One of the most important things that I have learned for smooth-sailing training sessions is to be well equipped when I head off to the gym. Too many times have I showed up ill-prepared, only to try and power through a session that either became uncomfortable, boring, smelly, or just plain “off” feeling. So, I started to take inventory about what are my gym bag essentials for a smooth training session that will leave you uplifted, blister-free, motivated, flowing…and…kicking ass while not smelling like a worn gym sock! So, take note and pack accordingly. Here are my top gym bag essentials (in no particular order) AND an exercise for each that while demonstrate why each item is so vital!
1. Headphones that wrap around your ears: There is nothing more frustrating than getting down and dirty into your workout and, just when you need to recruit a little extra “umph,” your ear buds fall out of your ears and your motivating, pumping music comes to a screaming halt. So, get out there and get yourself some ear buds that wrap around your ears…they will save some energy that you could better put towards an extra rep or two.
2. Deodorant: A strong-working deodorant is essential for helping you power through your workouts without smelling like a dirty gym sock. Believe me, when the smell invades the armpits of your favorite workout shirt, there is no way to help that shirt survive another session. Try to find a deodorant that is effective but is NOT an antiperspirant. Sweating is a good thing because it cleans the body and rids it of toxins, however, antiperspirant is unhealthy to the body and blocks the body’s healthy natural cleansing process.
3. Versa Gripp straps: I love my Versa Gripps! They are straps that you can velcro around your wrists and help you to hook onto bars or machines to give you an extra edge when your grip is not as strong as your back muscles are. Working grip strength is super important and should not be avoided, but sometimes, you lose gain in other areas because of your deficit in your grip. So, keep working that grip strength, but pull out those Versa Gripps to take your training to a whole new level.
4. Tennis ball(s): Tennis balls can be used for so much more than just playing tennis..and you do not even need a racket! I love using one or two tennis balls to roll out tight muscles, especially in my upper traps and back! They work wonders in tight calves and can really help to dig into those trigger points. So, next time you have a trigger point or a really tight muscle, pop open the top of a tennis ball can and start rolling away for a few minutes. Ahhhh…..
5. Protein shake for post workout with mineral drops: Recovery and replenishing nutrients are vital immediately following a workout. Not to mention that it curbs your growling stomach after a good workout! Consuming a recovery meal immediately to up 45 minutes following your workout will not only make you feel better, allow your brain to function more properly, but it will also set you up for a better workout session next time. I love to add trace mineral drops into my protein shake because it provides vital nutrients that you lose during prolonged sweating sessions. Mineral drops are good even when you are not working out, but they are a champion addition following a workout.
6. Timer: It’s all about the speed! Sometimes, repetitions just don’t cut it and you are looking for endurance through unconventional training and training for time. You can either buy a timer, use your watch, or get out your phone, but, if you want to spice your workouts up and kick it into high gear, get out that timer and get ready to sweat!
7. Pain relieving cream: We have all experienced it at one point or another. Maybe you were at the gym or maybe you were completing a challenging task at home or maybe you just slept wrong. Regardless, you pulled a muscle or you worked in a totally new way and now your muscles are screaming at you and wanting some relief. Trust me…pain relieving cream can be your best friend and it should definitely be part of your gym bag first-aid kit. I really like Topricin. It is homeopathic and all natural and works like a charm!
8. Flip flops: Two words…Foot. Protection. As clean (or not) as your gym may appear, it is filled with germs and viruses from the abundance of people utilizing the equipment and the facility. If you shower at your gym or are changing and plan to walk around the bathroom, protect your precious feet with flip flops or shower shoes. Not only will you be keeping your feet closer to germ-free, but you will not be transferring your own germs to other gym-goers.
9. Dirty clothing bag: After a hard workout or a long cardio bout, you are bound to be a bit sweaty and maybe a little smelly. If you are showering or changing or just have a few extra sweat-infused pieces of clothing to take home, pack a dirty clothing bag. I love and swear by Planet Wise bags. They are reusable, antibacterial, eco-friendly, safe, and come in various sizes and designs. They are super durable, totally amazing, and I feel like a rock star using mine!
10.“Help. I have a blister” bandages: Nothing halts a workout faster than a blister. Ouch! These bandages are pretty unique in the sense that they are hydrocolloid bandages. They are super durable and are more resistant to sweat and rubbing. Cover it up!
- Any long distance or prolonged cardio
Take action now! Get your gym bag list ready and go shopping. Stuff your gym bag with the essentials and get yourself prepared for your next gym session. Remember, with preparation comes better commitment! Commit yourself to being prepared and commit yourself to a more amazing workout experience. I want you to comment below or email me through my website, facebook, or twitter and tell me all about your shopping list.
Do you already have a gym bag ready to go? If so, what are your essentials? I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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