Jan 27 2015
Schedule Clarification Sorry to panick some of you yesterday, the Mobile formatting made it look like we were canceling ALL 7:30PM Classes. This is not the case. We offer 7:30PM EVERY NIGHT except Friday.
There is NO 7AM today (or Friday).
This weekend we saw some awesome performances at APC’s now-annual WOD Wars. And going through the pictures, I was struck by a certain amount of something I saw. It got me thinking and to realize that something has happened over the last few years, something pervasive, something a little bit wrong.
I’m talking about the accessory gear we use in CrossFit. Shoes, Knee Sleeves, Wrist Wraps, Weight Belts, Head Bands, Tall Socks and so on – it’s everywhere, and that’s a bad thing.
(disclaimer: WOD Wars is a competition so I’m generally in favor using whatever tools are allowed in the rules to do the best you can – The pictures coming out of there were just the inspiration for this post and in no way am I trying to belittle anyone’s great effort and courage of working out in front of a crowd and being judged).
If you go through the linked pictures you’ll see it everywhere: an out-of-shape CrossFitter in the scaled division lifting a fraction of their 1RM decked out in every piece of gear and shoe you could fit onto their body. I know it’s a competition but I have to ask myself: why do you even own all that crap?
Let’s add it all up:
Wrist Wraps – $15
Knee Sleeves – $60
Weight Belt – $30
Reebok Lifters – $140
WOD Shoes – $115
That’s $360 (or roughly 3 months of CrossFit). Yes, you need some shoes to workout in and if you like the Reeboks that’s cool but you can totally do CrossFit, especially for the first COUPLE YEARS, in $45 Chucks. So call it $315 of useless gear.
The Problem: Masking the REAL Problems –
You should be able to move, pain-free, without any gear of any kind. Learn what your body needs and be aware of it. Take control of your life and workouts, don’t just let them happen to you. Add gear when you near your limits as a safety net.
Adding gear should help you reach your true and final potential, it SHOULD NOT be an everyday thing that you always use regardless. If it is, you’re delaying your own progress. You’re using them as a crutch.
Let’s take wrist wraps. Wraps help your wrists feel better in the Front Rack position. They mask that you have crappy wrist mobility. They’re a $15 band-aid that covers up that you don’t work on mobility. I got caught up in that trap for more than a year. My wrists hurt, the wraps helped, but they also made my grip suck. To get better wrists and grip I had to develop and learn how to stretch and properly warm up my wrists. I wasted a YEAR. I’d be more versatile and stronger if I had never made that mistake.
How should I spend my time and money then?
The vast majority of today’s CrossFitters would be better off ditching the gear (read more below) and using the saved money for Personal Training or Grass-fed/Organic Food.
Learn more and Eat better. If your knees hurt, learn why and spend time fixing it. If your core is weak, learn why and fix it. If your wrists hurt, if you keep ripping your hands, if whatever… spend some time learning why and then spend even more time working to fix it.
How to get off the Gear:
Take slow steps. DO NOT go from completely decked out every WOD to nothing at all, you’ll hurt yourself. You need to ease into it building flexibility and stability which might take a long time. First, start by making just one change at a time, lose the wraps for a WOD or wear your WOD shoes during an OLY heavy WOD. Expect that it will be hard and you might not do well.
Be SMART about which WODs you go gearless – if your wrists always hurt on Thrusters then it’s not a great idea to make Fran your first WOD without wraps, maybe start on a KBS WOD and then a Power Clean WOD. It’ll be a process, take your time.
Dmac’s Accessory list: My own personal list of when I use various bits of gear.
Tape: Thumbs, always. Hands, almost never but I will on KB Snatches and Ring Work.
Wrist Wraps: Only on OLY lifts greater than 90% – just max out days.
Weight Belt: Weight Lifting only over 85%. I warm up without it and do as much as possible without it.
Knee Sleeves: Heavy Squats, Heavy Oly, Pistols, and Burpees (which is just for comfort so my knees don’t bang the ground).
Oly Shoes: Lifting only, WODs with Heavy (165lb Snatches, etc) OLY or Squat movements, Pistols.
As for the Fashion Centric Items of CrossFit:
Head Bands – Froning made these popular, he use to rip a sleeve off a t-shirt and write some initials of friends and cousins that passed away and a bible verse, which was cool. Then the Games made him remove it bc it wasn’t Reebok. Now he wears one to cover his accelerating hair loss.
Booty Shorts and High Socks – Theoretically to protect your shins and give you freedom of movement this was started between 2009 and 2010 by Krystal McReynolds Katie Hogan then Stacie Tovar – both were colligate volleyball players and were just wearing what they were use to wearing from that. If you plan to play volleyball after your WOD it makes a lot of sense to save the changing time, or if you have delicate shins you need to protect.
Lululemon – Broke big in CF before Reebok bc it was pretty good stuff, now 5 years later it’s everywhere and the quality has gone down significantly. Still, price and quality wise it’s better than almost everything Reebok sells for just a little bit more.
Ditching the gear will make you better faster and when you compete you’ll be that much better!
100 Pull Ups
100 KB Swings (1.5/1p)
100 Double Unders
100 OHS (95/65)
25 Min Cap
3RM Power Snatch (TaG, Work up from 50% in 5lb Increments, lots of Reps, be perfect).