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Pandemic WOD, Mask On. by Coach Julia

CrossFit prepares us to adapt as athletes to unprecedented circumstances. In 2020, that has ranged from Zoom workouts to outdoor WODs to everything in between. Finally, we are reunited as a community indoors, with a new twist - a face mask. While wearing a mask while exercising is not ideal, it is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us. Mask wearing reduces risk and allows us to be united as a community once again. However, it is of course not without challenges. Here are some helpful tips for working out with your mask on.

  1. Proper Fabric, Proper Fit. First, ensure the mask is fitted properly and completely covers your nose and mouth. It should fit snugly to your cheeks, but you should be able to speak freely. If your mask is slipping below your nose during the workout, you might need to look into a different size or style. While preferences vary for the optimal mask fabric, surgical masks and “athletic/performance” masks seem to be the most popular for CrossFit.

  2. Manage Expectations - Like anything else, adaptation takes time. When working out with a face mask, it is absolutely normal to fatigue faster. In the beginning, it is vital to understand this and take caution as you exert yourself. Pay attention to how you feel. If you notice you are getting tired or lightheaded, make sure you pace yourself. If you need to remove your mask for any reason, you are welcome to go outside to get fresh air. As you continue to exercise with a mask on, your body will get more efficient at doing so.

  3. Keep it Clean - Avoid touching your face during the workout. Practice hand washing and/or sanitizing when entering the gym and before & after touching your mask. If you are not using a disposable mask, be sure to wash your mask after every workout. This will prevent the build-up of bacteria, dust, and other particles. Your skin (and your lungs) will thank you!

  4. Bring A Spare - Having a spare mask handy may be useful if your mask gets damp quickly during exercise. For example, exiting the building to change between the strength and the metcon may be preferential for some individuals. Be sure to follow hand-washing and hygiene protocols when changing.

Lastly, remember… this too shall pass. Here at Stealth, we are united by our resilience. Although much of this feels like we are halfway through a brutal chipper, there is always an end in sight. Most of all, we know we will come out the other side stronger. Soon enough, we’ll get to see each other’s bright smiles at the call of “TIME!” once again.

Sending many social-distanced fist bumps,

Coach Julia


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