I often get asked, “What equipment do you use?”
So, I created this page to save myself this conversation.
[Note: I’m not sponsored by any of these companies. I just enjoy (and actually use) their products.]
Reebok Nano 6’s
I’ve always used Nano’s as my go-to fitness shoe since starting CrossFit, but my particular favorite iteration of the shoe was the Reebok Nano 6, which you can now find for a decent price. I feel it still has enough support for heavy lifting while not being too clunky for running workouts. I feel it’s the best hybrid that Reebok has created thus far.
Born Tough Track Suit: Joggers & Hoddie
The Born Tough Track Suit Joggers are my favorite pair of workout pants. I do a lot of training in my non-climate-controlled garage, and these pants are the perfect blend of warmth, comfort and style. With no front pockets (they are located on the sides) there is no uneven wear and tear from barbell work and weightlifting. And I’ve always been a fan of running and biking in joggers because they are slim and don’t get caught in the chain or flywheel. You can’t find a better training pant for the price. I have multiple pairs. I also have the Track Suit Hoodie to complete the look, which fits equally well. I typically wear the upper during my warm-up and then shed layers as I get warm. Aussies can go to their respective store, and Brits can go to theirs.
Bear Komplex Grips: 2-Finger Carbon
I use grips two main ways depending on the workout.
The first way is by not putting my fingers in the holes at all and simply looping the grip around the bar as I jump up. This allows me to spin the grip to the back of my hand for non-gymnastics movements, keeping them out of the way for things like Handstand Push-Ups, Barbell Work and Burpees.
The other way I use grips is by putting my fingers in the holes (like most people do) and having the bar or rings in the “cradle” of the leather. This is ideal for big chunks of gymnastics as it improves grip a bit, and workouts that the grips aren’t annoying (e.g. Chest-to-Bar and Running).
I’ve used several brands and variations of grips but my favorite are Bear Komplex 2-Finger Carbon Grips. They hold up well to abuse while still being thin. They are priced appropriate and if they break within 3 months the company will replace them. I order a size big.
Double Wide Wrist Sweat Bands
During workouts I sweat heavily, and I can’t stand trying to fight the battle for my grip with chalk alone. Frankly, I use sweat bands in nearly every Met-Con I do. I have probably a dozen pairs. I like them for the sole reason that they stop sweat from dripping down my arms onto my hands.
I also really like putting the straps of my gymnastics grips over top of my wrist sweat bands. It prevents the leather from rubbing and is an additional barrier to sweat.
I much prefer Double Wide Sweat Bands because they are more absorbent, provide protection from Kettlebell exercises, and lastly when I’m wearing my grips but my fingers aren’t in the holes (aka. most of the time) it stop the grips from hitting my sweaty forearms and becoming slippery.
RPM Speed Jump Rope 3.0
First, you can’t call yourself a competitor in the Sport of Fitness if you don’t own a jump rope because you use one at the gym. That’s like saying you’re a cook, but you have to borrow your neighbors spatula to make dinner. In other words, everyone around you knows your full of it.
Moving on. Personally, I’ve used probably a half a dozen different ropes. I hate heavier ropes like the ones from Rx Smart Gear because they wear out my forearms quickly. Most of the ones with preset length tend to be inaccurate. I liked my Rogue speed rope for a long time, but when I rolled it up to put in my gym back it wouldn’t straighten out when I went to do a workout. I would hang it across the rig before testing workouts to try to straighten it out, but it would always remain jacked up.
Finally, I got an RPM Speed Rope 3.0. It is an ideal weight (combining feel and speed), and the grip on the handles is good. But the best thing is when you take it out of the carrying case, the cable rebounds beautifully so there aren’t any kinks. It actually prevents tangles too when you drop your jump rope mid-workout. I love it and I don’t think it’s necessary to upgrade to their Comp version of the rope. The 3.0 is your best bang for you buck.
Bear Komplex Weightlifting Belt
If you plan on wearing a belt for heavy lifting in the middle of a Met-Con it needs to be a single-action velcro one. This allows you to quickly tighten and loosen the belt between sets or during transitions, saving you precious seconds.
When purchasing a velcro belt, I thought I would still use my beefy powerlifting leather belt for strength work (e.g. squats and deadlifts), but I actually prefer the velcro one now for everything. It just comfortable and convenient. Sometimes in Met-Cons, depending on the speed and movement pairing, I’ll just loosen the belt and leave it around my waist.
The one I like is the Bear Komplex Black 4″ Velcro Belt because it is the same diameter the whole way around it’s a good value compared to other brands on the market.
Inov-8 Fast Lift: Weightlifting Shoes
This one is a bit unique. Not in the fact that I have lifters in my gym bag, but in the fact that I own Inov-8 since they aren’t as common in the community. Most people opt for the Nike Romaleos or Reebok Legacy Lifters, which are well-built shoes, but they are incredibly bulky and heavy. The Inov-8 Fast Lifts are still stable and have an elevated heel, but they are lighter and more flexible than the average lifter, which makes them perfect for Met-Cons that also have heavy lifting. In a Met-Con, they are definitely my go-to lifter.
LiftGenie Thumb Tape
Starting in weightlifting, I knew people loved wearing tape to protect their thumbs during the hookgrip, but I couldn’t find a tape a liked. Goat tape was super adhesive, but it was as hard as a rock so I couldn’t bend my thumbs. Other co-band style tapes were more flexible, but they lacked the adhesiveness so I ended up pulling them off halfway through the workout.
I gave up on thumb tape for about a year. Then I had a friend who is a weightlifter and CrossFit Coach suggest LiftGenie Thumb Tape. He said he found it when they handed out free samples at Weightlifting Nationals. I’ll never go back. It’s the perfect blend of stick and stretch.
Rehband Knee Sleeves: 5mm
I use knees sleeves for max lifts, walking lunges, cold days and high volume workouts.
The most durable and well-respected knee sleeves are the market on Rehband. I have two pairs (7mm and 5mm), but I prefer the slightly thinner ones because I find they do the job without preventing my knees from flexing during running or box jumps.
My suggestion would be the Rehband 5mm Knee Sleeve. They are sold as singles, but please don’t be that guy who wears one knee sleeve. Wear two, not just one on your “bad knee.”
Warm Body, Cold Mind Wrist Straps
My thumbs, palms and grip takes plenty of abuse with my day-to-day training. Therefore, I often wear wrist straps for heavy Snatch and Clean pulls, and sometimes full snatches. I prefer the shorter straps because they provide adequate grip strength, but don’t pose as a safety hazard for missed snatches. Plus this allow me to get setup a bit quicker each set, which believe it or not is a big deal for me.
For these reasons I prefer the Warm Body, Cold Mind Wrist Straps. They are high quality and I’ve never had my break on me.