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The Trifecta of Stink
Written by Zach Erick

The beauty of human movement can sometimes be the best part of being a CrossFit Coach. As I look around the gym, kettlebells are swinging, runners are running, thrusters are…thrusting? While I walk through the rows of athletes repping out any given movement as fast as possible, it hits me. Almost as if Hades, the God of the Underworld and the Dead, opened his gym locker and an unholy stench pours out.

The foul stench I’m talking about is very distinct. A combination of body odor, mildew, and Axe body spray. I like to refer to is as the “Trifecta of Stink.” It stops me in my tracks every time. If I could pinpoint the culprit, I would gladly pull them aside and politely ask “When was the last time you washed your gym shorts?” Alas, the circumference of the stench is too broad, and I would hate to prosecute someone until proven stinky.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I am going to give you some tips and techniques to control the sometimes difficult task of controlling your odor in the gym. Luckily these are all very simple changes to implement, and have profound effects on the way you smell while you workout.

Tip #1- Apply deodorant before working out. Keep an extra stick in your gym bag so that when you arrive to the gym, you can apply a quick swipe and have your pits smelling like vetiver and orange cloves. We even have some free samples for you in case you forgot yours – just ask!

Tip #2- PUT DOWN THE AXE! The “Trifecta of Stink” can only stand on it’s three legs with the special ingredient- Axe (or any “body spray” for that matter). We don’t want you smelling bad as you workout, but we also don’t want you smelling like you’re doing a keg stand with your bros at the Frat house. Ladies, this applies equally to you as well. Try not to walk into the gym covered in any sort of perfume or scented body lotion.

Tip #3- Let your workout clothes dry before putting them in a laundry basket. If they go straight into a gym bag or hamper, your clothes will start to produce mold and mildew. You may not be able to smell it, but everyone else can. Once your clothes have produced mold and mildew, it is hard to get rid of it. If it gets to that point, its time to toss out the source of the smell or attempt to wash the item with borax, vinegar, or baking soda. Simply pour two cups of baking soda in machine for a large load, then pour two cups of white vinegar where you would normally pour bleach.

Tip #4- If you wear the same gym shorts or shirt throughout the week without washing it, stop that now! This should be a ticketed offense. As I stated earlier, if you throw your clothes in a gym bag without letting them dry, they will produce mold and mildew. If you wear those same clothes, again, you are ostracizing yourself when it’s time to partner up, distracting the members from their workout, and possibly causing nausea. If I can taste what your clothes smell like from 20 feet away (true story), that item needs to either be…

  1. Chained to a cinder block and thrown off the Coronado bridge


  1. Executed “Walking Dead” style with a baseball bat to the head and incinerated in a open field

Hopefully you have learned a thing or two in the art of personal scent. If you follow these rules you will make the gym a much more enjoyable environment for everyone – and their noses. Join me in the fight against the “Trifecta of Stink” and we can all take a nice deep breath through our nose without any hesitation.

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October 25, 2014 9:55 pm

True story man! But, what’s vetiver? And why should I want to smell like orange cloves? Just sayin…

Zach Erick
Zach Erick
October 27, 2014 7:15 am
Reply to  Zog

Vetiver is mainly cultivated for the fragrant essential oil distilled from its roots. In perfumery, the older French spelling, vetyver, is often used. Worldwide production is estimated at about 250 tons per annum.[12] Due to its excellentfixative properties, vetiver is used widely in perfumes. It is contained in 90% of all western perfumes. Vetiver is a more common ingredient in fragrances for men; some notable examples include Dior’s Eau Sauvage, Guerlain Vetiver, Zizan by Ormonde Jayne and Vetiver by L’Occitane.

and because who doesn’t like the smell of an orange!?

October 27, 2014 8:47 am
Reply to  Zach Erick

Thanks Wikipedia….can’t wait to bring my new orange scented axe body spray to the gym today. They call it Agent Orange; very pungent