Gifts for Fitness (Part 2)

If you're interested in giving experiences for gifts, you can read about some of my suggestions in Part 1 .  If you'd like some gear to go with those experiences, or you like having something physical to wrap, read on.

If there is one universal thing about CrossFit athletes, it’s that we’re pretty into our gear.  From jump ropes and shoes to weight belts and wrist wraps, there’s really an endless list of things to get that promise to make our fitness lives better.  I’ll summarize my thoughts on those items, and if you happen to be one of those people who are related to one of us CrossFitters and don’t know what to buy that special someone, you can get some great hints here.

Apparel

If you hadn’t already figured it out by now, CrossFitters really like it when other people know that they CrossFit.  So, aside from representing that fact with a fit body, wearing clothes that make that statement for you is the next best thing.  New, more comfortable clothes are also proven to improve your performance by 15%.  Seriously though, I do believe that having nice gym clothes does make it more likely that you’ll go to the gym.

Top brands or things to consider:

·         Lululemon: Yeah, their stuff is expensive.  It’s also the most comfortable, stylish and durable gear that I own, by far.  I am lucky enough to wear sweatpants to work everyday, and I have pairs of Lulu sweatpants that I’ve owned and worn multiple times a week for years and years, without them showing any signs of wear.  Good stuff costs money, and if you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll end up saving money in the long run by not having to replace it all the time.  

·         Prana:  Similar to lululemon in style and comfort, but a little less expensive.  They make great stuff and have a more complete line of casual street clothes too.  

·         Reebok: CrossFit and Reebok are almost synonymous now.  I’m fairly certain that CrossFit saved Reebok from extinction, and now that they’ve got some cash behind their development, their gear has gotten better and better every year.  

·         Rogue Fitness: Rogue has a lot of quality clothing that will make that “I’m a CrossFitter” statement for you.  You can get apparel from your favorite athletes, with your favorite sayings or just with “Rogue” across it, which may appeal to your more passive representation of CrossFit, knowing that only those in the know will know.

·         CrossFit Sandpoint (or your local box): We’ve got shirts, hats, sweatshirts, beanies, stickers, patches etc that tell everyone not only that you CrossFit, but also where you CrossFit.   

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Wrist Wraps

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Wrist wraps protect and reinforce a particularly vulnerable and complicated joint.  They can significantly help people with their overhead movements and can ease some pain that comes with what is initially a really awkward front rack position.

- Things to consider:

·         There is a velcro and stretch combination and there is a non-stretch, twist design to choose from.  I’m a velcro and stretch fan, but I know a lot of twist fans as well.  I don’t really have an opinion other than you’ll probably get one and stick with it.  

- Where to get them:

·         Rogue Fitness

Hand Protection

There are few things worse in CrossFit than tearing your hands.  They hurt for days, prevent you from training to your full capacity, they don’t look cool, they scar, and they make your hands rougher in the long run (which prevents future tears, but also may make your companions less likely to want to hold them).  Some hands are more prone to tears than others, but a great way to prevent tears altogether is to wear some sort of grip protection.  

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There are a few options here, but most come down to either glove or just palm protection.  I don’t think I know anyone that has stuck with gloves for the long run.  They’re just too awkward, both in appearance and in grip.  Instead, almost everyone I know has preferred the palm style hand protection.  “Wodies” seem to have the biggest following these days, and they seem to last a while.  

Check out your options here:

Rogue Fitness

Lifting Belt

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This is a tricky one for me because I’m really not a fan of weightlifting belts in general.  I think they’re dramatically overused and are often a crutch instead of just learning how to brace your midsection when you lift.  That said, they are a great aid on max lifts (but really only then).  

However, a lot of people really like them, will continue to use them and probably won’t die because they do.  

There are two options here, either belt or velcro.  I prefer the non-velcro belt as velcro tends to fail after years of use, and if there is one place you don’t want your equipment to break down, it’s  at the bottom of your new max squat. 

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

Jump Rope

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We do a lot of jump roping in CrossFit, often to the chagrin of athletes.  The disdain for the activity can be prevented or at least assisted with the utilization of a personal jump rope.  Getting used to a rope that is the exact same size, speed and handle shape has transformed a lot of people’s jump rope ability in a matter of days.  I tell everyone that I have a hard time with any rope you just hand me off the wall because it’s not mine.  Adjusting a rope even a few inches can change it a lot.  So, by having your own, you can circumvent all of that mess and know that it’s set perfectly for you.

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

RX Smart Gear

RPM Ropes

Supplements

This can be a tricky one, as a. 99% of all supplements are total bullshit, b. People have their own tastes and things they like, and c. I don’t find supplements to be the most thoughtful-seeming gift out there.  

That said, a good quality protein powder or a good quality fish oil are both effective and should be utilized by most people to round out their nutrition.  

Where to get them:

Stronger Faster Healthier

Ascent

Thorne (here at CFSP)

Collars

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This may be my favorite thing on the list for someone to get as a gift.  They’re generic enough to know that you aren’t going to get something for someone and they’re going to hate it.  They’re super useful (normal collars slip and slide around slightly during use, the ones I recommend don’t budge), they’re individual enough to know they’re yours.  Best of all, they aren’t insanely expensive.  

I was given a pair as a gift a few years ago and will very, very rarely use a bar without them on it.  

You can find them here:

OSO Barbell Collars

Weight Vest

I’d only recommend this for more advanced CrossFitters, someone who does our Mountain Athlete programming during the summer, or someone who does preparation for long ruck type races on their own.  

In those cases, having your own weight vest is the only way to go.  First of all, I think I’d rather share a pair of underwear with someone than share a weight vest.  Seriously, they’re worn tightly to the body, often without a shirt underneath, during strenuous activities for hours at a time.  And judging from the ones that are left here for storage all year, people don’t wash theirs.  Gross.  

So, if you’re someone who finds themselves wearing a weight vest from time to time, get your own, and what better time to get one than for Christmas.  

I got mine off ebay for like $50 (not used of course), and it’s worked well.  It was the 40# version from ZFO Sports.  It’s worked ok.  I wouldn’t recommend the 40# version unless you’re absolutely sure you want that much weight for a majority of the time.  It is adjustable, but taking the weights out of it kind of messes with the balance and fit.  So, if you’re mostly a 20# vest person, I’d just get a 20# vest.  

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They make super fancy tactical ones that are actually bulletproof, just know that the fancier they are, the more expensive they are.  

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

So there you have it.   A fairly comprehensive list of gift ideas for that CrossFitter in your life (or just for you).