If you’re new to the CrossFit community, I’m sure one of the first things that you noticed is that you no longer just walk into the gym a with just a water bottle. Silly me, I used to roll up to Gold’s with a little drawstring knapsack to toss my keys and cell phone into while I went all crazy during spin class. Then, I signed up for CrossFit.

Hanging from a pull-up bar was one of the most foreign concepts ever. I hadn’t climbed a rope since the 4th grade. My hands were NOT in any sort of tough shape, and those blisters (and eventual rips) HURT. So, I went to the store and bought myself a pair of wide receiver gloves.

Then, I got my own jump rope. I noticed that I’d get shooting pain through the back of my hands whenever cleans got heavy. At regionals in 2013, I got my first pair of wrist wraps. The pile of CrossFit stuff kept growing, as did the size of my gym bag. Nanos, lifters, headbands, grips, chalk, knee sleeves…

WHERE DID ALL THIS COME FROM?!

So, if you’re still new to CrossFit and are wondering what certain things are and where you can get all this stuff for yourself, I’m here to break it down for you.

Rogue Fitness – You see the name Rogue on people’s shirts, shorts and our bumper plates all the time. In addition to rigs, plates and equipment, Rogue is essentially a CrossFit supermarket. They boast that they have the widest selection of shoes, and carry the 2 main footwear brands in the CF world, Nike and Reebok.

If you want to do some side by side comparisons, try CrossFit-centric sites that carry multiple popular brands, along with some smaller up-and-comers:
wodsuperstore.com
wodshop.com
shopboxbasics.com

So, what are the most common workout accessories you’ll find in a CrossFitter’s bag?

Nanos/Metcons
Your general catch-all training shoe. Not always carried in general sporting goods stores. I’ve always gotten mine directly from Reebok or Nike, either in their own retail or outlet stores.

Olympic Lifting Shoes
Rarely carried retail. You can buy directly from the manufacturers themselves online. If you’ve got tiny feet and are looking for Nike Romaleos, I’ve been told that EastBay.com has more sizes and colors than are listed on Nike’s own website.

Wrist Wraps
Barbells get heavy, and a lot of us aren’t used to holding up our bodyweight’s equivalent in the front rack position in the everyday course of our lives. Not all athletes use them, but they’re a very helpful accessory to help lend you some support as the weights go up. They can be found on those websites listed above, or directly through brands. I snagged my wraps from a Strength Wraps booth at 2013 Regionals.

Knee Sleeves
Everyone’s got their own reason for wearing them. I personally didn’t think they were necessary until tearing my meniscus a couple years ago. Since then, I’ve found knee sleeves to help keep my knees warm and flexy during heavy and high-volume squat metcons. PLUS, they offer an extra layer of protection when there are burpees involved, which is a big ol’ bonus. I’ve seen a big increase in knee sleeve popularity in the past 2 years. Rehband (one of the most common brands you’ll see) used to make only 1 color, now they come in a rainbow.

Jump Rope
This is where I make an exception in general gear snobbery. If you can’t do double unders consistently, buying a $40 custom jump rope is not going to magically give you the ability to do them. Save your money. Buy a $10 adjustable rope on Amazon, (like this one). Practice, practice, practice. Build confidence with a simple rope that you can tweak and adjust to your body perfectly. Once you’re good at DUs, reassess your feelings and spend the extra money if you still feel the need to. Chances are, you will realize that money can be put to better use in the Friday night pizza fund.