There are some things you just can't go to the gym without. I pack my bag with gym essentials the night before so when I wake up, I don't have to think—I just grab my bag and go.
First you need a gym bag, duh
I don't have a gym bag yet but it is on my birthday wishlist. Support Gymshark and get their dope accessories here.
oh man — I just went on Gymshark's site to link their gym bag to find that they now sell backpacks?! I might not be able to wait for my birthday...
gym bag must-haves:
insulated water bottle
This is perfect for keeping your water cold all day long. I think bottles with straws make it more fun to drink, even if you feel like a baby with a sippy-cup. It will encourage you to drink more water throughout the day.
That last thing you want is to get your things stolen.
Yeah, I thought I'd be smart and cover my bag with my clothes in a locker as if someone would see the clothes and move on. I came back and my bag and wallet were gone. I never did get my backpack from 8th grade back. I'm still distraught over it.
Tip: paint your padlock with nail polish so you know it's yours in a locker room full of identical padlocks
If I ever forget these, I'm tempted to trek right back to home to grab them. They make a workout so much easier. No wires to tangle around your dumbbells while your doing curls, causing the buds to rip out of your ears.
You can use resistance bands for just about anything to make your muscles work just that much harder. They're great to use at home too. I love using resistance bands on leg days to wake up my glutes. (It's a thing, guys. It's a thing.)
It's always good to have a snack incase you get a bit dizzy or you've ended your workout and you're dying of starvation.
Protein bars are misleading. They will say on the packaging "Protein Packed!" but keep an eye on the ratio of Protein to Carbs and Protein to Fat. I like bars that have less carbs and less fat than protein.
That's why I'm obsessed with Grenade's CarbKilla bars and Fulfil Bars. They taste so freakin' good.
by the way—snickers, mars bar, and bounty have protein bars. how awesome is that?
Random side note: Whenever I see the word sweat I want to say "sweet". Should't sweat be swet? Because wet is wet, not weat.
Also because #sweat, and if you use the shower and/or sauna. I personally don't use the sauna because I can't handle the heat for more than 10 seconds. Has anyone seen the Girls episode when Hannah spends the day at an older man's apartment and she passes out in the steam-shower? That would be me.
If you are too gross and lazy to shower at the gym *cough like me cough*, then at least apply some deodorant to save the people nearby from the unpleasant smell.
Taking supplements to enhance your workout is not necessary but if you want to try them out, go for it. I just recently started taking pre-workout and it's made a slight improvement to my performance since I workout on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. A scoop mixed with water takes away that groggy just-woke-up feeling.
Read the instruction labels very carefully and do your research. Do not go over the recommended dosage. There're chemicals in this stuff so it's going to make your body feel weird at first . . . I'm really selling it, aren't I?
Personally, I like taking it and it gives me a bit of a confidence boost. I take PEScience's Prolific in Cotton Candy flavor. If you want something cheaper, without any artificial crap, try Pulse by Legion Athletics.
Most gyms will have these but not all gyms have good ones. The crappy ones are smooth and feel like styrofoam. You want something that's going to make you say "Oh it hurts so good!" Even if your gym has Grade-A foam rollers, buy yourself one for home.
Foam rolling while watching Game of Thrones, can you think of a better night in?
If you've got a nasty knot in your calf and your loved one is too lazy to knead it out—forget the tennis ball method and buy a lacrosse ball. I bought an On The Regimen lax ball and it might be my best purchase of 2017 so far. I took it on the plane with me and sat on it to work through the knots in my hamstrings and glutes on the red-eye flight.
It's difficult to find lax balls in the UK. I went on Reddit looking for answers and found this beauty of people taking the piss out of one poor Redditor. If Mike's OTR lax balls don't ship to the UK, there will be plenty on Amazon.
For ways on how to use a foam roller and lax ball for optimal mobility training, check out Mike Vacanti's vid. He produces incredible fitness-related content on YouTube daily so be sure to Subscribe to his channel. Not to mention he gives no BS life advice and beautiful scenery of New York City.
Barbell pads are perfect for supporting your neck and shoulders during barbell routines and hips during hip thrusts.
Your gym might have these available. If they don't, you can wrap a yoga mat around the bar but this is not only annoying but it's not the best padding for your hips.