Take some of the uncertainty out of your first workout by knowing what to wear—or better yet, what NOT to wear.
Credit: Courtesy of Tina Haupert

As you click around social media this weekend, you might stumble upon photos of some strong men and women pushing, pulling, and lifting seriously heavy weights. Friday marks the start of the Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California, and these athletes might just inspire you to step into a CrossFit gym, a.k.a. a box, for the first time.

If you're thinking about giving CrossFit a try, you might have some questions about what to expect at your first class. Will the workouts be too hard? Will you fit in with the other members? How will you learn all of that crazy CrossFit lingo?

Starting Crossfit, like any new fitness regimen, can seem overwhelming if you're not prepared. Take some of the uncertainty out of your first workout by knowing what to wear—or better yet, what NOT to wear. That way, you'll feel less like a newbie and ready to get after it.

Running shoes

Running shoes are great for running, but they're not great for CrossFit. The cushy, gel-filled soles of standard running sneakers reduce the impact of pounding the pavement, but they impair good lifting technique. Many CrossFit workouts involve some sort of weight lifting where you need a stable base to perform the movements safely and correctly. The soles of running shoes are squishy and can lift your heels further off the ground, so they make it difficult to balance, especially when it comes to heavier weights. Instead of running sneakers, select a minimalist-type of shoe with a lower profile, like the Reebok Nano 4.0, for better contract with the ground to give you increased stability.

Loose pants and shirts

Baggy pants and shirts could get caught on barbells and other equipment during a workout, so it's better to wear more fitted gear. Plus, with dynamic and sometimes inverted movements like jumping rope and handstand push-ups, you don't want your shirt flying up and distracting you from your workout.

White or light-colored clothing

CrossFit tends to be a dirty sport, especially when it comes to movements like Burpees, sit-ups, and hollow rocks, when you're continuously doing exercises on the ground. Plus activities like running with sandbags over your shoulders and flipping tires (yes, real tires!) will leave your clothing marked-up and dirty. Avoid staining your clothing by not wearing white or light-colored clothing for these types of workouts.


Performing lots of reps with equipment like barbells, kettlebells, and pull-up bars can really take a toll on your rings--not to mention your fingers! The constant rubbing of metal on metal can wear down and erode them, so leave your rings at home to keep them looking great.

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.