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What's in your gym bag?

Welcome to The Coliseum Blog! The coaches will be contributing articles about all sorts of topics varying from their favorite tunes to WOD with to nutrition to lifting tips to really anything they’d like that will be useful to the members. I (Elise) am going to start off with a question we often get, “what gear should I buy?”

What’s In Your Gym Bag?

If you’ve seen the coaches work out, you’ll notice we have gear that we use for certain movements and certain WODs. While we all are slightly different, I’m going to take you through the gear I have, why and what is worth the investment.

1. A bag. Seriously. This is a no brainer. You need something to transport all of the following.

2. Shoes to WOD in. You never know which movements you are going to have to do in a WOD, so you need a shoe that can handle all of it. Something that provides stability when lifting, is light enough to run in and can provide support during jumping and landing. A flat, minimalist shoe is the best choice. My Pick: Reebok Nano Runners up: Innov8 , New Balance

3. Jump Rope. Having the right jump rope makes a WORLD of a difference. You want a rope with a coated cable, bearings and that is adjustable (or set) to your height. Double unders solved. My Pick: Rogue Bearing Speed Rope Runners up: RX, Again Faster, Buddy Lee

4. Notebook/WOD book. Keeping track of your performance and workouts is MASSIVELY important in CrossFit (blog post on this to come). Keeping a book (or having an app) allows you to have everything all in one location. Strength numbers, PRs, benchmarks, etc. Not only does it make it easy to figure out percentages, it’s a tool to track your progress. My Pick: A Notebook. Runners up: MyWod, PocketWod, IWOD, there’s TONS of apps out there

5. A pair of high socks. If you don’t wear spandex, these can be your best friend during deadlifts or rope climbs. (I have seen many of your bleeding shins). Save your shins from dings and prevent rope burn, throw a pair of these in your bag. My Pick: Reebok CrossFit Socks Runners up: The Box Socks or really any long pair of socks

6. Gloves/Hand grips. High rep gymnastics work (pull ups, chest to bar, toes to bar, rope climbs) can put a toll on your hands. I’ve said this before - you should NEVER rip in training. Protect your hands. My Pick: Reebok CrossFit Gloves. Runners up: Hand grips (Rogue, JAW, Again Faster, there’s a lot of options out there)

7. Weightlifting Shoes. If you regularly snatch, clean, jerk and squat, lifters are a good idea. Weightlifting shoes have a SOLID base to allow you to generate more force through the ground (and thus more through your body and moving the bar). They also have a raised heel which allows you to get in a deeper squat (through assisted ankle mobility) and a more favorable squat position overall (keeping your torso upright). Lifters provide a lot of stability and WILL increase your lifts. My Pick: Nike Romaleos Runners Up: Reebok, Innov8, Adidas

8. Lifting Belt. I use mine for all heavy* squats, deadlifts, cleans, presses and jerks. Note I said heavy. As in not always. For example, I’ll squat up to 75% or higher before putting my belt on. Belts are mainly used to add support (from the front) by increasing abdominal pressure. (side note – when we tell you to take big breathe in before you squat, you are creating pressure in your thoracic cavity. Your abs then, are applying pressure to your back {whose muscles are also applying force} to create a balance so that you can lift the weight and it doesn’t crush you.) In short, a belt gives your abs something to push against and gives you better core stability in your lifts. My Pick: Harbinger (you can perform Olympic lifts and power lifts in these belts) Runners up: Valeo, Rogue, Schiek

9. Wrist wraps. Extra wrist support during OH lifts. Some people also use them for gymnastics movements. I usually use them for OHS, snatches, heavy push presses and jerks. My Pick: Atlas Power Wraps Runners Up : Rogue, PR

10. Knee Sleeves. I would only suggest this for the more serious lifter. I wear them for anything involving a squat. The knee sleeves provide compression and warmth. My Pick: Rehband Runners up: Tommy Kono

11. Shaker & protein powder. This way I don’t forget. Finish your workout, fill up your shaker, enjoy. No excuse not to get your post workout protein in. My Pick: Blender bottle & chocolate NutriForce

I know what you are thinking. THAT IS A LOT OF GEAR. It is. And I didn’t buy it all at once. And yes, it does all fit in my book bag.

TOP 3 - WOD shoes, jump rope, notebook. Lifting TOP 3 - OLY shoes, belt, wrist wraps.

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