By Coach Cheyenne
I have coached runners for the past 7 years. I can honestly say I am a minimalist in tech gear. The main thing I want my runners to have is a good watch. CrossFit is a more complex sport than running. There’s running, jumping, throwing, lifting, and gymnastic moves, which includes hanging from the rig. I learned pretty quick that there were a few more important items of gear that is needed in CrossFit. The first few items I bought were wrist wraps, a good jump rope, and knee sleeves. Later I bought CrossFit shoes, lifting shoes, weight belt, and I tried several types of grips for the rig. I will go through each one and why they are important to have.
Wrist Wraps– These are the things I use the most. Wrist wraps help you when doing a lot of push-ups, handstand push-ups, and heavy lifting with the bar and give your wrists some extra support.
Jump Rope– The lighter jump rope is needed to help hit those wonderful double unders.
Knee Sleeves– I first was interested in knee sleeves when I hurt my knee (running up a steep hill). I needed something to give my knee some extra support. We use the knee sleeves to support our knees when lifting heavy.
Shoes specifically for CrossFit– There are many CrossFit shoes to choose from. As a running coach, I would give the advice of going any trying on several of the shoes and see which one feels best to your foot. CrossFit shoes have soles that are relatively flexible, but firm. A firmer sole allows stability when lifting. Most of the shoes have a grip on the inner part of the arch to help grip the rope on rope climbs.
Olympic Lifting shoes– Olympic lifting shoes are not a versatile as the other CrossFit shoes like Nanos, Speeds, and Grace. Olympic lifting shoes are for what the name says for Olympic lifts: squats, snatches, clean and jerks, and all the variances of these lifts. Olympic lifting shoes have a little lift in the heal to give you a little more flexibility in your ankle.
Weight belt– I’ve heard and read both good and bad about weight belts. It can be used to help you to remember to keep your core tight. Some say it can be used as a crutch. Since I have had problems with my back in the past, I use one….it might just be for peace of mind.
Grips for the Rig– I have tried several grips for the rig: Jaw grips, leather grips, and many homemade kinds out of athletic tape. I’ve come to realize that my bare hands with chalk have been the best. If you have had luck with certain types of grip, I envy you! Please share what you use!
Last but not least, find an app or just write down all your PRs (personal records) so that you can find your 70%, 80%, 90% of your 1 RM (Repetition Maximum) or just so you know when you set a new PR. You won’t be disappointed if you do this!
When buying gear, ask around what others are using and what has worked for them, but most importantly research the gear yourself. Figure out what works best for you since we are all unique. If you’re worried about buying everything at once, don’t. Most of us have accumulated our gear over a year or two. There will be sales on all the different gear throughout the year. If you’re looking to buy some of this cool stuff, look around for sales too. It could definitely save you some money. Happy shopping!