Crossfit in the Airport

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is pretty difficult when you’re traveling. You’re trying to catch flights, so it seems perfectly justifiable to cram whatever’s available in your feed hole and skip your 15-minute power walk.

Just recline your seat after takeoff, enjoy last summer’s blockbuster and some Everybody Loves Raymond, and wait for the hot beef or chicken entree.

Or you could try exercising in the airport.

We enjoy breaking social convention and doing unusual things in general, so it only took a few seconds to go from everyday travelers to the founding members of the Terminal E Fitness Club.

“Check it out, they have showers in this one!”
“Man, perfect! We can do Crossfit while we wait for our next flight!”

It doesn’t help that burpees could be mistaken for the most extreme way to praise Allah before hijacking an airliner. Which is one of the reasons we were so eager to leave the US. How silly is it that in “the land of the free” we have to worry about perfectly legitimate activities arousing suspicion enough to prevent us from traveling?

We did a workout called a “deck of cards.” The idea is that you assign each suit an exercise and each card corresponds to a number of repetitions of that exercise (so the Ace of Hearts would be 14 burpees).

Usually you draw all 52 cards one by one, doing what each one prescribes, but without a physical deck of cards we just work backwards from 14. Burpees, body weight squats, V-ups or sit-ups, and push-ups. If you think it sounds easy, give it a whirl.

Crossfit is ideal for people who want to be all-around fit and get there as efficiently as possible. The workouts are always different but short, intense, and comprehensive.

President’s Club

It’s totally scalable for anyone from old ladies to Hulk Hogan and it’s designed to target every aspect of fitness (e.g. strength, agility, stamina). They put daily workouts online that take all your muscle groups into account over time.

After four months I’m pretty proud when I catch a glimpse of myself coming out of the shower. I’m definitely in the best shape of my life.

We’ll miss Adam, Katie, and the afternoon class at Crossfit Austin. We’re heading out to do the workout of the day on the Avenida Balboa: three rounds of an 800m run, 50 back extensions, and 50 sit-ups.

If you have 30-45 minutes to spare — and I know you do — you should do the same.

12 thoughts on “Crossfit in the Airport”

  1. ok now i’m so glad i wasn’t with you when you were doing situps in the airport. burppes i mean, excuse me.

  2. No offense there Tynan my man, but I see no noticeable Crossfit effect in your physical body. That’s not to say that you’re not significantly stronger than before, but in terms of muscle mass gain, do you still recommend Crossfit?

    And this is not only you: 99% of the people on the Crossfit blogs are not large, and some look downright scrawny. What’s the big deal? Am I missing something here? These exercises look like warm-ups to me. Child’s play.

    It’s a gimmick in my opinion – and a quite expensive one at that. If you compare Crossfit memberships across the country with normal gym fees, you’ll see that in some cities its double or even triple the price. Look at the regulars at the gyms; now look at the dudes at Crossfit. One difference: muscles.

    And Crossfit runs all these hokey competitions and forums for this “training,” sort of like a club of its own. Let’s call it what it is: resistance training. Cardio. It’s the same thing, except with Crossfit you stay skinny it seems 🙂

    I have failed to grasp what Crossfit does differently.

  3. You guys should check out never gymless. It’s somewhat similar, but targeted towards gymless, travelling people like you.

  4. You guys should check out “The Naked Warrior” by Pavel Tsatsouline. When your entire workout is one-armed pushups and one-legged squats, you can work out anywhere and get tremendously strong.

  5. Jay,

    I’ve definitely made huge gains. In four months I’ve gone from 0 muscle definition to very significant muscle definition. I gained about 15 pounds in the beginning because I was eating enough, but I found it hard to maintain that high level of eating.

    For most exercises I now push twice as much weight as I did when I started. I may have gone a little easy on myself in the beginning, so let’s say 50% more to be safe.

    I’ve been totally thrilled with Crossfit, as have my friends. I’d definitely recommend trying it for a couple months and seeing what kind of gains you get.


  6. Thanks Tynan. Much respect for trying it out. I do get in the gym regularly, so it won’t be too much of a jump for me. In your case, you have to do what you need when you’re travelling!

    Can we look forward to pictures of you guys doing Crossfit in the Panamanian jungle? 🙂

  7. Jay, crossfit is essentially high intensity cardio with olympic lifts added in, and very few isolation exercises. It’s geared heavily towards performance. Check out the videos at if you want to see what some of the top guys can do. Again, they’re not always huge but they can do some crazy stuff. This is essentially what the military uses for training.

  8. Nice one! I just posted about Violating Cultural Constraints but it seems you’re taking things to a new level…

    One question: How did you guys get into the president’s club?! Surely you haven’t done enough flying for that yet since you’re at the start of your journey… or did you just buy a membership from the start, so you could travel (and stay fit) in style?

  9. Dude, Ty! I saw your arm definition. I remember a year? or so ago you and Evan walked into my office and you were rail thin. I thought you were sick. You had just started the vegan thing.


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