Gym Bag Essentials!

Posted on September 22nd, 2013 at 1:26 am by

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The sportsbag below belongs to the UK’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall.  It looks like you’d expect: rough, ready, and used; well, what else would you expect from the 6’ 3” 25 stone Mohican from Stoke?

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If you go to the gym regularly you’ll have the ‘Sportsbag’ or ‘Kitbag’ or ‘Gymstuff’, whatever you call it, you’ll have your gear that supports you to do what you do at the gym – work out hard!  To achieve the very most of your time at the gym we’ve compiled a list of essential items for the serious sports person to help them be at their very best.

1. Good quality workout wear

Firstly, remember to pack a fresh pair, if you don’t you’ll either be wearing your work trousers or sweaty shorts from your previous visit; neither of which will be pleasant.  On a serious note you’ll need well-fitted, light and ‘breathing’ garments, ideally with a flat-locked seam to prevent chaffing.  Good sports trainers are essential and the rule is to buy the best that you can afford, remembering to remove your trainers if you deadlift.

Obviously looking good is essential, just remember that when you are in the middle of a tough workout and sweating, panting, and close to ‘dying’, looking good will not matter as much as not being irritated by ill-fitting or cheap clothing.  Here is a funny short video of what not to wear.

2. Record your efforts

At the very least, take a pen and a notebook to record your workout routine and any personal bests. You don’t want to be in the position of achieving your first personal best in 6 months only to have a nagging doubt about whether it was 110kg or 120kgs that you had achieved.  You may have leapt into the technological future by using a tablet or a laptop to record your efforts, so please remember to have this in your bag and have it charged and ready to go.

3. Be civil, take a towel!

As one personal trainer said, ‘sweat is just fat melting’.  As you work out hard you’ll sweat, though my mom always said that, ‘horses sweat, men perspire and women glow’.  As you glow or perspire, please keep a towel with you for yourself and to wipe down the equipment that you have just used for the benefit of the next person. #gymetiquette

4. Music whilst you work…out

Most people will find that the music playing in the gym is not to their taste.  You can obviously create your own playlist of motivational music; here are some suggestions.  Also, consider alternatives such an audio book or a time management audio program to help you ‘nail two things at once’!

5. Those little items normally forgotten

We’ve created a list of those non-essential items that may just become essential to a few individuals: sport bras, lock for your locker, hair ties, membership passes, headphones, change of clothes, purse/wallet, flip flops for the shower, change for the locker, deodorant, little bag to put your jewellery/valuable items, and extra batteries for your MP3 player/monitor.

6. Water bottle

The science behind hydration has been fully accepted, from a bottled water market launched by Perrier in the 1980’s to almost hysterical laughter, now to a market worth over £1bn in the UK alone.  ‘Klean Kanteen’ has been reviewed as the best water bottle by this The Wire Cutter website.  The key factors to consider when choosing a water bottle for yourself are: size of bottle opening – a wide mouth bottle allows you to put ice in & take a big swig; size of water bottle – do you need it to fit in a bag or in a rack?; washing – dishwasher safe or to be washed by hand?; and cost – what can you afford? Are you likely to lose it?

7. Take some oxygen

There is about 21% in the air and obviously you’ll not need to pack your own!  When you are beaten, struggling to do achieve more, gasping for breath, pure oxygen can help you ‘get through the wall’. Research has shown that using a higher percentage of oxygen during exercise can improve your performance by up to +18.7 according to a review of 22 studies into hyperoxia.  There are numerous companies which sell portable canned oxygen such as these.

This is our list of essential and ‘some memory jogging’ items that will help you achieve more in the gym.  What would you add?

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