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Round 2. Let’s begin…
1. FOOTWEAR: NOT-SO-OBVIOUS TRAINING SHOES
This should’ve been the first thing I wrote about (because it’s always the first thing I write about). The only real purchase to make (other than a gym membership) is for a dedicated pair of shoes for our type of work: running, jumping, lifting, gymnastics, etc. When you go bowling you wear bowling shoes. When you go bouldering you wear bouldering shoes. When you play basketball you wear basketball shoes. Following? People start coming in to CrossFit gyms and learning how to lift barbells. Then they go lifting in running shoes. See a disconnect here? We need footwear that fits our needs. The CrossFit community on Reddit have their agreements and disagreements about their importance.
Preferably we at FCF ask that people try to wear a lower-profile shoes. The powerlifting community was in love with the Converse Chuck Taylor for the longest time because they fit a certain need and criteria: flat, stable, durable, looks good, and accessible to most people. They don’t wear them as much now with the growth of weightlifting activities and specified shoes*. I bet you already have some shoes that fit that description: skate shoes (my preference before all these companies jumped onto the CrossFit train), Chuck Taylors (high, low, CT1, CT2), Adidas Sambas, Onitsuka Tigers, Inov-8s, Vibram Five Fingers, VIVOBAREFOOTs, New Balance Minimus, Asics MetConvictions, etc.
* The issue of blowing shoes out is an issue when most powerlifters use a lot of external rotation of the hip. The strength of their external rotation is so strong that their foot on the pinky toe side would bust open from all the pressure exerted by the lifter.
2. SUPPLIES: ATHLETIC TAPE
In high school Sports Medicine I found that Johnson & Johnson’s athletic tape is the best athletic tape in the world. Or at least that’s why Mr. Peck instilled in me.
Goat Tape is becoming my new favorite premium athletic tape. Over the past year focusing on my olympic weightlifting this has become my preferred tape that I wrap my thumbs with. The stick of the tape is amazing.
We also sell a CrossFit-branded version at the gym!
3. SUPPLEMENTS: PROTEIN POWDERS
Optimum Nutrition is the best quality + price + accessible protein on the planet IMO. I use other proteins too, but always come back to the Vanilla Ice Cream one. I see many athletes buy into Progenex, but really social media got those people- sponsored athletes always love their sponsors! In reality Progenex is some of the most overrated things on the market- I should know, I’ve inherited both Cocoon (their version of Casein + tryptophan) and More Muscle. Both super sweet (couldn’t do their recommended doses it feel like spoonfuls of sugar) and ineffective. I found that I went through it way too quickly- not a great note when you look at their prices.
For those lactose-intolerant folk you should look into Isolates. It’s not an end-all answer, but some people find they don’t have issues with this supplement because whey protein isolate undergoes another filtration process. The extra process removes the protein from fat, cholesterol and lactose meaning an end product of “purer protein”. It ends up a being a bit more expensive since you’re getting purer product. Still does the same job as the general whey proteins.
For those with hunger issues (or who have trouble keeping muscle on) try some Caesin protein an hour out from sleeping. For athletes who take their training seriously supplementing with Caesin can prevent heavy catabolism (breaking down of muscle tissue) when sleeping.
4. CLOTHING: SOCKS
For me socks play an important part in my comfort. I’m on my feet all day and even if you love your shoes the right kind of sock can upgrade the experience and nullify those little annoyances you might find.
I go to REI frequently just to see what’s new on the market. Smart Wool makes some great performance products, as does Swiftwick. I avoid most “higher-tech” socks because those synthetics used feel like my foot still get sweaty (Strideline and Nike- I’m looking at you!)
That all being said my stance on socks is.. Stance! Starting as a straight skate brand, they’ve noticed that their combination of materials, fit, strategic reinforcements, and of course, their many awesome designs have become my go-to sock brand of choice. Available for men, women, kids, and BABIES! Best believe our little girl is rocking some Stance socks (thanks to Victor, Courtney, and Baby O!)
Not to mention they’re trying to get into the underwear game, but we’ll save my thoughts on that for another time.