Sunday, June 19, 2016

Reebok CrossFit Training Grounds Media Event + Nano 6.0 Launch

Last week, I was invited to attend the Reebok CrossFit Training Grounds at Reebok’s Global Headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. The Training Grounds is an opportunity for qualifying CrossFit Games athletes to come together before the Games, receive coaching from some of the world’s top coaches, and utilize the facilities at Reebok CrossFit One in a stress-free environment where they can focus on training. Basically, it allows the athletes to have fun while getting prepared for the biggest competition of their careers. And, of course, I was honored (and totally psyched) to be part of it. Well, technically, the media portion of the Training Grounds, but we had the opportunity do two workouts along side some of the athletes!

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The two-day media event kicked off with a lovely sit-down lunch where we had the opportunity to get to know each other.

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The group was literally from all over the world, representing a variety of media outlets. It was really neat chatting with people from France, Brasil, Dubai, Russia, and more. In fact, when we were asked to raise our hands to show what country we represented, those of us from the United States actually seemed like the minority! It was definitely cool spending time with this group.

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On the menu for lunch: Spring Green Steak Salad.

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And an Upside Down Cake with blueberry sauce for dessert. Mmm!

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After lunch, we changed into our workout gear (from Reebok, of course) and then walked over to Reebok CrossFit One for the Nano 6.0 unveiling. Over the years, I’ve worn the Nano 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, so I was really excited to see what the 6.0 was all about.

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And you know what? It was love at first sight. Truly. At first look, the 6.0 reminded me a bit of the 2.0, which, for a lot of CrossFitters (myself included) is a long-time favorite.

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I also liked the simple color and design, which makes them seem a bit more “lifestyle-esque,” like I could totally wear them to brunch or running errands after a workout.

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Reebok is constantly working to improve their CrossFit footwear and gear (as you’ll see below) and frequently elicits feedback from the community– from coaches to elite athletes to everyday CrossFitters– to really focus on what is important and create a shoe that is good at everything.

Reebok Nano 6.0

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Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 features and how it’s different from previous models:

  • The Nano 6.0 has a better anatomical shape that is built to support the movement of the foot, particularly under load, and there’s a molded cupped heel that “locks” you into the shoe. It feels much more naturally stable and supportive compared with previous Nanos. I definitely like the feeling of better control.
  • There’s more flexion in the forefoot, which I immediately noticed while running and doing double-unders. While the toe area (asymmetrical and made from a stretchy and durable Kevlar® fabric) feels a bit tighter, the sole is more flexible than previous versions of the Nano. It really has a nice feel when combined with the more stable heel.
  • The 6.0 has the same ROPEPRO technology on the bottom as the 5.0, but the inner sole is a bit more grip-y and can better “bite” the rope during climbs.
  • The Nano 6.0 is a tad lighter than the 5.0, weighing 2 ounces less.

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After learning all about the Nano 6.0, it was time to test them out in a workout!

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Pictured below: Logan Aldridge, a seriously bad-ass adaptive CrossFit athlete. I sat with him at lunch on Day 2 and learned all about the cool stuff he’s doing with Reebok and on his own to help adaptive athletes, including inventing a Mono Rope (aka one-arm jump rope) with Rx Smart Gear. The original prototype was made from one of his old lacrosse sticks.) Logan is also incredible to watch during his workouts. Check him out on Instagram @aldridgelogan.

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The WOD was a 3-person team workout: 150 Kettlebell Swings, 120 Push-Ups, 100 Medicine Ball Cleans, and 1200 meter run.

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We split the reps equally and plowed through the workout together. It was definitely a fun one!

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When asked what I thought about the Nano 6.0 for running after this workout, my reply was: “I didn’t even think about them.” Right from the get-go, that’s how comfy and natural they felt on my feet. I’m a huge fan.

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Workout complete!

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Day 2 started with a Skype session with Dave Castro, NBD. Seriously, it was so cool with chat with him and ask anything we wanted. Highlights from the conversation:

  • 2016 is the last year that the Reebok CrossFit Games will be held at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. CrossFit is currently considering 10 potential locations (worldwide), one of which being Boston!
  • Programming for the Games is a unique balance between finding the fittest on earth and engaging viewers. Ultimately, what matters most is testing the athletes. Some workouts, like the half marathon row in 2013, might not win over new viewers, but it’s important to the overall programming and finding the fittest man and woman on earth.
  • Castro said his programming visually tells a story and his inspiration comes from everywhere, especially outside of CrossFit: Music, books, other sports, shows in Vegas. He actually said he doesn’t scope out other CrossFit competitions for ideas.

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After chatting with Dave Castro, we learned about some of the cool innovations incorporated into the newest line of Reebok CrossFit apparel. Please note: The CrossFit mannequins to the right of the photo below. Reebok uses this more muscular shape to accurately size and design their CrossFit apparel. Awesome, right?

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This pattern! I need the Ass to Ankle Shorts in my life!!

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Compression shorts with Kevlar to protect your quads.

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And a women’s top with Kevlar to protect your chest from those heavy barbell movements.

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After that, we headed over to Reebok CrossFit One to watch the Games athletes train.

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Then, it was time to train with them, which, of course, was SO COOL. #nerdalert

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I was literally working out in the lane next to Christy Adkins, Jen Smith, and Michelle Letendre. Ahhh!

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And, at the end of the workout, Rory McKernan put his arm around me before chest-bumping the person in front of him. It was awesome.

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After the workout, we headed back over to HQ for lunch and interviews with the athletes.

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Interview highlights:

Christy Adkin’s typical training schedule: 2-3 hours in the morning (10 AM – 12PM/1PM) + 2 hours in the afternoon (3 PM – 5 PM) as well as a mandatory 9 hours of sleep every night for optimal recovery. She also has soft tissue work done every week and massage every other week.

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Katrin Davidsdottir (2015 Fittest Woman on Earth) is always striving to be better. With regard to training, she said: “You need to wake up every morning with a purpose.” She also emphasized the importance of giving your “full effort” since it will translate when it comes time to compete. When she won last year’s CrossFit Games, her coach, Ben Bergeron of CrossFit New England, told her he wanted to “rebuild her.” She agreed and said there was still so much she could improve upon!

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Jen Smith, when asked about her diet, said she generally eats healthy, Zone-ish, but has a sweet tooth. Her rule of thumb for keeping it in check: Deciding whether the treat is “worth it” or “not worth.” Love this!

Michelle Letendre will retire after this year’s Games to focus more on coaching and living a more balanced life. Fun story about how she got into CrossFit: She applied as a secretary at a few gyms in her area and figured she’d work her way up to a trainer. Well, the only gym that called her back was a CrossFit and the rest is history!

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I absolutely loved attending this year’s Reebok CrossFit Training Grounds. It was such an awesome experience and a HUGE thank you to Reebok for the invitation!



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