Good quality shoes. CrossFit requires that we run, jump, lift, row, etc, etc.  Sure, there are very good shoes for running or very good shoes for lifting, but try and get a shoe with a flat, more durable sole that is good for everything!  The squishy bottom shoes are comfortable, but terrible for squatting and lifting (and rope climbing).  Oly shoes are great, but the majority of people won´t ever need them, and they are terrible to run and jump around in.  Avoid tennis shoes with too much of an “incline” from toe to heel, because in general these shoes will have a softer heel.  Of course there is the Reebok Nano option (the only shoe that is allowed to have the name CrossFit printed on it), but here are some other options:

  1. Inov-8. I enjoy the f-lite 195 model and use them frequently.
  2. New Balance Minimus
  3. Nike Metcon´s (available early February and is designed specifically to compete with the Nano´s)

Wrist wraps. We do a lot of overhead movements and pressing in CrossFit.  While wrist wraps aren’t always necessary, your wrists will get a little sore eventually and it’s good to give them some extra support.  Caution: when there is a workout with lots of pulling movements (pullups, rowing, cleaning or snatching), wrist wraps do make your forearms tighter during the workout.  Another cool thing to do with wrist wraps, especially if your arms/hands sweat like mine do, loosen them up a little and they help keep sweat off of your hands during workouts.

Athletic tape. Stop asking me if you can borrow my tape.  We sell it for $5 or you can get it at any sports store for about $3.  Use it as a quick way to protect your hands when doing lots of pullups.  Forgot your wrist wraps? Shame on you…but you can tape up your wrists real quick for extra support.  Thumbs hurting when you use the hook grip? Tape them! Do you have a little kid that won´t stop talking? Just tape their mouths shut! So many uses for some good quality athletic tape.

Jump rope. While we have lots of jump ropes to use at CrossFit COMO, let’s face it: they get beat up.  Between athletes using them outside (rips them up) and athletes tying knots in them to make them shorter, our ropes get pretty rough looking.  It makes it SO MUCH EASIER to jump rope and do double unders with a rope that is sized for you and in good shape.  There are tons of brands and types out there but here are two tips to find the right rope for you:

  1. To measure the height, put one foot in the end of the rope. Where you grab the handles should come up to at least your armpits but no higher than shoulder level.
  2. Generally, the heavier the rope, the easier it is to learn double unders. The extra weight helps give the rope momentum and keeps it in rhythm.  A lighter rope is less taxing but means that the athlete should be more advanced at doing double unders.

SIDE NOTE: Please stop tying knots in metal jump ropes.  If you tie a knot in metal….it does not go back to its original shape.  That´s why a lot of ropes look deformed.

The following supplements:

Xendurance. Get both products that we sell, Extreme endurance and Hydro-X.  These are the only two products that I would never want to train without.  I started taking them both last July and have not stopped taking them since.  They reduce the lactic acid build up in your muscle tissues while you workout – meaning that you do not reach muscular fatigue as quickly and you recover faster.  When I started taking these products, I immediately noticed that my muscles were not burning as much during workouts and I was waking up the next day not sore.  Hydro-X is also packed with electrolytes to keep you hydrated but does not have all the crap (sugar and what not) in it like Gatorade and Powerade.

Whey protein and BCAA. Whey protein is fast absorbing and great pre or post workout.  It helps your muscles rebuild themselves.  If you are trying to gain weight or build muscle mass, use the whey all throughout the day (3+ times) in between meals and late at night.  If you are just using it to complement your training and help keep you healthy, right before or after you workout is fine.  Don´t use it to replace a meal.    BCAA´s are branch chain amino acids.  Amino acids are the building blocks of living things.  If you eat a great diet, chances are you get most of your essential amino acids anyway.  However, remember that we are doing some pretty high impact, intense exercise so supplementing what you get naturally is, again, a great way to recover faster and increase your performance.

Fish oil. Fish oil is an omega 3 fatty acid.  Omega 3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories!  With a normal diet, you get plenty of Omega 6 fatty acids, but an imbalance in omega 3´s and 6´s is what causes inflammation AKA pain.  Everyone should be taking at least 2-3 grams of fish oil per day.  I typically take 6 grams.

Look into the Game Plan supplement line for your standard products like Whey protein, Recovery (BCAA), Life (multi-vitamins), etc.  If you go through our website www.crossfitcomo.gameplan.com you get 10% of your order.  I´ve been taking these products for the last 6 weeks and so far, so good.

Honorable mentions for things to pack in your gym bag everyday:

  1. A good attitude. Be open minded, friendly and ready to rock and roll no matter what the workout.
  2. Lifting belt. Sometimes we lift heavy objects.  Don’t rely heavily on a belt, but it can be useful every once in a while
  3. Extra pair of undies. You know, just in case the workout scares you.

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