Gym Spotlight: CrossFit Clintonville

Celebrating 10 years this May, CrossFit Clintonville is a community worthy of recognition. They've made their mark with tremendous charitable efforts for Veterans associations including the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and The Bruce WOD Organization. The gym in Columbus, Ohio is owned by Patrick Woods, a man whose accumulated an impressive resumé for someone who didn't know what he wanted to do with his life 12 years ago...

Patrick Woods, the mastermind.

Patrick Woods grew up in family of Veterans - his Grandparents fought in World War II and his father served in Vietnam. If it weren't for his athletic prowess he too likely would have served. Woods was recruited by The Ohio State for track & field - a scholarship he couldn't refuse. 4 years later, he walked away with a degree in financial planning and aspirations of making the 2012 Olympic Team. Unfortunately, Woods' track career didn't end the way he hoped. He found himself at a crossroads. He could take a corporate finance job in Nashville, or manage a commercial gym close to home. Naturally, Woods found himself training clients throughout his athletic career, a side gig he found joy in. To gain more knowledge and experience in the field, he opted for the management role.

Shortly after, a coworker told him he should try this thing called 'CrossFit'. And so he did. Woods spent a couple of years doing CrossFit.com workouts in the commercial gym and making a 45 minute commute to a box. During this time, he also had the opportunity to train with guru Louie Simmons, Founder of Westwide Barbell. Eventually, Woods decided he wanted to give this thing a shot. He signed the lease and in 2014, CrossFit Clintonville was born.

Culture, Community, and Coaching

You will only feel like a stranger for the first five minutes. You will be greeted and introduced to many members eager to get to know you the moment you walk through CrossFit Clintonville's doors. The community is extremely inviting, inclusive, welcoming, and diverse. Patrick Woods has countless stories of their community elevating the health of it's members: their physical fitness, but also their mental, emotional, and social health. Woods remarks the personal accounts of the gym changing a life for the better are what keeps him going. Often times he's getting told, "the bathroom needs cleaning", "this programming sucks", or "this dumbbell is broken". It reinvigorates his sense of purpose and reinforces his why to hear a moving member testimony.

Have you ever coached an adaptive athlete? Patrick shared an anecdote about the day Dave* (name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual) came into the gym about 4-5 years ago. Dave is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects muscle functioning, and was in a wheelchair. He wanted to try out CrossFit. Immediately, Woods said "yes, absolutely, let's do this". Upon showing him around the gym, discussing modifications for movements, Woods inquired about Dave's extent of mobility. Woods eyes widened as Dave stood up, grabbed the pull up bar and performed a strict pull up. Floored, with excitement flickering into expression, Woods knew he was about to embark on a new path in his coaching journey. The following year, Dave completed his first ever Murph. As he walked the final mile, the whole gym rallied behind him until they crossed the finish line. "It was powerful to witness," said Woods.

Woods referred to Clintonville's coaches as the lifeblood of the gym. He believes was blessed with the most genuine,committed, and passionate individuals. They feed off the member's energy and truly want the members to succeed. Woods holds periodic team meetings where the coaches participate in a mock Level 2 (L2) course. If you aren't familiar with the L2 course, it requires coaches to coach other coaches in front of their fellow coaches (say coach 5x fast). Echoing LIFEAID Core Value #9: Strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection, Woods' said, "from a growth and coaching perspective, there's no perfect coach, and you can always learn more and you can always be better...". All in all, it's a fantastic way to peer review, foster consistency, and constantly raise the bar of the coaching level in the gym.

The Evolution of Memorial Day Murph with CrossFit Clintonville

Shortly after the grand opening of CrossFit Clintonville, Memorial Day Weekend arrived, prompting Patrick Woods to incorporate the annual "Murph" workout in honor of fallen NAVY Seal LT Michael P. Murphy. For many in the group, it was their first encounter with this challenging chipper-style workout: a 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, capped off with another mile run. After they completed the intense workout, they raised a toast and pondered the potential of doing something more meaningful next year.

In 2015, Woods devised a plan. They mapped out a route from a member's house, exactly one mile away from the gym. The idea was to commence at the house, run to the gym, perform the volume, and then return home. Each participant contributed a modest registration fee covering necessities like food, water, and compensation for local authorities to secure road closures.

 

Upon finishing the final mile, they rejoiced in a backyard celebration. This post-workout festivity, endorsed by Woods' friends—a NAVY Seal and Marine—was deemed essential. They asserted, "You need to celebrate... it's exactly what these guys would be doing if they were still here; they would want you to have a good time and live." The backyard bash featured creative elements like a pickup truck bed transformed into a giant ice bath, a mega-sized slip-and-slide, and spirited games like flip cup. In subsequent years, it evolved into a full-fledged event with a live DJ and local sponsorships. Recognizing the need for official structure, Woods established the Clintonville Charitable 501c3 nonprofit, assembling a board and event planning committee.

Over the years, the Clintonville crew raised significant funds for a scholarship fund. Their contributions garnered a heartfelt thank-you letter from Dan Murphy, Michael's father. Unaware of the LT Michael P. Murphy organization's scale at the time, Woods responded with gratitude, inviting Dan to join them. To Woods' astonishment, Dan replied, "We'd love to!"

In 2021, they made it happen. By then, CrossFit Clintonville's Memorial Day Murph event had become a staple. They invited Dan to Ohio, scheduling the event for Labor Day Weekend due to Memorial Day obligations. Nearly 200 people participated, fueled by the presence of Dan, his wife, and the author of Michael's biography. Dan proudly displayed Michael's Medal of Honor and many copies were signed that day. Together, they raised $10,000 for the LT Michael P. Murphy Navy Seal Museum in New York.  While numerous large sponsors and donors bolster the Murphy's organization, it was a remarkable achievement for the Clintonville community. Woods reflected on the surreal experience of dining with the Murphy family, exchanging stories and forging connections.

Following the successful year, they partnered with the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus. In 2022, they commemorated U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo with the "Laredo" hero workout. Woods praised the museum's ambiance, particularly its open rooftop offering a panoramic view of the city skyline. The following year, they honored Murphy by completing Murph at the museum, incorporating a running route through the memorial garden—a serene space that underscores the workout's significance. This year, they'll once again complete Murph on Memorial Day Weekend at the museum.

Proceeds from registration now directly benefit the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, while remaining funds from Clintonville Charitable are channeled into academic scholarships for local high school students. Recipients are chosen through an essay competition. Meanwhile, Woods continues his charitable endeavors through initiatives like The Bruce WOD, which supports Veterans by funding gym memberships to foster camaraderie post-service and avert mental health issues. CrossFit Clintonville remains committed to hosting events in support of important causes, including a Labor Day Weekend event later this year.

Conclusion

Patrick Woods has built something special in Columbus, Ohio. CrossFit Clintonville is a community you can count on and one you should never count out. Celebrating a decade of good people, great causes, and even better memories, Team FITAID is proud to fuel CrossFit Clintonville. If you're visiting the area, it's a surefire bet for a fantastic hour of your day.

Check out their Website

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SwoleMate Stories to Swoon Over

Happy Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or Bromancery Day! Whatever you celebrate, we asked you to submit your best #SwoleMate stories. Check out the top five selections!

A Whole New Meaning to WOD

Maegan Musanti met Abby, her now wife, through her CrossFit coach. She belonged to a different gym, but fate found the two at a local competition, tents next to one another. Ever since that weekend, they were inseparable. CrossFit was naturally a major part of their blossoming relationship. 3 years later, they were attending the same 6:30pm class on the daily. Maegan knew she wanted to propose, but wasn’t sure how. Neither of them had an affinity for jewelry, but Abby had been wishing for a pink barbell for forever. The perfect nontraditional ring: a pink barbell engraved with “Marry Me”. One night, when they walked into class, the barbell was perched on the rig. Abby spun it around to reveal the “Marry Me” and turned around to Maegan down on one knee. 

In 2022, they had the ultimate CrossFit wedding, or WOD (Wedding of the Day). The couple sported matching NoBull sneakers, their coach officiated the “I do’s”, and the “guestbook” consisted of two white Rogue training weight plates. The seating chart featured tables of prominent brands, including a “Team FITAID” table. To top it off: they honeymooned at the Rogue Invitational, boasting a poster that tons of athletes signed & snuck a cameo in a Buttery Bros video.

Besties for the Resties

How many bachelorette parties have you been to that have a Spartan Race on the itinerary? Lauren Hammer can proudly put a finger down for that one… thanks to her sister. Lauren can also thank her sister for introducing her to Jess. This BFF pairing hadn’t talked much before the big bachelorette mud-bash, but it jumpstarted their swolemance. It was Lauren’s first obstacle course race and she was extremely nervous. Jess eased Lauren’s nerves as they made their way to Boston for the event. Lauren ended up having amazing time, and she got hooked.

Lauren began to do more races, Jess always racing by her side. Post-grad, Lauren asked Jess if she thought CrossFit would be a good fit for her. Jess brought Lauren to her very first class and there was no turning back! 4 years later and they’re still an unbreakable duo. Sometimes, Jess will get Lauren laughing so hard she’ll have to take her inhaler. Who needs romance when you get to workout with your best friend everyday?!

Can I get extra guac & your number?

This pair didn’t find love in the gym, but they DID find love in the Chipotle line (isn’t that every introverts dream?!). Jay and Kelvie have been together for 13 years, 10 as husband and wife. They transformed themselves from two unhealthy, broken humans to opening and operating their own CrossFit gym, Mission Barbell Club, together.

The meet cute began when Kelvie cut Jay in line. He was a man in uniform – naturally, Kelvie assumed the burritos just had security. When the lined moved up, she quickly realized what she had done. By the time they got to checkout, Jay had charmed his number into her phone. The rest was history!

They got married in 2014, the same year Jay decided to quit smoking cold turkey after 20 years. He replaced the addiction with running, and in the winter months he took up CrossFit training. He began to coach, and when he retired from 30 years in law enforcement, the couple opened up their gym in the same city they had met in.

Next time someone cuts you in line, don’t gripe – it might just be your forever swolemate.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

A 5am workout class means you’re rolling out of bed while it’s still dark outside. You’re all their to get your workout in and then shuffle off to work, socializing isn’t on the top of your list. Peyton felt the same when she joined a CrossFit gym and became a 5 am-goer. She was paired up with this guy a handful of times for partner workouts.

It was “a lot of fist bumps, ‘have a good day’ fair wells, and small talk” until… The Open. Friday Night Lights worked it’s magic and set a spark aflame (must have been all of that fire breather energy…). Two years of dating later, they’ve officially bought a house together. The 5am’ers are now 5pm’ers, but meeting in the morning class will always hold a special place in their hearts. The Open now serves as their annual reminder to shoot your shot with your gym crush ❤️.

Will you be cheering your swolemate on this Open season? Spice it up and throw a wager on the table – how about, whoever loses the workout has to cook dinner? Winner gets a massage?

Love Abroad

Five years ago, Dani decided to study abroad in Finland. She had just finished playing collegiate volleyball and had a desire to see the world. While abroad, she attended a local CrossFit box in Joensuu. At the box, she kept bumping into the same guy. Dani described him as a tall, sweet Dutch guy who happened to also be studying abroad (and her type… as a volleyball player, his height made him cuter 😉).

They got to talking and made plans to workout together. Eventually, it escalated into going on dates. They originally planned on going separate ways once the semester concluded, but after a couple of weeks, he declared he was going to buy a plane ticket to America after they left Finland. Sure enough, she received a photo of plane ticket that very day. This swolemate story sounds like it needs to be made into a movie.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us! We loved hearing about all of your swolemates. We wish nothing but the best for you and them. Keep your heart healthy and shop our Valentine’s Day special on LIFEAID Thrive with code V25 at checkout! Valid until 2/14/24 only.

 

Here at FITAID, we feel strongly about a few things: No artificial sweeteners, clean caffeine, quality ingredients and Sports Recovery. You spend so much time in the gym, at work, and showing up for the people around you, that you have to spend the time to recharge and recover.

As the sun sets on another transformative year, we find ourselves reflecting on the incredible journey we've embarked on together. In 2023, we began the Sports Recovery Sunday newsletter to provide weekly tips, tricks and more to help you maximize your recovery and show up as your best, everyday. We believe that the definitive way to boost your performance is to focus on your recovery: physically, mentally and emotionally. How you show up for yourself is how you show up for the rest of the world, and we’re honored to be a small part of it. In this dynamic era of ever-evolving knowledge, we invite you to join us in a retrospective journey through the year's top-clicked resources.

As we unravel what caught your eye on a scroll through your inbox, we're excited to continue to grow together in 2024.  The data trails left by your clicks serve as breadcrumbs, guiding us and shaping our understanding of how we can best provide you with the resources you need to succeed.

 

RAVE-WORTHY RECIPES

Protein Pancakes

Featured in SRS # 14

There's nothing quite like waking up on a Sunday morning to the smell of pancakes (even if you have to make them yourself). This recipe is loaded with protein to keep you full and maintain the gainz.

Get the recipe

Chicken StirFry

Featured in SRS #15

Throw in veggies, your choice of protein and toss in some sauce for a delicious dinner recipe. It also serves as a great leftover lunch option!

Get the recipe

Honey Chipotle Salmon Bowls

Featured in SRS #6

A little sweet, a little spice, and a whole lot of yummy. Level up your cooking skills with this delcious honey chipotle salmon recipe. Served with rice and a cucumber, avocado mixture. Delish!

Get the recipe

DIY Protein Cider Doughnuts

Featured in SRS #41

A Fall time favorite: apple cider doughnuts! These homemade treats are a healthier alternative to the sugary doughnut you'd grab at the cider mill, or apple orchard. Packing double the protein and half the calories this recipe is a must try!

Get the recipe

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Featured in SRS #33

Perfect for the school year, or commuters, these on-the-go egg muffins are the perfect mix of convenience and nutrition. Say goodbye to morning chaos and hello to hassle-free mornings.

Get the recipe

 

MOST VIEWED SONGS

"Honey" by Kehlani

Featured in SRS #14

"Reasons" - Khalid

Featured in SRS #15

"Springsteen" - Eric Church

Featured in SRS #33

"Saturday Sun" - Vance Joy

Featured in SRS #13

"Sunset Lover" - Petit Biscuit

Featured in SRS #6

 

TOP CLICKED TOOLS

Recovery Shoes

Featured in SRS #15

Do you know the full impact your shoes have on how the rest of how your body feels? You might be surprised... Check out some of the below recovery footwear to give your feet some love. Have another favorite? Let us know!

Beslip Orthotics

HOKA

Oofos

Books about Habits

Featured in SRS #41

Habits are the small steps that lead to big transformations. Good habits are crucial to leading a healthy lifestyle. If you're having trouble forming healthy habits, these books are a great place to start! They breakdown building routines and behaviors AND most importantly, staying consistent.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey & Sean Covey

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Magnesium Lotions

Featured in SRS #33

Lather up! Magnesium lotions aide in relaxation, muscle recovery, and promote overall well-being. The quick absorption helps replenish your body's magnesium levels while nourishing your skin.

Life Flo

Magnum Solace

Sweet Bee

Gua Sha

Featured in SRS #39

Face Gua Sha blew up on Tik Tok as a way to chisel chins, but did you know it actually has health benefits? A tool for lymphatic drainage, gua sha works similarly to muscle scraping to promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve muscle tension.

Rosenice

Zoe Ayla

Anthropologie

Blue Light Glasses

Featured in SRS #2

Prospek

Warby Parker

Whoop

 

What are you go-to recipes? What songs do you chill out to? What is your favorite music genre for productivity? Do you have a recovery tool you swear by? Let us know over on Instagram!

The holiday season is upon us! We're eagerly anticipating the joy of giving and receiving thoughtful gifts that align with our wellness goals. If you're part of a fitness-focused community, or have friends and family who prioritize clean living, we've got something special in store for you: FITAID's favorites of the season!

This year, we've curated a selection of gifts ideas to prompt the perfect present. Whether you're shopping for the avid fitness enthusiast, the wellness warrior, or anyone looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle, our gift guide is designed to inspire, delight, and contribute to a season of well-being.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Gifts for the Fit Friend

Garmin Venu

Garmin's smart watches are a great gift for someone invested in tracking their holistic health. Featuring a sleek display, it allows you to monitor sleep, workouts, recovery, and more all in one convenient place. Check it out - the Venu is on sale now!

Reebok Nanos

Every fitness-lover could use another pair of sneakers. Reebok's Nano's are currently marked down and offer versatility, durability, and comfort like no other.

Ascent Protein Powder

Snag Ascent's limited edition holiday flavor Peppermint Mocha to spice up your bestie's post-workout treat! Protein powder is a great gift for anyone with fitness goals.

Gainz Box Subscription

This is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Gainz Box delivers a variety of accessories, on-the-go workout equipment, supplements, healthy snacks, & wellness products. Each box is made to deliver a surprise & delight each month when it arrives on your doorstep.

Ice Shaker Bottle

Do you know someone whose gnarly shaker bottle needs an upgrade? We've got you covered. Ice Shaker's signature shaker bottle is insulated and comes in tons of fun colors and patterns to pick from!

Rogue Giftcard

We can't knock a gift card. Rogue is a one-stop shop for ALL things fitness. Let your friend shop for their favorite equipment, apparel, or accessories.

 

Gifts for the Friend that is "Always Sore"

Hypervolt Go 2

Portable and practical, the Hypervolt Go 2 makes your body feel like new. It can help you warm up fast, release stress and tension, and unlock tight muscles, wherever your life takes you. PS. it's also on SALE.

Pso-Rite

The psoas complex (hip flexors) are considered to be the soul of our body. The Pso-Rite® was designed to provide relief on the deepest level for any age, size, and shaped individual out there.

3 month sub to Pliability

So your friend is complaining about how sore they are again... did they do their mobility? Make it simple for them: gift them a subscription to Pliability! Pliability fuses mobility, yoga, prehab, rehab, recovery, mindfulness, and strength into short, guided videos.

TheraBody Wave Roller

This is a 2 in 1 gift, and a level up from a traditional foam roller. The Wave Roller combines powerful vibration therapy and an innovative wave texture to deliver the most powerful, efficient full-body foam rolling experience. Did we mention it's on sale?!

Pure Spectrum CBD Salve

Massage away your aches and pains, and manage inflammation with Pure Spectrum's 500mg CBD-infused lavender salve. Formulated with carefully selected essential oils and a harmonious fusion of all-natural ingredients, Relax is the perfect way to enhance a massage or aid in recovery from your active lifestyle.

Ice Barrel Eucalyptus Epsom Salt

If your comrade is into cold therapy, this epsom salt soak is a winner. Ice Barrel developed this product to help relieve muscle soreness while opening your mind to ultimate relaxation thanks to the aromatherapy of eucalyptus.

 

Gifts for the Foodie Friend

HIPPEAS

These chickpea chips and puffs are a spectacular treat for your snack-loving sister, mister, or sister from another mister. Offered in a variety of flavors these are a great choice!

CHOMPS

Stick to the basics: zero sugar and plenty of protein, in a range of Chompable flavors. These meat sticks make a superb stocking stuffer for a fitness foodie.

nocow protein bars

nocow offers high protein, plant-based bars that leave the loads of sugar behind. These are another great stocking stuffer for your plant-powered peer.

Wilde Chips

Wilde chips redefine snacking. In 6 unique flavors, these are a great alternative for your potato-chip-lovin' friend. Featuring 10g of protein from chicken and egg whites they are a terrific, tasty gift.

FITAID

Every fitness-y person in your life needs to feel the FITAID love this holiday season. A 12-pack of their favorite blend looks great under the Chritsmas tree. Complete with BCAAs, Turmeric, Electrolytes, Vitamins B, C, D3, E, and more, don't forget to add a bow on top!

 

Gifts for the Friend that's "Always Tired"

Manta Sleep Mask

The Manta COOL Mask is designed to soothe puffiness and completely block out all light. The calming compression may help your friend feel more well-rested in a matter of nights.

Hatch Restore

From sunset to sunrise, this gentle and soothing alarm offers sounds to doze of to and an automatic wake up light. This all in one dream machine is a top-notch gift.

Brooklinen Weighted Blanket

This cozy blanket will have your sleepy friend cocooning and snoozing in no time. The added weight may help ease anxiety and aide in decompression and relaxation.

Stance Cozy Crew House Slipper Socks

Happy feet, happy life, right?! Help your bestie unwind with Stance's comfy, cozy crew slipper socks. We're often about knees over toes, but today we're about keeping the toesies warm.

Ergonomic Pillow

Maybe your friend is always tired because they need better sleep. What's the first step to better sleep? A pillow upgrade. This ergonomic pillow is suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers alike. Designed to support your body and aide more optimal sleeping positions, this plush pillow is a perfect present.

DreamAid

Each delicious pack of DREAMAID GO will help get you to a place of cozy and restorative slumber. Fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling brand new.

 

Gifts for the Fitness Fashion Friend

Born Primitive

Shop our favorite joggers, or explore their collections of sports bras, leggings, shorts, hoodies, and more! They even sell jeans for your quadzilla friends that can never seem to find pants that fit!

Goodr Sunglasses

Affordable, stylish, and fit for performance, a pair of Goodr sunglasses are a great option for your friend that values fitness fashion. Nothing shady about a good pair of sunnies!

Caffeine & Kilos Apparel

For your coffee-loving friend, we present to you: Caffeine & Kilos. They've got tons of fun designs for your friend to rock on the daily.

Junk Headbands

We all know at least one person that can't do a workout without their trusty headband secured in place. Junk Headbands has hundreds of designs to pick from. Personalized, thoughtful, and useful, we can't think of a better gift.

Bear Komplex grips or knee sleeves

Fitness style does not stop at apparel... gear counts too! Bear Komplex makes an array of gymnastics grips and vibrant knee sleeves to support your friend as they *try* to beat you in the WOD.

Salty Britches Trucker Hat

Do you know a trucker hat stan? Look no further than Salty Britches. Offered in a wide variety of colors and patterns, these hats a cute, stylish, and a winning wishlist item.

 

Deck the halls with boughs of FITAID! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and we're turning up the holiday cheer for our 3rd Annual FITMAS Campaign. This December, we're not elfin' around. We'll be celebrating our FITAID Family by featuring some of the top gyms across the country and running lots of giveaways over on Instagram! If you drank a FITAID in 2023, you're on the nice list, so grab your jingle bells and let's dive into the festive fitness spirit!

 

Flawless Fitness

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Instagram: @BeFitBeFlawless
Website: BeFitBeFlawless.com

We got the chance to speak with Coach Carly to get an inside peek on how Flawless Fitness gets in the spirit. One of their seasonal staples is "WTF Week", a full week of grueling, challenging workouts to kickoff the holidays. Proceeds from "WTF Week" are donated to charity, and Carly's favorite part about this time of year is seeing all of the women come together for community service. It's a special spectacle to see members band together to give back for the greater good.

Fitness and Christmas mean you're bound to run into a classic '12 days of Christmas' workout. If you're not familiar, the reps are performed according to the song (1; 2, 1; 3, 2, 1; ... 12-1). At Flawless, you'll be getting down and dirty with this annual themed workout Christmas Eve! Carly believes: "it's not the holidays without a soul-crushing workout with your friends before you feast!"

The Pit Fitness Ranch

Location: Three Rivers, Michigan
Instagram: @ThePitFitnessRanch
Website: PitFitnessRanch.com

Autumn Yost, owner of The Pit Fitness Ranch loves how excited every body gets about the holiday season, especially in dreary Michigan... it's something to look forward to. On Thanksgiving, they do a hallmark workout dubbed "The Dessert Table" and host a large, community workout on Christmas Eve. Members love to partner up with people they don't usually get to workout with on special occasions. Likewise, Autumn loves the challenge of programming for classes when it's a packed Pit - she has to get creative with bodyweight movements (for equipment and safety purposes, duh!). This has backfired in a 12 days of Christmas workout though... have you ever thought of throwing REVERSE burpees, or candlestick rolls into the mix? Regardless, Autumn feels it's not the holiday's without family.

She also had some words of wisdom for everyone during the busiest time of the year. Autumn's best tip is to simply "enjoy the holidays with your family. Eat the food. Have a good time. Don't beat yourself up. Definitely just relax and indulge. Don't make a big deal about macros and protein - you'll get back to your fitness and your normal nutrition as soon as possible."

 

 

Natural Selection CrossFit

Location: Kennewick, WA
Instagram: @NSXFit
Website: NSXFit.com

Natural Selection CrossFit sets out to be Santa's biggest helpers each lap around the calendar. Owner and head coach, Leo Barillas, took the time to share the gym's charitable efforts. Each year, they help out Habitat for Humanity to sponsor families and deliver Christmas gifts. In past years, they have helped build homes for those in need as well.

Leo feels Christmas is the most fun part of the year and takes pride in designing unique 12 Day's of Christmas workouts for his members. One year, they completed a rendition in which EVERY movement required a barbell. He might be the grinch that stole your grip, but here's his best holiday tip: "just spend time with family and relax... it's not the holidays without family and friends."

 

 

 

Halo Fitness Inc.

Location: Burke, Virginia
Instagram: @HaloFitnessExperience
Website: HaloFitnessExperience.com

Every year, Coach Dan looks forward to how the gym rallies together. They host a big Friendsgiving dinner party to raise awareness for a select charity like clockwork. The tradition of giving back to an organization each year has become a core value of Halo's. Dan likes to find special and unique ways to ring in the holidays. One December, they programmed a '21 days of Christmas' workout regimen leading up to the 25th (each workout was based off the day in the countdown).

Dan preaches the 3 R's during the holiday season: relax, rest, recover. People get so caught up in the idea that they are going to ruin all of their progress. His wish upon a star is that people are able to truly enjoy themselves and not look back and think, "why was I so caught up in trying to eat straight..."

 

 

CrossFit Bison

Location: Midland Park, NJ
Instagram: @CrossFitBison
Website: CrossFitBison.com

Leader of the Bison Beasts, David, hopped on the line to tell us about CrossFit Bison's holiday traditions. The week before Thanksgiving, they host The Bison Holiday Party, a massive backyard bash to kick off the season. The happiest time of year tends to also be the busiest time of the year. Due to the chaos, Bison uses the month of December to repeat crowd-favorites where the gym runs 3-weeks of fun WODs (yes, we said fun... ask Dave, he keeps a running log) to boost morale throughout what can be a stressful time.

David's best recovery tip for the holidays is to value sleep more than you think and to stay hydrated. You're up early to squeeze in a workout and you're out late running errands, playing magical elf, or Santa Claus himself. To avoid getting sick, sleep and hydration are key. Last but not least, he feels "it's not the holidays without giving more than you receive." Need some gift inspiration? Check below!

Stocking Stuffer Speed Round

We asked these gym owners and coaches what they thought would make a superb stocking stuffer for your CrossFit-doing, gym-loving, fitness-y friend and they did NOT miss. Here are their answers:

Carly: FITAID Go! Sticks!

Autumn: Thumb tape... AND FITAID (of course.)

Leo: Definitely FITAID.

Dan: Hand wraps or gymnastics grips!

Dave: Thumb tape - not too expensive, and small enough to fit!

 

As FITAID's FITMAS Campaign unfolds, these gyms prove that the holiday season is not just about indulging in festive treats, but also sweating it out with friends and family.

Top Strategies to Amp Up FITAID Sales

Running a gym is all about creating an inviting atmosphere that keeps your members motivated and excited about their fitness journey. One great way to achieve this is by offering products that enhance their workout experience. FITAID is not just a drink; it's a fitness companion that replenishes and refreshes. Here are some fantastic strategies to sell FITAID like hotcakes (well, cold cans of FITAID, to be precise!).

  1. Welcome to the FITAID Club: Show your prospects and new members some love by gifting them a free can of FITAID after their first workout. They will immediately associate FITAID with a reward and incorporate it in their workout regimen moving forward. $2.99 investment for long-term ROI. Nothing says "welcome" like a rewarding sip. It's like a high-five in a can!
  2. Sip and Sample: If you're not up for handing out whole cans, offer refreshing 3oz samples after your group classes? Give them a little taste of FITAID magic that'll leave them craving more. Keep in mind: sampling is single handedly the largest driver of repeat purchases!
  3. Keem ‘Em Chilled: Make restocking your fridge part of your closing shift. Keeping your FITAID fridge stocked each evening ensures you’ll have chilled product ready to go the next morning. Nothing tingles the taste buds more than an ice-cold can of FITAID.
  4. Prime Placement: Position your FITAID fridge front and center, where all eyes can see and all hands can reach. The more visible it is, the more irresistible it becomes. Pick a high traffic area in your space that tilts temptation.
  5. Posters and Promos: Deck out your space with FITAID posters and eye-catching point-of-sale items. Repetition is the name of the game when it comes to boosting purchases. There are plenty of options in the gym portal for you to pull from!
  6. Coach's Choice: Give your coaches a sweet deal with a discount on FITAID (say, $3 a can). They'll not only love the taste but also become your ultimate FITAID advocates. It’s a small way to say thank you!
  7. Punch It Up: Have your members prepay for FITAID with convenient punch cards. It's like a loyalty card for delicious hydration. Good ‘ole fashion punchcards are a fun - make sure to keep the hole-punch nearby and remind members to keep the card in their gym bag.
  8. Win-Win: Create a buzz with a "Buy 10, Get 1 Free" punch card promotion. It's like hitting the jackpot with every sip. The tangible card will allow members to see how close they are to earning their free can - a motivator to get more!
  9. Easy Peasy Checkout: If you're tech-savvy, make sure FITAID is pre-programmed into your system for smooth checkout at the end of the month. Simplicity and ease of use means more sales for you and less hassle for members.strategies variety
  10. Luck of the Draw: Collect used punch cards and add some excitement by drawing a punch card winner from a hat each month. The winner earns a free merchandise item AND people are encouraged to drink (and buy) more FITAID for better odds at winning.
  11. Case in Point: Offer discounted cases for members to take home. Not only do they get a deal, but you also score a nice margin. Try selling 4-packs, or a 12-pack case for $45, your members skip the shipping costs and get immediate gratification.
  12. Make It Count: When you buy 22 cases and get 2 free. Those freebies? Perfect for samples and prizes. They cost you nothing and have the potential to make you more in the long run.
  13. Nutrition Integration: Seamlessly incorporate FITAID into your nutrition counseling sessions. You’re already offering advice on what members’ should and should not be putting in their bodies; remind them to be conscious of what’s in their beverages. Propose it as a swap for high-sugar, artificially caffeinated alternatives. They’ll get more nutritional benefits by drinking a can of FITAID than a can of soda pop.
  14. Simple Sales Sheet: Use a FITAID-branded sign-out sheet for easy point-of-sale transactions. No fancy software? No problem! We provide them upon request!
  15. Flavorful Variety: Stock FITAID, FITAID RX, and FITAID Energy. Members love options, and you've got 'em covered.
  16. Social Sizzle: Harness the power of social media. Post pictures of coaches enjoying FITAID – it's an easy and effective way to spread the FITAID love. You can provide educational content and blast promotions you’re running to generate buzz!
  17. Give and Win: Host FITAID-themed giveaways on social media and in your gym. Make sure your members tag your gym and FITAID for extra exposure.

With these creative strategies and sales tactics, your gym is well on its way to becoming a FITAID hotspot. Remember, selling isn't just about products; it's about enhancing your members' experience and giving them something to look forward to post-workout. So, pop the top, enjoy a sip, and let FITAID infuse your gym with refreshing vibes that keep your members coming back for more! And if you're in doubt about which blend to choose, let our sports nutrition experts guide you! They are more than happy to help.

Remember: different strategies work for different gyms! If you've found a successful sales method we forgot to mention send us a message - we'd love to hear!

The Hidden Dangers of Sucralose on Your Health

In a world full of artificial sweeteners, sucralose has become a popular choice for those seeking a sugar substitute with zero calories. However, emerging scientific evidence and expert perspectives are revealing the truth about sucralose and its potential health risks. Hidden in thousands of items lining the grocery aisle shelves, it's a sneaky and silent killer. Take a look at these alarming findings that share how it can wreck your well-being.

 

DNA Damage and Genetic Disruption

Recent research confirmed the connection between sucralose consumption and DNA disruption. A Newsweek article highlights the study that links the fake sugar found in food and beverage products to DNA fragmentation, a process that damages the genetic material within cells. This damage has raised concerns about potential long-term consequences: DNA disruption can contribute to various health issues, including cancer and genetic disorders. Such findings underline the need for further investigation into the safety of sucralose, and the importance of being aware of what you put into your body.

 

Sucralose Alters Gut Microbiota

The impact of sucralose on gut health is another alarming matter. The US Right to Know organization reports artificial sweeteners negatively affect gut microbiota, or flora. This leads to imbalances in the microbiome, otherwise known as the bacteria that makes up your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These imbalances contribute to digestive issues, metabolic disturbances, difficulty with mood management, and a weakened immune system response. Given the pivotal role of a healthy gut in overall well-being, the potential disruption caused by sucralose is cause for concern.

 

Disruption of Metabolic Responses

"Sweet Deception" by Joseph Mercola delves into the metabolic implications of artificial sweetener consumption. The book highlights how the intense sweetness of sucralose may mislead the body's metabolic responses. The brain's reward centers might be activated by the sweet taste, prompting individuals to consume more calories than needed. This phenomenon could lead to overeating, weight gain, and even insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

An insightful podcast episode titled "Artificial Sweeteners: Are They Safe?" by Dr. Aviva Romm, explains the cautions of sucralose on metabolic health, backing up Mercola. She cites research that indicates artificial sweeteners interfere with the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, regular consumption of these additives might contribute to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Newer research shows this may even be an antecedent to Alzheimer’s Disease, AKA “Type 3 Diabetes”.

 

Sucralose and Cardiovascular Concerns

A comprehensive report from NBC News highlights the potential link between artificial sweeteners and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest the consumption of artificial additives may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. The exact mechanisms behind these correlations are not fully understood, but the evidence warrants careful consideration when picking sweeteners for your foods and beverages.

 

Impact on Taste Preferences and Cravings

Joseph Mercola's book also addresses how sucralose can alter taste preferences. Regular consumption of intensely sweet substances desensitizes taste receptors, making naturally sweet foods, like fruits, less appealing. As a result, people have more cravings for sugary and calorically-dense options. This shift in taste preferences may contribute to unhealthy nutritional habits and weight gain over time.

 

Beware and Be Aware

While sucralose has been marketed as a “safe” sugar substitute, emerging scientific research and expert insights suggest a different narrative—one that raises red flags about its potential impact on health. The relationship between sucralose consumption and DNA damage, alteration of gut microbiota, disruption of metabolic responses, cardiovascular issues, and taste preference changes is collectively unsettling.

As consumers, it's critical to be informed about the potential risks associated with artificial sweeteners. Staying informed can help us make better, more conscious choices about the foods and additives we incorporate into our diets. Consider opting for natural sweeteners, or whole foods, to support longevity. For these reasons, FITAID is crafted with high quality, natural ingredients that support healthy lifestyles. All of our blends are free from artificial sweeteners and flavors.

All natural, all for you!

 

Shop SUCRALOSE FREE Sports Recovery Drinks

Shop SUCRALOSE FREE Energy Drinks

This week we want to turn the spotlight to our incredible FITAID athletes hitting the competition floor. They’re ready to compete and take on the ultimate test of strength, stamina, and mental grit. These athletes have been prepping, training, and recovering with FITAID all year long, and are ready to take the main stage in Madison! This lineup is bringing the heat and is even tougher to beat. Show the FITAID Fam some love by following them on Instagram and follow along with their performances this week! We’ll be keeping you posted over on @fitaid too ?

Kelsey Kiel

kelsey kiel fitaid athlete

@kelskiel 

Competing in the team division for the 5th time since 2016, Kelsey Kiel is excited to get out on the floor with Open Box Athletics this year. Get loud and help them make Philly proud.

 

Emma Lawson

emma lawson fitaid athlete

@emma.lawson_5

After earning Rookie of the Year in 2022 with a 6th place finish, Emma Lawson is back in Madison for the 3rd time (her first being in the teenage division). This 18-year-old Canadian has her eyes on the podium.

Sydney Wells

sydney wells fitaid athlete

@sydneywells

2023 will be Sydney Well’s rookie debut. A former collegiate runner at Mizzou, she’s ready to showcase her athleticism and strength to the crowd.

 

Jay Crouch

jay crouch fitaid athlete

@jaycrouch_

This 24-year-old from down under is no stranger to competition. Placing 1st at the Oceania Semifinal earlier this year, he kicked off his 6th trip to the final stage.

 

Emily De Rooy

emily de rooy fitaid athlete

@emilyderooy

A rookie from Australia, this 22-year-old punched her ticket to Madison with a 3rd place finish at the Oceania Semifinal. She’s ready to give it her all out on the competition floor.

 

Gabi Migala

gabi migala fitaid athlete

@gabimiga

Her sixth consecutive year competing, Gabi Migala is on the hunt for a podium finish. Placing in the top 10 the last 2 years and coming off a 1st place win at the Europe Semifinal, she’s dialed in and ready to hit the floor running.

Lazar Djukic

lazar djukic fitaid athlete

@lazardjukic

With two top 10 finishes in the last 2 years, Lazar Djukic is ready to take on his 3rd trip to Madison. The third time’s the charm - watch him fight for a podium finish.

 

David Shorunke

david shorunke fitaid athlete

@shorunke

After a rollercoaster of a journey, David Shorunke punched his individual ticket with a top 10 finish in qualifiers. He’s geared up to make some noise as the only UK athlete in the field.

 

Jelle Hoste

jelle hoste fitaid athlete

@jellehoste

Bringing it from Belgium, Jelle Hoste put the whole sport on notice with his record-breaking performance in Berlin. Keep an eye out for this impressive rookie in Madison!

 

Nienke Van Overveld

nienke van overveld fitaid athlete

@nienkevanoverveld

European champions of the 2023 Semifinals, Nienke’s team is on the hunt for gold. A veteran in the team division, Nienke is competing for the 5th time on the big stage.

 

Georgia Davenport

georgia davenport fitaid athlete

@georgiadavenport_

Georgia Davenport, team captain of CrossFit Rotherham, helped clinch the team’s spot at the European Semifinal back in June. They’ve spent some time prepping down in Texas and are ready to rock Madison.

 

Whether you’re attending in person or over watching the livestream, tune in to watch our athletes give it their all. Grab your FITAID Energy, grab your gym friends, and get excited! 2023 is about to be a big year for Team FITAID!

 

Let’s go girls *queue Shania Twain* ♪

 

FITAID CrossFit Athlete, Gabi Migala pulls her weight in leveling the playing field for men & women at the 2023 Berlin SemiFinals

 

The fitness industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation as there's been a significant rise in the participation and empowerment of women. Historically, there have been gender disparities within the fitness realm, deterring women from fully engaging in physical activities. However, recent studies and articles have shed light on a changing narrative. The fitness industry is becoming more female-centric, more inclusive, and more supportive of women looking to prioritize their health and well-being.

 

Breaking Down the Gender Gap at the Gym

An interesting read from Glamour highlights a gender gap that has been prevalent in gyms, acting as a barrier for women seeking to work out. The tide is turning. The male-dominated weight-room is no longer a forbidden zone for females. Gyms are increasingly focusing on creating a more welcoming environment for women. They are implementing initiatives such as women-only workout spaces, specialized classes, and diverse fitness programs tailored to women's specific needs. By addressing these gender disparities, the fitness industry is actively striving to make fitness accessible and enjoyable for women of all backgrounds and fitness levels.

 

Role Models in CrossFit & Weightlifting

CrossFit and weightlifting are two disciplines that are significantly changing the narrative surrounding women and lifting. Traditionally, weightlifting has been perceived as a male-dominated activity, with women often discouraged from engaging in heavy lifting due to societal norms and misconceptions. The idea that lifting makes girls bulky and inherently unattractive is becoming a notion of the past. CrossFit has been a game-changer, providing a platform for women to showcase their strength, athleticism, and capabilities in lifting heavy weights. CrossFit communities have fostered an environment that celebrates the achievements of women in weightlifting, emphasizing strength, technique, and performance rather than conforming to conventional beauty standards. By breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting inclusivity, CrossFit and weightlifting are empowering women to challenge their physical limits, build confidence, and redefine societal expectations surrounding femininity and strength. These disciplines are redefining fitness for females, inspiring women to embrace their inner strength and realize their full potential both inside and outside the gym.

 

FITAID Athlete and Pro-Weightlifter, Hunter Elam flexes her muscles and uses her platform to show being strong is beautiful.

 

Embracing the Digital Fitness Boom

Digital fitness has seen an extraordinary surge in recent years, and women are at the forefront of this movement. The Healthline article highlights how the digital fitness industry is empowering women by providing them with flexible workout options, personalized training programs, and access to a supportive online community. Virtual fitness platforms, mobile apps, and wearable technology have opened new doors for women to engage in fitness from the comfort of their homes or on the go. Social media enables women to connect with other like-minded individuals, share their fitness journeys, and inspire other users along the way. This democratization of fitness ensures that women can choose the mode and timing of their workouts, thereby eliminating potential barriers and increasing overall participation. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on body positivity and embracing diverse body types, ensuring that women feel comfortable and confident in their fitness journeys.

 

Pursuing Gender Equity in Fitness

Gender equity in fitness is a significant topic of discussion. Fitness professionals, trainers, and organizations are actively working to dismantle stereotypes and biases. IDEAfit explores the discrepancy of the number of female vs. male trainers against the amount of female executives in the fitness industry. Advocating for equal representation in leadership positions is the next step towards greater equity. OrangeTheory is a prime example of a successful woman-owned workout franchise. The lack of female representation in high-ranking roles is not unique to the fitness industry, but is a major stepping stone towards a more inclusive and equitable world.

 

FITAID CrossFit Athlete Kelsey Kiel moves BIG weights while redefining the narrative of what it means to be strong and female.

 

The exciting and encouraging trend of the fitness industry is promising for women. The efforts made to bridge the gender gap at the gym, embrace digital fitness, show females what they’re capable of, and pursue gender equity are empowering women to prioritize their health and well-being. By providing tailored programs, safe spaces, and inclusive communities, the fitness industry is breaking down barriers and encouraging women of all ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels to engage in physical activities confidently. The evolving landscape of the fitness industry is not only shaping women's lives positively but also redefining societal norms and promoting health for all.

 

Whether you're an athlete or simply someone leading an active lifestyle, giving your body the time and care it needs to recover is crucial for long-term health and optimal performance. Let’s explore the reasons why recovery holds such significance and how it contributes to overall well-being.

Muscle Regeneration

During physical exercise, our muscles undergo stress and micro-tears, which are essential for strength and growth. These muscles repair and actually grow during the recovery phase. Adequate rest allows your body to rebuild damaged tissues, replenish energy, and optimize protein synthesis. 

Prevent Injury

Ignoring recovery results in increased risk of injury. Overtraining or failing to allow your body to heal can lead to chronic fatigue, weakened immune function, and musculoskeletal imbalances. By incorporating appropriate rest periods into your training routine, you reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries, stress fractures, and other ailments associated with excessive strain on the body.

Improve Performance

Contrary to popular belief, pushing yourself harder and longer isn't always the path to improved performance. Recovery plays a fundamental role in optimizing athletic abilities. Rest allows the body's systems, such as the cardiovascular and nervous systems, to recuperate and adapt to the demands placed upon them during exercise. This regeneration of energy, repair of muscle fibers, and restoration of hormonal balance ultimately enhances strength, speed, endurance, and overall athletic performance.

Mental Wellness

Physical activity doesn't just exert a toll on the body; it affects the mind as well. Intense workouts and training schedules can lead to mental fatigue and burnout. Incorporating recovery time helps alleviate stress, promotes relaxation, and restores mental clarity. It provides an opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate, and foster a healthy mindset, ultimately leading to increased motivation and enjoyment in physical pursuits.

Remember: recovery encompasses more than just taking days off from training. It includes prioritizing quality sleep and nourishing your body with proper nutrition. Sleep is vital for the body's restorative processes, hormone regulation, and cognitive function. A well-balanced diet that includes sufficient macronutrients, micronutrients, and hydration supports tissue repair, replenishes energy stores, and aids in optimal recovery.

In the pursuit of athletic excellence or maintaining an active lifestyle, it is imperative to recognize the significance of recovery. Making time for rest, sleep, and proper nutrition allows your body to repair, rebuild, and adapt. Prioritizing recovery not only prevents injuries but also enhances physical performance and mental well-being. So, remember to listen to your body, incorporate rest days, and embrace recovery as an integral part of your journey to a healthier, fitter, and more fulfilling life.

Looking for ways to improve your own recovery? Start by cracking open a can of FITAID and checking out some of our other blog posts on recovery methods & modalities:

5 Essential Active Recovery Tricks

Active Recovery - A Good Reason to Take it Easy

Walk it Off! The Benefits of a Post-WOD Walk.

Why is Stretching Important for Post-Workout Recovery?

Yoga as a Tool for Sports Recovery

Why Do I Need to Use a Foam Roller in my Post-Workout Recovery?

Muscle Scrapers for Post-Workout Recovery

Infrared Sauna Explained

Can Gratitude Help my Fitness Routine & Athletic Performance?