Gear Review - VersaLifts V2
The best gear, from a traveller’s point of view, should be quite portable while being a beneficial tool for our workouts. VersaLifts wedges hit the mark on both points. Shoes are one of the biggest space-takers in our travels so a product like this, which eliminates the need to bring an extra pair of shoes, is great.
Being portable is only half the solution. If gear is portable but not a useful tool, it’s still a waste of space. Not the case here.
The VersaLift V2 is a pair of wedges that slip into any shoe and raise your heal ½”. They work like lifters and keep your feet well planted for squat movements and allow you to better drive through your heals. The first time I used them I PR’d my back squat by 15 lbs. That doesn’t mean it’s going to turn you into uber lifter but it does help over wearing just a pair of Nanos, for instance.
They don’t slip around in your shoes. Once I got them in place they were like a natural extension of my shoe. There wasn’t much getting used to them at all.
You can either wear them over or under your shoe inserts. I’ve worn them over because it’s simple and quick.
VirsaLift’s web site says the V2’s will last indefinitely. I haven’t had them quite that long so I’m taking their word for it.
Lace up well, as your foot will be a little higher in a shoe that wasn’t originally designed for it. However the VersaLift V2’s are unobtrusive enough that they wont have a negative impact. Because they’re half-wedges instead of the entire length of your shoe you still have a lot of mobility in your shoes.
The box claims that they don’t interfere with box jumps, running, double unders or “anything else”. I’m not so sure I’d want to heavy deadlift in them but, as I mentioned, they’re pretty unobtrusive. I did a 12 days of Christmas workout and they were great for the front squats, wall balls and thrusters and didn’t get in the way of the box jumps or dead lift movements (granted, the dead lifts were light).
How do they compare to lifters? I honestly can’t say, as I don’t own a pair of lifters. However, I’ve spoken with several people (all far more advanced than me) that have both, including a L3 CrossFit coach and they say that unless you’re working on advanced lifting, they really like the result from the VersaLifts. One has said that he prefers the V2’s to his lifters.
And they’re ideal for travelers. They take up almost no room in your bag. A pair of VirsaLift V2’s come in a box that’s just under 6”x 3.5” x .75”. Pretty darn compact.
They’re reasonably priced at $28.00, which is a heck of a lot less than a pair of lifters.
So, high marks for portability, usefulness and price. This is a weapon that’s literally a no-brainer to add to your bag.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
You’re sitting at home. There’s a lot more time on your hands. You’re hanging out with your new best friend, Netflix. What’s there to do? Eat! And that’s a danger that’s not all that dissimilar to being on the road.
Not only do you have the opportunity to eat more often now than ever, there’s a natural attraction to comfort foods. Let’s face it, these are very different times. Our routines are way off, and we’re fairly cut off from our friends and family. It can get downright depressing.
It can be the same way on the road. You’re often out there on your own and it’s easy to go for a less healthy meal. There’s a lot more easy choices than healthy ones; similar to the grocery store. Eating healthy is a conscious decision and an effort. It takes planning and preparation.
So, what do we do in times like these? Fortunately, the same rules apply in situations like this as they would on the road. Here’s a few ideas to help keep you on track:
Let's not forget that healthier foods are going to better support your immune system. So, staying on track is that much more important these days.
We’re all in uncharted territory. Some of the rules have changed and we’re all reacting to them and trying to find a rhythm and balance. These are just some reminders and suggestions that I hope will help.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong in mind, body and spirit.
The Age of Virtual Workouts
It’s pretty much a given that no one is going anywhere right now. It’s our new reality, at least for the moment. This is a blog about travelling and staying healthy, right? So, what’s a traveler to do? Continue to stay healthy, of course!
This is really a blog about staying healthy, oriented towards travelers so we can remain consistent and maintain our regiments. We can still do this. We just don’t happen to be travelling right now.
You’ve surely heard the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention.” I see lots of CrossFits getting creative, posting home workouts and even holding classes online. This is great news, as we need this consistency for mind, body and spirit. The same principles as working out while travelling.
This is a bit of a case study of my home gym, Blackbird CrossFit and how they have approached the situation. I’m not in the business of promoting a product or a particular CrossFit. My goal is to report what I encounter that might benefit you. However, I can honestly say they’ve done an excellent job of programming and adapting to the online environment. Here’s what they’ve done.
First, Blackbird has lent out equipment to its members at no charge. This is a big deal and I expect many CrossFits are not in a position to do this for various reasons. There’s certainly some risk to this on their part. We had to sign an equipment lease agreement, which is reasonable. Speaking for myself and my wife and several members that I’ve heard from, this has had a massive positive impact.
Next, they have programming each day to keep us going. And this isn’t just burpees and air squats. Many of these workouts are pretty darn tough. I’ve seen many CrossFits offering this as well, which is great. Because they’ve lent our equipment, Blackbird offers options and adaptations for those who have a barbell, or dumbbells or no equipment at all (i.e. backpack shoulder to overhead) with each workout.
They have three live online classes per day (two on Saturdays) where you have a coach to help you warm up and go through the movements with you. They will also suggest any corrections to your form, start your clock, cheer you on throughout the workout and discuss feedback with everyone once the workout is over. You can also see your fellow athletes for community and encouragement. They record the morning session each day if you can’t make one of the live classes. I’ve used the recordings and they definitely help. Other CrossFits are also holding live classes in varying frequencies. I’ve even done a virtual drop-in (look for an upcoming piece about that). Please check with your preferred CrossFit for details.
Blackbird, as well as other CrossFits are offering virtual memberships. This is fair and reasonable, considering they must pay their coaches for their time and are offering good programming. Another very important point is we want all of our owners, many who are like family to us, to make it to the other side of this. Blackbird’s online unlimited monthly membership is $95. And the nice thing is you don’t have to be a regular member to have a virtual membership. If you’re interested in learning more about their program, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear from other CrossFit owners to let us know what kinds of things you’re doing. Please feel free to comment on this post. If you have a preferred CrossFit, I encourage you to reach out to them. I also encourage you to pass this along, whether it’s Blackbird’s program or another one.
These are unusual times. We need to stay consistent for our physical health and, quite frankly, our sanity. Now more than ever. We also can’t do this without our CrossFit owners. We need to help each other through the storm so we all emerge from this a healthier and stronger community.
As my usual closing remark of wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels does not apply these days, I will instead wish for all of you to stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong in mind, body and spirit.