Category Archives for Reviews

Are Wrist Wraps Worthless?

“Wrist Wraps Are Just Another Unnecessary CrossFit Product”

That’s what I thought.

This past spring, my buddy sponsored by Manimal Wear gave me a pair of their wrist wraps. I’ll admit that I had no idea what the fuck these things were for at the time. So they just stayed in my gym bag in its plastic bag for a good 2 months or so.

Then around the summertime, I hurt my wrist (again) going for a 1 rep max power clean. I think I was going for 235#. At around the 225#-ish mark is when my wrist safety would go to shit on cleans. It was one of the main factors that held me back in my clean development.

Kipping It Real Manimal Wear Rogue Fitness Wrist Wraps Review

At least I was able to figure out it also had to do with my rack flexibility. My shoulders were able to get to the proper positioning over time thanks to a bunch of videos on Mobility WOD. But still…my wrists were still prone to injury if my catch positioning messed up just one tiny bit. On top of that, anything overhead – jerks, snatches, overhead squats, etc. – was affected by these small wrist strains I’d experience here and there.

That’s when it hit me…uh…I should give these wrist wraps a shot.

You Can’t Be Totally Dependent Upon Wrist Wraps…

…but at least for me, they give me that extra room for error when improving my form as I get heavier in cleans and overhead lifts. With this extra leeway, I was able to get that 240# power clean, 185# overhead squat, and banging through an ascending ladder of 135# thrusters was actually possible in a recent WOD.

Everyone at the box keeps asking me if they help.

Um…yes.

I honestly can’t see myself without them for any workouts that could hurt your wrists. They provide enough support during those heavy and/or high reps, while giving you enough mobility for more technical shit in the same WOD. Yep, I’ve managed to string my double unders with these wrist wraps on.

Most of the CrossFit products out there are unnecessary. Rarely do I spend money on this shit unless it really does help, like the right pair of shoes, a jump rope of my own, and a comfortable pair of underwear. I don’t see a need for sweat-activated, graphic t-shirts or expensive handcare products when old, ready-to-dispose-of gym clothes and a foot file + moisturizer do the job.

With The Wrist Wraps, It’s Different

They actually protected me from a bunch of injuries and really stepped up my CrossFit progress. Having a pair was like a paradigm shift for me.

Plus, wrist wraps are cheap as fuck compared to most CrossFit gear out there. I don’t mind dropping $12 every time a pair gets too smelly from the sweat.

Kip it real, my friends.

The Best New Balance Minimus Review EVARRR

My New Balance Minimus Review

It’s been years since I bought a pair of shoes that really changed my life, so I had no choice but to put together a New Balance Minimus review for my pair of MX20’s. They’re also available in the female WX20 model.

New Balance Minimus Review

My New Balance Minimus MX20’s have stolen my heart. For serious. I can’t believe I only bought a new pair of shoes now. It’s been two years that I’ve been using the same damn pair of Nike SB skate shoes.

So many memories...

Nike SB Skate Shoes

Okay, it’s been a bit hard letting those shoes go, as so many different PR’s and CrossFit milestones have been set with them.

New Balance Minimus MX20 Hero

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New Balance Minimus WX20 Hero

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Okay, Let’s Get To The New Balance Minimus Review…

I’m not gonna lie. For the first few days of using them, my calves and feet hurt more than usual, since my muscles weren’t used to that kind of strain during CrossFit WOD’s. After that short period, my feet have adjusted to using such a light shoe.

Now I CANNOT see myself using anything else…although, I do have my sights on a pair of Olympic lifting shoes soon for those Oly movements.

If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that you’re using your normal pair of running or athletic shoes. You must feel like a dinosaur seeing everyone with their sweet kicks, right? Starting out, that’s alright. Then, as you start to progress in CrossFit and are really hitting heavier weights, you’re going to NEED the right shoe to provide you with the right support and protection.

I always felt unstable during barbell workouts with my running shoes, and my Nike skate shoes were the next best thing for stability. However, the weight of those skate shoes got annoying, and they were definitely NOT good for running.

So once I switched to the New Balance Minimus…SHIT. It’s like my performances changed drastically.

The first time I noticed this was during some heavy sets of front squats. Okay, not BEAST level, but repping 205# is heavy for me. My front squats have never felt so stable. Ever.

And what about the other movements?

Well, landing on the ground from the pull up bar feels safe and solid. Burpees are light and secure. Despite seeming like a light a fragile shoe, the toes hold up. Double unders? The close-to barefoot feeling has helped keep my jump rhythm more consistent.

Like mentioned before, they’re not the best for long distance running, but for the short runs and sprints, the Minimus makes me a very happy guy.

For me, the biggest test was with thrusters. Most running shoes have a tendency to make you rock forward and backward during the movement. Due to the Minimus’ stability, you DON’T experience any of that nonsense. That’s when I knew I was sold.

I fuckin LOVE these New Balances.

New Balance Minimus MX20

At first, this New Balance Minimus review was supposed to be an ongoing thing. However, after 2 full weeks of using them, I can DEFINITELY suggest them. The Minimus is a great, all-around shoe for CrossFit. Sure, it’s not ideal for running over 2 miles or so.

For your typical CrossFit WOD, it’s just what you NEED. You’ll feel like a brand new athlete if you’re someone who’s currently using a plain old pair of running shoes at the box. No need to feel like a dinosaur anymore.

So are you ready to get a new pair of CrossFit shoes? Check out Amazon.com for either the New Balance Men’s Minimus MX20 or here for the New Balance Women’s WX20 version.

New Balance Minimus MX20 Hero

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New Balance Minimus WX20 Hero

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Again Faster Grips Saved My Workout

It’s A Love/Hate Relationship

First of all, I just want to say that I am NOT associated in any way with Again Faster. This is simply my own review of the Again Faster Grips. I don’t make any affiliate commissions from this.

Again Faster Grips Pair Kipping It Real

At first, I was all about these grips. I hated normal lifting gloves because they ruined my grip, whether we’re talking pull-ups or barbell movements. I was constantly ripping my hands at the time, so I needed a solution. Admittedly, I wasn’t taking care of my hands – filing calluses down, moisturizing, etc. – as well as I should’ve been.

So a few months ago, I spent $19.95 or so (they’re now $21.95) and decided to give them a shot. Since it was a reasonable price for the pair, I didn’t really care if they didn’t work to my liking. For once, my hands didn’t hurt during pull-ups! My first test was a good WOD, too. If I remember correctly, it was an AMRAP of pull-ups and overhead squats. Even during the OHS’s, I was pretty impressed.

Then after a while, I realized that while my hands were more protected, my grip suffered. I had to squeeze the bar harder to maintain the grip, although my hands didn’t hurt. Going for high volume pull-ups was rough because there would be a bit more strain on my forearms.

That’s why for the past few weeks, I honestly stopped using them. If only the grips were a bit thinner, then maybe I’d enjoy pull-ups with them more.

Then Today I Had No Choice

The last 5 minute AMRAP of our WOD consisted of 10 toes-to-bar and 5 ring dips…two of my least favorite movements. After 2 rounds, my hands were in so much pain from the past few days, so I ran to my gym bag and snagged my grips. My toes-to-bar weren’t pretty, but I managed to get through the last 3+ minutes of the AMRAP. No rips thanks to the grips 🙂

Again Faster Grips Wear Kipping It Real

It’s Different For Everyone

Generally, I prefer not using any gloves or grips whatsoever. However, there are situations where you just need some protection (lol). That’s when you might need something like the Again Faster grips. While I don’t think they’re for everyone, they’re cheap enough to try out.

Again Faster, if you guys are reading this, I just wished the grips were thinner! Even though it may not seem much, its current thickness makes it a lot harder for me to stay on the pull-up bar. I’d be all over a thinner version 2 of these grips 🙂

Do you feel these grips might be for you? You can find out more here.