Clothing makes up the majority of an outfit. However, accessories can push an outfit from good to great. A matching tie and pocket square can have a suit making a statement. A colorful necklace over a black dress can give personality to an otherwise simple piece.
Just as accessories can push an outfit over the top, they also are extremely important for your athletes. They may not be buying pocket squares or necklaces at your pro shop, but you should be providing them with accessories fit for every workout.
According to Forrest Jung, the owner of CrossFit SouthBay, it is important to test out each product before putting your gym’s name behind it. You don’t want to be selling items simply because they are at a good price point, sacrificing value for cost.
“We only carry products we would use ourselves,” said Jung. “I’ve tested a ton of different products and some sell great and others don’t. Then we have to make sure it fits within a price point for our members. We have tested a few products where the product is great, but they have priced themselves out of the market. Finally, we make sure we make a good margin on the product. I’ve purchased items with a low margin and we ultimately end up losing money on the product.”
Chennelle Miller, the owner of Raleigh CrossFit, echoed the same sentiments. She makes sure to do her homework on each item she recommends to an athlete. Her Box mainly supplies athletic tape, but with athletes relying on their Coaches and Affiliates to help them navigate the waters of product, she is sure to keep up-to-date with what is out there on the market.
“I do research on my own regarding historical product production,” said Miller. “How long has it been in the market, what other athletes or teams use the product, how has their experience been, what athletes I know use the product and what was their experience; I keep up with all of that.”
Jung explained very quickly after a new athlete joins at his Box he recommends two things: a good pair of gymnastic grips and a jump rope. Both are very inexpensive on sites like Amazon and can be a big help in athletes sticking with the sport.
“We recommend the grips because ripping your hands is a big deterrent to learning pull-ups,” said Jung. “Kipping is hard enough for a beginner, so we get them to focus more on the movement than their hands hurting. We provide jump ropes for people who don’t have them, but there is nothing like the consistency and feel of your own jump rope. Once you have your own rope, the feel, length and weight is consistent, which can help you learn quicker.”
Miller also highlighted the importance of a good jump rope for each person, making sure to remind her athletes to consider various matters of the rope itself before purchasing.
“Rope length, type and handle type, and now even weight, matter,” said Miller. “Wrist wraps also matter and there are several types here too, from cloth to elastic-based. Many athletes buy Rogue and I have Eleiko.”
After adding those two accessories — grips and a jump rope — to their arsenal, Jung then helps athletes put a focus on their home gym equipment. He said after about six months of being a member, he suggests they purchase their own kettlebell, a versatile piece of equipment, in case they need to do home workouts.
A recent addition to Jung’s pro shop he has found success with are selling HyperIce products. “HyperIce offers a vibrating foam roller, gun and sphere,” said Jung. “People have absolutely loved these and it has helped them with little nagging aches and pains every single athlete gets.”
For Jung, it comes down to the tried-and-true method of testing items out yourself. What you like should be made known when athletes ask for recommendations or are looking for help.
“I’ve been using the same knee sleeves, Rehband, since 2012, and they have always provided a consistent and durable product,” said Jung. “That kind of stuff stands out. There are always new things to look out for and give a try as well. Lately, I have seen a bunch of Rock Tape and Exo Sleeves in the gym. So, things are always popping up; you just have to stay on top of trends.”