It’s only natural to think about what gear to bring with you on the road.
Knowing you’re going to drop in, you want to be prepared but there’s a balance of not wanting to bring too much. So, the simple answer to the question is, it depends. Part of it is personal taste. What are your must-haves? If you must have your Nanos, for instance, then by all means bring them. What you’re comfortable with is going to dictate your priorities. I would not want to dictate it for you.
Rather, I’d like to discuss your options and let you prioritize from there. I personally place a priority on portability. So, I’m going to make that a foundation for my packing decisions.
The other factor is a little research. In the piece I wrote about finding the best places to drop-in, I discuss finding out what the workout(s) will be ahead of travelling if at all possible. Part of it is because it will help you in your packing decisions. For instance, if I don’t need my jump rope you can bet I’m leaving it at home.
Fortunately, there’s lots of useful gear that’s compact and easy to travel with. Let’s examine the possibilities. Keep in mind, you’re getting my perspective and these are tips based on my approach. You should make your decisions based on what’s best for you.
So, there’s lots to think about when preparing to drop in for your next trip. Hopefully, this will help you to consider some of your options. From there, it’s up to you to decide what’s important to have with you. My final suggestion here is to think about bringing what will help facilitate a successful workout.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
I made my second visit to CrossFit Schenectady on November 7, 2019. It was one of my first drop-ins a while back so there was several months between my first visit and this one. A couple of coworkers from my office in Albany are members there and one of them recommended them to me.
On opportunities where I can make a return visit, I’ll always say it’s good to come back because it allows me to see how consistent they are. In this case, the consistency was a good thing, as I had a positive experience each time.
CrossFit Schenectady is located, where else, but Schenectady, NY. It’s close to Albany and maybe a 15 minute drive from the Albany airport.
When I called ahead each time I left a message and the owner, Helen, got back to me quickly. I typically don’t have to ask what the WOD will be because they usually post a few days ahead on their web site. I still like to call to let them know that I’m coming. That can be telling as to how welcoming a place is (no issues in this case).
When I arrived for the 5:20pm class, Helen asked me if I was Matt and welcomed me. There were three or four members in the lobby area and she introduced me to them.
I then proceeded to get a wipe for my shoes, coming in from the outside, as that’s their policy and I knew the drill from my last visit. The first impression you’ll get when walking out on their floor is clean.
But let’s save that for the details. (As always, all ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells)
There’s two big positives here. Helen is responsive and the web site has a good amount of information.
When I call, she’s always gotten back to me quickly. She’ll answer any questions about the workout. The first time we spoke a while back she gave me some background information on herself. She also gave a good sense that they are quite welcoming of drop-ins.
The web site gives a lot of information. The WOD is posted on there. Sometimes there’s a few days in advance posted. There’s a section on coaches that offers their approach and coaching philosophies. At first I thought the sight offered no specifics on their coaches/certifications. There are some pictures on the page that you have to hover over to get the coaches name and click on to see their individual information.
There is a means of signing up for a drop in online, including signing their waiver and paying.
There’s only one word I can use to describe the cleanliness at CrossFit Schenectady – IMMACULATE. I’ve never seen anything like it and I’d be surprised if I ever do again. I came in for a 5:20 pm class and it looked like no one had been on the floor all day. This place literally shines.
Helen and her coaches are disciplined about cleanliness and create a culture where members take care of the equipment. If you wear your CrossFit shoes in from the parking lot, you’ll wipe down the soles of them prior to stepping on to the floor to work out.
After using equipment, you are either told to get a wipe or a wipe is handed to you to clean up what you’ve been working with.
Some may see this as overzealous. However, this is someone’s business and I think it’s a good practice to preserve an environment that has to take some punishment. I’m pretty stingy on handing out a 5-barbell rating but there’s no question here.
This is a pretty decent size facility. It doesn’t feel crowded. Although I haven’t been there for a class of more than 10, it looks like it can handle more comfortably.
The cleanliness approach at CrossFit Schenectady carries over to equipment condition. Nothing looks abused. Everything is well taken care of.
When I went there earlier in the year, I recall they had some older plates but it appears they’ve upgraded some equipment.
There’s plenty of plates and barbells. I noticed four rowers but may not have seen them all. There were no problems with equipment availability. There’s two rigs on opposite sides of the floor – and not a trace of chalk on anything. Everything is very well organized.
This workout was strictly strength; Clean and Jerk. It was during the open and just after a clean and jerk week. Helen wanted to focus on technique, as it’s common to sacrifice quality of movements while working for speed during the open.
We started with rolling out on our own and then stretching as a group. We then spent the remainder of the first half of class working on proper technique on the clean and jerk. Then we worked on the lift for the remainder of class. We ended on a quick 3 rounds of sit-ups and air squats.
Just as Helen is meticulous about her facility and equipment, she is focused on proper technique and movement. There was a lot of repetition in her warmup and one move built on the other in her instruction. I mentioned this isn’t my first time here and my experience with the other coach (Tina) was similar.
Helen worked her way around the class (there were about 8 of us) and I noticed she was giving me a scrutinizing look. I was working on my clean and she said “I normally do screw with my drop-ins but…”, to which I replied by all means, I welcome any feedback. She then proceeded to point out something I needed to fix. I’m always grateful for feedback and I’ve accumulated several bits of helpful knowledge in my travels. Sometimes, someone can expresses something in a way where it clicks.
Although, I don’t know the membership numbers here, CrossFit Schenectady has a small community feel. Everyone seems to know each other. Several of them sit together before and after class to chat (I noticed this both times I’ve visited). Everyone was friendly and welcoming.
In class, there was some commenting back and forth between members. It wasn’t too much and it wasn’t distracting. There was also encouragement among one another.
CrossFit Schenectady has a relaxed vibe. They take their workouts seriously but it’s not intense. There’s no pressure and it’s easy to feel comfortable there.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
The cost to drop in to CrossFit Schenectady is $20. They also offer a 10-visit punch card good for use over a year for $99, which is an excellent value.
I purchased a shirt on my first visit and, to the best of my recollection, the cost is $20. There seems to be sufficient supply and a few different options.
CrossFit Schenectady is a good place to get a great workout. It’s a little off the beaten path but not far enough where it’s a deterrent if you’re in the Albany area. I’ve never seen a cleaner CrossFit. For overall experience, CrossFit Schenectady checks off all the boxes.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
296 Morris Road
Schenectady, NY 12303
I use the term going off the rails. What does it mean? When I don’t have eating discipline. When does it happen? Often. However, the overall goal is to create enough consistency to have positive results.
You may or may not be on a nutrition program and whether you are or you’re not I think we can all agree there’s two types of eating decisions; good ones and bad ones. I also think we can all agree that it’s easier to stay on track at home. The goal is to make a decent amount more good decisions than bad.
I’m on a nutrition plan called Healthy Steps Nutrition and have a nutrition coach (coach Steve, who I’ll refer to in most of my nutrition discussions) who’s put me on a good path. I recommend a plan like this because it helps you to find and focus on good choices to stay on a positive track. I’ve had great results so far, losing significant body fat while gaining muscle mass. CrossFit definitely helps build muscle but the right food helps with building muscle too – food is fuel! The point being if you can establish a basis for good eating, it’s a lot easier to find good eating choices and stay on track no matter where you go.
You’ll often see me write about the temptations of the road, and there’s lots of them. And it’s okay to indulge. But the difference between going off the rails and preventing a total train wreck is this (and here’s my main point for today); if you go off the rails and get right back on track, you can still win. One bad day will not offset many good days. Coach Steve often says if you have an off day (like Thanksgiving), and there’s many opportunities when travelling, just start over focusing on good habits the next day.
I fully admit I can be a total sugar addict. Staying at a hotel that has fresh baked cookies? That’s like kryptonite to me. Is it possible to have just one? I think not. And that’s because sugar is addictive. I don’t need to be an expert to say that. Have you ever found that after you’ve had something sugary you immediately want another? Yep. That’s the sugar addiction.
A huge help is having good alternatives. Nutrition bars like an RX Bar have lots of protein and fulfills that craving for sweet. Or, if you have a fridge in your hotel one of my favorite snacks is Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt. It’s sweet, comes in lots of flavors, packs 15g of protein and fills you up.
But I’ve also had the hotel cookies and reset the next day and have been fine. What’s most important is to not throw your hands up and say “well, I’ve blown it so I’m not going to try anymore”. If you keep trying every day, even if you have a few bad days, don’t give up. The temptations of the road are strong but you can be stronger. So, if you have an off day or days or even an off trip, think about getting back on track for your next meal or next day. It’s the overall focus and regular good habits that will lead you to success.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
Here’s the disclaimer: I am not a nutrition expert, coach or program or product representative. I am not ordained in any way as having expertise on the topic of nutrition. These are my experiences on what has worked for me and how I’ve found success. I will share tips that have been shared with me by my nutrition coach (coach Steve) and have permission to do so. I may also share ideas or point to recipes from the nutrition program that I adhere to; Healthy Steps Nutrition. The point being, I am a regular person sharing my nutrition experiences that I hope you find helpful and you may find that different things work for you.