What’s in your gym bag? Gym Gear Guide
Here’s how the typical CrossFit journey typically goes.
Step 1: Reach out to the gym for more information.
Step 2: Sign up for the gym.
Step 3: On Ramp.
Step 4: Group classes.
Step 5: …. LET’S BUY ALL OF THE GEAR!!
I need those sweet CrossFit shoes!
I need those awesome knee sleeves!
Wrist wraps? Never thought of that. THROW’EM IN THE CART!
Weight belt? Sure, why not!
Oh, they use tape here? Well make me look like a mummy! GET ME SOME TAPE!
Easy there, Tiger.
While a lot of the gear you see in CrossFit definitely has benefits, you don’t need any of it.
That’s right. You don’t need any of it.
You don’t need weightlifting shoes.
You don’t need wrist wraps.
You don’t need a weight belt.
You don’t need gymnastics grips.
You can get very, very fit and exceedingly healthy without ever buying anything deemed for “CrossFit.”
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s actually dive into some of the benefits for each of the major things in question when it comes to gear, and what we at Yellow Rose would recommend!
Omg, shoes. Let’s get some shoes.
While the same holds true for shoes (you don’t NEED special CrossFit shoes), in my opinion, proper shoes for our training style is the most important piece of gear you could get. What we do here is a bit different than just running, or just doing a body pump class, or just lifting weights.
We sort of do it all.
We run. We jump. We lift. We squat. We perform highly agile movements.
We need a shoe that is going to support us through all of this.
The style of shoe that we recommend: anything with a flat bottom, minimal heel to toe drop, and overall shoe flexibility.
- Flat bottom: we need a stable surface for our heavy squats, deadlifts, and weightlifting movements.
- Minimal heel to toe drop: we don’t want our body pitched forward like you find in running shoes. We want our body to be centered.
- Flexibility: we still do run, jump, climb… all of those fun things that an excessively clunky shoe wouldn’t allow.
Luckily, there are plenty of shoes out there that can cover these.
Brands we would recommend?
- Nike Metcon or Metcon Flyknit
- Reebok Nano
These are the most widely recognized and “typical” CrossFit shoe… but they got that way for a reason. They’re really, REALLY good for what we do. If you’re looking for some new shoes to kick up your training, this is a great place to start.
After shoes, I think wrist wraps is the next most important gear purchase you could make (and not just because we conveniently sell them at Yellow Rose).
One of the biggest pain points we hear from members whenever they get started…
“Do your wrists ever stop hurting?”
Well, yes and no. Sort of depends on who you are. I usually train without wrist wraps whenever we do any sort of pressing overhead, handstand push ups, push ups, etc… but there are others that are always going to feel that bit of twinge in their wrist. Your bone structure, genetic makeup, and press technique will determine if you really *need* wrist wraps or not! Make sure you get a coach to watch your presses to see if we can offer any advice to keep the wrists from hurting!
Not only do the wrist wraps provide comfort and stability to the wrists/forearms, they’re also fantastic sweat bands and keep your hands from getting exceedingly sweaty. It’s a win win with these guys.
Yellow Rose sells custom CFYR Wrist wraps for $25, or you could purchase some from Amazon for a little cheaper.
Not scotch tape, but athletic tape. Tape is remarkably useful if you find yourself getting blisters or hot spots on your fingers. Just a quick wrap of some tape will do the trick!
Gloves are really great if your hands are feeling a bit beat up, sore, or you’re getting blisters in the palms of your hand. We don’t necessarily have a “preferred” brand of gloves because everyone is going to have their own preferences. If you get any sort of workout glove off of Amazon, that’ll work!
The gloves that I personally prefer are auto mechanic gloves, specifically the brand “Mechanix.” They’re thin and flexible, yet still provide a lot of grip. You can get those from Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, or AutoZone.
Gymnastics Grips are a more flexible alternative to gloves. These are specifically used when we’re doing any sort of gymnastics movements where you’re required to “hang” from the pull up bar (pull ups, muscle ups, toes to bar, knees to chest etc). They provide some extra grip, and some extra protection!
We recommend “Victory Grips.” You can find them at www.victorygrips.com
As a coach, I actually encourage people to NOT use a weightlifting belt as often as I can. In short, it teaches people to rely on an artificial set of abs, rather than learning how to properly brace and control your body… but I digress…
They still have their value in giving extra support to the midline whenever we are training TRULY heavy loads for higher reps. You do not need a weight belt at all, but if you do want to get one, we recommend any weight belt from Harbinger. You can find those on Amazon.
Sort of along the same lines as the weightlifting belts, knee sleeves can provide some psychological dependence on them… but they still have their value in keeping your knees warm, providing extra support, and giving you a little extra padding on your knees when we’re doing high volume squat workouts.
We recommend “Rehband” Knee sleeves. The 5mm sleeves will be a little more flexible, while the 7mm provide more support. You can also find them on Amazon, but heads up! They only ship in one per package. You’ll need to buy 2!
These are very, very much the last thing you should be concerned with…. Mainly because they’re only good for one thing: strength training. While we do strength training, it’s not the only thing we do. We would much rather see you invest some money into some Metcons or Nanos before you invested in weightlifting shoes.
Weightlifting shoes are extremely stable due to the hard plastic (or in some cases, block of wood) in the heel. The heel is also elevated to allow for greater ankle flexion and mobility. This is great whenever you are squatting maximal loads or performing olympic lifts, but the benefits pretty much stop there. If you were signing up for a weightlifting competition, these would be optimal. But for your regular old CrossFit classes? Definitely not necessary!
If you did want to get some weightlifting shoes, we would recommend…
- Nike Romaleos
- Adistar Weightlifting Shoes (Adidas)
- Reebok Legacy Lifters
Again, you absolutely do not need any of these things, but they do have their values and benefits!
If you have any questions, let us know! We’re happy to help!