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Hey boys and girls of Crossfit Portland! Before all the great summer vacations begin, let’s talk about traveling and maintaining training.

There are quite a few of you out there who are required to travel for work, and others who simply enjoy nomadic ways. Read on for a few traveling training tips from Coach Brad, a.k.a. Constable Brad (thanks for the nickname, Ford!). I’d encourage athletes to share their own ideas in the comments section below.

Your Final Destination Environment
Ever consider the environment of your travel destination? Let’s get practical tactical. What are the weather conditions, terrain, altitude, and amenities?

A few years ago I flew out on vacation to the Rocky Mountain National Forest, which features a change in altitude of around 8,000 feet. I tried the “Annie” WOD and began dry heaving after the second set of double-unders. Way too little oxygen for me at that altitude. Moral of the story: know your enemy, or at least your environment. Quite a few of those things are out of your control, so be prepared to adapt or scale your workout on the road.

Traveling With Equipment
Another anecdote about that trip: let’s talk about traveling with a jump rope in your carry-on luggage on a flight. Below is a link to the TSA’s guidelines for carry-on items for reference. My jump rope had metal weighted grips with a metal cord wrapped in plastic. Under an X-ray machine, it looked a little too much like two sticks of dynamite wrapped with wire. TSA took me to the side for a full search. I even subtly “mentioned” that I was a police officer, but to unsympathetic ears. I received the full roto-rooter over a jump rope. So consider putting your jump rope in packed luggage.

TSA Guidelines for Carry-On Luggage

Other portable equipment items you might consider bringing along …

There are a variety of pieces of equipment that are really portable besides a jump rope, and practical, even practical-tactical. I’ve seen a lot of quality exercise products for portable gymnastic rings, pull-up bars, and push-up bars. Do your own research and I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking for those items. I even own a set of 2.25-pound juggling balls that add a goofy yet decent upper-body dimension to running (see the link below). I’d also consider putting the juggling balls in packed luggage.

Items I would NOT suggest for travel, but maybe go to Youtube for a laugh, are the shake-weight, tug-toner, and body blade: all superb wastes of time.

Dube Weighted Juggling Balls

Crossfitting In The Digital Age
Don’t forget about your Iphone and Android Apps! I’d suggest downloading a Crossfit timer, a Tabata timer, heart-rate monitor, and a workout log. These are all great tools while on the go.

Get Creative With Your Travel Workouts
To get you started, below is a link with 100 travel workouts. Plus, think about all your bodyweight exercises, such as: push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, BURPEES, planks, and pistols. Find a park with a jungle gym and go wild. Find a heavy rock for some Turkish Get Ups. If you’ve got a hotel with a fitness center and dumbbells I’d recommend thrusters and man-makers. Mix it up, get sweaty, and don’t lose your level of fitness just because of travel.

100 Travel Workouts

I hope this generates some innovative ways of WODing on the road. Be sure to get your photos of your Crossfit travels back to us at CFPDX to share with the community.


  1. Practical tactical! Love it… thanks for the good suggestions Officer Brad!

    Tug toner — can’t seem to get the image out of my brain.

  2. Great ideas, Brad, and sorry to hear about the roto-rooter. Where are the privileges of the constabulary today?

    I have trouble pushing myself when I work out by myself, so when traveling I try to go to the Crossfit affiliate in whatever town I’m in. That way, I only have to be motivated enough to show up, and then the CF gym smell kicks in and my reptile brain gives me the necessary jolt. I discovered a whole new relationship to sweat at the un-airconditioned CF New Orleans. Who knew I could leave such a puddle under me?

    This summer, though, I’m psyched for two vacation trips where physical activity will be built in. Hawaii–evenly split between working on scholarship, hiking volcanoes, and snorkeling–and Yellowstone–11 days back country, 50# backpack, 70 miles. A leisurely pace, with plenty of time for bird-watching and day hikes on the rest days. For these trips, what I want to remember to prioritize is mobility and maintaining upper body strength–pushups, stretching, etc. The ambitions of vanity and the vanity of ambition.

    What nifty summer plans do others have?

  3. Well this sucks. I just bought my new Tug Toner for my big D.C. trip next month hoping to carry it on. Guess it’ll have to stay home.

  4. Tug toner?!?! Tug boats everywhere are covering their crotches, ashamed to be associated with anything that pink.

  5. 100 Travel WODs!! SO awesome. I often struggle with this, now I don’t have to. I shoulda know there would be something out there for it. Thanks

  6. Pink? Did someone say pink? I heart pink!!! 🙂

    I usually just do a number of laps in the pool… It’s good exercise and yet swimming never feels like exercise to me, so it’s a good compromise. I’ll have to check out the 100 travel workouts!

  7. Wow, perfect post for my life right now. Thanks for the tips and the non-equipment WODs leave me with no excuses not to keep things up while travelling.

  8. So glad I stumbled across this post. WODs are what get me through the school year in Boise; now I feel especially prepared to stay in shape in the Basque Country and Andalusia come July. Thanks for sharing!

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