CrossFit Gym Bag Essentials

One of the great things about CrossFit is its vastness in movements.  From barbell lifts to rope climbs to jumping rope, CrossFit incorporates the best of gymnastics, weightlifting, and cardiovascular conditioning.  Because of this, you are going to need a few key items in your gym bag.  Here is a ranking of items that should be in CrossFit gym bag.

Echelon 1 (Most Essential Items):

Water Bottle – You should be drinking water throughout the day, at least half your bodyweight in ounces.  Fill it up at the gym when you arrive and sip throughout class.

Workout Journal – Whether it’s on your phone or in a notebook, your journal is key to your success.  You need to be able to look up your previous lifts and workout times so you can set an accurate goal and measure your progress.  Need more reasons to keep a journal?  Read this.

Athletic Tape – Pull-ups, toes to bar, kettlebell swings, snatches…CrossFit can certainly be tough on the hands.  And you don’t want your hands looking like this:

That’s not cool.  Take care of your hands and tape them up if there’s going to be a lot of pulling with them during the workout.  Watch this video if you don’t know how to tape and protect your hands.

Echelon 2 (Extremely Helpful Items):

Jump Rope – Having your own rope, fitted to your height, and in the style you like is nice.  You don’t have to worry about the rope being too long or too short in the middle of a workout as you’re going for an Annie PR.

Long Socks – Just like torn hands are nasty and painful, busted up shins from deadlifts, snatches, or clean, or burns from climbing the rope are gross as well.  Pull up the socks and protect the legs.  

Wrist Wraps – We do a lot of overhead work that can be pretty tough of the wrists.  Wrist wraps can definitely help with your overhead lifts and even with some gymnastics movements like handstands.  You should definitely try to go as long as you can without wearing your wraps, to safely stress the joint so it will naturally adapt and strengthen, but wrist wraps definitely have a role when doing max lifts.

Echelon 3 (If You Have These, You’re Serious About Your CrossFitting):

Weightlifting Shoes – You squat, snatch, and clean and jerk, multiple times a week, and your Nanos or Inov-8s just aren’t cutting it anymore…you want a little bit more of a raised heel and a more stable foot foundation when going for that 200# snatch.  Weightlifting shoes run about $100 to $200 but are an investment and should last you several years.  Adidas and Rogue have good weightlifting shoes for under $120.

Weightlifting Belt – When you start squatting over 1.5 to 2 times bodyweight on a regular basis, a weightlifting belt is useful.  A cautionary note, it is not a silver bullet that allows you to totally, or even partially, relax your midline when you lift.  If you cannot sustain intra-abdominal pressure without a belt when lifting, then a belt won’t help either.  I only use a weightlifting belt when going for a PR, everything before that is sans belt.  For more information on belts, read this article.

Knee Sleeves – When you bust these out, we know you’re serious.  If nothing else, you’ll look the part of a top CrossFitter.

Camille’s rockin’ weightlifting shoes, knee sleeves, a belt, and wraps.

Knee sleeves keep the joints warm and provide extra stability.  Many top weightlifters use them on their max lifts when they are deep in the hole of a snatch or clean.  

As essential as all these items are, don’t ever forget to place your humility in your gym bag.  CrossFit is tough, and you can’t let your ego get in the way of making progress.  


All Classes

Skill:  Bench Press



3 rounds for time:

12 kettlebell swings (70#/44# for women)

15 box jumps (24″/20″ for women)

40 double unders

300 meter run

Advanced Class

Trial By Fire WOD retest


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