Wut up? Happy Thursday. The weekend is almost here! What are you doing for 4th of July? Hopefully celebrating America, that’s for sure. And hopefully something that involves being outside in this great land we live in, and something that involves using your fitness – which doesn’t have to always be in a gym, but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Free country. Duh. 

Today I wanted to talk about two people who mean a lot to me – Salem and Jack Smith. But before I get started, check out their website here.  You can read all about them and purchase pretty gear there. 

Here they are. All sweaty from their FIRST competition together, but still looking good. Props to them, or any couple for that matter, willing to take on the challenge of competing on the same team. Daniel and I tried it once when we started CrossFit (it was only a partner WOD on a Saturday) and I was so mean to him. I suck sometimes. But Jack and Salem are rockstars for competing together and still being alive to talk about it.

 I’ve known Jack since last September ish, when he started coming to CFEC. I remember him showing up on a Saturday in a Jeep Patriot with Jacked Up Fitness all over his car. I was so confused because I had never heard of this Jacked Up Fitness thing. But I thought it was cool that his name was Jack, and he sold shirts and tanks that talked about being JACKED UP. Nothing wrong with that. His cute, little pregnant wife, Salem, came by the gym from time to time, but she was about to pop with their now practically toddler Raegan. Just kidding. She’s not even 1, but watch out world, she’s movin’ and groovin’. Soon after Salem birthed Raegan, she was in the gym too. I’m very thankful for this because Salem and Raegan both workout at 8:30 every single day. And I say “both” because Raegan has been so inspired by her mom working out that she likes to get a workout in of her own while she’s there. Today that involved her taking off in a walker and strolling out into the parking lot while Salem was pulling a sled. It’s great. 4 of us ran after her, but Salem got to her first. Literally, baby just going for a ride.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of stories about Jack and Salem, BUT I’ll just share some of the coolest things about them and talk a little about JACKED UP FITNESS and how it’s taking the fitness world by storm. 

I’ll never forget Jack coming in the gym one morning at 5 am, and handing me a grey tank. It looked pretty cool, and I’m all about a good tank. He told me that a lot of girls these days love these things called “crop tops” and I could cut it if I wanted to. Little did he know that crop tops are my fav, BUT the tank felt too nice to cut up. Since then, Jack has probably passed out a good bit of tanks, asking nothing in return. People remember that kind of stuff.

Salem is rocking being a new mom. Turns out we played several years in the same NC soccer tournament against each other in high school. Small world. I already mentioned this earlier, but Salem brings Raegan to workout with her every morning. I think it’s great that she gets to watch her mom workout. Although she’s not even a year old, I know she’s impacted and will continue to be impacted by watching her mom throw weight around and do burpees. 

Ok, so JACKED UP FITNESS… What’s the story behind it? I didn’t fully know, so I asked (as in got Jack and Salem to text it to me). 

The concept came to Jack about 4 years ago while he was working out in a gym in Seneca, SC. Jacked up Fitness sounded cool, and he wanted to provide a quality workout shirt at a reasonable price to people. Two years ago, Jack reached out to an agency in Greenville, and they helped him turn this dream into a reality. The logo was established, and Jacked Up Fitness went live in October 2015. For the next year, Jacked Up Fitness slowly evolved. However, over the past 6-8 months, it has really taken off. Leave it to CrossFitters to jump on board and go ALL IN on a good product. And leave it to CrossFitters to tell the world all about said product. If you know, you know. For real…like everyone has a Jacked Up Fitness tank or shirt. You won’t come to a class at CFEC without seeing at least a few people with one on, and now it’s starting to spread to other gyms in the upstate. Salem has taken over their social media, along with a handful of other things, which hasn’t hurt with JUF spreading even further. 

The coolest thing about the Jacked Up Fitness brand is that it goes way beyond cool tanks, and shirts, and hats, and wrist wraps. It’s about the fitness community behind it – aka the people, and I’ve been able to witness that first hand. JUF + CrossFit has built a community within itself – people of all walks of life, coming together, all because of a cool brand. It’s unique, it’s trendy, and everyone loves having something to connect with and bond over. Salem said her favorite thing about JUF is how it brings people together – from the same gym, from different gyms, and just all over. She said it’s cool to see people wearing their gear at competitions and other fitness events.

It’s not about the money they make through it. Jack said he loves seeing people work out in JUF gear, and if it were possible, he would just give it all away for free. And I believe him. And if you know Jack and Salem, then you prob believe this too. They care about people. And they show it. For example, every purchase comes delivered with a personal note from them. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me. This is mine from this morning. 

This is one of my favorite pics ever, and I think it shows perfectly how a brand ( + a little bit of sweat) can bring people together. This was last Friday, after a grueling 20 min AMRAP, yet everyone is happy and smiling. Nobody looks alike. Everyone is different – with different jobs, families, interests, and favorite colors. Yet, fitness + Jacked Up Fitness brought them together enough to smile after that grueling AMRAP on a Friday morning. 

As far as CrossFit goes, I think they are hooked. I mean, Jack is the first one at the gym every morning- aka pre 5 am- even before the coaches (or at least he’s always there before me when I am coaching). I don’t know how he does it. Even during the Open, he did his workouts Friday night, yet he was still at the gym at 5 am that morning just to be there. His favorite thing about CrossFit is the people that make each gym what it is. It’s about family and community. In fact, Jack and Salem have met some of their best friends at CFEC over the past year.  Salem posted something on instagram a couple of weeks ago, and she gave me permission to share it.

This post pretty much speaks for itself. But in case you need a translation….this is the perfect representation of a new mom attempting to make fitness a part of her life, push herself to do things she didn’t know she could do, and get stronger mentally and physically in the process. I think it’s pretty impressive. 

So, shoutout to Jack and Salem for following through with a vision, a plan, a brand. I know this is only the beginning for you guys, and I’m glad I get to workout alongside both of you. My life wouldn’t be the same without ya.