10 Things EVERY CrossFitter
wants NEEDS for Christmas
#1) NEW SHOES! If you are still CrossFitting in your old running shoes, ask Santa to bring you a pair of minimalist kicks. A good minimalist sneaker like the Reebok Nano 2.0, New Balance Minimus, or Inov-8 F-Lite should serve you well in almost every WOD I can think of. Avoid the Vibram toe shoes – they are so 2009!
Also, if you have been Crossfitting for 6 months or more and you still don’t have weightlifting shoes, I suggest you quit standing on the edge of the mats, ditch your junky running shoes, and get yourself a real lifting shoe. Besides allowing lifter to squat into a deeper position, the raised heel also allows the lifter’s chest to stay upright, even in the bottom of a deep squat with the bar held overhead or racked.
Geez man! CrossFit ain’t cheap. Why are you skimping on your gear? Forget about the fresh Lulu clothes and get yourself some lifting shoes already. Check out the links below for great shoes from Reebok and Rogue.
#2) Jump rope: 6 months and your double unders still suck? Maybe you are the person who gets there early on DU wods because there is only one rope in the gym that works for you. Let me let you in on a secret – Jump ropes are CHEAP! Just buy one already. The gym ropes aren’t the greatest and if you have one of your own you can use it at home when you miss a WOD or on the road when travel interrupts your gym time. IMHO there are 4 good ropes out there. Ropes as RX are the Cadillacs and allow for a lot of customization. You can’t go wrong with the RX rope as long as you get the right length and thickness for your ability and taste. If speed is your thing – the Rogue SP-1S is awesome but I don’t recommend it to noobs who are still learning the DU. Buddy Lee and Hi-Temp make some pretty good rope too but for my money Rx ropes can’t be beat.
#3) Workout Journal: We have members that are six months in and still don’t know what their max back squat is. Why? …Because they don’t record it. Paper bound WOD journals are a great way to keep up with your performance metrics and track your progress but there are many high tech versions for your smartphones available too. Hell – a Mead notebook is better than nothing. If you don’t have one, grab a wodbook from the box or spend some time in the app store. For the record, I like iWod Pro.
#4) Mobility: I almost never have to pick up foam rollers or lacrosse balls at the box. Is it because our athletes always clean up after themselves? Hell no! It is because very few of them take mobility seriously. Truth be told, I don’t do as much as I should either. I don’t have to tell you that CrossFit is hard on your body but it is really important to your performance for you to take your recovery more seriously. I know it is expensive but try to get a good sports massage from time to time. In fact, I have a VERY special offer from Pamper Me – ask me about it. Most of us can’t afford massage from day to day, but daily maintenance in important so buy a foam roller and lacrosse ball for home and USE THEM! Finally – if you are in the gym 4 or more times a week, make some time for some yoga classes. You don’t have to go forever but go enough to learn your problem areas and how to work on them then keep up the practice on your own.
These are what we use:
#5) Knowledge: I know that the internet has tons of free information but as with most things, you get what you pay for. If you are serious about CrossFit, go to the definitive source and get a $25 subscription to the CrossFit Journal. If you like to read about CrossFit, it is well worth it. Another great subscription is Catalyst Athletic’s Performance Menu. Amazon and iTunes can also serve up a lot of great reads – SEE MY CrossFit MUST READ booklist HERE.
#6) Kitchen Makeover: Okay – so I know it isn’t a great Christmas idea to go into your loved one’s pantry and wipe out all of their favorite junk food – but if they are serious about their performance (and they want to look better naked), here are a few great ideas to help them on their primal journey. Cooking classes is a guaranteed win with almost every CF chick – but you better plan on joining her. Check out Mia Cucina for a schedule.
Another great gift would be some fine, high-end ingredients. Mia Cucina can also help you with some awesome salts and spices. Also visit Olive on Fraizer Avenue for the best olive oils and vinegars you have ever tasted. Kitchen gadets can also be an awesome gift. I love my my Ninja, and my slow cooker. If your man is not so kitchen savy, knives and grill accessories are always good ideas. Bonus Points – add an instruction manual by throwing in a Paleo cookbook.
#7) Supplements: I am not talking about all of the MASS GAINERS and SUPER PUMP body builder stuff or GET RIPPED and LOSE WEIGHT garbage out there. However, there are a few great supplements that can help every Crossfitter. Recover faster with a good recovery drink. Products like Progenex Recovery offer hydrolyzed protein isolate which absorb super-fast helping you to get back in the game faster. Omega supplements aka fish oil are also awesome for controlling inflammation compensating for holes in our diets. Original Nutritionals is a super pure liquid that is very palatable. Progenex has an awesome pill based product that is super concentrated eliminating the need to take tons of pills each day.
www.progenex.com use code CBTN for 10% off
#8) Apparel: Every girl loves her some LuLu Lemon. It would be hard to go wrong with anything in the store. Even the fellas can use a thing or two but be ready to drop some bills. That sh!t ain’t cheap. Look to Target, Academy Sports, TJ Maxx and Reebok for some more affordable options. Let’s get real though – there really isn’t anything that compares. Rock Creek and Fast Break are some great local stores to pick up some gear if your CrossFitter likes to take it outside from time to time. Compression apparel is also something you see quite a bit in the CF world. The socks are pretty hot when the chick is rocking short shorts or hot pants and can help the fellas keep warm but I am not convinced of any performance benefit. I will say, however, that compression plus ice WORKS and WORKS WELL! Kick soreness in the ass at www.110playharder.com.
#9) Weightlifting gear: So they have the shoes and they are really getting into lifting, what else might they need? Weightbelts are great for power lifting and oly lifts. Stay away from leather belts for CrossFit and olympic weightlifting nylon is much better for what we do. I like the Sheiks, Harbinger, and Valeo (w/ metal torque). The belt should be 4 or 5” all the way around – no larger.
What about those crazy blue knee braces? Seriously – what’s the deal with those? Rehbands – not Raybands – are the shit! These classic knee supports provides support and warmth, relieves pressure, and improves co-ordination. You can only find them at Jackals Gym – CLICK HERE.
#10) Motivation: Fear of the unknown is a great motivator. An “experience gift ” might be just the thing your Crossfitting loved one’s needs. Sign up for a half-marathon, try your first CF competition , or join a soccer league. Do something with your new body and new energy. Find a reason to affirm your results and challenge you to keep achieving. Ready to get wild? Try the Warror Dash, Spartan Race, or something super cool like the Go Ruck Challenge. Visit www.goruckchallenge.com for a full list of locations and dates. Use the code “CrossFit” for $20 off your first Challenge.