SIC Holiday Gear Guide

Welcome to the SIC first annual Holiday Gear Guide at South Island CrossFit here on Whidbey Island. I hope this list helps you find the right gift for someone or that it helps you find the right item for yourself this holiday season. Leave a comment at the end. What would you like to see on this list next year?
For a product to be recommended here, the gifts have to be 1) products that I have used myself, and 2) if a product makes this guide, it has to be one I would readily recommend to a close friend without hesitation. I received any special promotion from any of these companies. These are simply my favorite recommendations from this past year. I’ve added links to all the products so you can select the right one from the title of each bullet point. 
Cheapest to Most Expensive.
  • PVC – Less than $4 For $11 you can get 20ft of PVC pipe at Lowes in Everett. Have them cut a 7 foot section for you and voila, you have one of the cheapest and most affective CrossFit gifts one could hope to acquire. Of course this isn’t something you would put in your gym bag, but it’s nice to have something to stretch with when you’re home on a day off.
  • Speed Rope – $7 This is the rope I started out with and it worked great for me. Having your own personal jump rope means not having to take time sorting through all the jump ropes hanging on the cage to find the one that fits. Get your own. Size it to yourself. It’s difficult to get the knack for doubles if you’re constantly trying different ropes. Fortunately they can be pretty cheap. This one is just under $7 on Amazon. If you want one with a ball bearing in the handle it will be a little more expensive. Try this one from Wod Nation.
  • Calf Sleeve – $7.36 for 1 Having protection for your shins when you attempt box jumps and rope climbs is a must. It’s easy to think that you won’t miss that box jump. But for just under $8 you can keep yourself from a month of recovery. Of course you’ll need to measure the circumference of your lower leg to get the size right. Still these are great to have and easy to throw in your bag.
  • L-1 Manual – <$10 Have you ever wanted to learn what it means to coach as a certified L-1 CrossFit Trainer? This book is FREE to download, but for less than $10 you can have it printed and put in a binder so you can mark it up, take notes, and pass your L1 test this Spring. Then you can be one of SIC’s trainers and do CrossFit for free and at the same time help others discover something good about their life. Think about it!
  • ZooFit – $15 Our very own coach, Pattie Beaven recently published her own book called ZooFit. In it she has lots of great information on preserving your health and keeping fit with some great workouts. Support one of our own. Go buy her book.
  • Nuun Tablets – $19 Restoring your electrolytes after a workout is important for your recovery. Water is good, but often I find myself needing a little electrolyte boost. Electrolytes help to lubricate the muscles so they don’t get as sore after a workout. I personally prefer the ones without caffeine, but to each his own. My favorite flavor is lime. If you don’t know what flavor is best, you can get them in variety packs through Amazon and they come out to about $0.50 per tablet.
  • Theraband Flexbar – $20 Yes, it lookslike a cucumber. I’ve recently battled a bit of tennis elbow from doing pull-ups and grip related workouts. After some research I settled on this product. For the last week I’ve intentionally used it everyday to work my wrists and forearms, and as a result the pain in my outer forearm is finally starting to go away. They come in a variety of resistance levels. For me this has easily been worth it.
  • Wrist Wraps – $26 These wrist wraps are great for supporting your wrists doing snatches, cleans, and pushups. They may be a little to thick for a warm summer day, but they are easy to put on with the velcro strap.
  • The Squat Bible – $26.09 I recently read this book to expand my understanding of the Squat. If you are looking to develop a better squat and want some tips for getting the right form, this book provides just that. Dr. Horschig also has a Facebook page call Squat University where he regularly provides videos to give coaching for your squat. You don’t need to buy the book to watch the videos. His Facebook page is free.
  • Weightlifting Belt – $40 How many times do we do squats or deadlifts in the year. While SIC has some weightlifting belts, it’s nice to have one that only you have sweated in and that fits your waist. When you measure yourself for a belt, take the measurement from around your bellybutton and not your normal belt size. I learned that the hard way in buying my first belt. The leather of this belt from Dark Iron Fitness has a good feel to it. It’s stiff but not too high in the back. You don’t need a high back belt. The purpose of one of these belts is for your front core muscles to press against the belt causing your back to stabilize more when doing heavy weights. A belt isn’t necessary, but it does add some confidence for getting that extra five pounds on your max.
  • Ring Set – $50 Gymnastic Rings are one of those things that aren’t terribly expensive to own. The trick is figuring out where to put them at your house. If you have a strong tree branch, or a basement beam, or something else sturdy enough to hang straps, it’s handy to have a set of rings at home. You can do ring rows, holds, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. They are a great tool for building shoulder strength. We recently just added these rings from Double Circle. I really like their clips for easy installation.
  • SIC Groupon Gift Certificate – $120+tax Need a great deal to give a family member or friend? Our Groupon is the best fitness deal you’ll find this Season. Help us grow our little gym and help a friend discover their new favorite part of the day.
  • WOD Shoes…As a side note, I don’t like to buy expensive shoes. There are some higher priced CrossFit shoes out there that I haven’t tried yet. If you are like me and want to keep to a budget, than I hope you’ll find these shoes work just as well. Why get a specific shoe for CrossFit verses a normal running shoe? These shoes typically have a good rubber on the sole for climbing ropes and they are typically flatter than a running shoes which makes them great for deadlifts and power cleans.
    • Nike Reppers I just picked up the Nike Reppers a month ago and find them to be a good balance to my Reebok shoes (see below). I normally find Nikes to be too narrow for my feet, but these have worked just fine. Surprisingly I find them to be more comfortable for running WODS than my Reeboks and the toe box is a bit more flexible. They aren’t quite as tough as the Reebok shoes.
    • Reebok Ros Workout Tr 2-0 – $60 These were my first shoes I bought for CrossFit two years ago. They were on sale on Amazon for less than $60 and I didn’t care about color. They lasted for almost two years and I’ve bought more since then so that I could wear them all the time. They are comfortable and useful for just about anything. I find them to be a much tougher build compared to any of the running shoes I used to wear.
    • Legacy Lifters – $100-$200 My son likes to call these my “squatty shoes”. Getting your own lifting shoes is somewhat of a personal preference. Many CrossFit athletes don’t want to put the added expense into their fitness investment, which makes giving it as a gift a great opportunity to bless someone you care about. I’ve been using the Reebok Legacy lifters for the last couple months and find they are great to use for any squat movement. Getting low in your squat helps you utilize/strengthen your hamstrings which can help prevent an unnecessary knee injury. The price difference on Amazon relates to color and/or size. If you’re not too picky about color, you can get a good deal on these lifters. One of the things you want to do before you select a lifting shoe is to figure out how high you want you heal. A good way to test this is to use a 2.5lb plate or a 5lb plate under your heal and see if it helps you get deeper into your squat.
Honorable Mention
  • Wod Wax – $16 This is a product I haven’t tried yet, but has come highly recommended from other gym owners. Next year I’m pretty sure it will officially make the list. I use chalk for pull-ups, but was hoping to find something stickier. Tapping the bars isn’t something we do at SIC because it leaves a residue and creates a biohazard for the next person. WOD Wax is said to help prevent tearing and it also has an antibacterial property to help fight bacteria left on the bars from cuts and sweat. Of course after your workout, you’ll need to clean off the wax.
  • Other brands of lifting shoes that I’ve seen members using at our gym include the following:
    • Nordic Lifting Shoes – $80
      • These shoes are not as expensive as the Adidas, Nike,, or Reebok shoes. They still have a raised heal and will work great for some of your squatting-type of lifts.
    • Adidas Powerlift 3.1 – $90
      • You can get these in a variety of colors. The heal drop is not as extreme as the Reebok Legacy lifters.
  • SIC Personal Training Sessions – $65/hour.
    • A personal training session is a great way to get some tips for working on developing your squat or training your skill on certain movements. SIC offers personal training sessions for $65 per hour. If you want a 10-session card it is $500.