Last Minute Gift Ideas


Holiday Gifts for the CrossFitter

With the holidays upon us, we are all looking for gift ideas. Gear is fun to experiment with.  How do you know if something is right for you?  Ask someone. Here are some suggestions for some gear and when it may be appropriate to try these things out.  Just a side note, I am not advocating for everyone to go out and buy gear.  Just the opposite, as you have nearly all of this availabe at the gym. Only a couple of these things are MUST HAVES – the weightlifting shoes and the magical chalk.  You can skip the rest, but sometimes it's nice to have your own.

1) Weightlifting Shoes

What they do for you:

  • Increases ankle ROM (specifically dorisflexion) – allows the athlete to descend deeper into a squat.  If you don’t have amazing ankle flexibility these are for you.  In fact, these are for you even if you do have awesome ankle mobility. The raised heel allows you to hit maximal depth while keeping your whole foot in contact with the floor promoting balance and stability at the bottom of your squat.
  • Solid foundation – to create maximal force during your pulls or drives. Don’t lose precious power by driving into the heel of a big spongy running sneaker. Don’t drive off a sponge.  You’re hurting your numbers.

When should I use this ? On the platforms. Best if not used for burpees, T2B etc. (except the Reebok model). No running.

Do I really need this? Appropriate for Beginner-Intermediate and above

Price $90-$200

My recommendations  -

(They are all listed in Men's sizing, so females will have to find the equivalent for women's sizing.  I wear a 6.5 in womens, so a 5 in mens.)

Risto - great shoes  (smaller sizes are at the bottom of the size options for some reason, I almost missed it and thought they only ran really big sizes. Maybe not so wide in the toe box as some others.)
Risto Custom -  (this one is the most expensive, but it's the same shoe as the above link, and you get to choose your colors!  VERY fun gift!)
Again Faster Team Oly Shoe
-Risto inspired

Nike Romaleo 2 - heavy-duty, secure, comfortable (5-star review)

Reebok Oly/CF Shoe - good for combo of movements (Oly lifting, rope climbs, etc)

Adidas Weightlifting Shoe  -Adidas is a more narrow toe box.
Adidas Powerlift Shoe

Pendlay Do-Win - wider toe box, Rogue version

2) Your own Jump rope

What it does for you:

  • Game changer.  If you don’t have your own, spend the $42 and get your own speed rope.  RPM Fitness and Again Faster are my fav's.  Rogue has one too.  Measure the rope so that when you step into it with one foot the handles will rest in your arm pits.  Lock it off and cut it.  A coach can help you measure if you’re unsure.   There are some people that say they don’t want to train with one jump rope because what happens if you go to a competition and you can’t use your own jump rope?  I can see their point and it’s a good one if you are competing a lot or your training for a competitive team.  Be prepared for the unknown.  However, if you are still learning double-unders, definitely get your own rope.  Eliminate at the least one of the variables.

When should I use this ? Daily.  Great travel workout tool - light and easy to pack.

Do I really need this? All levels

Price: $30-45 for a good one

My recommendations: RPM (we sell at the gym), Again Faster Revolution

Neoprene Shin Sleeves

What they do for you:

  • Protects shins during deadlifts, Oly-lifts, and rope climbs

When do I use this? Rope climbs if the rope burns your leg.  Deadlifts, high-rep Oly-lifts if you have trouble scraping your shins with the barbell.

Do I really need this? All levels.

Price: $20/sleeve, $40/pair (I have a single Large sleeve availabe for sale)

My recommendations: Rock Tape Shin Skins

4)  Weight belts

What they do for you:

  • These can definitely put pounds on your lifts.  They are used to reinforce your midline. Put the belt on tight but not so you can’t breathe. Push your belly INTO the belt when you lift.

When should I use this ? On MAX effort lifts and lifts over 90-95% at an advanced, heavy level.  Work your midline for the lifts lighter than this, or for training beginner-intermediate lifter levels.

Do I really need this? Advanced lifters who have enough experience and understanding to use them properly.  They aren't intended to hold your body in place while you lift with poor form just so you can say you got a heavier lift than you're actually strong enough for.

Price: $40-80

My recommendations: Valeo makes good Velcro ones.  Harbinger, Schiek also make pronged ones.  Get under 6” if you hope to use it in a competition.

5)  A private session with a coach for a current athlete. Intro sessions for a new athlete. CFF membership package.

What they do for you:

  • “Anyting.  Anyting?  Yeah that’s right baby.  How much can I get for 20 dolla’s?”

When do I use this ? Whenever

Do I really need this? Yes! Knock out a "goat" today!  Get your friends and family in here and working out with you!  Share the gift of fitness!

Price: Typically $55-60/hour but with the Christmas special, 25% off 6 sessions or a 3/6/12 month CFF membership packages!

My recommendations: I hear the CFF trainers are pretty awesome.

6) Wrist wraps

What they do for you: Offer support for your wrist during pressing or overhead movements.  These have a tendency to be over used. If you are new to lifting you may experience wrist pain until your connective tissue has time to strengthen.  If you are always wearing wrist wraps at lower weights your tendons/ligaments will never get stronger.  Use them sparingly.

When do I use this ? Wrist injury, heavy overhead.

Do I really need this? Only if you have wrist issues.

Price: $15-25

My recommendations: WOD Shop Strength Wraps, Schiek

7)  Your own rolls of athletic tape

What they do for you: Protect your hands to covers rips, joint support, mummification of all sorts.

When do I use this? Apparently all the time, based on how quickly the gym goes through cases of it.

Do I really need this? All levels.  May be more common until your hands get a little tougher

Price: $1/roll - $20/10 rolls, $55/case of 32 rolls, or FREE at the gym!

My recommendations:  TitleBoxing or Johnson and Johnson

8) Chalk

What it does for you: Improves grip on your bar.  Improves performance on everything imaginable.

When do I use this ? Anything that requires a solid grip. Max efforts usually.  Every time you even think about picking something up.  Bathe in it.

Do I really need this? All Levels

Price: FREE! At the gym.

My recommendations:  Use chalk when you need to.  Too much may promote hand rips.  Also, chalking up during a WOD may be a crutch.  A mental break. Sometimes we don’t need chalk when we reach for it.  Be cognizant when you reach for it.  Do you really need it??

9) Gymnastics/Hand grips

What they do for you: Improve your grip on the bar.  Some people say they don’t train with them because you can’t use them in competitions.  Personally, I think it's better to not tear your hands and be able to keep training, and if your job requires the use and health of your hands, don't risk the tears.  Using them improves people's grip on the bar and allows them to practice more often.  They may be helpful if you are doing volume training in pullups.

When do I use this ? Gymnastics, bar work

Do I really need this? Beginner – intermediate

Price: $20

My recommendations:  Lynx Grips, Again Faster Grips 

10) Voodoo Bands

What they do for you: great for the “itis’s”.  Works wonders for hot elbow and knee and other tendonitis's.  Some people use compression therapy in place of ice.  I still believe there is a place for ice in inflammatory therapy.  If you have a nagging tendonitis or issues with a joint, try some compression therapy.  Works wonders.  See a coach. (I know one named Todd who kinda knows his stuff on this...)

When do I use this? 1-2 x a day

Do I really need this? All levels

Price: $24-42

My recommendations: VooDoo Floss Bands by

11) Gymnastics Rings

What they do for you: Ring dips, pullups, advanced ring work such as Muscle Ups, Front and Back Levers, builds core and shoulder stability, spacial and body awareness in stabilizing yourself on a moveable plane

When do I use this?  Warm up with Skin-the-Cat and inversions, workouts with gymnastics movements, scale for Toes-to-Bar, practice and build stability in the shouders.  Great travel workout tool - light and easy to pack, slings over about anything to increase variability of travel workouts.

Do I really need this?  All Levels- Beginner may need band for assistance through dips

Price: $70-75

My recommendations:  Rogue Fig rings + straps

Daily WODLisa RayComment