This year's kickoff of the functional fitness season awaits us right around the corner, and we want everyone to gear up to survive the CF Open.

The CF Open kicks off February 21, 2019, and runs for 5 consecutive weeks, almost to the end of March. The guys over at The Barbell Spin have the exact dates here.

We've got you spotted, so we came up with a list of essential gear you'll need if you're a new competitor. 

woman kipping

Cracking the kip.

 Survey Says...

Based on our own experience and observations we created a short list of the items that you'll need to gear up to survive the CF open. 

Here's what we came up with: 

  • Tape
  • Jump Rope/Speed Rope
  • Wrist wraps
  • Knee sleeves
  • Chalk 
  • Tape measure
  • Tripod
  • Wetime app
  1.  TAPE

 An absolute staple of the functional fitness grind. Do you have tender, delicate paws like a hands model? If you're new to functional fitness, you might be tearing up your hands when you get a set of pull-ups done. If you don't know already, tearing your hands sucks and takes forever to heal from. If you're doing a lot of bar work, whether pull up or barbell, you'll want to tape your hands until you develop callouses. Tape also helps with slippery bars and thumbs when doing lots of hook-gripping.

2. JUMP ROPE/SPEED ROPE

Forget the childhood ropes of yesteryear. Designed specifically for double-unders (a pillar of functional fitness), speed ropes rotate like fidget spinners with minimal force. They're spun with speed and ease with the flick of your wrists. Be careful though. Missing with a speed rope may have you looking like you've been cracked with a whip, which makes for a sharp learning curve.

3. WRIST WRAPS

Wrist wraps qualify as another staple of your functional fitness gear arsenal. Although great for people with weak wrists, wrist wraps serve as useful support for everyone. Whether your training focuses on heavy barbell use or relies on abundant pushups, handstand pushups and/or jerks, wraps won't leave you limp wristed. Elastic, non-elastic, buttoned, and velcro versions cater to all individual needs and comfort. 

 man deadlifting

 Logan enjoys deadlifting while not being Wolverine.

4. KNEE SLEEVES

Achy, sore knees, the bane of every athlete's existence. Enter the knee sleeve. Think wrist wrap, but for knees. Knee sleeves, like anatomical support cousin, also come in elasticized and non-elasticized versions. The neoprene sleeves allow enough stretch to fit over pants, while still fitting great on bare legs. Functional fitness puts knees through hell, so the added compression gives support to athletes doing heavy squat and/or high volume training. Knee sleeves help prevent over-use pain and some believe, sleeves help them squat heavier or do more reps.

5. CHALK

Maybe you've seen Michael Jordan or LeBron James using chalk before basketball games. If it's good enough for them, you know it's good enough for you. The necessity of chalk as a gym staple goes unquestioned. Chalks acts as a desiccant, drying your hands and absorbing moisture. Whether you're working with barbells, pull-up bars or kettlebells chalk improves your grip and prevents gear slipping in your hands. Plus, doesn't it just make you feel stronger?

6. TAPE MEASURE

Whether you need to measure distance for a WOD exercise or take a body measurement, a tape measure will come in handy for Open training. You can't tell the tale of the tape without a measure of success. 

 woman doing clean and jerk

 The girl power is strong in this one.

7. TRIPOD

You never want to leave any meat on the bone when you're training. Ignoring your technique ensures you'll fall prey to one of the biggest training pitfalls. Perfecting your technique guarantees you'll be hitting the highest one rep max you possibly can. What's the only way to know your technique is on point? Watching yourself. Record yourself on your most important lifts during training and monitor your technique. Championing technique leads to a technique champion.

8. WETIME APP

Functional fitness fanatics wear out the hands on their clocks. Well, maybe nowadays, they're wearing out LED bulbs in digital clocks. Whether doing AMRAPs, WODs or Tabatas, time, timing and countdowns all play a crucial role. The WeTime app works well and might be one of the best out there. With a large, clear display that works in both portrait and landscape, count up/count down timers, multiple languages, while available for both Android and Apple, this app wins the timer game. Plus it's FREE. 

Get Geared Up

We have all the functional fitness fanatics spotted for the CF Open. We thought we'd make it easier for you by rounding up all the gear and putting it in one place for you. Not only should you have a look at our CF Open survival kit right here, but we've thrown in some extra surprises too.

Extra Reps

We found that our list overlaps quite well with a couple of other useful lists of functional fitness must haves. If you want to do some further reading check out the lists here and here.

In other news and notes, if you don't already know, the CF Open switched to a new format this year. Read up on the changes to stay informed.

As far as surviving the Open, gutting and grueling it out, here's a nifty 5 step plan that offers some quality insights and pro tips. 

Finally, if you're a CF greenhorn, you may not know that 5 movements have appeared in each Open since the start. You'll want to be able to hammer out these 5 with abundant ease, so watch Noah discuss them below. 




Adam Miezio
Adam Miezio

Author