|Posted by Sean Hutchinson on December 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM|
11 Things Every CrossFit/Weightlifting Athlete Should have in their gym bag!
Well, first thing’s first…you need a gym bag.
Here is my top choice and recommendation: The KING KONG Bag by King Kong Apparel. They are now on their 3rd generation of this bag and it is top notch. I still have the original bag they came out with a few years ago and it is holding up just great. It features 2 side compartments, perfect for storing your weightlifting shoes and another pair of shoes like Nanos or inov-8’s that you would WOD in. The main compartment can hold the rest of your other gear like belt, jump rope, protein powder, creatine, etc. the opposite side of the shoe compartments can hold miscellaneous stuff like wrist wraps, training journal, etc and the front smaller pockets are great for putting keys, headphones, jewelry and other nick-knack things you can think of. The material is pretty heavy duty and very durable. I’ve taken this thing around the country and thrown it everywhere and it still has years of life left in it. I can’t recommend this bag highly enough. Did I mention it comes in camo??? How can you not want that!?! Now let’s move on to the top 11 things to put inside that bag!
1. Weightlifting shoes – Whether you are a Weightlifter or CrossFitter you will definitely need these for any heavy lifting. Let’s face it, we’re not Rich Froning. Not everybody is going to be able to hit a rock solid bottom position in nanos. Weightlifting shoes help us compensate for lack of ankle mobility to put us in a more upright and stable position while squatting and performing the Olympic Lifts. My recommendations for Weightlifting shoes: Adidas Adipower or the Nike Romaleos
Both these shoes are amazing weightlifting shoes with a few differences. The Romaleos tend to be a heavier shoe with a stiffer front part of the sole. They also have a 2 strap system and tend to fit wider feet slightly better. The Adipowers are much lighter, have a more flexible forefoot, and only have 1 strap. Personally I have lifted in both shoes and felt completely comfortable in either one. Don’t waste your money on other cheap versions of Weightlifting shoes. Consider these shoes an investment. Most likely you will never even lift long enough to wear a pair out and have to replace them since the only place you should be wearing them is a gym with rubber floors or wood platforms. Check out eastbay.com for pretty good deals on these shoes. They usually run a 20% off code once a month so you can easily pick up a pair for $160 rather than paying full retail at $200.
2. Athletic Shoes – Not every exercise you perform will require weightlifting shoes, especially if you are a CrossFit athlete. My recommendation is to stick with what works. Reebok CrossFit Nanos are pretty much untouchable as far as the functional training shoe goes. I’ve had 3 out of the 4 versions so far and they are pretty damn durable and good-looking too. These will run you anywhere from $50-$120 depending on what websites you check and what sales are going on.
3. Athletic Tape- Great tool for any athletes needs. You can use it to take up your hands to prevent calluses or cover ones that have already torn. You can use it as a wrist support in a quick fix if you forget your wrist wraps. You can use it for other things as well but the important thing is to make sure you have it. Since I’m cheap I prefer not to spend a ton of money on tape. I usually shop Amazon and pick up a 12 pack of 1” Johnson Johnson tape for around $25, which usually last me a few months. If you want to blow some money on tape check out Goat Tape. It’s one of the most expensive tapes out there but it works pretty damn good compared to cheaper brands. I still can’t justify spending $5 on tape with as much tape as I go through.
4. Wrist Wraps- You may not decide to get a pair until it’s too late. Don’t wait until your wrist start hurting before you decide to break down and buy a pair. Between all the lifting both CrossFitters and Weightlifters do, the wrist usually take a hell of a beating on a daily basis. I learned a lot time ago my wrist might not hurt today but they will probably be killing me by the end of the week. My recommendation is to buy boxing wraps. They are super cheap and work surprisingly well compared to the new popular CrossFit style wraps. There are tons of wrap companies on the market so take your pick. They usually run $30/pair compared to about $3.00/pair for boxing wraps. Take your pick. They all pretty much do the same thing. Don’t use elastic wrist wraps. They suck, period.
5. Knee Sleeves- These can be great for anybody doing lots of lifting, jumping, running, etc. Knee sleeves provide a little bit of support at the bottom of the squat, but the most important thing they do is keep the knee joint warm. I usually recommend getting them the size recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t go to small otherwise they will feel very constrictive. You want them to be tight enough to where they don’t easily fall down but not so tight that they constrict movement. Rehband has made a great product for many years. There are a few competitors on the market but honestly I can’t recommend Rehbands highly enough! Hands down best knee sleeves on the market. 7mm seems to be more popular with Weightlifters while the 5mm tend to be better for CrossFit athletes.
6. Jump Rope- Obviously Weightlifters don’t need one but if you CrossFit you should definitely invest $20 and get a nice rope that you can cut to the perfect length. I love the Rogue Sr-1 speed rope. Either handle design is fine it just depends on the person. Make sure when you do cut your rope you don’t make it too short. I see this happen all the time and you end up having to purchase a new cable. Having your own rope means you can practice at home or on the road and you don’t have to worry about finding a rope that fits you at the gym especially if they are all tangled and knotted up.
7. Lacrosse Ball – This is super cheap and effective for mobility. You can roll out some hard to reach muscles in your back and hips and they literally are the cheapest mobility tool you can get. I think you can pick one up at a local sporting goods store for around $3. Don’t waste money on those overpriced overhyped “massage” balls. A lacrosse ball will do everything you need it to do.
8. Foam roller – If you’re too cheap to buy a $40 foam roller head over to your local hardware store and pick up some PVC pipe and get it cut down to a manageable size. They come in various diameters so find one that would be similar size to a foam roller you would use. If it’s too hard try duct taping some foam around it to make it a little softer. Great for rolling out the quads, hamstrings, calves, back, etc.
9. Supplements – I know you’re probably thinking…”why not just eat real food?” Well sometimes real food isn’t easily accessible. I always carry whey protein and creatine with me so I can take it post workout. Especially if I know I’m going to have to turn around and coach a class right after I finish. I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and flavorings so I make my own custom mix at truenutrition.com. Great prices and great tasting proteins plus I can create my own blend with carbs, proteins, and fats! I also only use Creapure Creatine. it is the most pure creatine monohydrate supplement on the market. It is only made in a specific lab in Germany and tested for it's purity. I don't really mess with any other supplments except for the occassional Kill Cliff or FitAID post workout.
10. Shaker Bottle – Every athlete should have one so they can mix supplements on the go or simply to put water in so they can stay hydrated during a workout. They are relatively cheap and get the job done. I usually keep 2-3 on hand just incase I forget it and leave it in the car or at home. I prefer the original blender bottle. It breaks up protein powders and makes sure everything mixes smoothly. It’s just an all around great product.
11. The Marc Pro - Last but not least is a very important and I think often overlooked product for recovery. The Marc Pro uses electrical stimulation to create circulation in the body post workout to remove waste from muscles. It works differently then a TENS unit so don’t confuse the 2. TENS units are cheap and meant to be used to block pain signals in the body. The Marc Pro is specially designed to help your muscles recovery after grueling workouts. I love this product because it is small, portable, and rechargeable. I can usually charge it up every 2-3 days and take it wherever I need to go. Anytime I get a chance I hook up any sore or achy muscles and give it at least 30 minutes to work it’s magic. It definitely doesn’t come cheap but with a `12 month payment option and a 30-day return policy you can’t really beat this product. Give it a try for a month and if you don’t like it, send it back for a refund! Well there you have it folks. (Use discount code BFT2016 to save 5% off your purchase at marcpro.com)
The 11 things every CrossFit/Weightlifting athlete should have in their gym bag! Don’t forget to pick up a nice gym bag first if you don’t yet have one. You can follow the link on my affiliate page to save 10% off your purchase at King Kong Apparel http://www.builtforthisathletics.com/affiliates. Look forward to more blogs and updates in the future! Feel free to leave feedback with your favorite products and any discount codes you would like to share with us all!