When you begin your CrossFit journey you wear typical gym clothes; usually a t-shirt and some shorts or sweatpants. The gym stuff or workout gear you’ve always worn, no big deal. You throw on your running sneakers and head out to your CrossFit gym. You may or may not notice right away that people are dressed differently. You see lots of spandex, short shorts, bright colors, tank tops, sports bras, board shorts, strange looking shoes that resemble rentals from the bowling alley, and sneakers of all colors of the rainbow. “What hell is Inov-8?” you think to yourself.
After a few weeks you might begin to inquire about the shoes that people are wearing. You get the lowdown on what a minimalist shoe does and how it works well for CrossFit. Some people wear Inov-8 or New Balance, and the Reebok CrossFit Nano is a huge hit as well. You discover that all of the Reebok shoes can be customized. The options are endless! You get a great explanation from your coach about how amazing Olympic Weightlifting shoes are and why they actually make a difference to performance.
After that, if you’re a woman, you do your first WOD with burpees in it, and you find yourself constantly pulling your pants up. If you’re a dude, you might even lose your drawers while jumping rope, especially once your begin with the double-unders. Better hope you have some nice compression shorts on under those B-ball shorts. If you don’t, go get some, immediately. If you’ll notice I emphasized the word under. It is frowned upon to wear compression shorts by themselves if you’re a guy. But back to the ladies, the key to keeping your pants up during burpees is choosing spandex that are tight enough, or wearing pants with a draw string. I have spent way too much money on spandex that are too big. Spandex should basically fit you like second skin. That’s what Lululemon says, anyway. But I have to agree. A note about spandex. DO THE SQUAT TEST! This is when you squat in front of a mirror or a trusted friend. You are checking that your spandex don’t become sheer when you bend over.
You might find yourself distracted by the length (or lack of length) of the shorts that some of the ladies wear. “How the F would I ever squat in short shorts without giving the whole gym a show?” I used to think to myself. It seemed like a completely out-of-this-world idea. You also see lots of the bros taking their shirts off during workouts. It’s great. One of the best parts of CrossFit is that you can wear just about anything you want and as much or as little as you want and it’s cool!
As the weeks and months go on, you begin to notice changes in your body and you begin to feel a little bit more confident. As a trainer, I’ve noticed that as I have watched many people evolve in CrossFit. As an athlete, I experience on my own personal journey. My first 6 months I literally wore the same two pairs of pants to every WOD I did. The first time I wore shorts I felt naked. It’s really fun to see people walk into the gym with their new gear, super proud of their purchases and anxious to see how much better they perform because of their new Inov-8’s, or their weightlifting shoes, or their new Rogue tank top. You start to figure out which clothes function the best for which WODs and you plan your outfits around movements. You begin to feel restricted in your old college T-shirts and opt for a brightly colored racerback tank. You are the first one to sign up for your gym’s next gear order and you wear it around town proudly. You walk a little taller, you make better choices in the grocery store, and you’re eager to tell people about your gym when they ask about CrossFit!
Whatever you choose to wear to the gym, make sure you’re comfortable. The worst thing is being worried about a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of an AMRAP.
It’s all about the gear, right?
Start the conversation…What is your favorite piece of gear or clothing?
PR shorts, anyone? Leave comments here, or on Facebook!