Pushups on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro (Andrew Rich/E+/Getty Images)
For those who are obsessed with CrossFit, going on vacation has become more than a trip to a beautiful, sandy beach on an island in a warm, tropical climate. A hotel with a small gym comprised of a lonely treadmill and a set of dumbbells barely heavy enough for a child won’t cut it for those who seek the ultimate workout on a regular basis.
Enter CrossFit travel — a holiday intended to provide an escape, while maintaining the momentum of training on a daily basis.
“Competitive exercisers generally do not like to be kept away from their barbells or gyms for an extended period of time,” says Ty Texidor of Destino Retreats, one of the many companies now offering CrossFit vacations. “By combining a destination-based vacation and taking all the guesswork out of where your next workout is coming, we have made it easy for them.”
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CrossFit travel destinations range from the West Coast of the United States, where CrossFit was born, to cruises to worldwide destinations, integrating nature’s elements and workouts of the day (you know, WODs). “When we first started in 2012, we were one of a few companies offering this sort of vacation,” Texidor said. “The tide has turned, and the popularity of CrossFit has brought more players to the group. More people are Google searching ‘CrossFit vacation’ in the hopes of maintaining their fitness and intensity while traveling.”
With more than 10,000 CrossFit gyms internationally, those practicing this regimen of fitness are all at different levels but working toward the same goals. “With these types of vacations, you are able to meet people from all over the world who share similar interests with you,” said Denise Ying, who does CrossFit five times a week and attended a Destino Retreats vacation. “CrossFit isn’t all about working out in a sweaty gym. It is about getting to meet people who share your love of all things fitness and just using and moving your bodies like you’re suppose to.”
Similar to everyday CrossFit devotees, people who go on CrossFit vacations are at all different levels. “I’d say the average attendee is an intermediate athlete,” says Blair Morrison of Anywhere Fit, which offers adventure fitness travel vacations. “Most have the basics of CrossFit down but can definitely benefit from expert coaching, something we offer throughout the trip.”
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With the planned trips, attendees can still feel as though they’re enjoying themselves by removing the necessity to plan. “I loved the fact that the day would be planned for me,” Ying said. “On a typical traditional vacation, I still like to fit in an outdoor or more physical activity, so a CrossFit vacation made sense for me.”
Of most importance, for it to be a successful vacation for fitness buffs, it’s about the activities and workouts. Paul Frick, a CrossFit enthusiast who recently took a CrossFit trip to Iceland, says the best part about his experience was integrating adventure travel with a workout.
“We ran across glacial plateaus. We crawled over smoldering volcanoes. We dove the icy mid-Atlantic rift. We carried partners up craters. We lifted on the wind-swept plains of volcanic ash,” Frick said.
If a CrossFit vacation has piqued your interest, check out these CrossFit travel providers.
Photo: FitLife Cruise/Facebook
Norwegian Cruise Lines is now offering four-day cruises focused on bringing CrossFit to the seas. In typical CrossFit fashion, any level is welcome, as the workouts are tailored for individual levels. The cruises, which will broaden destination offerings in 2015, offer nine WODs on each trip, along with seminars, Olympic weightlifting courses, and more.
Reebok CrossFit WOD launch (Tony Felgueiras/Flickr)
With offerings in California, Israel, Korea, and Europe, this Australian-based company arranges destination workout vacations for those who are able to provide their own transportation to the locations. Train with Olympic athletes, attend the CrossFit Games, and experience workouts throughout the world with trips of various timeframes from this travel group, which was started by a kickboxing champion and former police officer.
Photo: Anywhere Fit
Started by former CrossFit Games competitor Blair Morrison, Anywhere Fit provides adventure fitness travel to places in Iceland and New Zealand. For those at an intermediate fitness level, Anywhere Fit offers 12 days of hiking, trail running, and swimming in arctic fjords, all while incorporating CrossFit and WODs that are created using elements in nature. Its self-proclaimed disclaimer commands that these CrossFit trips are extreme and “not your grandfather’s backpacking trip.”
Beach workout (CrossFit Santa Cruz/Facebook)
This vacation destination in Santa Cruz, Calif., offers weeklong trips comprised of a beach house stay within walking distance to CrossFit Amundson. Created by Greg Amundson, who has been a CrossFit coach for more than 11 years, this experience includes workouts at affiliate gyms in Santa Cruz, private training sessions, surfing, outdoor workouts, and meals at local CrossFit hangouts.
Handstand pushups in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Destino Retreats/Facebook)
Created by Ty Texidor and Tovah Rendlich, these CrossFit vacations are comprehensive, from the workouts to the Paleo eating, and offer four destinations: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Mammoth, Calif.; and Maui, Hawaii. From four-star lodging to a hosted margarita night, trips provide two WODs per day along with two Paleo meals, organized group activities, a “throw-down” with the hosting gym, and challenges and skill sessions.
Belize (StayFit Travel/Facebook)
With destinations including Santa Monica, Calif., and the sandy beaches of Belize, these trips created by fitness and travel lover JD Derasmo bring together daily WODs and tourist adventures. Including accommodations, these trips take travelers to local gyms and provide surf lessons, scuba diving, snorkeling, workouts on the beach, and passes to the CrossFit Games.