What should I pack for a Crossfit Competition?

by ~jenniferlynn on January 28, 2014

in CrossFit

Now that I have competed a few times, I think I have a pretty good handle on what you should pack for a Crossfit competition. I had a chance to re-test my packing skills this past weekend when I competed in my first partner competition, which happened to be the boost that I needed while recovering from an injury to reignite my Crossfit flame!

Our competition was about a 45 minute drive from home, so it was critical to not leave anything behind.  One of the most basic foundations of Crossfit is to train to be prepared for the unknown and unknowable, so why wouldn’t you pack accordingly? I recommend that if you have not used, or do not use, any of the items below, do not start on competition day. Trial clothes, food, and other accessories ahead of time, such as during a normal workout, just to make sure there are no issues during a competition!

pack for crossfit competition

Pack All the Clothes

Most competitions have multiple events with an extended period of time in between. However, you want to go into each event fresh, so I recommend one clean shirt for at half the amount of events. So four workouts = 2-4 shirts. My personal guidelines usually go something like this:

crossfit competition shirts

From top left: Custom shirt designed by Fran’s Closet RX, exclusive design by Fran’s Closet RX, deadlift tank by LatitudeGearRX, KB Burnout tank by JekyllHYDE (designed by athletes from my box!)

A good rule here is if it has a chance to get sweaty or rip (I’ve seen a girl split her pants during a competition!), bring more than one: shirts, shorts, capris, pants, underwear, sports bras, socks. Pack layers of tank tops or t-shirts, plus a sweatshirt and sweatpants for in between events. After this last competition, I would also suggest slippers!

Bring at least two pair of shoes.

Bring All The Food

Competitions are typically all-day events, so you want to make sure that you are properly fueled, but also recovering in between events. You want foods that are portable, do not need to be reheated, require little to no prep, and that will not be too heavy on the gut while you are participating in the events. Some of my favorite packable foods are:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Shredded chicken breasts
  • Protein shakes (Currently using True Nutrition Vanilla Birthday Cake; you can snag a discount using code on your own custom mix protein using code “w2w”)
  • Fuel for Fire protein packs (LOVE the blend of protein and carbs, perfect for pre- or post-workout!)
  • Fresh fruit, especially bananas
  • Raw veggies
  • Nuts, almond butter or peanut butter
  • Avocados
  • Larabars
  • Coconut water
  • Water
  • Extra electrolytes (My favorite now is InRefresh Electrolyte powder).
food for competition

I cannot live without my eBags Cooler!

Gym Bag Essentials

These items I keep in my gym bag at all times, and competition time is no exception:

  • Tape- I like to make some hand protectors ahead of time, pictured below
  • Wrist wraps- Mine are from Beastette Apparel
  • Jump rope – I’m partial to RX Ropes
  • Deodorant
  • First aid items: Band-aids, New Skin, Preparation H (perfect to soothe rips!), nail clippers or small scissors
  • Cell phone and charger– it’s going to be a long day!
  • Foam roller- currently been a huge fan of the adjustable customize-able enso roller, lacrosse ball, and any other mobility tools. And use them in between events.
  • Towel
  • Girly things such as hair ties, bobby pins, and feminine products (If you are not using the DivaCup, get on this. Now.)

rx rope beastette wrist wraps tape

Other Necessities

  • ID: usually needed to check-in, plus not a bad idea for emergency reasons
  • Credit card and cash: in case there are booths with swag, or for anything you may have forgotten
  • Seating: chair or cushions; oftentimes you are just dumped in a room somewhere on the floor. Unless you are okay with sitting on the floor.
  • Positive attitude!

Competitions can be stressful enough as it is so packing ahead of time will allow you to spend more time focusing on the competition itself!

Your turn..
Are you an over-packer?

Is there anything that you would pack for a competition that is missing from above?
Have you ever competed in a Crossfit competition?
What is your one must-have gym bag essential?

Disclaimer: Many of the links above are affiliate links and if you purchase a product using them, I may receive a small commission to help support my blogging efforts.

Marissa @Barefoot Colorado
Twitter: barefootcolo
January 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

Great post! I’m a big fan of pedialite for electrolytes! Can’t wait to read the recap on your last comp!
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Court Star @ StarSystemz Fitness January 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Great tips! I used to be an overpacker but after spending the last two years traveling I have come to realize I really do not need EVERYTHING and can now say I pack a decent amount, think of the essentials and buy what I will need but always know I can buy what I forget so I never worry anymore!
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Sandy Shepard January 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

great post! I have a couple of additions (mind you I’m the “porter” not the “competitor” LOL):
1. EO brand hand sanitizer. It doesn’t smell nasty/chemical-ly, in fact, it’s pretty nice (strong lavender). THERE ARE SO MANY GERMS at competitions, that you gotta a LEAST wipe your hands if not the actual bar/rower. And don’t get embarrassed that you’re the first to do it, the second you wipe the bar/rower/your hands, you will have 10 people say “Crap I wish I’d thought of that.”
2. Extra shoelaces. I saw someone break their shoelace shifting into Oly shoes and they had to “un-tie” their other shoes then swap out the shoelace back and forth. Bad.
3. I personally like “egg muffins” for protein. Simple to make and “durable” – whip 6 eggs, add bacon and red pepper and LOTS of Celtic Sea Salt (they should be a bit salty but not so much that you don’t want to eat them – but salty means you replenish your electrolytes and also it makes you drink more water) – grease muffin tin, use liners, grease the LINER inside too (to make it come off the paper easier), back in oven 300-ish for 20 mins or so. (So if you just do hard boiled eggs, I’d say to sprinkle them with the Celtic Sea Salt or another “full spectrum” salt so that you’re getting it in)
3. iPod with tunes that move you 😉 As you said, it’s a LONG DAY.
4. yoga mat. In the competitions I’ve gone to usually you set up outside – if you have a yoga mat you can lie down on the concrete/tarmac/etc. and stretch and not get crap all over you.
5. In a TEAM competition, you for sure want a portable tent. And portable chairs are very, very nice, too. Gives you “another place to sit” versus lying down, stretching, etc. You said “seating” but if you can find out that (as an example) you’re going to have to be on stadium benches, a stadium seat is WONDERFUL since it has a back, etc. Find out where you’re going to be and what will work.
5. You did say slippers – I STRONGLY RECOMMEND getting a pair of Haflinger felt slippers with the “plastic” (not felt) bottoms from Zappos. They’re the BOMB and last forever. You can get the cool colorful ones, but they have felt bottoms and aren’t good for walking outside.
6. Goes without saying, but don’t bring your “purse” if you carry one – empty out anything that isn’t required for the competition, lock the rest in your trunk. Personally, I’d add a sheer pink-ish lip gloss to my “required” Crossfit bag – when I’m sweaty and my hair is ridiculous, a little lipstick goes a long way 😉
6. Did you say hat? Did I mention hair? Hat.
LOVE YOUR rope climbing shirt! H gave me my own rope for Xmas. I am starting this week with trying to lock my feet at least. Veni, Vidi, Vici!
Sandy Shepard recently posted..Day 142 (1/27) – first Crossfit and Bikram day backMy Profile

Sandy Shepard January 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

OH AND (smile) – if you have the “leaking during DUs” issue, get some pantiliners for thongs or whatever you wear, and just keep them in your bag.
Sandy Shepard recently posted..Day 142 (1/27) – first Crossfit and Bikram day backMy Profile

Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free January 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Great list!

I also swear by Pedialyte for intra and pre competition hydration. I also usually take creatine during competitions as well.

OH and don’t forget snacks for anyone coming with you, who may not be able to leave!
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Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness January 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Great info! I was thinking Crossfit might be my next thing I would like to do after I train for my half marathon and this is exactly the information I could use.
Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..Half Marathon Training Recap – Week TwoMy Profile

John B January 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Great list, Jen! I wish I could add to it, but between you and the comments it seems pretty thorough.
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Danielle @ It's a Harleyyy Life
Twitter: itsaharleyylife
January 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm

you are awesome!

Stephanie January 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm

This is a great post. A lot of my friends are competing this weekend at our first Crossfit Throw down.
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Laurianne Faugstad September 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Super helpful. SO glad I read this! Thank you!

Jennifer June 9, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I don’t have much to add. This is a great list!

I like to bring a printout of all the heat times so I can keep track of my heat as well as my friends’ heats. I also bring washcloths and baby wipes to freshen up between WODs. Chapstick. RipFix. Every competition I tell myself I should have brought a chair.

I am a serial clothes changer on competition day. And I always bring a pair of shorts and baggy underwear to change into for the ride home.

Kristie August 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

haha baggy underwear for the win! A friend and I are doing our first (scaled) competition. I’m printing out as many packing lists as I can find online. I’ve watched them, but this will be my first one.

The one piece of advice that I’ll add without ever having been to one…

BABY WIPES! I figure you can do a quick sponge bath with them to feel a little less scummy.

~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:48 am

I totally need to add wipes to my bag!!

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