Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Must Have CrossFit Gear

I could not justify the purchase of CrossFit gear for a long time. In some weird way I felt like since I wasn't a CF Games competitor I wasn't supposed to have any of the "extras". I am way over that mentality now. The proper equipment can help you improve your skills and fitness, regardless of your CF level. Below is my list of must have gear. There are a lot of brands and equipment options out there, but I like to talk about what I know. So here we go!

If you only plan to invest in one item for CF then a good pair of shoes are my top suggestion. All feet are designed differently and shoe preference will vary from person to person. I suggest trying on a few different pairs while mimicking some CF moves. Do some squats. Jump around. Jog around the store. Get a really good feel for them. If they feel heavy and clunky, they are not the right shoes for you. Josh and I wear Reebok Crossfit Nanos 2.0 and we love them. They are light, flexible and they last a long time. I have had mine for almost two years, and despite having their fair share of rope climbs, runs, and box jumps under their laces, they are still in good condition. 

Following your regular WOD shoes, I suggest investing in weight lifting shoes. I put off purchasing these for a long time and boy do I regret it. Lifting shoes help you lift more weight while maintaining proper form and stability. A good weight lifting shoe helps stabilize your foot and puts your body weight in the tripod (heal and ball of your foot). If you have a tendency to roll onto my toes during squats (like I do), a lifting shoe will help you stay balanced and firmly planted in the tripod position. I put on my lifters for weight lifting days and WODS that have more of a barbell focus. Since you do not wear them as much as your regular CF shoes, your lifters will last you a long time. If what I said above doesn't convince you to purchase lifting shoes maybe this will!
I have the Reebok CrossFit Lifter which are currently on sale. 

Picture it:
You are cranking out some Overhead Squats or killing some Push Presses. The weight feels great but you are forced to drop the bar because your wrists are KILLING YOU. It is time to purchase wrist wraps. Because of the extra stability and support the wraps provide, you will be able to lift more weight and get in more reps! 
I have Rogue Wrist Wraps in Size Small. 
What they look like when you are wearing them. 

Double Unders are regularly incorporated CrossFit WODs but a lot of people have trouble conquering the skill. While practice makes perfect when it comes to DUs, owning your own rope doesn't hurt either. I suggest a speed rope with an adjustable rope length. Gradually as you get better at DUs you will be able shorten the rope length and get faster DUs. A custom rope limits you to one length which will be a disadvantage if it comes too short or too long (this happened to Josh). Thicker ropes are heavier and make quickly moving the equipment more difficult. Yes, they hurt less when you miss a jump. However, I find it easier to get a good pace with a fast moving rope!

Pull-Ups were one of the CF elements that took me the longest to conquer. I had the strength but I either got so sweaty I could not grip the bar (regardless of how much chalk I used) or my hands ripped making it painful to continue. Josh got me some natural grips to see if they would help. At first I did not like them and felt like they made the bar even more slippery. But after I got used to them (and they got dirtier), I held on to the bar longer, completed more reps, and my callouses rarely ripped.

Josh and I keep all of our equipment (minus our Nanos) in a gym bag that stays in the car. Then we never show up to a WOD missing the gear we need!

And there you have it! All of these opinions are my own and I have not been paid to talk about these items. However that would be awesome if I was ;)

What are your CrossFit gear must haves?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Recap: Getting Dirty

Getting Dirty was kinda the theme of this past weekend...

On Friday, the girls and I met up for some Mexican food and a night at the theater...and by theater I mean "Dirty Dancing" On Stage! It was pretty much identical to the movie, but something about it being on stage made it extremely a bit more comical. I may or may not have let out a LOUD giggle snort during one of the scenes. Speaking of snorts, I do it all the time now. Is that something that just gets worse with age?

Soooo good but nothing is better than the classic. Patrick Swayze will always be the hottest!
And, of course, we bought souviners #icarriedawatermelon #nobodyputsbabyinacorner

The next morning got started with an early WOD. My MUPs (Muscle Ups) are a work in progress so I substituted transition work for them in the WOD. Finished in 25:14. It was a grinder. 

Following my sweat session, I finally unpacked from the wedding and honeymoon much to Josh's amazement. I am pretty sure he had already decided that he was going to have to live with my suitcase in the bedroom forever. It is so nice to be organized again. I am usually a neat freak, but since I didn't have any place for my stuff to go it made unpacking more difficult.

After a quick breakfast, Josh, Walter and I loaded up the car and made our way to House Softball League Tournament. The second we got to the field it started to rain. Walter didn't care (and neither did the tournament organizers). He played in the mud, ran in the wet grass, and enjoyed getting lots of attention from all of the players. After Josh's first game (which they won), we decided to take home our wet and dirty Corgi.
After I forewarned him that a bath was in his future...he was not pleased.
Walter did not love his bath but he his coat was so shiny after!
After Walter's sink bath, Josh went back to the tournament while the pup and I took naps. After an afternoon of playing, Walter was exhausted and so was I!

That night our Aggie friends and Josh's Softball Team came over for the Aggie Game. During the game we took breaks to hop in the hot tub, devour some pizza, and visit. It was a great night with great friends and an Aggie Victory made it even better!

On Sunday we slept in and then embarked on a marathon of errand running which included trips to: Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Goods (love that place), William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and the Container Store. Phew! 80% of our errands revolved around returning damaged wedding gifts. Everyone was so great to work with and made the exchange process a piece of cake. Holla!
Walter would love all of these!

Our final errand was at Eastern Market to pick up some money I had made selling my old clothes at the resale boutique. We were 52 dollars richer and celebrated with homemade ice cream. It was the bomb dot com. 

Coffee Oreo

After Mass, we were finally able to go home and give Walter his new toy. Every time I walk into the pet store I want to get him everything something new. 

We spent our evening working on thank you notes while watching the Miss America Pageant. After the interview portion, I knew that Miss New York was going to win. Back when we were in NYC in July, we saw Miss New York. I thought about asking her to take a picture with us and then decided against it. I have been kicking myself ever since she won last night. Lesson Learned: always get the picture with the pageant girl in front of you!

How was your weekend?

Did you watch Miss America?

Who did you pick to win?

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Things Friday

This week was a busy one: work was nuts, started volunteering again, and my suitcase remains unpacked! EEK! However, I have been on cloud 9 ever since Rachael sent us some of our Wedding Pictures. Like I told her, I am ready to print copies and plaster all of them on every inch of empty wall space in our house. 
I love them so much! 

Got a lot of fun things going on this weekend. I hope you do too! Cheers!

Found some little umbrellas when I was going through the spice cabinet. 
Little Umbrellas = Instant Party

Walter loves the new pillow Lanie gave us!

Throwback to our Honeymoon where I pretty much only ate two things: cheeseburgers and lobster. 

Josh and I went antiquing for a bit on Sunday. Found a few things I really liked including a dresser and a globe, but we walked out empty handed. Maybe they will still be there on a future excursion. 

One of my favorite photos from the wedding: Whooooooooop!!!
Thank you Rachael for capturing all of these great moments!