CrossFit isn’t your average aerobics class with the repetitive rhythmic line of “one and two and three and four.” No… CrossFit is an extremely tough fitness regimen that consists of high-intensity interval training. Typically, you’ll have a WOD (workout of the day) involving strength and conditioning, but this form of exercise isn’t one for the faint of heart. In fact, it can be quite intimidating, even for those who’ve been doing this for a while, but it can be especially intimidating for those trying it out for the first time.
Now, if CrossFit is something you’re going to be trying out for the first time, it’s understandable to have the drive to want to complete the entire workout, but understand it’s also okay if you don’t… Remember, you’re new to CrossFit so you have to give yourself and your body time to adjust to such high-intensity movements. The best way to approach CrossFit is with preparation.
As you enter your CrossFit journey, you’ll quickly find out that you won’t progress without the right essentials… No pain, no gain, right? Whether you’re signing up for your first class or trying to stay motivated to go to your third class, your stamina, motivation, and dedication will only get better if you have the right equipment.
Take a look at all the CrossFit essentials you need to have in your gym bag.
Must-Have CrossFit Essentials for Newbies
- Shorts or Leggings That Give Way for Flexibility
With CrossFit being a high-intensity workout, understand that you’re going to be doing different types of dynamic movements ranging in everything from rope climbing to box jumps. In working those different parts of your body, you’re going to need clothes that will be accommodating to those movements.
- Weight Lifting Shoes
The typical tennis shoes that are soft with rubber soles are not the right kind of shoes for CrossFit, especially when engaging in weight lifting activities. Ideally, you want a pair of weight lifting shoes or shoes specifically designed for Crossfit because they’re great for ankle support and flexibility, and they help you keep your balance for those difficult box jumps and weighted squats.
- Athletic Tape
As a newbie to CrossFit, you’ll quickly realize how important it is to protect your hands when it comes to things like pull-ups and hook-gripping. Athletic tape is something that can prevent ripped hands and calluses. If you don’t want to tape your hands, you can also tape the bar you’re working on. But regardless of what you’re taping, you want to always make sure you have some athletic tape in your gym bag… You just never know when you might need it.
Headbands have to be one of, if not the top, essentials to have with you for EVERY workout. From keeping hair out of your face to preventing sweat from running in your eyes, if you’re going to invest in headbands, you want only the best headbands for CrossFit. Now, the cool thing about headbands is that they come in all kinds of designs and patterns, so you can get several to go with every WOD
Chalk is a great essential to have handy in your gym bag in case you need it. It’s going to help you grip better and pulls moisture away from the palms of your hand… Why else do you see so many gymnasts using it before any type of bar work? But chalk can get messy, so just be sure to keep it in a secure bag (ziplock) so it won’t spill into your actual gym bag.
- Jump Rope (Speed Rope)
Okay, so at its core, it’s a jump rope, but not to be confused with the playground jump rope you had in elementary school… In CrossFit, you’re going to be working with a speed rope. Speed ropes are specifically designed for faster spins with less force from you. This design is what helps you to do those painstaking double-unders. Just be careful with these ropes as they are small and can leave a bit of a mark on you with the slightest misstep. But just take those rope “lashings” as the incentive you need to not mess up and stay on your toes! Literally!
From pull-ups to rope climbing, the last thing you need is sweaty palms to hinder you from getting through your WOD. You’re going to be doing lots of different exercises in short and quick bursts, and with that type of movement, your body is naturally going to sweat, and we mean sweat all over! So it’s good to have safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.
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- Foam Roller
Think of foam rollers as a massager in your bag. They come in half and full sizes and are designed to give relief to your sore muscles. Foam rollers should definitely be used after every CrossFit session you have because your recovery is just as important as your performance, and if you don’t properly recover, it’s going to become harder and harder to perform at future sessions.
If you’re serious about your progression in CrossFit, it’s going to boil down to measurable results. And what better way to track your progression than to write them down. Now, you don’t necessarily have to keep a paper notebook if you don’t want to; you can always download an app to track your progress as well… whatever is easier for you.
With these essentials, you’ll be prepared for anything that CrossFit can throw at you. From box jumps to rope climbing, this form of high-intensity training really isn’t something to be intimidated by when you’re prepared. Just be sure to pace yourself with your progression… Your body will reach its full potential in due time. Just stay motivated!