Derby City CrossFit Christmas List – 2016
Written by: Coach Slater
Your mom is a sweetheart, but there’s a 0% chance she knows which gym bag you really want for Christmas, or which version of the Sling Shot knee sleeves are better for CrossFit, or what brand of jump rope has that knurled handle you like. She’s going to get you a sweater or something for your dog, and it’s going to be sweet of her; but, it’s on you to pickup what you really want. And here’s a list of what you really want for Christmas.
King Kong Gym Bag
In past years, I’ve recommended the GoRuck GR2 bag for its ability to do anything and everything for you; but, their prices have gotten out of control so I can no longer say they make a reasonable gym bag. That’s fine, really, because I’ve seen good reviews lately of the King Kong bag and I like how much crap it can hold inside. You’re going to have a gym bag for maybe 10 years before it falls apart, so spend some money on a good one that will last and can fit anything you might need for a normal day at the gym, a future competition, or all the new, cool shit you’re getting for Christmas.
Sling Shot Knee Sleeves
These 7mm sleeves are virtually identical to a ton of other options on the market, including the sleeves from Bear Komplex which a handful of DCCF-ers have. Here’s my vote against Bear Komplex: I don’t like motivational sayings on my knee sleeves. If I’m going to wear knee sleeves, I want them basic and plain. The Rehband knee sleeves are a classic option, but I can’t find their 7mm option in any color options besides black (if that’s an interest for you). Then again, Rich Froning wears the 5mm and it comes in multiple colors, so hey… what do I know…
You’ve been attending Derby City for over three months, so you’re at the official point where you legally must upgrade your shoe game or risk ridicule. Those super-cushiony Saucony’s from last summer’s attempt at running for fitness don’t work inside a gym where you’ve learned that speed, strength, grit, and determination are more important than a 5k ribbon. Upgrade your shoe to one that can handle the rigors of weightlifting, sprinting, jumping, and squatting. Grab yourself a pair of Metcons and make it official. You’re a CrossFitter now.
Harbinger 5″ Foam Core Belt
Anything bigger is overkill. Anything smaller isn’t effective. Get yourself a nice, simple belt, learn to breathe INTO it, and watch your major lifts skyrocket. Let me repeat the second part of that sentence… learn to breathe INTO it. If your chest lifts before your belly expands, then you’re not doing it right. Give us 60sec and we’ll teach you how to use a belt effectively to better brace for your squat, clean, jerk, whathaveyou. Then, go out and get yourself a belt. It’s as vital to your gym bag as your intra/post-workout shake. Oh you don’t have an intra- OR post-workout shake?!?! Whattt innn theeee…. Ok, that’s a rant for a different day.
RPM Speed Rope
I’ve said this before and I stand by it: If you’ve been at Derby City for over a year and you don’t own your own jump rope… What. Are. You. Even. Doing? Yes, we have jump ropes at Derby City, but they’re really just here for those who forgot to bring their own. Having your own rope means not having to find one long/short enough for you in the maze of ropes we have on the wall. But, getting the right rope is important… Don’t just buy any rope. I think the steel handles of the RPM feel great in your hand during a sweaty workout, and their bushing mechanism means these things really whip. The bare steel cables move like lighting, but they tend to fray after 6 months. The plastic coated cables will last I-dont-even-know-how-long and come in various colors, including orange to match the gym. Hint hint.
These are essential and should be a staple in any gym bag. The idea behind VooDoo Flossing is something called “compression tack and flossing”. It works on many levels, including reintroducing blood flow to your stiff tissues, and by compressing swelling out of tissues and joints. Now, it’s a short-term relief and needs to be followed up by you moving/squatting/pulling/pushing in this new range-of-motion to nail home the neurological effects; but… buy some. Try it. Be amazed.
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your technique is to watch video of yourself. But, recording yourself is kinda tricky… are you gonna lean your phone against some kettlebells and hope no one steps on it on accident? Nah, bruh. Grab a magnetic perchmount and attach that thing to the rig at any angle you can imagine. I recommended one to Massage Therapist extraordinaire, Jamie Gerhard, and now she’s posting cool-ass vids on Instagram on the reg.
We’ve written about why you should be taking Magnesium here: (3 Vitamins & Minerals You Should Be Taking) and here: (Combating Soreness). And, we’ve linked to articles about it like: The Lifter’s Guide to Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does for Strength. So, at this point, if you’re still not taking Magnesium, you’re basically spitting in our face because you hate good advice. Natural Calm contains Magnesium Citrate which is probably the best option for you, because better options are cost-prohibitive and worse options have a laxative effect. So, pick this up for Christmas, become a better athlete, and watch your sleep improve tenfold.
We’ve got a shoulder protocol in place for those suffering from weak overhead positions. The next step is strengthening your ass to make your hips and knees feel better. The Hip Circle is an easy thing to keep in your new gym bag and knock out in your pre-warmup-warmup to make your lower half feel nice and tingly before class announcements.