Dapper Duffels: Picking the Duffel Bag

The gym isn’t a fashion show. You don’t need to be the best dressed to get the best workout, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid upgrading your look. No need to toss those old college t-shirts you love to lift in—polish your work-to-gym-to-weekend-getaway ensemble with the perfect duffel bag.

We’ve compiled a list of the five most handsome bags—from casual to chic.

 

Everlane The Weekender Duffel in Blue Everlane The Weekender

Just like its namesake, The Weekender duffel bag is flexible, fun, and irresistible. This waterproof canvas bag is ideal for commuters or folks on short trips—it fits perfectly under Amtrak seats or in overhead compartments. Its casual colors combined with slick leather detailing will get you from the office to the gym to the beach in one weekend flat. everlane.com, $95

Birchbox Topo Design Duffel Bag Topo Designs Duffel Bag

This world is tough, but this classic duffel can handle it. Complete with a Cordura shell, Topo’s classic bag survives everything from a jostling morning commute to the airline’s baggage carousel. A waterproof interior will keep your stinkin’ wet gym clothes isolated from the outside world, and a seatbelt-grade detachable shoulder strap gives you extra flexibility when lugging this duffel all around town. birchbox.com, $129

FORUCK Mil Kit Bag GORUCK Mil Kit Bag

There are pretty overnight bags and there are gritty gym bags, then there are GORUCK kit bags. This bag is for the heavy packer—we’re talking helmet, survival gear, and ammo. You don’t need to be a paratrooper to appreciate this military-grade quality pack. Made in the USA, GORUCK’s kit bag is waterproof, has 84 liters of space, and features tons of interior and exterior pockets for all the small things. goruck.com, $195

Task Jackson Duffel Bag Trask Jackson Duffel Bag

We know you train dirty in the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the finer things in life. Hidden inside this handsome wool duffel bag is stinky gym gear soaked with an hours-worth of sweat, but the outside world only sees antiqued brass hardware and a beautifully traditional design. Perfect for work and weekend jaunts, even better for tricking your colleagues into thinking you’re sophisticated. nordstrom.com, $625

Moore and Giles James Club Bag Moore & Giles James Club Bag

Ditch the dowdy duffels, and pack this smart leather bag with all your weekend essentials. It might not appear to be the kind of bag you’d schlep to the gym, but with a water-resistant interior, the James Club Bag will keep your workout gear from stinking up the place. Zippered pockets keep your phone and wallet safe and snug, while a removable shoulder strap makes carrying this sleek duffel a breeze.mooreandgiles.com, $615

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/picking-duffel-bag/

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What to Pack for a CrossFit Competition

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to raise your spirits and get you pumped up about CrossFit. But don’t forget it’s still a contest, and last minute nerves can have you rushing out the door and leaving important supplies behind.

On the day of a CrossFit competition, your mind should be focused on deadlifts and not the tape you forgot at home. Keep your head in the game by using this comprehensive list to pack for the big day.

WARM­-UP GEAR

While some competition runners may provide small warm-up areas to CrossFitters, it’s a huge risk not packing the supplies you need to warm-up your body properly. A simple jump rope is all you need to get your heart pumping before the competition, and a yoga mat is ideal for stretching.

  • Jump rope
  • Yoga mat

COOL DOWN GEAR

A CrossFit Competition may not be a regular WOD, but be careful not to stray far from your routine. Cool downs are vital for recovery, so remember to pack all the essentials you may need to stretch and knead your muscles after an intense day of CrossFit.

  • Foam roller
  • Lacrosse ball
  • Compression gear


CLOTHING AND SHOES

Typical CrossFit competitions last all day, almost guaranteeing that you’ll be nice and sweaty half way through. Stay comfortable and dry by packing extra clothes to change into midday, and try slipping on sandals between workouts to give your toes some breathing room. Keep in mind that game day is not the day to break in a new pair of shoes. Pack comfortable pairs of Oly shoes and flat shoes to switch between heavy lifting WODs and Metcon WODs.

  • Oly shoes
  • Flat shoes
  • Sandals
  • Shirts (2)
  • Shorts (2)
  • Socks (2)
  • Hooded sweatshirt – it can get cold, plus you’ll want to stay warmed up
  • Head bands or bandana
  • Plastic bag for wet clothes
  • Towels
  • Post­-competition street clothes – for an after party or just to slip out of those stinky clothes.

TOILETRIES

The key to succeeding at a CrossFit competition is to always be prepared. Think of all the basics you use daily and be sure you have them packed for game day. Competition runners will sometimes have gym staples lying around—such as tape or first aid kits—but there are no guarantees, always bring essential toiletries and first aid supplies with you.

  • Tape
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Hair ties
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

FOOD AND WATER

Concessions are common at CrossFit competitions, but never guaranteed or healthy. Pack food and water to stay fueled up over the course of a long day. Seal various snacks into small plastic bags for convenient bites between workouts.  If you’re able to pack a small cooler, whip up some chicken salad for a more substantial lunch. Water is vital, so bring a lot of it—don’t assume cold, clean water will be on hand at the competition.

  • Water
  • Shaker bottle
  • Pre­ and post workout supplements
  • Electrolyte replenishment: Coconut water or Gatorade
  • Snacks: Fruits, trail mix, protein bars
  • Plastic utensils
  • Napkins

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Staying comfortable and relaxed can go a long way on the day of a CrossFit competition. Bring your own chair to rest your weary bones between workouts, and pack a distraction or two to help ease your mind—an iPod with your favorite music or a great book.

  • Cash
  • Camera
  • iPod and headphones
  • Portable folding chair
  • Bug spray

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/what-to-pack-crossfit-competition/

7 Steps to Eating Like a Caveman

Although the Paleo Diet may seem like another trendy weight loss plan, this lifestyle has its roots not only in the Paleolithic Age, but also in science. The Paleo Diet was first popularized in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin. Voegtlin argued that humans are “carnivorous animals” who would benefit from a diet similar to our Paleolithic ancestors—foods rich in protein and fat with very little carbohydrates. Since Voegtlin’s revolutionary theory, thousands have decided to endorse and partake in more caveman-friendly fare.

Basically, the Paleo Diet promotes fat—and not carbs—as the body’s biggest source of energy. Our ancestors had easy access to meat, and seasonal fruits and veggies. More relaxed Paleo eaters also say small amounts of dairy are fine. The biggest no-nos on the Paleo Diet are saturated fats, wheat, refined sugar, and almost all packages and processed foods. The best part? Bacon has the Paleo Diet’s seal of approval!

As you embark on your Paleo adventure, it’s vital you have tools to ensure success. You’ll need a map, a compass, and beef jerky for the road. Here are seven resources to guide you through the first weeks of your brand new Paleo lifestyle.

1. Get Paleo’s Story Straight: As you dive into the world of Paleo, it’s helpful to understand the history and science behind the lifestyle. Luckily for us, people like Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (a.k.a The Paleo Mom) and Robb Wolf have created foolproof guides to Paleo eating. Check out the Paleo Mom’s simple starter guide. Or, if you want a shorter explanation, look no further than Robb Wolf: What is the Paleo Diet.

2. Learn the Paleo Food Pyramid: Without a proper understanding of what is and is not allowed on the Paleo Diet, a trip to the grocery store can be daunting. You might know the rules, but seeing a complete list of foods that have a caveman’s stamp of approval is incredibly useful. Check out The Ultimate Paleo Guide and Paleo Plan for comprehensive (and super easy to understand) lists of ancestral foods.

3. Tune in to YouTube Channels: YouTube has more to offer than just adorable videos of puppies. Experts and enthusiasts alike create and post Paleo-focused videos on YouTube. A YouTuber simply known as PaleoDiet posts videos about the history and science behind ancestral eating. YouTuberSexyPaleoFood posts videos about the Paleo lifestyle, cooking, and basic tips and tricks to maintaining a Paleo diet.

4. Let Recipe Blogs Make Your Mouth Water: The internet has easily eclipsed cookbooks in recent years. Food blogs are all over the web, and the Paleo Diet has inspired many cooks-turned-bloggers to post irresistible Paleo recipes for the world to try. Nom Nom Paleo is written by Michelle Tam who includes eye-catching step-by-step photographs with each recipe. Sarah Fragoso over at Everyday Paleo posts lifestyle pieces, awesome recipes, and food photography so delicious you can almost taste it. Find a Paleo Diet food website that makes you hungry! Visit it frequently to find new recipes and to stay inspired.

5. Build a Meal Plan: As you become accustomed to your new Paleo lifestyle, picking the right foods will be second nature. But as you get started with the Paleo Diet, having a structured meal plan may be beneficial. Caveman Strong offers Paleo eaters a two week plan which includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Robb Wolf also offers up basic meal plans for everyone from Paleo rookies to endurance athletes. You can check out the meal plans here.

6. Adopt the 85:15 Rule: Nearly any Paleo eater will admit that kicking processed carbs was the hardest step towards a healthier lifestyle. While the Paleo world is bursting with mouthwatering bites, the siren song of pancakes at Sunday brunch or a slice of pizza during the hockey game can be impossible to resist. Fortunately, it’s possible to maintain a healthy Paleo Diet and still sink your teeth into jam-slathered toast… occasionally. Many experts recommend the 85:15 Rule: 85% of the time you’re strictly Paleo, 15% you enjoy non-Paleo food. This rule translates to 2 or 3 “cheat meals” each week, or even an entire cheat day every 1-2 weeks.

7. Start Fresh: It won’t be easy, but purging your kitchen of non-Paleo food will help you totally commit to this caveman diet. As you sort through your fridge, you’ll most likely toss expired mustard you didn’t know you had, but you’ll also learn exactly what kind of strange ingredients and chemicals you’ve been ingesting for years! Read each label, recycle what you can, and breathe a sigh of relief once your kitchen is Paleo-friendly.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/7-steps-eating-caveman-starter-guide-paleo-diet/

Photos: Adirondack Phantoms End Hershey Bears Six Game Win Streak

The Hershey Bear’s six-game winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, when they dropped 4-1 to the Adirondack Phantoms. The two hockey clubs faced off on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA—home to the Phantoms NHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Flyers. Forward Matt Watkins buried what would be the Hershey Bears sole goal late in the first period. Coming off a three-game losing streak, Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter stopped 27 of the Bears’ 28 shots on goal. Tyler Brown, Tye McGinn, Ben Holmstrom, and Jason Akeson were the four Adirondack players to light the lamp at Saturday’ game in Philly.

Click through the slideshow to check out photographs from Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally published at http://beyondthebenches.com/2014/02/04/adirondack-phantoms-end-hershey-bears-six-game-win-streak/ 

Rules for the Road: 10 Tips for Visiting CrossFitters

Luckily for the wandering CrossFitter, there are thousands of affiliate gyms across the world—more than 5,000 are located in the United States alone! You can’t travel far without stumbling across a local box that has the resources you need to train, but also a whole new code of conduct to abide by. With help from CrossFit Coach and frequent explorer Ryan Engelhardt of CrossFit Kennesaw in Marietta, Georgia, we’ve compiled a list of ten simple rules traveling CrossFitters should follow.

1. PLAN

Once your vacation is planned check out map.crossfit.com to find the nearest box. Get to know the gym through online research—explore the website, read about the coaches, and check out any photos they may have posted. Most importantly, note the gym’s hours and class schedule.

2. LEARN THE RULES

Some boxes may have a code of conduct listed on their website or inside the gym, but rules can also be passed along to members via word of mouth. If you don’t see rules posted, ask. Inquiring about the law of the land is not only a sign of respect, but will also keep you safe.

3. WHEN IN ROME

Remember that you’re in someone else’s house, so don’t insist on acting like you’re at home. Coach Engelhardt gives this example: “Just because everyone warms up barefoot in your home gym, doesn’t mean you should walk around barefoot in a gym you’re visiting.” Upon arriving at the gym, take a moment to observe your surroundings to find clues about the gym’s culture.

4. CALL AHEAD

If you’re a more advanced athlete and are working with a coach on a specific training schedule, it’s best to give the gym you’re visiting a heads up. Call ahead and ask if the gym has any open hours and then explain your training regime. Most boxes will be happy to accommodate you as long as they know what to expect.

5. BE FLEXIBLE

If you don’t have a specific training schedule and simply want to drop in on a scheduled class, be flexible. The WODs at the gym you’re visiting may be much different from the WODs at home. Ask questions if you’re confused and enjoy a break in your routine!

6. BE PUNCTUAL

Show up early for scheduled classes to give yourself plenty of time to meet the coaches, learn the rules, and understand the workout. Walking into a class late can leave a bad first impression with the gym you’re visiting.

7. TAKE ADVICE

Always defer to what the coach is telling you, unless you’re being directed to attempt something dangerous, then use common sense. Coach Engelhardt explains, “If a coach tells you, “I’d like you to reduce the weight you’re lifting, because I don’t like your form,” do it. Even if your coach at home approves.” It’s important to respect the coaches on site.

8. RELAX

Coach Engelhardt reminds us, “ego is an athlete’s worst enemy.” Visiting a new gym and checking out stronger, more advanced athletes may inspire you to push yourself too far. Take a deep breath and remember you’re off home turf before attempting to break any local records. “Sometimes a vacation is a good excuse to get some rest in,” adds Coach Engelhardt.

9. ENJOY YOURSELF

Your gym can start to feel like a second home, so visiting a strange box can be nerve wracking. Remember to enjoy yourself! Visiting distant CrossFit gyms is an excellent way to connect with fellow athletes and shake up your routine.

10. SAFETY FIRST

In addition to learning the rules, it’s also important to be aware of your own capabilities before squatting at a different gym. “I would caution beginners who have not completed an introductory course at their home gym,” warns Coach Engelhardt. Learning CrossFit techniques and lifts is best done at your local gym, and not at a strange box while on Spring Break.

 

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/10-tips-visiting-crossfitters/

10 Longest Suspensions In NHL History

Hockey in synonymous with hard hits and rough play, but the National Hockey League won’t hesitate to punish players who take the violence too far. From a life ban to a 15-game suspension, here are the 10 longest suspensions in NHL history.

Tyson Strachan of the Hershey Bears fights with a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player in Hershey, PA. (Annie Erling Gofus)

Tyson Strachan of the Hershey Bears fights with a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player in Hershey, PA. (Annie Erling Gofus)

10. In 1955, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadiens knocked out linesman Cliff Thompson. Habs fans protested the 15-game suspension by engaging in what would be known as The Richard Riot. This violent riot resulted in $100,000 in damage, 37 injuries and 100 arrests.

9. As Pierre Turgeon celebrated a goal during a 1993 game, Washington Capitals star Dale Hunter violently checked Turgeon. This illegal hit resulted in a 21-game suspension.

8. After leaving the penalty box to verbally and physically abuse officials in 2000, Gordie Dwyer of the Tampa Bay Lightning received a 23-game suspension. This altercation occurred during a pre-season game versus the Washington Capitals and resulted in a bench-clearing brawl.

7. In the final moments of a game against the Vancouver Canucks, Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins hit Donald Brashear in the head with his stick. McSorley was convicted of assault with a weapon, was suspended for 23 games and never returned to the NHL.

6. Hits in the head are not tolerated by the NHL, and such a hit by Philadelphia Flyers’ Jesse Boulerice resulted in a 25-game suspension in 2007. This enforcer was also on the receiving end of violent hits throughout his hockey career. In 2003, a left hook from Dallas Stars player Aaron Downey broke Boulerice’s jaw and gave him a concussion.

5. A 25-game suspension was handed down to Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres after checking Marian Hossa in the head.

4. After engaging in a stick-swinging match that cracked Ted Greene’s skull, Wayne Maki of the St. Louis Blues was suspended for 30 days in 1969. This lengthy suspension was short compared to the consequences Boston Bruins’ Greene faced: Because of brain damage he sustained during the fight, Greene was forced to sit out the entire 1969-1970season.

3. With two suspensions in the top ten list, Chris Simon proved he had a particularly violent temper. The former New Year Islander received a 25-game suspension for slashing a player in the head, and in the following season was suspended for 30 games for stomping on an opponent’s ankle during a timeout.

2. Russian player Alexander Perezhogin was suspended from the American HockeyLeague for 89 games after slashing an opponent in the head. This vicious attack also resulted in police charges and one year of probation.

1. Billy Coutu of the Boston Bruins became the only player in NHL history to be banned from the league for life. In 1927, Coutu assaulted one ref, tackled another and started a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in his lifetime ban.

 

Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally posted at http://beyondthebenches.com/2014/02/03/10-longest-suspensions-in-nhl-history/

Nate Schmidt Talks Leaving Minnesota, NHL Goals

Post-game interviews following losses are rarely pleasant. Exhausted players anxious to mourn their defeat away from the cameras and microphones are forced by people like to me to relive an unsuccessful 60 minutes. After watching the Hershey Bears fall 3-2 to the Syracuse Crunch on December 27th, I expected a short, sad interview with a defenseman recently assigned to Hershey from the Washington Capitals. Turns out, Nate Schmidt is an exception to this rule.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 Annie Erling Gofus

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

The 22-year-old Minnesota native has played 29 games with the Washington Capitals this season, tallying 2 goals and 4 assists. After a long stint with the Caps, the 6’0″, 194-pound blueliner has bounced back and forth between Washington and Chocolatetown since mid-December. Most recently, Schmidt was re-assigned to Hershey on January 25th. After three seasons with the University of Minnesota, Schmidt made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The blueliner totalled 12 goals and 62 assists in 96 games as a Golden Gopher.

Although he’s known as a d-man with a penchant for shooting the puck, Schmidt’s most defining trait might be his ever-present smile. And with his trademark grin firmly in place, Schmidt kicked off what was, hands down, the most cheerful and least canned post-game interview I have ever conducted. Read on to see what Nate had to say about Minnesota, his first NHL goal, and teaming up with a former rival.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

You played three years at the University of Minnesota, what made you decide to leave early?

I was an undrafted free agent, so it was kind of like being recruited for college all over again. I talked to a lot of different teams. I was thinking about (leaving) after my sophomore year, but education was huge and I know my mom would not have been very happy with me. So, I almost finished (school), I think I had about two classes after the semester left. I almost did all four years in three, but we did summer school, we were down there all year. It was kind of time. I think there were three or four of us that all left at the same time. It was kind of like a big group decision.

You were all Juniors?

Yea, I think it was myself, Nick Bjugstad, he’s playing in Florida right now; Erik Haula, he’s playing for the Wild; and Zach Budish, he’s playing in Milwaukee.

Are you happy you made that decision to leave early?

I had an unbelievable time there. I loved it, every second of college I loved. We had a great team, the school is awesome, the college lifestyle obviously (laughs). The guys who play Major Junior in Canada don’t get to experience it. It’s one of those things: I made the decision, I moved on with it, I’m really happy with where I am right now.

What was your time like in Washington?

It was good. It started off kind of slow. It was being a little a nervous at first. Just trying to get out those first game jitters, but the guys are great up there. They really brought me into the team, and (showed me) how the NHL works, and how the game is different from any other level I’ve played at. It was a great experience, and something that I can try to apply here.

(Schmidt scored his first NHL goal on December 7, 2013 against Marek Mazanec of the Nashville Predators.)

What was your first NHL goal like?

Aw, boy. It was, awww… I didn’t do a whole lot (laughs).

You’re not supposed to say that! Take credit for it!

I’ve gotta give the credit where it’s due. Marty Erat made a great play off the face-off, throws a waist-high pass to me and he sucks the guy in and I’m wide open, so all I had to do was shoot it in. And Joel Ward makes a great screen in front of the net–the goalie never really saw it. But the best part was when John Carlson almost put me in the stands after I scored. And then everyone came over with the congratulatory hug and almost threw me into the third world. It was good though.

It must have been pretty surreal in your first year of professional hockey to be able to experience that.

I would never have guessed that this year would have gone the way it has. It’s been a lot of fun.

How are you planning to continue turning heads up here in Hershey?

I’ve just got to get back to my game. The game’s a little different, and you’ve got to adapt your style to the way the game’s played…. I’m trying to hone in more on my skills I haven’t worked on in the last couple months. I’m trying to be as complete as a player as possible.

Tonight, you were on the ice pretty often with Chay Genoway, who is a University of North Dakota alum. Is there any kind of rivalry between the two of you?

He brought it up before the game! He brought up this bad chemistry right before the game started (laughs). He said, “I can’t believe this, I’m playing with…” I don’t know if it was “a bleepin’ Gopher” or what he said, I’m not really positive, but it was along those lines (laughs). He said it with a smile, I knew he was joking. But you know, it hurt a little bit.

He’s got lots of attitude.

He does, I’m telling you!

I’m glad you were able to put your rivalry aside for tonight.

He’s a great guy and I like him. (UND hockey players) are not as all bad as we think they are.

The Final Countdown: How to Prepare for the CrossFit Open

‘Tis the season to put your CrossFit training to the test! The CrossFit Games season is upon us with registration now live, and competitors training for the February 27th release of the first Open workout. You squat all year with this elite athletic contest in mind, but now is the time to up the ante in pursuit of a spot at Regionals.

Here are seven tips to jack up your CrossFit Open training:

1. MARK YOUR CALENDAR

The first Open workout will be released on February 27th. Over the course of five weeks, one workout will be released every Thursday, giving competitors until the following Monday at 5 p.m. Pacific Time to officially record their scores. Mark the dates and ensure you have adequate time to attempt the workout and record your performance. It’s also important to note that some affiliates join together to judge workouts publicly. This is done in an attempt to take pressure off individual boxes and to build camaraderie between athletes. Check with your box or local affiliates to see if any group workouts are schedule for the CrossFit Open.

2. DO PAST WORKOUTS

The CrossFit Games website has posted all the Open Workouts from the past three years. Try your hand at the workouts and judge your performance to determine what you should focus on when moving forward with your training. http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/the-open/2012

3. FINE TUNE SKILLS

As you attempt past Open workouts, are there specific moves you struggle with? It’s important to move efficiently to prevent fatigue and injury. If there are moves you cannot do flawlessly, now is the time to master them.

4. TARGET MOBILITY AND STABILITY WEAKNESSES

Each CrossFit move depends heavily on stable spines and flexible joints. As you work your way through past Open workouts, note any instability or stiffness you may feel. Add more stretches, yoga, or longer recovery sessions into your workouts.

5. BUILD STAMINA

In the three or four weeks leading up to the first Open workout, do all WODs at 100%. Upping the intensity is an excellent way to prepare for the pressure of the competition and also identify your weaknesses. Going 100% may mean adding more rest days into your schedule, but a little extra rest and relaxation is vital to your performance.

6. REST

The week before the first Open workout is released, consider cutting down your WOD volume. One option is to complete your regular WODs but cut the repetitions in half or reduce loads to the minimum. Minimizing the impact on your body while still staying sharp is key to performing at your best. Throughout the five-week Open, make sure to rest… a lot.

7. TEST YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH

Checking the leaderboard on the CrossFit Games website can be both exhilarating and debilitating. Seeing so many competitors from all over the world is exciting, but noting the ability of these extraordinary athletes can make you question your own strength and skill. Remember that you’re capable of more than you think. Training for the CrossFit Games puts a lot of emphasis on physical strength, but staying mentally strong is just as important.

Originally published by http://www.wodlounge.com/7-ways-to-prep-for-the-crossfit-open/

A Knight in Padded Armour: Profile of Calgary Flames Prospect Corban Knight

If one were to ask the average American grandmother to describe a hockey player she might say, “big, bruised and mean.” While big and bruised might be accurate, Abbotsford Heat centre and Flames prospect Corban Knight takes the thuggish stereotype and turns it on its head. With a strong connection to family, deep roots in Canada and a pure-and-simple love for the game, it’s tough to find a more passionate player and sincerely nice athlete than Knight.

Like so many professional players before him, Corban Knight, 23, learned to skate as soon as he was steady on his feet. Growing up in a small Canadian town, he first strapped on skates with his parents and five siblings at the outdoor rink (like any good Canadian boy). And while these early memories are fuzzy, he can vividly describe what it was like growing up with hockey in Canada.

“For me growing up every chance I could get I was playing, whether it be street hockey or on the pond or hand hockey in the house hallway. I was just always finding ways to play hockey. I think just the fact that you’re in Canada… from a young age you learn about the game. You grow up with it. Having a love for the game and learning a lot about it, too because you’re always playing.”

At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Knight sizes up nicely against the average NHL player who stands 6’1.3” and weighs 203.7 pounds. But measuring in at approximately 5’3” at age 14, Corban’s size worked against him as he was overlooked by Major Junior teams. After Midget Hockey, Corban played Junior A with the Okotoks Oilers—a team just down the road from his family in High River, Alberta and with connections to his dream school, the University of North Dakota.

“My mom always pressured education with us… The fact that I can go to college, get a degree and also play really good hockey appealed to me,” Corban explained. “I knew I wanted to go to college and specifically North Dakota. And (the Okotoks Oilers) had had a couple players go there before me, so it was almost like they had a pipeline, connections to the coaches. And I thought it would really help my chances with UND.”

Almost five years later, Corban still remembers the exact day he committed to UND—January 7, 2009. Over his four years in North Dakota, Knight left his mark as the 27th highest scorer in UND’s history with 146 points (52 goals, 94 assists) in 161 games, as a record-setting face-off winner and as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top 10 finalist. Not every player sees four years of college hockey through to the end—some follow the bright lights to a professional career early. But he doesn’t regret his decision to stay in Grand Forks.

“It could change in 20 years, but right now staying (at UND) for all four years has been the best decision of my life… Grand Forks and UND is such a special place that, for me, to leave early just didn’t make sense.”

Originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Knight assumed he would start his professional hockey career on the sandy beaches of The Sunshine State. But nothing is certain in the life of an athlete:

“My agent called me one day and said, ‘Calgary is really interested…’ So, I met with the management and I really had a good feeling about it. They all seemed like great guys and it just seemed like a good fit for me. So, the trade happened and it was pretty special that I got traded to basically my hometown.”

In June 2013, Corban was traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 4,644 km jump from Florida to Alberta was a happy one for Knight:

“Growing up, I was around the Flames. Everyone in my part of the country just bleeds for that team. It was a pretty surreal experience that I was getting traded to a team like that. Even with their farm team here in Abbotsford, just the fact that I was closer to home and in Canada is pretty special to me. My mom was pretty happy that’s for sure.”

Knight wrapped up a successful college hockey career in the spring of 2013, and trained hard all summer in preparation for the Flames’ training camps. After a successful run at development camp, Knight approached September eager to fight for a spot on Calgary’s roster. Just four days before NHL roster submissions were due, Corban was assigned to Calgary’s AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.

“Obviously, when it didn’t work out and they sent me down here to Abbotsford, it was tough at first just because you’re so close to achieving one of your childhood dreams of playing in the NHL. But at the same time, you realize that this is a process and I just needed to come down here and work on my game… At first it’s disappointing, I tried to focus in on the positives and really focus on getting better down here.”

Nestled in the mountains about an hour east of Vancouver, Abbotsford is a scenic place to kick-off a professional hockey career. Knight has enjoyed a strong start to his first pro season, tallying 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) in 39 games. Outside of the rink, he has also settled into a comfortable (and dare we say, ironic) living situation, sharing an apartment with two teammates, including current linemate and former rival, Ben Hanowski.

“Ben Hanowski played at St. Cloud State when I was at North Dakota. So for four years we were hated rivals and now we’re living together and playing on the same line.”

Reflecting on his career so far, Knight offered some advice to young players with professional aspirations.

“You’ve gotta work hard. There are so many ups and downs in hockey. For me, I got cut from a couple teams. At the time maybe you’re like, well, maybe my career is over and maybe I should pack it in and look at something else. That’s the great thing about hockey, there are always so many chances to play and to make something out of yourself… As long as you work hard, there’s a lot of potential to do pretty great things out there.”

And why did Corban Knight keep playing after being cut from teams and overlooked by scouts as a teenager because of his size? It’s simple.

“Just the love of the game. Hockey is such a huge part of my life. And I love it so much that it was something that I just didn’t want to quit. I knew that if I just kept working hard that good things would happen.”

 

Originally published at http://flamesnation.ca/2014/1/17/a-knight-in-padded-armur-a-look-at-abbotsfords-corban-knight#comments

Annie Erling Gofus writes for http://www.summitolympus.com . Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

The Smallest and Best CrossFit Tool: Your Mobile Phone

Your CrossFit toolbox is full of kettlebells, foam rollers and weight plates. But your most portable CrossFit tool? Your mobile phone!

Put your iPhone to work at more than just Tweeting. Use it to track your progress, time your intervals and find sweat-inducing WODs hundreds of miles from the gym. Here are the seven hottest CrossFit apps for iPhone and Android.

 

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SUGAR WOD

SugarWOD puts your gym in the palm of your hand. Even away from the box, you can log your workout results, check the leaderboard and send your comrades virtual fist bumps. SugarWOD is available free for iPhone and connects you to CrossFitters across the globe as well as to thousands of workouts.

 

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TIMERS PRO

Utilized by the bigwigs at crossfit.comTimers Pro is an incredibly simple tool used by CrossFit pros. Timer Pro offers six different timers to its users, from interval timer, to stopwatch, to lap timer. Listen to music while running as many timers as you like, and count reps or sets by touching anywhere on the screen. This app is available for iPhone and costs $1.99.

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UBERSENSE

Used by more than a million athletes and coaches, Ubersense is the ultimate way to record, analyze and improve your skills. Record or import video of your moves and analyze your abilities with slow-motion playback, zoom and side-by-side comparisons. Share your progress online and turn to the Ubersense community for drills and coaching profiles that will help you improve. This is an invaluable tool for coaches hoping to train and track their clients’ progress. Ubersense is available for free on iPhone.

 

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RUNKEEPER

More than 26.2 million people use RunKeeper to track their runs, bike rides, cross-country skiing and more using their phone’s GPS. RunKeeper offers users detailed statistics about their physical activity, including pace, distance and time. Stay motivated with Personal Record notifications when you reach a new milestone, and follow training plans to meet your goals. This app is available for free on iPhone and Android.

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MYFITNESSPAL

Fitness is about more than just pumping iron and running a marathon. Watch what you eat with help from MyFitnessPal. This free app remembers your favorite dishes, saves entire meals and has a massive food database for users to browse. Set calorie goals and let MyFitnessPal break down your daily diet into fats, carbs, protein, fiber and more. Enter workouts and track how many calories you consume and burn each day with the help of this comprehensive app available on iPhone and Android.

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BIG LIFTS 2

Leaves the spreadsheets at home and track your strength, 5/3/1 and Smolov Junior training with this easy to use app. Big Lifts 2 is free on iPhone and Android and allows users to add and modify lifts and log lifts through cycles. Let Big Lifts calculate your plate load and check out detailed graphs that track your progress

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TRAVEL WODS

Travel across the globe with your CrossFit box packed in your carry-on! The Travel WODs app includes over 120 Workouts of the Day that require zero pieces of equipment. Use your bodyweight to rock various CrossFit workouts in hotel rooms, bedrooms or small workout areas. Use Travel WODs’ white board to track your progress and add new workouts to challenge yourself. A built-in timer and progress graph makes reaching new goals easy. Travel WODs costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone and Android.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/smallest-powerful-crossfit-tool-mobile-phone-app/