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A Visit to CrossFit Shadyside

15 Oct

A few weeks back, while traveling for work in Pittsburgh, I had some unexpected free time.  So what did I do?  Immediately googled local CrossFit gyms.  A quick search revealed a box not even 2 blocks away from the hotel I was staying at! Boom! I took my chances that they’d let me drop-in without advanced notice and showed up at a 6:30am class.  I was greeted by Erin, one of the coaches, filled out a quick waiver and had no issues joining the class.


Crossfit Shadyside is actually located in the bottom part of Ryer Martial Arts Academy. and initially was less than half the size it currently is.  I snapped some pictures of the space to give you an idea of the layout, but it’s a decent size and has lots of equipment tucked away that you can’t see.  IMG_9418[1]




One of my favorite parts of the gym (and something that immediately caught my attention) was the “Box Rules”.  They’re so perfect for anyone just joining CrossFit and a good reminder for those who have been doing it for a while.  🙂IMG_9415[1]

The WOD (workout of the day) started with 10 minutes of mobility work (rolling, stretching), followed by 4 rounds of max effort Handstand Push-Ups (for me, modified by using a box), 2 minutes rest, then 8 bent over rows (using barbell), 30 russian twists (I used a 20lb med ball).  Finally, we completed a max effort 1000 m row, rested 5 minutes and finished with 4 RFT (rounds for time) of 3 push presses (85% of our 1 rep maximum weight) and 15 toes-to-bar (knees to chest for me).  I can’t remember the weight I used for push presses (maybe 55lb?), but I know my shoulders and armpits were sore for days after this WOD.  Hello, handstand push-ups!

There were probably only 5 people in the class I took, so I can’t say how it is during more crowded sessions, but Erin made sure to check everyone’s form and give us feedback, critiques and encouragement during the workout.  She also made sure I knew where to grab equipment from, which was much appreciated because I was so unfamiliar with their gym.  At first, I couldn’t figure out where the med balls were–they’re kept in a wooden box built into a wall!  Erin has been a coach at Shadyside for about two years and really seemed to know her stuff.  I definitely think it’s important to have someone coaching who not only knows about crossfit movements, but isn’t afraid to correct you or make sure you have proper form.

After class, I got to chat a little more with Erin about the history of CrossFit Shadyside, and she took me upstairs to the giant martial arts area.  Of course, I also took the time to snag some Shadyside tees for the boyfriend and myself!

I’m so glad I was able to check out another box during my work travels (see my last box review here), and highly recommend CrossFit Shadyside if you’re in the Pittsburgh area.  I know I’ll definitely be back!

Do you like to explore local gyms during travel?  What do you look for most in a coach or fitness instructor?  Tell me about it!



How I Stay Healthy On The Go!

14 Oct

I’ve been on the road a bunch lately and if you follow along here at KH Nutrition, you know I’m also marathon training.  So how do I fit it all in?  Here are some of my tips for fitting in (healthy) eating and sweating when life gets super hectic:


  • Pack snacks.  I fully admit to being a crazy snack lady.  I don’t like getting stuck without food and get pretty cranky when I’m hungry, so I make sure to travel with fruit, KIND bars, trail mix, energy balls or anything else for on-the-go.

    Stash of hotel room snacks!

  • Make quick (& healthy) meals!  I love to cook, but I totally get it when people say they struggle with finding time to prepare meals.  But needing quick options is not reason to turn to fast food or other crap.  I rely heavily on some quality frozen items and canned beans/veggies to make my meals.  Trader Joe’s has a few really great options, like this Superfood Pilaf that I turn to for quick weeknight dinners or post-run refueling.
  • Drink lots of water.  I bring my Klean Kanteen (empty through security), which I can then fill up at airports, in the hotel, at my accounts, etc.  I always keep a water bottle at my desk to remind me to stay hydrated and like to use it as an excuse to get up from my desk a few times a day to refill!IMG_9272[1]
  • Check out your meal options in advance.  If you’re traveling, research the area you’re staying in and check out menus.  Look for healthy options in your hotel or on the room service menu, and ask locals for recommendations.


  • Utilize technology!  I’ve been loving Yoga, but you can use other great websites like Daily Burn that let you live stream workouts.1
  • Make exercise a priority.  It really is important to make fitness a part of your regular routine, just like you do with a favorite TV show.  If you’re working late hours or traveling, pass on a late-night dinner to squeeze in a workout.  Wake up an hour earlier.  I’m sure everyone has heard (or said) “I don’t have time to exercise”, but that’s just an excuse!  Make the time! f
  • Make it fun! Find local parks or trails to explore, ask for a free trial at a nearby gym or fitness class, link up with someone you know via social media.  In case you haven’t noticed, one of my favorite things to do is drop-in to a local CrossFit box during my travels.
  • Take advantage of what you can.  Many of the hotels I’ve been staying in have 24-hour fitness facilities, so I know I can squeeze a workout in, no matter how early or late I’ll be working.  Bring your swimsuit and jump in the pool or just use extra hotel floor space for stretching and yoga.

Staying on track with eating and sweating when life gets crazy is super important and will only help you to work more efficiently, feel better and live a happier life.

Tell me:  how do you fit healthy eating and exercising into your life?