The CrossFitter's Survival Bag

multi tool 600Before an early morning WOD this past week, Josh watched as I took a multi-tool out of my WOD bag to make a quick adjustment to my jump rope. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it apparently surprised him, because he chuckled and said that he also kept one in his bag.
That prompted me to think of a seasoned pilot that I flew with years ago.  “Bob” carried a small backpack with him just about everywhere he went and definitely on every flight.  Every aircraft is equipped with a small survival kit and most pilots augment what the service provides with things that they feel will help in an emergency.  Bob was unique though in that his bag, which weighed in at somewhere around 40 pounds, had added everything he needed at one time or another- but didn’t have at the time. This accumulation of items included water, some food, a space blanket, batteries… the usual.  Bob also had a multi-meter, courtesy of a night he had an electrical problem that he had to wait overnight in a field for someone to troubleshoot; an air pistol, from another night when some unfriendly animals wanted to investigate his lame aircraft a little closer; a hatchet, and many other odds and ends.
Much like Bob, every CrossFitter should have a survival bag of their own. Over the years, here are some of the things that we’ve discovered you should never leave home without:
Watch: because things just wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t hear the 3…2…1…GO!
Rope: this is the bare minimum you should have for stretching if a band like below is unavailable. You’ll need something a few feet long…a belt or tie would even work in the short term.
Stretch band: there should never be a reason why you can’t work on your flexibility. Find these at Wal-Mart, any sports store, or on or
Lacrosse ball: actually, get three of these. Tape two of them together and keep the third by itself. In the same vein as #2, mashing apart matted down tissues should be of no concern. These can be found the same places as the stretch band. Many of them have gotten legs and walked right out of the bucket from the gym. I guess they were tired of being tortured underneath the sweaty underbelly of our…oh never mind.
Jump Rope: no place to run, raining/snowing out? Then here is your best bet. Now we can practice to perfect the double under where ever we are…
Bambi Bands: these little gems have been known to cure a case of collapsing knees in an instant (stopping that annoying “knees out!” you hear when you squat). They’ve also been known to light a fire deep inside your gluteal tissue that you never knew could be ignited that quickly! Check them out here 6540PL
Athletic Tape: you never know when you gotta protect those hands! Get the cloth tape, not the plastic stuff.
WOD Book/Notepad: and pencil/pen. Keep track of your doings. You could also use a smartphone app.
Wrist/Knee Wraps: compression at these joints helps keep things in place and are perfect for when you may be more sore than normal. Available at
Paleo Kits: food is fuel, and this stuff is ridiculously good. Don’t waste your workout- get some protein in right away.
Fish Oil: inflammation is bad. This is good. We have some here at the box should you need to down some immediately post-WOD. (3 grams EPA/DHA daily.  Yes, that’s 3000 mg.  Jay had an ultra-runner friend that swears by 9 grams after his taxing workouts)
Massage stick: If the roller is too bulky pick up one of these and push out the nastiness in your quad or calf and loosen up your IT band.
Hairband: personally, I’ve never had much of a need for this one for obvious reasons, but all the ladies in the gym seem to go into sheer panic mode if they can’t keep their precious locks out of their face (and don’t want to cut off a shirt sleeve ala Froning). Plus, it’s a statement of style if you can match your hair band to your neon socks and shoes.
Bonus items…for when you have a huge bag to fill that you got in a promo from LA Fitness…
First Aid Kit: if you don’t bring the tape from above, and happen to meet Angie unexpectedly, this will come in handy.
Multiple pairs of shoes: Olympic lifting shoes are the 2nd best investment behind a pair of all-around kicks like Reebok Nano’s, inov-8’s, or New Balance Minimus. Just please, no more Nike Shox or other squishy shoes!

neon yellow 3
New Pair for Josh?!

Change of clothes and towel: this needs no explanation, but I’m still up for giving one: you STINK, so spare our nostrils and change it up!
Hand-grips.  A CrossFitter is easily identified by his/her hands.  Gymnasts wear grips for a reason and you can save on the athletic tape (though I think that knowing how to tape your hands is a sure mark of a bad-ass.
VooDoo band: really getting deep into the nitty gritty tissues is made ten times easier thanks to this gem – a veritable honey badger in the world of self imposed tissue compression and manipulation. We’ve got these on the shelf.
Foam Roller: you get can a shortie version of these that fit in a travel bag at Wal-Mart or online…and I’d definitely recommend the “rumble roller” from Rogue…if you’re tough enough.
Furniture sliders. You can get these plastic discs at Lowes or Home Depot and activate your glutes where ever you plop down.
Having most or all of these items will put you in charge of your fitness. Using each one regularly will get you there faster- and quite possibly turn your bag into it’s own story with your friends!

people working out in a group fitness class


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