MERRY FITMAS: Celebrating the Season with Top Gyms
Deck the halls with boughs of FITAID! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and we're turning up the holiday cheer for our 3rd Annual FITMAS Campaign. This December, we're not elfin' around. We'll be celebrating our FITAID Family by featuring some of the top gyms across the country and running lots of giveaways over on Instagram! If you drank a FITAID in 2023, you're on the nice list, so grab your jingle bells and let's dive into the festive fitness spirit!
We got the chance to speak with Coach Carly to get an inside peek on how Flawless Fitness gets in the spirit. One of their seasonal staples is "WTF Week", a full week of grueling, challenging workouts to kickoff the holidays. Proceeds from "WTF Week" are donated to charity, and Carly's favorite part about this time of year is seeing all of the women come together for community service. It's a special spectacle to see members band together to give back for the greater good.
Fitness and Christmas mean you're bound to run into a classic '12 days of Christmas' workout. If you're not familiar, the reps are performed according to the song (1; 2, 1; 3, 2, 1; ... 12-1). At Flawless, you'll be getting down and dirty with this annual themed workout Christmas Eve! Carly believes: "it's not the holidays without a soul-crushing workout with your friends before you feast!"
The Pit Fitness Ranch
Autumn Yost, owner of The Pit Fitness Ranch loves how excited every body gets about the holiday season, especially in dreary Michigan... it's something to look forward to. On Thanksgiving, they do a hallmark workout dubbed "The Dessert Table" and host a large, community workout on Christmas Eve. Members love to partner up with people they don't usually get to workout with on special occasions. Likewise, Autumn loves the challenge of programming for classes when it's a packed Pit - she has to get creative with bodyweight movements (for equipment and safety purposes, duh!). This has backfired in a 12 days of Christmas workout though... have you ever thought of throwing REVERSE burpees, or candlestick rolls into the mix? Regardless, Autumn feels it's not the holiday's without family.
She also had some words of wisdom for everyone during the busiest time of the year. Autumn's best tip is to simply "enjoy the holidays with your family. Eat the food. Have a good time. Don't beat yourself up. Definitely just relax and indulge. Don't make a big deal about macros and protein - you'll get back to your fitness and your normal nutrition as soon as possible."
Natural Selection CrossFit
Natural Selection CrossFit sets out to be Santa's biggest helpers each lap around the calendar. Owner and head coach, Leo Barillas, took the time to share the gym's charitable efforts. Each year, they help out Habitat for Humanity to sponsor families and deliver Christmas gifts. In past years, they have helped build homes for those in need as well.
Leo feels Christmas is the most fun part of the year and takes pride in designing unique 12 Day's of Christmas workouts for his members. One year, they completed a rendition in which EVERY movement required a barbell. He might be the grinch that stole your grip, but here's his best holiday tip: "just spend time with family and relax... it's not the holidays without family and friends."
Halo Fitness Inc.
Every year, Coach Dan looks forward to how the gym rallies together. They host a big Friendsgiving dinner party to raise awareness for a select charity like clockwork. The tradition of giving back to an organization each year has become a core value of Halo's. Dan likes to find special and unique ways to ring in the holidays. One December, they programmed a '21 days of Christmas' workout regimen leading up to the 25th (each workout was based off the day in the countdown).
Dan preaches the 3 R's during the holiday season: relax, rest, recover. People get so caught up in the idea that they are going to ruin all of their progress. His wish upon a star is that people are able to truly enjoy themselves and not look back and think, "why was I so caught up in trying to eat straight..."
Leader of the Bison Beasts, David, hopped on the line to tell us about CrossFit Bison's holiday traditions. The week before Thanksgiving, they host The Bison Holiday Party, a massive backyard bash to kick off the season. The happiest time of year tends to also be the busiest time of the year. Due to the chaos, Bison uses the month of December to repeat crowd-favorites where the gym runs 3-weeks of fun WODs (yes, we said fun... ask Dave, he keeps a running log) to boost morale throughout what can be a stressful time.
David's best recovery tip for the holidays is to value sleep more than you think and to stay hydrated. You're up early to squeeze in a workout and you're out late running errands, playing magical elf, or Santa Claus himself. To avoid getting sick, sleep and hydration are key. Last but not least, he feels "it's not the holidays without giving more than you receive." Need some gift inspiration? Check below!
Stocking Stuffer Speed Round
We asked these gym owners and coaches what they thought would make a superb stocking stuffer for your CrossFit-doing, gym-loving, fitness-y friend and they did NOT miss. Here are their answers:
Carly: FITAID Go! Sticks!
Autumn: Thumb tape... AND FITAID (of course.)
Leo: Definitely FITAID.
Dan: Hand wraps or gymnastics grips!
Dave: Thumb tape - not too expensive, and small enough to fit!
As FITAID's FITMAS Campaign unfolds, these gyms prove that the holiday season is not just about indulging in festive treats, but also sweating it out with friends and family.