Traveling light is an incredible song written by the iconic, JJ Cale. The beginning of the song belts out, “Traveling light is the only way to fly.” Well that’s not always the case with Crossfit. Some girls enter the gym, traveling light with only a set of keys in their hands, while others have their Crossfit gym bag full of items needed for whatever addictive torture that may lie ahead. What are some of those items?
1. Shoes- If you look around any Crossfit gym, 3 types of kicks usually stand out. They tend to be bright and can be purchased in any color under the rainbow.
Inov-8- not to be confused with “innovates.” When I searched for my first pair of Crossfit shoes, I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find the Innovates that everyone was wearing. Inov-8s are extremely light, delivering fast transitions through prescribed movements. While some love the lightweight benefit of the Inov-8s, especially the F-Lites, others feel they don’t offer enough support. As always, it’s to each his (her) own.
2. Gloves- The question remains, to wear gloves or not to wear gloves? What kind of gloves are the best? Should I tape my hands or not? These are all common questions, especially after a WOD like Eva: 5 rounds for time. 800 m run, 30 kettlebell swings, 30 pull-ups. Some prefer a certain type of glove, while others say gloves limit their grip on the bar. I think the overall common denominator is ripping your hands to shreds is not cool and it hurts, but luckily calluses form and the workouts continue. If you ever find the right gloves making Eva easier, let us all know.
3. Tall Socks- Oh yes, tall socks have become quite the identifier of a girl who is fueled by her Crossfit workouts. Tall socks fully accentuate the statement, function vs. fashion. While they can be cute and colorful, tall socks also offer a great deal of protection and save your shins while doing deadlifts and box jumps. Most importantly, tall socks are a must if your doing rope climbs.
4. Workout Journal- keeping a journal in your Crossfit gym bag is the best way to track your progress. You can track previous workouts, measure your reps and evaluate your time in each workout. This is especially helpful if it’s a benchmark workout like “Murph” or “Fran.” Workout journals track PR’s and help in setting personal goals. One aspect that many people overlook is safety. Keeping an accurate journal can provide historical data of what your body is capable of doing. This also helps your trainers evaluate and mentor your skills. As athletes, it’s common to push your body too far without realizing it, until the next day of course. A journal is a great tool to use if you’ve had an injury. You can go back and see exactly what was involved in that day’s workout and assess what may have gone wrong. This may be a great time to work with your trainer on your form, as well as have them modify your weight or movements to allow your body time to heal. I know it’s harder than it sounds. As athletes, we’re competitive. We don’t want to back down.
5. The Right Clothing- Wearing the right clothing is important in any workout. Since, many of the Crossfit gyms do not have air conditioning, breathable clothing should be an essential piece in your gym bag. Moisture-wicking fabric is a great feature since it regulates body temperature by drawing the perspiration off the skin and out to the exterior layers, leaving you feel cool during a hot workout and warm while darting out the door in cold temperatures. Headbands are also found in Crossfit gym bags. Let’s just say that sweating is not always an option. Headbands keep your hair out of your eyes and your eyes on the prize. You also need clothes that stretch. There are different movements that encompass the entire body, which is why you can see a total body transformation in many people. A good fabric that stretches and is comfortable at the same time is important. Many of the cute and trendy Crossfit tank tops are made with a soft, breathable fabric. They’ve also become quite popular due to the statements on the front or back of the tank. It’s no secret that “Crossfitters” have their own lingo. It’s also common to see these tanks in Crossfit gyms worldwide.
6. Belt- If you’ve ever had a lower back injury, take it from me, get a belt. In short, the more you add increased pressure to the abdominal area by tightening the belt will add better stability while protecting the spine. You can purchase a belt at http://www.wodoutlet.com/2pood-hot-pink-metcon-training-belt-limited-edition/ They can be loosened or tightened easily with the lightweight velcro stap.
7. Jump Rope- Again, this is totally relates to preference. Some are ok grabbing from the stack; while others can’t image doing the first double under without her jump rope. When selecting a jump rope, all I have to say is size matters! Check out http://www.roguefitness.com/ropes-as-rx-custom-jump-ropes.php Rogue has great jump ropes and a thorough description of how to purchase the correct size.
8. Wrist Wraps- I wanted to save the most important for last. Handstand push-ups, squat cleans, thrusters…the list goes on. If you are not protecting your wrist with wrist wraps, you could be doing irreversible damage to your ligaments and joints. Keep your wrist wraps in your gym bag, wear them daily and protect and support your wrists. It’s that simple and yet that important.
Not every girl needs a gym bag for Crossfit, but if you do, make sure it’s equipped with the right items. There is nothing worse than to look at the board and realize you left something at home. Borrowing is an option. If they had time to wash it, that’s definitely a plus. Just make sure you wash it in return.
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