm not saying go stuff yourself with pasta dishes, bread, or ramen, all meals of the day, everyday... but enjoy yourself.  Come back Paleo.  Surprisingly, it was not very difficult for me to adjust back, since my body is just used to eating and liking food made with quality ingredients.  For longer trips, or if you are not a foodie (I'm a huge foodie), you can generally eat relatively clean at Mexican restaurants, fancy restaurants (steak), or burger joints.

I hope you all have a merry Christmas, and happy new year!  I know I will!  I look forward to WODing on the beach, playing with my rings on the beautiful Hawaiian land, eating homemade pho, ramen, Waiola's shave ice, spam musubis and getting drunk off of girly island-style mixed drinks, tequila shots and red wine.

I hope this helps!  Safe travels and happy holidays!

7. First class to Hawaii baby

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