A CrossFitter’s Holiday Survival Guide: Part 1

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It’s all too easy to toss not just our work schedules, but also our self-care and the things that actually make us feel GOOD, out the window….It doesn’t have to be this way.
We love the festive spirit of the holidays. In our overworked, fast-moving world, this time of year can be an important change of pace in which we get to have fun with loved ones, give and receive hugs and gifts, and enjoy the smells, tastes, sights, and sounds of celebration. It’s a time to be present and full of gratitude.

So — why is it that the holidays too often turn out to be anything but that? Just do a web search for “holiday stress” and you’ll find an infinite number of guides on how to cope with holiday-induced stress and even depression. It’s all too easy to toss not just our work schedules, but also our self-care and the things that actually make us feel GOOD, out the window. Then, instead of feeling present and grateful, we feel bloated, fuzzy-headed, and racked with guilt — and can’t wait to go home and get started on our New Year’s resolutions. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Honor your hard work, honor yourself — and do your best to get your loved ones involved.
This guide, then, is really a manifesto of sorts — helping you to reclaim the spirit of the holidays by navigating these times in a balanced way. We want you to truly enjoy the holidays — and yes, that includes the delicious food that comes with them — while still being able to feel like a million bucks, something you’ve likely worked hard to achieve all year.

Honor your hard work, honor yourself — and do your best to get your loved ones involved. Because while it may take some effort in the beginning to establish new traditions, there’s no greater motivation to care for yourself than having your own tribe there to support you.
— Cindy Lau & Jeff Muya, Co-Founders of CrossFit Kindred


It’s that time of year again…the 6-week period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, during which your time and focus is split so many different ways that it’s difficult to maintain focus in your training and eating.
(**For best results, read this section first, THEN do the workouts.)

Your Approach to Training

So, what are some of the ways that you can deal with this period – so that at the very least, you have a plan that you are committed to? (That is, other than the default, “Whatever…it’s the holidays…I’ll get started again in January.”)

1. Give yourself a break.

Literally. Identify a 2-week period between Thanksgiving and New Years that you are going to TAKE OFF. And take it off! Completely! Now to make this effective, it means that during the other four weeks, you need to be as committed as ever to your diet and training.

2. STAPLE workout.

Identify ONE thing that is your staple. Something you like doing that takes almost ZERO effort. Commit to this on the days where normal training simply isn’t an option. Here are some ideas: run, stretch, mobilize, burpees, push-ups/sit ups. Once you’ve got the movement(s), pick a time domain and/or a rep scheme. Write it down. This is your STAPLE workout. Here are the steps to take to do this:

  • Choose 1, 2 or 3 movements (e.g. run, push ups)
  • Decide how much time you have (10, 15, 20 min)
  • Pick either “for time” or “as many rounds in X min” format
  • Decide a distance / reps for each movement
  • 3, 2, 1… GO!
  • Use the workout suggestions in the 2nd half of this guide to make it a “no-brainer” for yourself. All are designed to be fast and effective and take no time to get started, because they don’t require driving anywhere. You could even do it with another person to make it a bit more challenging.
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