What’s in your gym bag?!
Over the past 10+ years its funny to look back and see the changes that have been made to the contents in my gym bag. I know just starting out was some kind of preworkout, gloves, creatine and protein powder. Now You would find an extra pair of Vibrams, lifting straps, and extra TRX system and maybe an extra pair of briefs (i’m not a boxer kinda guy). My point to this is the simplicity of where I am now compared to then. I have more experience, I do more research and I have been in the game for some time now. I see some guys who walk into the gym carrying hockey gear bags and just wonder what kind of stuff they have. No matter what you think is important, I wanted to give you my top 5 must haves when it comes to the gym. These are 5 things that you can either buy or download that will make your life easier, and your workouts more convenient.
1. Interval Timer App: This thing is so simple but its beast. I picked it up for the whopping price of FREE off my app store. You may just use your watch which is fine but then you have to always be looking at your watch to know when your session is done or when to start. I have been using this app to keep track of all my HIIT cardio sessions whether it’s hill sprints, battling ropes or any other body weight conditioning workout. The best part about it is you can adjust the duration and rest periods super easy and there is a loud alarm that goes off when your done and when your about to starts.
2. A good water bottle: True Story: Lady was walking on the treadmill at my gym and went to take a swig of water from her Deer Park water bottle and ended up almost choking to death. The water went down the wrong pipe! She may have just been only walking but to her that may have been a lot so when you combine being out of breath with a “free spill” water bottle its only time that this is going to happen. Get a bottle that has more control over the water coming out of it. I know camelbak sells some pretty cool bottles that you have to suck on a straw to get the water out. I personally use a brand called Contigo. It’s cheap and it works awesome. The day of the screw off Nalgene bottles are over!
3. Headphones: There is nothing like having a good set of headphone in your gym bag. If your still rocking the standard Ipod buds than I suggest you venture out! I grabbed a set of Phillips water proof headphones about 6 months ago and have been very pleased! They do awesome with canceling out other noises and out of the box they stay in my ear! Which is usually unheard of. I did a review of them when I was in Florida last year check it out here
4. Mobility Tools: You can go to amazon and find all different kinds of stuff to throw in your gym back but a simple lacrosse ball or tennis ball will do just fine! I will also keep a golf ball and racquet ball just in case. I try to have some kind of tool at all stiffness levels. Some soft tissue needs something a little softer to break into. Going straight to a lacrosse ball can be pretty brutal is this is new to you. You can also look at getting a small foam roller. I have a couple big ones but they make some that are about a foot long that are perfect size to shove in your bag for later!
5. The Calorie Counter app: I think that’s the literal name too Like I have said before I am not big on counting calories but even I have to check my macros from time to time if I am not seeing the results I want. With this app you can simply search for what you ate plug it in and it gives you the entire break down of whats in that food. You can fill your entire day and know exactly where you are at on calories. It’s awesome and beats using a pad and pen to do all your logging!
6. Jump Rope: I was big into jump roping in college. I remember I would do 20 minutes of jump rope at the end of a workout. It was brutal but I go to the point where I was good at it. It all comes down to technique and a good jump rope. There are tons of them out there. Rogue sells some simple thin cable jump ropes that feel amazing for what they are. A lot of today’s jump ropes have to be built to withstand guys/gals who do mostly double-unders so the gearing in them have improved a ton since I started using them. Keep a jump rope in your gym bag and pull it out when your crunched on time or are looking for an easy way to get your body warmed up for your training.
Be intentional about what you put in your gym bag. One of the biggest excuses for people not working out, or getting in their mobility work is because they don’t “have what they need”. Keep an extra pair of everything in your bag. It’s not like your carrying it around all day!