Participating in Crossfit does not necessarily require that beginners go out and buy a bunch of new gear. As Thoreau said, “If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes.” While this is true, there are many things that will make your Crossfit journey more pleasant and comfortable. And let’s face it- buying new toys is fun.
T-shirts, tanks, sports bras, gym shorts, leggings, capris, booty shorts…. You’ll see it all in a Crossfit box. Wear what is comfortable and allows freedom of movement, but avoid very loose clothes as they can get in the way and can prevent your coach from seeing your form. My fitness wardrobe is based on leggings, capris and shorts by Victoria Secret Sport. I love the durability, look, and feel of their fitness clothes. They last until I get tired of them, and there’s always a sale and/or coupon code to make them more affordable. When it comes to tops, I vary it up with items from my box (gotta support your second home), Livesore, Life As Rx, and any other place that has something cute and/or funny.
A word about tanks and tees: I find that many fitness companies skimp on fabric when making ladies’ tanks. I’m talking low-cut tissue paper tops that are cute and sexy and certainly show off your shape (which may or may not be what you want). Men’s tops tend to be boxy, neck-constricting crew necks, but they are made of sturdier material, and they hold their shape. I wear both, but my happy medium is an altered men’s shirt. Note: at the very least, I always cut out the ribbing around the neckline and shorten the sleeves.
As for shoes, you’ll want to have a good pair of cross training shoes. Two popular brands are the Reebok Nano and the Inov 8. In addition to my cross trainers, I have the Adidas Powerlift 2.0 which has made a huge difference in my Olympic lifts, providing me the stability that I need. On deadlift days, I swear by my New Balance Minimus shoes. If there is a lot of running to be done, I pack my Saucony Women’s Guide 8. All of these shoes (beyond the cross trainers) are optional. I am by no means a shoe person, but I value comfort and performance. Which shoes I pack in my bag depends on the workout.
- a Boho Bandeau– great for covering part or all of the hair. Wicks away sweat to keep the hair relatively dry.
- a head band
- ponytail holder
- cotton bandana- head covering or makeshift towel
- Rogue jump rope– sized perfectly for me, increasing my odds of a successful double under
- Water bottle- a true essential
- Livesore wrist wraps
- microfiber towel for the fastest mid-WOD sweat wiping
I don’t currently wear knee sleeves but I likely will in the near future. Here is a great article on knee sleeves and why a beginner or “light lifter” may not need them. Another item that a beginner may not necessarily need is a weight lifting belt.
- compact mirror
- baggie of Shower Pill wipes, hair elastics, and other small items
- feminine products
- Larabar– good for pre- or post- workout
- Watkins liniment spray- for the inevitable sore muscles
- Off wipes– to keep gnats and mosquitos away during warm-weather outdoor workouts
- Gin-Gin Chews– In case of an unhappy tummy (ex., when eating a little too close to a workout)
- mini nail files- broken nails happen
- lip balm
- money for purchasing an emergency bottle of water
Crossfit gyms aren’t known for having luxuries like air conditioning or heat. In the winter, you will want to dress in layers, and be prepared for the elements. I got the hat from Target’s fitness section and the gloves from Victoria’s Secret.
As I mentioned before, you do not need all of these items in order to get into shape. Most of these things are luxury items that will make your fitness journey more fun and comfortable. Crossfit is about getting fit, not about accumulating gear. Still, comfort and convenience are important to me. I enjoy having these items in my gym bag. Click here for other items that I have kept in my gym bag. What’s in your gym bag?