Admittedly, a CrossFit membership isn’t cheap. But the good news is that you don’t really need a lot of extra gear after that to get the most out of your time at the gym and your workouts!
People often ask me what they all need to “fit in” at the gym. My answer is not much!
As a very beginner, just a pair of shoes and comfortable clothes you are OK sweating in. As you get into it more, I do recommend a pair of CrossTrainer/CrossFit shoes.
I also recommend having your own jump rope. Most gyms will provide ropes for community use, but they are never quite the right length or the handle you prefer. And no one takes care of equipment as well as they when it is there own. You can get a rope that you like and it can be sized exactly for you! Your practice is also more consistent if you know you are using the same rope every time – and this can make a huge difference when you are starting out!
If you have knee pain, maybe knee sleeves, though if possible it would be best to do weights and movements where the sleeves aren’t needed.
Same goes for wrist wraps and weight belts. Your body isn’t going to work on getting that area stronger if it can always rely on the extra support. It could be argued that if you need a sleeves, wraps, or belts for a heavy lift, that maybe you aren’t strong enough for that weight. Drop the weight and work on bracing and developing strength in those weaker areas.
It can take some time when people first start CrossFit to develop callouses and toughen up the hands. It is worth the initial discomfort to toughen up that soft hand skin. You will then always be ready for anything you may have to do!
Gloves can keep hands soft and help with grip, but are a pain to get on and take off throughout a class. Grips can also save hands from tears during movements on the rig, but it can be argued that it is more beneficial to toughen up your hands and scale as needed until you get there.
Very rarely someone from a different fitness background will come in and want to use straps for lifts. Straps may have a place in the Olympic lifting and training world, but not really in day to day CrossFit. Straps take some time to get set up on the bar, and if used incorrectly can be disastrous! It can also be argued that if you aren’t strong enough to lift that barbell without straps, you simply aren’t strong enough to lift that barbell. Grip strength is part of the overall strength we are working towards.
Olympic Lifting shoes are also a luxury and not a necessity for every day CrossFit. For athletes that have hip or ankle mobility issues, they can help. But, it is rare that an entire class or even an entire workout is something you can or will want to do with those heavy, high heeled Olympic shoes. And it takes a lot of time to change those shoes between movements!
CrossFit is all about training for the unknown and unknowable. Often in a workout there isn’t time to put on and take off all of the extra stuff between movements. In a real life situation you certainly aren’t going to have the time to put any of these accessories on. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.