Let me just shamelessly plug my previous posts about tracking what you eat... Here.
Protein powder should not be a staple in your diet. You shouldn't think: I want to work out and lose weight, I better start drinking protein shakes. No. Definitely not. I only keep protein powder in my pantry for those moments when I'm desperate for protein. Like at 8 at night when I've got 30 grams of protein left to get but I want dessert. There are so many protein powder recipes to choose from. My favorites are protein baked oats, protein mug cake, and protein pancakes.
I have a black coffee every morning. The Aeropress is my best friend because of this. When an average cup of coffee is about £2.50-£4 and a bag of coffee beans is only £8 and an Aeropress is £25, I get my money's worth tenfold.
A scoop of creatine every morning is not necessary but I wanted to try it just for fun. It's inexpensive and lasts a long time. You take creatine to give your muscles more energy. Think of it as giving you an extra oomph for that last rep you're struggling to get up.
Pre-workout (not mentioned in video because I don’t use it)
I don't use it often anymore because I've mastered the art of training fasted, but if you want to start working out in the morning on an empty stomach, you might want to try pre-workout for a bit.
Most pre-workouts have caffeine, beta-alanine (reduces exercise-induced fatigue), L-Citrulline (improves muscle endurance), and betaine (increases strength).
Personally, Legion Athletics' PULSE is the best pre-workout I've had. It tastes good, I trust their company, and it doesn't make me feel sick after taking it.
A good scale is key for me. I check my weight every morning. It's not unhealthy. It's a way to track my progress and see what's happening. Recently I started eating back at maintenance calories and it's important to track my weight to make sure I'm not spiking up too much. For the past three weeks my weight has stayed relatively the same, which is exactly what I want.
For lifts that require stable ground and pressing into the floor, you need flat shoes. Not shoes with cushion, not uses with an elevated heel, you need flat shoes or better yet, go barefoot. I don't go barefoot because the floor is too slippery when I just wear socks. Get a pair of cheap shoes with a hard sole, like Converse or Vans.
The barbell pad makes hip thrusts much more enjoyable. They fit onto the bar and create a cushion so when you’re hip thrusting, the bar isn’t digging into your hip bones. People maybe try to sell you their personal branded barbell pad but it’ll most likely be overpriced. Just go to Amazon for Power Guidance Barbell Squat Pad.
Bands are great for home workouts and warm ups. I wear a band when I’m warming up before squats and deadlifts, by doing squats and hip bridges. This wakes up the glutes and gets them ready to work. If you don’t wake up the glutes, they might activate during your lifts. I had this problem where my hamstrings were doing the brunt of the work because I didn’t know how to activate my glutes. Cue the hamstring injury. Now I always make sure I use bands to warm up before my workout.
Cable Resistance bands
I recently bought cable resistance bands so I could do shoulder therapy exercises at home. When I’m at the gym for 60 minutes, the last thing I want to do is 10 minutes of shoulder therapy. With these bands at home, I can do the therapy at night or whenever I’ve got down time.
How the hell anyone works out with wired-headphones is beyond me! I got Plantronics two years ago, then I bought Bose recently. Honestly, the Plantronics are better for blocking out noise and are cheaper. So I highly recommend them.
Trust me, you don’t want your bag getting stolen at 8 in the morning with your Biometric Resident Permit (which allowed me to stay in the country), credit cards, and flat keys in it. Seriously, what asshole steals from a locker? But more importantly, what asshole doesn’t lock her locker? ME. I will never, ever leave my locker unlocked again. Lesson learned.
*Most gyms will sell locks, so when you sign up for a new gym just ask to buy a lock straight away.
Little water bottle
This little water bottle is perfect. It fits in my bag and lasts me through a whole workout before I need to refill it. Bring a water bottle. It’s much easier than running to the water fountain every 10 minutes.
I don’t know what I’d do without my foam roller. If I could bring it with me everywhere I go, I would. It’s great to use when you have sore muscles. I use mine every single day.
trigger-point massage Balls
Another thing I don’t know what I’d do without now that I own a few massage balls. And I CAN bring these anywhere I go!
This is great to wear on my neck to relax my neck and shoulders. I’ll wear it a few times per day for about 20 minutes. I mentioned this in my Cozy Favorite Things post.
I love to use muscle-relaxing soaps and bath salts when taking a bath. It might be a placebo effect but it makes me feel great after.
If you have an injury or sore muscles, you can tape the area with this and it will help with the healing process. Learn about how it works here.