The Essential CrossFit Starter Kit: What To Buy
It’s true that the best piece of kit you can ever own is your body. Train it, feed it, rest it, mobilise it, and it’ll serve you well for a long, long time. That said, CrossFit is pretty rough-and-tumble, and that body is going to take a bit of a beating, so there are some things which can help you to move better, feel better and be safer. Here’s a quick look at some of the basics that you might want to invest in for your CrossFit starter kit.
1. Proper shoes
Back in the day, people used to lift and do CrossFit in Converse, and while there are still some die-hard veterans out there who still do, the options for dedicated CrossFit shoes is a bit more varied today. When looking for shoes, think about:
- Comfort - They’ve got to be comfortable, or you’re not going to wear them.
- Durability - Running, jumping, lifting, wall climbs, ropes, they all contribute to giving your shoes a pretty good kicking.
- Stability - If you’re using the same pair of shoes for WODing and lifting, they need to be sturdy and a good all-rounder. I would recommend getting a pair of dedicated lifting shoes for the sessions where you’re just doing oly lifting.
The WOD Life Recommends: Inov-8′s
The Inov-8 shoes come in a variety of WOD-friendly and lifting styles, and are especially good for agility work, running and jumping. If you’re looking for something that occupies the middle ground, allowing you to WOD and lift at the same time, we love the Inov-8 Fastlift 335.
2. Shorts or Tights
Please, don’t buy cheap shorts or tights that aren’t made for intense movement and lifting, because one of three things will happen:
- 1. They’ll rip during squats.
- 2. You’ll sweat around your private area, a lot.
- 3. They’ll get shredded by the barbell.
Investing in some quality shorts or leggings will help to prevent the above, and make you look like a pro. Check out some of The WOD Life’s range.
The WOD Life Recommends: The WOD Life Tights
The WOD Life Tights are made from a high quality Move-Tech Material, and non see through. Important for the toughest of workouts!
3. Knee sleeves
As you progress through months and months of CrossFit, you’re going to be doing a lot squatting, lunging and jumping. Your knees are made to move, so it’s fine, but it’s always wise to give them that bit of extra support when needed.
Knee sleeves should be tight, but not restrictive, and should give you a general feeling of stability as you move through things like squats.
The WOD Life Recommends: Rehband RX Knee Sleeves
For ultimate support and durability, we recommend the Rehband 7751 RX, as worn by CrossFit Games athlete Josh Bridges.
4. Foam Rollers
There are all kinds of fun and funky bits of mobility kit that you can buy, from lacrosse balls, to sticks, peanuts and voodoo bands, but if I were to suggest just one, it would be the foam roller. Foam rollers work by mashing up tight and knotted tissue, so that blood and oxygen can flow back in, and the muscle can repair more quickly.
The WOD Life Recommends: Rumble Roller
If anything is essential, it’s a foam roller. The Rumble Roller is the gold standard of foam rollers. Available in two densities, and two sizes there is an offering to suit anyone looking to get supple. Just one look at the Rumble Roller and your hamstrings will loosen and your quads feel amazing. Get ready to go into the pain cave, whether it’s for prehab or rehab the Rumble Roller is a sure bet.
Prevention really is better than cure, and while you can’t always stop your hands from getting a bit torn up, you can do your best by protecting them with tape. When buying tape, look out for the word kinesiology - It’s also used for physiotherapy purposes, so it’s stretchy and extra sticky, making it perfect for wrapping hands and fingers. The WOD Life has a rather colourful range.
The WOD Life Recommends: Goat Tape
Crafted with high quality Malaysian grade adhesive, Goat Tape is tried and tested by CrossFit Games level athletes such as Ben Smith and Austin Malleolo. The WOD Life have also produced our own high quality hand tape, which is available online here.
Food is your friend, but supplements are pretty much essential if you’re doing CrossFit several times a week and are looking to make significant gains. You’ll need to play around with brands a bit, to see which one you like the best, since everyone has different tastes.
The WOD Life Recommends: Progenex
There’s a massive variety of protein to choose from, so how do you know what works for you? The WOD Life have curated a selected range of Protein suitable for the CrossFit and Functional Fitness Athlete. Recovery by Progenex has been formulated especially for CrossFit athletes, with the specific blends of high quality protein and carbohydrates to ensure you perform strong and recover fast. Whenever you are looking at protein, always read the label to ensure you are getting the highest protein-per-serving ratio possible. Another great affordable option is the Whey Protein from The Naked Co.
The key to remember is that these recommendations are an investment in your fitness. They will assist you feel better, perform stronger and remain healthy and safe during your training!