At CrossFit Rockwall, we focus on performance-based training. This is an important consideration when determining what kind of personal equipment you need. Performance-based training depends on all the components of the systems involved to carry their share of the load. Our choices in personal equipment should reflect this.
Two things that will make a positive difference in your training
Shoes - Lifting shoes form a stable position from which to drive, because they are built on a non-compressible wedge of wood or leather. If you are going to invest in any one piece of personal equipment, make it lifting shoes. Good lifting shoes will cost you about $100, but will last for years. Any shoe with a compressible heel will not be a stable platform for any barbell movement with a ground-reaction component because part of the force will be absorbed by the shoe, which will make it harder to balance and create force. For any workout with heavy barbell lifts, hard-soled shoes make a big difference. Although, these shoes are not suitable for running, so keep your tennies. While it's not entirely necessary to have custom lifting shoes, you can get yourself a great pair of shoes to lift in for as little as $20.Chuck Taylors, or any other shoe with a flat, hard sole will be much better than a running shoe or cross-trainer. Plus, nothing says badass like Chucks.
For more on weightlifting shoes, check out Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore's article here.
Here are a few good weightlifting shoes:
Chalk - We provide chalk and prefer it 100 times over gloves. Chalk helps your grip by preventing your hands from slipping off the bar. But, beware! Too much chalk is not always a good thing. Here is a word of caution from Freddy at One World. There is also proper use and improper use of chalk. Use it properly. Read this article from Again Faster if you use chalk:
"Unlike sex, money, and good friends, it is possible to overdo chalk...A little bit of chalk goes a long way, and there is a proper way to use it." Read all
Only use 'em if you need 'em. Old guys might need them. Or the injured. Otherwise don't use them.
Only use these at CrossFit Rockwall if you want to get made fun of.