The Essential list of CrossFit gear for Beginners
For beginners, buying your first CrossFit gear can be intimidating, but here’s the essential list you need to get you going.
When we all first start CrossFit, we turn up with our old pair of running trainers and old t-shirt we’re not bothered about and wonder why we’re paying so much money for something that hurts like hell.
CrossFit is a strange world where everyone seems allergic to clothing, there are way too many muscles to count (mainly from the ladies), and it’s a place where phrases such as “your snatch is amazing” are totally acceptable.
It’s no wonder that when it comes to finding the perfect CrossFit gear for you, you’re overwhelmed with the choice.
This article is designed to help you find the essentials because let’s be honest, you can never have too much CrossFit gear.
The Skipping Rope
Cast your memory back, for the majority of us, the last time we used a skipping rope was on the playground in primary school, and now you’re 6 months into CrossFit being told you not only need to learn how to skip but that the rope needs to go round twice. Yep. That is correct.
Double-Unders (DU) are certainly up there when it comes to the most frustrating skills to learn. Spending 10 minutes, twice a week is recommended if you’re keen to grasp the technique, but having your own rope will certainly help you to get there faster.
Whilst your local box might invest in some ropes, many of them will have kinks in them, throwing you off your game. The last thing you need when you’re already whipping yourself like an over-eager horse jockey is to have the tools not work for you.
There are many brands out there, and it is well worth researching what you want, but we would recommend SGF Ropes. We love to support local companies, and SGF have really got it down.
You can find them at many of the UK CrossFit competitions such as RainHill, where you can choose the handle you want, and they’ll measure the rope so that it is perfect for your height. If you look after your rope, it should last you the year with no problems and when you’re ready to give it some TLC, they will re-rope it for just £5.
Grippy McGripperson - Piscil Grips
You used to have such soft hands. Well moisturised, and you didn’t have to apologise every time you shook hands with someone at work.
Those were the days.
They are long gone now. Chalk is well embedded into the creases, permanently under your nails and calluses have grown on top of more calluses.
CrossFit involves many “gymnastic” movements on the rig such as toes-to-bar (TTB), pull-ups (PU), chest-to-bar (C2B), and if you’re a machine, muscle-ups (MU). Over a week, that’s a lot of volume on your palms, and at some point, you’re going to experience the rip.
You know the one, where one of the calluses just at the bottom of your finger rips open and you’re left wandering around the box palms face up like a toddler child who’s fallen over for the first time. There’s literally nothing you can do as it is the inevitable that happens to each and every one of us at some point. And then we get the second wave of pain while we stand in the shower burning our hands-off with the stinging sensation and are left with a hole in our hands.
Whilst I’ve painted a fairly graphic, but true, picture of either your past or future, there is one solution that can certainly help with your gymnastic movements and more importantly, your palms.
Piscil grips, according to WodMyLife offer - “Thin, soft, resistant and with the best grip that has ever been made thanks to its micro diamonds technology.”.
Absolutely, get the best of both worlds of really feeling the metal rig and having a soft texture to protect your hands.
You even have a choice with Piscil of what type of grips you want. You can either have two or three finger holes. Personally, for gymnastic movements, I’ve found three fingers have been better as there’s a larger surface area to cover hands.
More fabric = More protection = More reps. What’s not to love.
As you get more into CrossFit, you’ll discover there are many grip brands out there, but Piscil really is leading the way.
T-Shirts and Vest
This is pretty self-explanatory, but unlike a “traditional” gym, CrossFitters are renowned for doing their own strip tease halfway through a workout. Men and women alike, you’ll find their t-shirt and vest casually lying near some barbell.
Saying this, it’s important you get the low down on the CrossFit “fashion”. Many moons ago, CrossFitters would wear the loudest and brightest clothing going. Now it’s a bit more of a free for all, and everyone welcomes all different shades and colours.
However, there is one tradition that has stuck. Travelling CrossFit nomads’ collect box’s own branded t-shirts and vests from around the world. Yep, around the world! You can even see more on WodMyLife’s shop as a small taster of this.
It can range from heading to the local box of a friend on the other side of the country to going on holiday and ‘popping’ in for a quick WoD. But don’t forget to buy the t-shirt, or the workout didn’t happen, right?!
Either way, if you haven’t supported a CrossFit affiliate, head to their shop and grab yourself some merch. It’s the first step to being indoctrinated.
Shoes. It’s the first step.
Shoes for jumping. Shoes for running. Shoes for lifting in a workout. Shoes for just pure lifting. Spare shoes just in case your regular pair get dirty. Shoes so that all my outfits are coordinated….
The justification list just goes on and on. And you know what - we’re all ok with this. Shoe interventions are not a thing in CrossFit.
When they are such an integral part of CrossFit, there’s no such thing as too many. It’s also our cult calling signal in the “real world”. For example, if for one day, a CrossFit is let loose on a run outside of the box (no doubt on a Sunday), you might find they’ve gone out in either their Metcons or Nanos. As a signal to each other, you know I know that you know I know that you’re also a CrossFitter silent eye conversation as you pass each other. Whilst your other gym clothes might not give it away immediately, you’ll certainly know from the trainers.
Head to Wiggle for the latest and greatest deals on your first CrossFit trainers. Read the reviews, ask around the box and most importantly, find out which trainers are best for narrow or wide feet!
The main brands to look out for are the following; Nike, Reebox, Inov 8, No Bull and Adidas. Buying your first CrossFit trainer is always the hardest and we’d recommend a solid “all-rounder”. You need to hard a fairly thick, solid heel for barbell cycling through a WOD but not to the same level as your lifters due to all the plyo (jumping) and gymnastic work. This is where you need more “flex” in the front of the shoe.
Due to the limitations of the more solid shoe, you’ll find that CrossFit trainers aren’t great for actual pure running training and reversely, the heel isn’t solid enough for pure weightlifting training. This is how CrossFitters end up with several pairs of shoes as time goes on.
Tattoos are so hot
Ok. This is just a bit of fun. Tattoos aren’t really on the essential list of CrossFit gear for beginners, but every box at some point will have an inhouse competition, and it’s always fun to get dressed up and GET INVOLVED!
Get stuck in and walk around like Jason Momoa. You never know, it might help you to lift heavier.
While you’ll always find you can never have too much CrossFit gear, as a beginner, you can still get stuck into what essentials you do need to get going.
You might also want to prepare your closest friends and family that for the next five years, all presents should just be CrossFit related.
Deep down, you know all this gear is helping you to get better, continue to make progress as you’re gaining new skills and feel more confident in general life.
Happy CrossFit gear shopping!
Author: Charleh Dickinson is a CrossFit enthusiast, Director of a Digital Marketing Agency for SMEs (KUB) and Non-Exec to Storm Performance. Storm Performance is a scientific based online fitness programming tailored to fit your lifestyle and goals.