During spring training last year, MLB.com Orioles reporter Brittany Ghiroli and her sister, April, came up with an idea for a new website.
The pair noticed it was difficult to find reliable content on fitness training. It was challenging to sift through the plethora of misinformation on the internet about CrossFit training, powerlifting, weightlifting and Strongman. How do you find a solid nutrition program? They started brainstorming about a website that would provide information to improve the quality of a workout. The Athlete Daily was born.
"If you want to read about Chris Davis, you can Google him and get your fill pretty easily," Ghiroli said. "When it comes to working out, there are a lot of misconceptions. There are no good fitness websites. April and I were both Division I athletes, and we couldn't find any good fitness websites. We launched the site last June and were surprised by how many people enjoyed it."
Along with a steady flow of helpful hints and suggestions to stay on the leading edge of the rapidly evolving fitness landscape, the Athlete Daily provides inspiring stories, including a piece on a 16-year-old boy who can lift 400 pounds; a female athlete who overcame weight struggles and is empowering herself through CrossFit; weightlifting workout routines while injured; and on the growing number of women discovering the benefits of weightlifting. The website strives to educate people to be smart about their training.
The Ghiroli sisters grew up in Connecticut and were active in sports. Their father was a football and hockey player. The girls played street hockey and practiced taekwondo. Ghiroli swam for Michigan State, and her sister played softball at the University of Pittsburgh.
"On Mondays and Fridays, we had softball practice, swimming practice and karate," said April Ghiroli, a competitive power lifter, CrossFit instructor and social media manager for the National Pro Grid League. "That's four hours of sports. My dad had a set of barbells, and we did squats on the dining room chairs. That was crazy."
The Athlete Daily dispels the current prevailing myths about working out, such as the importance of cardio and losing weight.
"Everyone is obsessed with being small and getting on the treadmill," Brittany Ghiroli said. "Weightlifting doesn't mean ‘big and bulky.' It's OK to create muscle. It's OK to eat carbs. It's empowering to lift. How else will you withstand falls? We live in a culture of sitting, and our bodies can do so much more."
During the baseball season, with so many night games, it can be a challenge for Brittany Ghiroli to get in her CrossFit training. When she showed up at spring training this year, manager Buck Showalter took notice.
"He told me I was in better shape than some of his players on the team," she said. "Players have asked me for training tips."
As the Athlete Daily continues to grow, the Ghiroli sisters share a vision to motivate and help people in their fitness pursuits. The site is updated once a week with an even mix of content addressing issues and highlighting athletes. April Ghiroli has just qualified for a national power lifting competition, and their mother started CrossFit a few months ago.
"Mom just beat a large chunk of our family in bowling this past weekend, and she attributes it to CrossFit," Brittany Ghiroli said. "You can take up a sport after 55. You can compete against yourself. See what your body can do. You can push yourself. We were made to move."
Issue 231: March 2017