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CrossFitters--Need Gear Advice!

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  • CrossFitters--Need Gear Advice!

    I just started CrossFit and need some advice.

    (1) What kind of shoes do you wear to CrossFit. I've been wearing my running shoes, but I don't like them. I have a pair of Vibrams, but I'm afraid of wearing Vibrams for anything high intensity because the last time I wore Vibrams on a regular basis (running) I got plantar fasciitis and had to limp around for 3 weeks. So I'm looking for something minimalist but not as minimalist as Vibrams. Any suggestions? (I mostly want shoes that aren't padded in the heel area so that my feet aren't in a perpetual state of plantarflexion.)

    (2) What kind of jump rope should I get? I'm thinking about this one: Amazon.com: Ultra Speed Cable Rope: Sports & Outdoors Does it look like it's adjustable? The description says that it's "unique with its ability to easily change lengths"--does that mean it's adjustable?

    (3) Recommendations for hand strength training? I've noticed that we often have to add and remove weights, but I have such non-existent hand strength that I have trouble with the clamps that you use to hold the weights in place. So it takes me forever to add/remove weights (literally, everyone else would be done changing weights, except me because I'd be struggling with the stupid clamps).

    My journal

  • #2
    For shoes I prefer the New Balance Minimus 10: New Balance Minimus

    I have a couple pairs of Vibrams but I don't particularly feel comfortable at Crossfit in them. I've seen others in the Minimus as well. The issue with running shoes is usually that the soles are squishy and that's not really ideal when you are talking about the Olympic lifts or even heavier lifting in general. What I discovered when I transitioned to the Minimus was that my flexibility intially sucked, but after wearing them for a few months it's unbelievable how much more depth I can get in squats, etc. They are a great all around shoe for lifting, plyo, anything else you will encounter in Crossfit.

    That rope looks exactly like the cable rope I just bought from Rogue. It's a great rope to start getting double unders on. It is adjustable. There is a screw and nut on the end of the rope that you can use to adjust the length. The bonus is you can get replacement cables for it pretty cheaply if you jack it up.

    As for hand strength, I myself have been struggling with that for some time. Being in Crossfit for a year now has helped tremendously. My grip strength improved vastly mostly, I think, due to farmer's carries with "heavy" kettlebells (35 lbs for me is pretty heavy but I've carried heavier for farmer's walks). There are grip tools you can buy, but I have found that to be unnecessary with more time spent at Crossfit.
    ~All luck is earned in the end.~

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    • #3
      Thanks! Just bought the rope. Will look for the New Balance Minimus at the store so I can try them on.

      My journal

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      • #4
        Okay, you got the rope.

        For clamps, try getting plastic clamps that has a lever, instead of the iron squeezee ones. They used to have it in my gym, and they were better. With squeezee ones, don't hesitate to try a few of them on and find the ones that sqyueeze and release the best.
        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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        • #5
          There are no plastic ones at the box I go to, but I think I may buy some and bring them. Being really slow at adding/removing weights is annoying because it causes me to be constantly behind.

          My journal

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          • #6
            The rope looks exactly like what you want. I myself have a similar rope from RX ropes, which does custom sizing. But any rope that is cable + ball bearing + adjustable will be perfect.

            I have the Crossfit Nanos from Reebok, which I like a lot, only I don't love running in them. They're fine for short distances like the 400m runs we do in a lot of workouts, but for anything longer they're kind of clunky. I think when they wear out I'm going for the NB minimus. At my gym most people have the Nanos for all-around stuff and then something specific for running (like Vibrams or Minimus, or those minimal shoes Merrell makes).

            Agree with the above. Grip strength will come from doing Crossfit. Just be patient.

            Other gear I have that I've found immensely useful (the links are examples, not the actual brand/styles I have):
            1. Wrist wraps for wrist stability on lifts, wall balls, muscle ups, or anything where your wrist is bearing a load: Rogue Wrist Wraps
            2. Leather grips for WODs with high-rep pullups, toes to bar, or other bar work (Randy, for instance): https://www.againfaster.com/shop/pro...-faster-grips/
            3. Stretchy wristbands for high-rep kettlebell work - makes doing 100 snatches for time about a million times less painful for your forearm: Exercise Wristbands - rainbow colors (Pride) on eBay!
            4. Oly shoes. This is an investment, but if you're serious about Oly lifting, they are a must.

            Tape is quick and dirty gear. You can make wrist wraps and grips, and wrap the base of your thumbs to help your hook grip.

            I take a gym bag with me to each workout that contains everything above. Even if you know the WOD ahead of time, you never know when they'll throw in impromptu double under practice, or whatever. It's good to have your own gear with you at all times.

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            • #7
              Wow, cool, thanks, heatseeker! Looks like I'll have to make a trip to the sporting goods store next weekend to gather supplies. I'll probably wait on the Oly shoes--because, at this point, not sure if I'm going to be serious about Olympic lifting. (Heh.) But all the other stuff look useful and not too expensive so would be good to have.

              My journal

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              • #8
                I love my Reebok Nano 2.0 great shoes with lateral support and a bit more cushioning than some others that are used for CF, just enough to keep my problem feet from complaining.

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                • #9
                  Merrell also makes a couple of minimal running/trail running shoes that are comfy but don't have the squishy soles like regular running shoes. I have the Reebok Nano 1.0s and I like them a lot, even for "longer" distance running (around 1k), and I alternate between those and my Merrells.

                  Tape is a must-have. I actually buy my own from findtape.com. Get the stretchy athletic adhesive kind--model 4500 or 4600. I'm currently doing my WODs with a fractured metacarpal/partly torn radial collateral ligament in my right thumb (not injured at CF), and the tape is a lifesaver. I also Oly lift, and tape my thumbs to save my skin on snatches and jerks.

                  I have Reebok's Oly shoes, and they're great but expensive, so I wouldn't recommend them unless you plan on doing Oly lifting on a regular basis. A lot of my powerlifting friends wear Converse All-Stars or similar type "retro" shoes, which don't have much padding and work well for an Oly intensive WOD.

                  That jumprope looks good. I got my from RX Jump Ropes, and I can replace the cable when I wear it out. They also offer different weight cables, in custom lengths.

                  I have pretty strong wrists and I haven't seen the need for wrist wraps, but I might try them just to see if they help.

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                  • #10
                    For clamps - try these, I like them: Rogue HG Collars

                    For developing grip strength check out these exercises: Dinosaur Training: Important Exercises for Forearm and Grip Strength

                    I love minimus and vibrams, but also like these - Inov-8 Homepage Trail, Road and Fitness Footwear

                    If you are gonna do olympic lifts, you might want to invest in some olympic weight lifting shoes.
                    -mikewootini
                    ==================================================
                    While I am 100% primal, sometimes I change gears to Paleo.
                    twitter feed * Wootini Gallery

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                    • #11
                      Oh yeah, I forgot about Inov-8s. Lots of people have those and love them for Crossfit.

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                      • #12
                        As stated before, grip strength will come with time. However if you think it is a true weakness and is holding you back you might want to put some extra work into it. Grip strength is absolutly key when you start getting lots of reps of pullups, toes to bars, deads ect.

                        One thing I'll do from time to time is crab grip some plates and do a farmers walk. What this means is you hold the plates from the top with your thumb on one side and all four fingers on the other, not through the hole in the plate. Do a few sets where you carry them down and back your gym. Use whatever weights you can, 10s 25s 35s or 45s!

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                        • #13
                          I just went to the store and tried on a bunch of shoes. I ended up going with the Merrells because they were really light weight but offered a bit of arch support. But I was really torn between them and the New Balance Minimus. Even now I'm sitting here wondering if I should go back and exchange the Merrells for the New Balance.

                          My journal

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                          • #14
                            I have the minimus and merrels. I through the merrels in the trunk of the car and only use them when there is a shoe emergency. I don't like the 'arch' support like thing. I don't like the too loose front, I love the minimus though. It's my daily shoe to avoid weird toe stares at work. I tend to work out in vibrams 5 fingers, but do use my innovates sometimes. I also have some VIVOBAREFOOT | The original barefoot shoe | Barefoot Running | Barefoot Shoes | Home for dress shoes and the airport and I have to say they are possibly the most comfortable barefoot shoe I've ever worn.
                            -mikewootini
                            ==================================================
                            While I am 100% primal, sometimes I change gears to Paleo.
                            twitter feed * Wootini Gallery

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                            • #15
                              I also recommend the Minimus's I have 2 pairs and I love them. I wear them to work too since I'm on my feet all day. And the Rogue HG collars make life easier as well as strength wraps they really help my wrists on OHS.

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