This is the first of a weekly health column by Luke Douglas who runs the blog Ripped.me where he writes about training equipment, nutrtion, and fitness. Each week Luke is going to write about a new subject in the fitness field. This week Luke talks about 7 essentials to have in your gym bag to get the most out of your workout. Enjoy.
How often do you find yourself sitting in the locker room, staring into your gym bag in disbelief that you’ve managed to forget something so simple as your socks? Or your earphones? No matter how minor these items may seem compared to your lifting shoes or your tank top, any busy gym-goer can fall under the spell of their hectic daily tempo.
So, the next time you start prepping for your workout, this is your ultimate checklist to make sure you have all you need for a comfortable, successful routine.
#1 – Safety first
Even if you’re only heading for a treadmill jog in the park or you have a light de-load day at the gym, there are those must-have lifesavers that take up practically no space, but can make or break your training session.
These are the items to keep close by: gloves, sweatbands, lifting belts, straps, shoes and chalk, knee and wrist wraps, and your first-aid gym kit with plasters, an antiseptic, bandages and a muscle reliever, and anything else you might find handy.
#2 – A change of clothes
Never underestimate the impact that sizzling summer can have on your outfit, and more often than not, these ungodly temperatures will have you soaked in sweat within a matter of minutes. And you don’t want to be that guy (or a gal) leaving the gym wearing their workout clothes.
Instead, have everything from fresh underwear and socks to a clean t-shirt and pants ready, so that you can pack your drenched tank and shorts along with the lovely smell, ready for the next wash. It’s the humane thing to do.
#3 – Post-training snacks
Heading to a coffee date right after training, but you’re not sure when you’ll have time for your next protein-rich meal? Fortunately, protein bars and energy bars are here to save the day, as they are the perfect snack to keep you going until you can grab a serious bite.
Then again, if you’re a master of meal-prepping, you can even grab a full meal after training – grilled chicken breast and plenty of vegetables, or another protein-packed dish you’ve made the day before.
#4 – A water bottle
While we’re on the subject of appetite, no training can be effective without proper hydration. A water bottle is one of the most commonly overlooked items that stays back at the office or at home, and you end up buying a new one every time.
Instead, a hefty water bottle with a large capacity can even serve you beyond your workout needs, and ensure that you’re properly hydrated all day long.
#5 – Your trusty towel
Although pretty much every modern gym has a complementary clean towel for every member, things might get confusing if too many people have the same-looking towel hanging on every piece of equipment.
It’s both practical and hygienic for you to bring your own, so make sure to have one for your training, and don’t make it a habit to leave your towel at home just because there’s a spare one waiting.
#6 – Your fitness gear
Many workouts can be performed in your basic tracksuit and T-shirt, but you’d be surprised just how much choosing the right outfit can impact your performance and motivation. Not to mention the level of comfort you need for those extra-difficult days when you aim for your next PR.
Brands such as Ryderwear design clothes to ensure a comfortable and effective workout, so opting for the right pair of lifting shoes for the squat or the deadlift, and the right tights or a top can make a tremendous difference.
#7 – Your headphones
Finally, the item we all need to tune out the background music and chatter of our gym bros, your favorite headphones can make a good workout great. A playlist or a Wi-Fi connection will be more than enough to keep the tunes coming, and music is known to boost athletic performance.
There are wireless options especially suitable for those explosive sessions, and in-ear buds that make sure that you won’t be interrupted to adjust them ever so often.
Most of these items will shape your progress to a great extent, so do your best to support your training with the right gear, and you’ll enjoy your fitness adventures with a peace of mind!
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