CrossFit is a complex sport that involves multiple different disciplines within one workout. One minute you might be doing box jumps, next you’re doing double unders, then you’re throwing weights above your head doing clean and jerks before having to run a mile.
As such, it can be tough to know which shoes to wear. You can’t run in lifting shoes but it’s not great trying to lift in running shoes. That’s where CrossFit shoes come into play. We take a look at what makes a great CrossFit shoe and some of the best on the market.
What are CrossFit shoes?
If you’re serious about CrossFit, you should be wearing CrossFit shoes. CrossFit shoes differ from other training shoes as they are specially-designed to have a solid sole for lifting, but are flexible enough to run in and as such are suitable for the versatility of this sport.
Tom McBride, Sundried ambassador and owner of a CrossFit box in Hawaii says, “You want something that is comfortable to run in, but offers a hard enough sole to allow a solid platform when weightlifting. On one end of the spectrum you have weightlifting shoes which you would never want to run, jump rope, or do much lateral movement in. They are very stiff, heavy, and have a wide base. Running shoes on the other hand are very light, and sometimes have very squishy or even air-padded soles. These would never last in weightlifting and could cause potential injury. CrossFit is about being well-rounded, and the shoes are no different.”
How To Choose CrossFit Shoes
Now that CrossFit is gaining more popularity, CrossFit shoes are becoming more prevalent among mainstream brands. Some of the most popular CrossFit shoes on the market are those made by Reebok and Nike. Reebok is the name sponsor of CrossFit and so naturally have a high stake in the market. Nike are one of the biggest sports retailers in the world and sponsor such high profile CrossFit athletes as Sara Sigmundsdottir and Mat Fraser. If you choose CrossFit shoes from either of these brands, you know you’re going to get a good product.
When it comes to quality, Tom says, “The best test to see if a shoe will last is to climb a rope in the shoe. I've seen brand new shoes disintegrate after a few proper rope climbs. Run, jump, lift weights, play sports, and just be athletic in the shoe. If they can do all of those things well, they're probably just fine.”
Best shoes for CrossFit
The Nike Metcon is one of the most popular CrossFit shoes on the market. Both Sara Sigmundsdottir and Mat Fraser are ambassadors for this shoe and it stands up to the test.
Read our Nike Metcon 3 review for a full in-depth analysis of this popular CrossFit shoe.
Reebok is CrossFit’s official partner and as such a lot of dedicated CrossFit athletes will swear by this brand no matter what. The Nano is Reebok’s answer to Nike’s MetCon and it’s a fair contender.
The Reebok CrossFit Nano features Reebok’s signature ‘NanoWeave’ technology, which is a synthetic construction designed to promote breathability, durability, and flexibility in the shoe. The entire shoe is encased by a full rubber outsole which creates fantastic traction for your lifts. Costing a shade under £100, it’s a fair price for this technical shoe and you can be sure to trust in their ability.
Shop the Sundried men's barefoot shoes
Shop the Sundried women's barefoot shoes
We take an in-depth look at the MetCon workout, a firm favourite of CrossFitters and something that could be the answer to your fitness prayers.
What does MetCon stand for?
MetCon stands for Metabolic Conditioning. It is a type of workout that will exert your cardiovascular system (getting you out of breath) and will also get your heart rate up, increasing your overall level of fitness.
Conditioning is a term that includes building muscle as well as increasing fitness. It is a very high intensity form of training and differs from low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio such as long runs and bike rides. It continually shocks your system and forces your body to change and adapt, therefore achieving excellent results.
The metabolic part refers to how a MetCon workout will affect your metabolism. Not only will you burn a ton of calories during your session, a MetCon will rev up your metabolism and have you burning fat for hours after your finish.
Types of MetCon workout
There are many types of MetCon workout, both with equipment and without, and you can do a number of different activities. From swimming to sprinting to lifting weights, being able to mix up your MetCon workouts and be creative can really keep you motivated and means you're not stuck doing the same workout day in day out.
Training for time
A popular type of MetCon workout is one that is done for time. In this type of session, you will complete a set number of reps or rounds and see how long it takes you. This is a fantastic way of monitoring your progress as you can go back and do the same MetCon again and again, trying to beat your previous time. Another benefit of this type of workout is that you can compare your time to someone else's, therefore creating a sense of competition and increasing your motivation.
Training for reps
On the flipside, another style of workout is one that is done for reps. You might be given a specific exercise with a set number of reps and have to challenge how heavy you can go. For example, 5 sets of 3 reps on front squats. You could complete the rounds and see how heavy you can go.
This popular CrossFit acronym stands for Every Minute On the Minute. It is a great way of keeping the workout interesting and keeping you focused. You will complete a specific number of reps on either one or a series of exercises every minute on the minute, meaning that the quicker you get the exercises done, the more rest you will have in between.
For example, 10 rounds of 5 burpees. If it takes you 30 seconds to complete the burpees, you'd have 30 seconds of rest before the next set. If it takes you 55 seconds, you'd only have 5 seconds of rest!
AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible. The 'R' can also stand for Rounds. In this instance, you will complete as many reps as you can in a given time. This is another way to challenge yourself as you can try to beat your previous record each time you do the workout.
Example MetCon Workouts
This is an example of an EMOM workout:
8 squat clean thrusters
8 chin ups
8 push ups with renegade row
16 box jumps
16 kettlebell swings
Complete 6 rounds.
(This is a workout by Sundried ambassador Charlotte Lamb)
This is an example of a 'for time' workout:
(This is the official CrossFit 180713 workout)
How to write your own MetCon workout
Creating your own MetCon workouts can be a great way to get creative with your training and keep things fun and interesting. You can make it as hard or as easy-going as you like and there are lots of ways to challenge yourself.
The first thing to do when writing a MetCon workout is to figure out what equipment you have at your disposal and what exercises you're capable of completing. It's no good trying to do a workout that includes muscle ups and swimming if you can't do muscle ups and don't have access to water!
Think about your specific goals and add exercises that will help you work towards them. If you are training for a marathon, you could include 1-mile runs and shuttle runs. If you're training for a weightlifting competition, you'll want more barbell complexes and strength exercises like pull-ups and push ups.
You can make a MetCon workout as long or as short as you like, so think about how much time you have on your hands. A MetCon workout can be a great way to burn lots of calories in a very short space of time.
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
I've written posts from several places over the last 10 years, but my current seat is not one I ever imagined. Nor was the way in which I got here. Acknowledging that I am behind several posts, primarily of product testing, program testing, and the like, wasn't what prompted this most recent ramble. Rather, it is the way in which I landed myself in a hospital room at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Admittedly, a very nice, modern and friendly place, just not somewhere I wanted to spend any extended amount of time.
The how I got here is the easy part. At least, it would seem that way. In rather typical Chicago weather fashion, last week, and the better part of this week, were very hot. A dramatic change of about 45 degrees in just a few days. I felt as though I was acclimating well, having spent a great deal of time training outdoors last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Memorial Day rolled around and there it was in my schedule - Long Murph. 5k run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, 5k run, 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, 150 squats, 5k run. With a 20 lb vest. Standard Murph is typically preformed on Memorial Day at CrossFit gyms across the globe, in honor of Michael Murphy, featured in the film "Lone Survivor". His bravery and selfless act was in an effort to save his squad mates, and the workout is preformed in his honor. I've done Murph several times. I've done the amount of volume prescribed in Long Murph. I had a plan. It just wasn't a good one.
I didn't start the workout until 2 pm, when the heat and sun were at their worst, still, I had mapped out my hydration protocol, as well as pacing. I knew this was a long day, and decided going slower would allow me to take fewer breaks, while yielding the results the workout was intended. At first, things seemed fine. It was difficult, hot, but I was moving well. Pain set in, but nothing out of the ordinary. I kept moving. I finished. I wasn't writhing around on the ground in agony. I wasn't feeling dehydrated or dizzy. I felt rather accomplished. I knew what the workout was supposed to replicate, and that left me feeling very good about the races that lie ahead.
Tuesday came, and I was sore, but I still got on my bike in the heat and sun and rode 2 hours. I was tired, but figured it was just residual from the last few days in the heat. By Tuesday night, I was starting to feel fairly terrible. By Wednesday, I had zero energy and everything hurt. After coaching Thursday morning, I went to the ER. It was a smart move. My CKE - Creatine-Kinese number was 13,000. In layman's terms, it's not good. It's actually bad. I had rhabdo. Something I never thought I would get. But there it was in black and white. Rhabdo.
IV bag hooked up, sent to a room. And here I sit. Day 2, 5 IV bags later, with a lot of time on my hands, and I'm no longer wondering how. The how comes down to this - I don't like to do things half ass. I believe that everything is everything, so every workout has a reason, that goes beyond simple adaptation. It's the same reason sitting in a cold tub is not just about recovery. Things are not always singular in nature. We miss much if we look it at things in just one dimension. I owe a great deal of this vision to my coach, Cody, and mentor, Brian MacKenzie. So the ability to "sit in the suck" was more mental than physical. But over-estimating my ability to acclimate to heat, training intensity and duration while attacking the same body part at high volume, wasn't me using intellect. It was a mistake. If I really believe everything is everything, then I should have planned better. And clearly, I didn't. So this got me thinking.
There are a lot of us in the world of sport who have the ability to endure. It varies to a person, but at a certain level, we just know how to suffer. For long periods. But in those moments, its so easy to just zone out, and not stay present in what the hell we are doing. Or why. We lose sight of the bigger goal. That's how we end up in hospital beds writing blog posts about not wanting to be in a hospital bed. This is what I did. I trusted my fitness could overcome anything. But real fitness is more than physical adaptation; its mental and emotional adaptation and awareness. Being able to change in the moment to get the results you need. That means staying clued in. It means not allowing a training session to go so south that it sets you back.
The responsibility for what happened rest squarely on my shoulders. Admitting that was the first part of healing. My coach programmed what made sense, and trusted his athlete would use the muscle that sits 3 feet above my ass. This isn't on him. I'm used to volume, intensity, heat. Its actually even more ironic, because I was one of the people who said the CrossFit athletes who preformed poorly in Murph at the 2015 Games had no one to blame but themselves. I watched the mistakes. Had them in mind at 2 pm on Monday. At 2:00:01, I forgot all of it. How can I point the finger at anyone else knowing that very thing? How childish and ridiculous would that be? There has to be personal responsibility. There just has to. We're so quick to blame the heat, to blame a coach, a workout, whatever, when the bottom line is - the shit you do is on you. Period. Full stop. And this applies to everything. Your job, your life, why your coffee is too hot, just everything. Stop passing the blame on others. For the love of baby Jesus, take some fucking responsibility for your shit. Stop asking for sympathy. Ask for fortitude and humility to take the hit for why you're in the situation your in.
It doesn't matter how fit, smart, beautiful, witty, etc, etc if you are blaming others as to why you aren't able to harness the full power of your talents. You have to stop sleep walking through things, because even the mundane is important. The mundane means something. Make it mean something. Make everything mean something. The world isn't conspiring against you. Fate isn't out to get you. That's such a cop out. Its weak. Learn from mistakes. Be open to realizing you made them. We all do. This time, I fucked up. I'm paying for it. That's ok. I'll rebound. Yes, there's some fear about what getting back to where I was, but that's something I have to overcome mentally, not physically. Because as nice as this hospital is, they still serve hospital food. So, you know.
Everything is everything. I've said it a lot in this post. Because it bears repeating. Maybe more for me than you. Remembering that is what will keep me out of the hospital and on the race course.
Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes, who came to visit, who kept my spirits up. Thanks to the amazing hospital staff who have been so great the entire time. Thanks to my mom for yelling at me, telling me she was so upset that she wasn't going to come see me, then hung up the phone. Then proceeded to call several times to check in. And yell at me. We all show our love in different ways.
Be safe, be smart, and stay strong.
Gym rings, also known as gymnastic rings, are a piece of training equipment that you can use to get fit anywhere; in your own home, at the gym, or outdoors. There are many ways to get fit at home and there are also numerous benefits to training outdoors, so owning a pair of gymnastic rings is a must for any fitness enthusiast.
There are different types of gymnastic rings, with wooden gym rings being the most popular. Wooden gym rings provide the best grip, however they can be less durable than metal or plastic, especially when exposed to the elements outdoors. If you are going to be using your gym rings indoors, then wood is your best option.
Gym Rings For Home
There are a few things you'll need to get to grips with before you can start using your gym rings, such as learning how to hang gymnastic rings. The video below is a comprehensive tutorial on how to hang gymnastic rings at home:
Once you have installed your gym rings, there is the task of learning how to start training with gymnastics rings. As with all exercise and fitness tasks, it is best to take it slow and listen to your body. Start with simple exercises that you can practice comfortably before moving on to more advanced moves.
Make sure your gymnastic rings are secure and that you have enough space to perform the exercises safely. While training with gym rings is a great way to build strength, it will help to have a base fitness already, so training at the gym will help you greatly. Also make sure to do plenty of stretching so that your body is supple and can move smoothly through the exercises.
Gymnastic Rings Exercises
There are many great gymnastic rings exercises out there and you can really get in great shape using gymnastics rings. The use of gymnastic rings as a way of getting fit is a type of bodyweight training and this has numerous benefits. Some of the easier gym rings exercises include inverted pull ups, rows, press ups, and dips. These are exercises that require core strength and balance, but will allow you to make mistakes without bad consequences and will allow you to practice until perfect.
Some more advanced gymnastic rings exercises include front levers, back levers, and planches. These require much more advanced core strength and will take a lot more practice. But, as always, practice makes perfect!
Gymnastics Rings Workout For Beginners
Once you have your gymnastic rings set up and you understand the basics of working out with gym rings, you're ready for a gymnastics rings workout for beginners! Try Sundried's gym rings workout for an easy introduction, or follow the video below:
Channah Brandsema is a Sundried ambassador from the Netherlands who discovered the sport of CrossFit while recovering from an injury. She talks to us about the CrossFit Open 2018.
CrossFit Open 2018
The CrossFit Open is a 5-week online competition with thousands of athletes competing with each other throughout the world. In 5 weeks there will be 5 different workouts and every workout can be done on your own level. There is an rX workout, which is the "standard", but for those who the rX is too heavy, you can choose to go for a scaled workout. The workouts have to be filmed or done under supervision of a qualified judge. Each week on Thursday the workout will be announced and you can upload your score until Monday afternoon.
The top 200 athletes in every division will go to the regionals for Europe this will be in Berlin on 19-23 May. Those who then make the top 20 will go to the CrossFit Games in August in Wisconsin, USA. So that sums up the CrossFit open. Now more about me.
Related: 5 Tips For Surviving CrossFit
My name is Channah Brandsema and I'm a Dutch triathlete. In March 2017, I ruptured one of my ankle ligaments, it had to be operated on to make it possible to compete again in the Dutch highest division of triathlon. During my ankle rehab I got in touch with CrossFit, which is a lovely combination of strength, gymnastics and endurance. One of the first CrossFit workouts I did with my physio was a real eye-opener. In triathlon, it is sometimes hard to train the transition from cycling to running as I find I'm out of breath in the first mile of running. While doing the CrossFit workout with my physio I found I had the same issue, so I realised this would be a great way to improve my triathlon transitions! The workouts are hard but it is really improving my triathlon training as well as my CrossFit training. So that is the way I became enthusiastic about CrossFit.
Related: Getting Started In CrossFit
In December 2017 I start following some CrossFit workouts in addition to my triathlon training, and decided I wanted to combine the two sports and see what happens. Well, two months later and I'm competing in the CrossFit Open!
Some final questions to ask myself before I enter the CrossFit Open: am I nervous? No, not at all, I have nothing to lose. Am I excited? Yes, for sure! No one knows what is coming in the workouts. So everyone is looking forward to the announcement. Am I ready to start? Yes, I am. I haven't done all CrossFit movements yet, so there will be surprises for me during the workouts. But I think I will handle it.