Gear Must Haves
Some call them accessories or luxuries, while most simply call them Must Haves. Everyone is a little different in the sense that what may help one person may be bothersome to another. Some people have knee issues and never tear their hands while others can’t live without some sort of glove, tape or hand grip while bearing the weight of the world on their knees! I have been around long enough to figure out what works and doesn’t for myself, while seeing what works for others along the way. Outside of a comfortable, lightweight sneaker these are my suggested must haves:
Wrist Wraps: These were my very first purchase . Between front squats, overhead squats, shoulder presses, snatch, etc…wrist wraps helped me feel as if my wrists weren’t going to literally break in half! As long as you have them wrapped properly, it doesn’t matter too much which type you decide on.
Knee Sleeves: I love my knee sleeves…that is all! Made of neoprene, and thought to help prevent pain and swelling before and during performance, knee sleeves can help you feel like you have more support while doing anything from 100 wall balls to 200 box jumps or a 300lb squat. Be sure they fit correctly to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
Sport/Medical tape: Certain movements such as cleans and snatches can create a lot of friction on your thumbs and fingers. A little tape on your fingers can go a long way. Tape is also great to wrap over a bandaid to ensure it stays in place. You can even get creative and make your own hand grips for pull ups!
Jump Rope: Your gym will have jump ropes accessible for your use; however, there is so much to be said for having your very own–one that fits your height and technique just right. A speed rope can cost anywhere from $5-$40. I would suggest starting off on the lower side and upgrading when you feel necessary.
Weight belt: A belt doesn’t necessarily mean you are lifting astronomical weight, it just means that you feel you could use a little extra support in your lower back. You can benefit from using one during all of your squats, deadlifts and even overhead movements such as snatch and jerks.
Knee High socks: So much more than a fashion statement, having a pair of knee high socks can definitely come in handy while doing rope climbs, box jumps and deadlifts!
Pumice Stone: Pull-ups, toes-to-bar, and muscle-ups to name a few, will leave your hands feeling a wee bit tender. You will grow callouses that will eventually help in the long run, but it’s important to take care of them. Keep a pumice stone in your shower and use it on your hands while they are wet. It will help get rid of the dead skin build up to keep your hands as soft and smooth as possible.
App/Notebook: Certain workouts and movements are worth jotting down. Benchmark WODs and max’s are great to keep track of so you can measure your achievements, create goals and surpass them over time. There are various phone apps that help but a simple notepad can do the trick!
Compared to your various shoes (consider a pair of lifters down the line!) and membership fees, these items are all relatively inexpensive. It doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy everything right away but keep in mind these things are available to help your experience be that much more enjoyable.