As a personal trainer for over seven years, I have definitely had my fair share of mediocre workouts.
I always find that the best way to get into your training session is by showing up prepared for your workout! I have admittedly, on more than one occasion, forgotten my shoes, headphones, pre-workout, and even my gym bag! When I'm unprepared for my workout, I find it really hard to keep my motivation up and push through those last few sets.
Below I have listed my favourite gym bag must-haves for an undistracted and amazing workout.
Stock these items with you and head to the gym in confidence that you have everything you need–as long as you remember to bring your gym bag!
Almost every gym goer is into the sneaker game lately, but you don’t want to mess up your new Nike Flyknits at the gym. I always bring a pair that I don’t mind getting down on the floor in for planks or mobility drills. You can look fly walking into the gym, but there’s nothing more upsetting than scuffing up your new kicks.
A few things to look for in your dedicated gym shoes:
- Non-slip soles. It doesn't matter how strong you are if your feet keep sliding behind the sled press.
- Comfortable and well fitted. Your shoes should fit you well enough that your feet aren't sliding around in them. Your feet are the foundation of the movement, so feeling well connected to the ground, and having unrestricted blood flow to them is a must.
Headphones & Music
What is a good workout without good music? Cardio sessions, weight training, you name it: life is just better with music. Yes, all gyms have music, but if you're anything like me, there's nothing that motivates you like your favourite playlist.
My go-to for cardio is usually EDM or latin music, when I lift weights I usually gravitate towards rap or post-hardcore. I always carry two pairs of headphones with me, just in case my wireless headphones die (this actually happened to me during my last workout).
I tote these around with me so that I always have them handy, and remember to take them. Your recovery from your workout is just as important as the workout itself. My usual line-up is pre-workout, Amino/hydrator (like Biosteel High Performance Sports Mix) and post-workout protein.
Pre-workout might not be ideal if you train later in the evening, but it is definitely an essential if you're not mentally checked into your workout. Pre-workout provides the much needed mental boost, along with the benefits of an energy boost (which can be perfect if you didn't get enough sleep the night before). Amino Acids and protein will ensure that your body recovers from your workout by helping repair those damaged muscle tissues as you're on your way out of the gym.
Most gyms have bands available, but there a hot commodity and often in use. For a small investment, you can have all the booty bands you need to prepare for your workout, or recover from your last one. Bands are a light-weight tool that can progress or regress many exercises and are also useful when mobilizing.
I always bring a TriggerPoint Ball to every workout! A TP ball can help you mobilize before your workout, releasing smaller areas like your feet, hip flexor and upper traps (my sore places). This is my favourite self-care tool to ensure that my body feels good and moves well, both in and out of the gym.
No one wants to be that one at the gym who forgot to put on deodorant and is worried about working out too hard; talk about distracting from your workout. Do yourself, your workout, and others a favour and throw an extra one in your gym bag. You’ll smell great and you’ll never have to wonder if you remembered that morning!
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