Gearing up for the holidays
Our coaches guide to braving blatant consumerism!
It’s coming to “that” time of the year – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pay in installments, 0% interest, free shipping… It’s all there, reeling you in.
So, if you want to take advantage of the lower-priced opportunities to purchase gear, then this guide will (hopefully) empower you to make some smart purchases and invest in your fitness for the coming year…
But what to get? I asked all the coaches for their recommendations and preferred brands – and no, we don’t get a kick-back from the vendors!
Footwear – make sure you have the right shoes for the job… Most people when they start at the gym show up un any old shoe. Usually, a pair of running shoes. And while these are OK for running, not so much for many of the other movements we do – in fact, they can make life more difficult – like working out with marshmallows laced to your feet.
If I could give one “biggest bang for your buck” piece of advice to anyone starting out, it would be to invest in your footwear.
If you only plan on one pair of shoes, then these cross-training options are stellar (all available in men’s/women’s sizes/colors):
Reebok Nano – the one that started it all – Check regularly for deals.
NoBull – the new CrossFit sponsor
Nike Metcon – great all-rounder
Inov8 – good for wider feet!
When lifting, especially as you get heavier, you need at the very least a pair of flat-soled, un-cushioned shoes. If you are a bit more serious, then a pair of lifting shoes is a must! Weightlifting shoes allow you to safely lift heavier loads. The elevated heel on the shoe may look kind of funny, but it has a valuable purpose. The heel increases your range of motion and allows you to use every aspect of your musculature with more stability and efficiency:
Reebok Legacy – Check regularly for deals
Protect your knees. A good pair of knee sleeves are worth the price of admission for rehab, prehab and protection – They support joint compression and provide warmth to promote better blood flow and reduce the direct strain on the knees. Not just for squats, they also protect against the floor for burpees, lunges etc. 5mm is a good thickness.
“Take your protein pills and put your helmet on…”
Well protein powder anyway. And alongside the protein powder, pick up a mini whisk (milk frother) to get rid of all the little lumps that may happen if you’ve not got a shaker bottle. There are SO many options out there. Here are a few:
Legion Athletics Whey+
Legion Athletics Casein+
If you have softer hands, or have ever torn your hand on the rig, a good pair of 3-hole grips are a must. There are many to choose from, and people often buy the wrong size, as they don’t know how to wear them. Here are a couple of options that also give good sizing information so you can make sure you get the right size, and then can use them as intended. They will save your hands and boost your confidence when doing T2B, pull ups etc.
Get your own jump-rope. If you are trying to get double-unders, consistency is key, and using a rope that’s sized correctly for you and has the right “feel” can make all the difference. They all come in tidy pouches that make them easy to keep in your gym bag/car.
Don’t buy the cheap ones – they are not durable enough to last – and they are often too lightweight to work properly. Here are a couple of tried and tested options. Choose the colors or patterns that fit your style, and even have it engraved. Size to fit, and you are up and running… Well, jumping anyway!
Rogue SR-2 3.0
For quality construction, blazing speed, smooth spin, and a customizable look, the SR-2 Speed Rope 3.0 knows no rivals. Get your double unders up, hit new PRs, then come back and do it again tomorrow.
RPM Session 4
Train with it, compete with it, travel with it… this is your do everything, go anywhere rope.
Look good doing it! If you spend as much time as we do wearing workout gear, it pays to find the brands that can hold up to the washing machine and the WODS. And there are some great brands out there. From the fitness giants like Reebok and Nike, to the boutique and bougie NoBull and Virus there’s something to fit your style… And there’s always a Vashon Strong T-shirt or Sweatshirt to complement the look!
WIT – All brands
Born Primitive – Solid and stylish. Women should size up on bra tops.
NoBull – Pricey, but exceptionally well made. Lasts and lasts.
Rogue – Great selection from multiple brands
Virus – Everything you need
LumberLegs – Shorts to show off your quads!
Westside Barbell – Go OG with gear from the OGs.
House of Athlete – Catwalk ready!
Warm Body Cold Mind – Clothing and accessories
Learn from the experts and invest in a basic mobility tool–kit. These are the essentials that you can use every day, anywhere, and deliver the most bang for your pre/post/re-hab buck!
Voodoo floss bands
The Voodoo Floss Band is an essential performance tool and should be a staple in the gym bag of every athlete looking to improve range, restore joint mechanics, or unglue matted down or previously injured tissue.
Green monster band (#3)
Rogue Monster Bands are the versatile, go-anywhere accessory for customized resistance training—from mobility work and pull-up assistance to banded squats and bench presses. The cheap versions just don’t last like these!
The Supernova is the absolute master of the mobility ball universe (although in this case, a cheaper “brand adjacent” from Amazon version is fine). Alongside a lacrosse ball – this is a go-to staple in your mobility toolbox. (Also available from Rogue if you want to do the “three ships for free offer).
A decent bag to put all your stuff in! Keep all your toys together in one place and avoid your car looking like a gym locker! A bag takes a beating, so get a decent one that is easy for you to carry.
Rogue gymbag – It will hold two pairs of shoes and all of your equipment very nicely.
Reebok bag – cheaper end
Patagucci – Patagonia is pricy, but awesome!
Carhartt – Timeless and affordable
REI – Budget
Coaches stocking stuffers
Wrist wraps – essential as you start benching and pressing larger weights
Weightlifting belt – Protect your back properly
Subscription to ROMWOD – Daily mobility and body-specific pathways
Subscription to The Ready State – the mobility guru, Kelly Starett’s, app
WHOOP Band – track your workouts, recovery, and heartrate variance
MCT Oil – For your body and brain (Also available at Costco)
Omega-3 Fish oil – Take every day
L-Tyrosine – Get mood-boosting focus
VashonStrong gift certificates for any amount – talk to Josh
Biggest take-away – keep checking the websites regularly – Reebok ALWAYS have offers, Rogue offers a “Three ship for free” on certain items, and practically everyone will offer some discount for signing up to their email list. if you shop around, you’re sure to get a good deal now you know what you are shopping for!
And remember to pick up a free Community Coalition gift card from the gym for $20 off a selection of brands.