First of all, I can’t believe I have a gym bag. I was that girl that went to the gym, knocked out an hour on the treadmill and called it a day. No preparation. No “tools”. Just me, my sports bra and my keys. Fast forward to today and after a few lessons learned, I’ve found the importance of having not only a gym bag but a few essentials to make your trip to the gym go that much more smoothly.
I’m rounding up a few of my favorite items that help me power through a workout. You obviously don’t need all of these depending on your routine and goals but these are the things I use on the regular.
These are legit my favorite thing. If I could get rid of everything else, these booty bands would be the one thing I keep with me at all times. Not only do they make for the perfect at-home workout but they are great for warming up your glutes before leg day. These are a thicker cotton material with minimal stretch and come in three different resistance levels. Compared to the latex ones that tend to roll down a ton, these are about to be your new best friend (and worst enemy if you know what I mean).
A barbell pad was less of a want and more of a need. If you do any sort of hip thrusts, glute bridges or exercises where you’re placing a barbell on your shoulders/back, you need one of these. I learned the hard way, believe me. Most gyms have these laying around but it sort of grossed me out to use one that a sweaty person used previously. Not cute. So, I bought my own and lug it around in my gym bag. I love the comfortable grip and padding. It makes lifting heavier weights so much more “comfortable”.
When I first started weight training, I wrote down all of my workouts (from my plan with Sumeet) in the Notes app on my phone. I liked having it all written down so I could avoid that “lost” feeling at the gym. I’ve updated my process and now use this fitness log. Each page has space to write down each move with the allocated weights and reps. You can also keep track of how much weight you do so you can easily keep up with your progress over time.
The Yeti drink containers are definitely a bit of a splurge but totally worth it if you ask me. Brandon and I both have one and I always keep one in my gym bag. I fill it up with water and make sure I’m constantly sipping throughout a workout. I then fill it back up at the gym and make sure I drink the whole thing before I get home. Staying hydrated is key to reaching some of those fitness goals and having a good size water bottle can really help you stay on track.
This is another one of those things that I realized pretty quickly I would need for a successful leg day. Our gym had cable attachments but sometimes they were being used by someone else or the thought of a sweaty ankle taking a turn before me freaked me out. So I got my own. You only need one but could also double up for some fun moves. I use these for cable abductions or single leg kickbacks on the cable machine.
Ab sliders were a more recent purchase and while I hate the burn, I also can’t help but love it. Whether you’re getting in a quick ab workout at home or looking for a good warmup at the gym, these ab slider disks are a must have. They have two different textured sides to them (a hard smooth plastic and a padded texture), great for hardwood floors, carpet, mats, etc. Try mountain climbers or toe taps for a good sweat. Your abs will thank you later.
If you are looking for a good snack or pre-workout “treat”, look no further. Sarah introduced me to these and I am obsessed. I usually hate protein bars. The “good for you ones” tend to have that nasty aftertaste and I just can’t get through a whole one. Until now. The Almond Bliss is my favorite flavor by far. It tastes exactly like an almond joy and makes for the perfect duo of a protein packed snack and a delish post dinner treat. They also have other flavors like birthday cake and cinnamon roll. You guys will love these.
I have talked a lot on my Instagram about this Oxyshred pre-workout. I don’t have anything to compare it to but for me, this has been an awesome tool for daily workouts. I take a scoop before each workout and it gives me that little jolt of power and energy to knock out a tough sweat session. I’m a big fan of the grapefruit and melon flavors and even got Brandon hooked on the Kiwi Strawberry. As always, consult your doctor before trying anything like this (especially a fat burner) and do your research! But if you’re looking for a good pre-workout, give this one a try.