Gym Essentials: 5 Items You Need In Your Gym Bag
When it comes to training and nutrition, you’ve seen by now I like to keep things clear-cut and simple, yet with discipline and consistency at the heart of all my success. The 5 items that I keep in my gym bag for every session are no different in this regard.
For basic hygiene reasons I shouldn’t have to explain, bring a towel to the gym.
Wiping down the equipment after you use it is common courtesy and well-established gym etiquette.
And speaking from experience, there is nothing worse than having to inherit the sweat left by the dude on the bench before you’re about to pump out a set of dumbbell presses, so think about how others would feel if you leave your own special scent waiting for them on the equipment before using it.
2) Muscle Rub aka Tiger Balm
Fusing together centuries of ancient Chinese wisdom, Tiger Balm is an effective natural muscle relaxant that can be used to treat muscular injuries as well as relieve headaches.
This potent herbal remedy should always be in your gym bag to apply immediately to any pull or knock you may pick up in the gym, as a rapid-relief therapy before you can treat the problem more effectively at a later stage with a more comprehensive physiotherapy solution.
Speaking from experience, it’s sensible to have some Tiger Balm on hand should any such situation arise, as treating something at the scene is much better than scouring for a solution at a later stage when the damage is done.
Ankle weights are one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of equipment you can have in your arsenal.
If you’re looking to burn more calories throughout your training session, then simply wearing ankle weights is an effective method of doing so.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to strengthen the muscles in your lower body, then wearing ankle weights assist in the development of your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles.
A lot of people are also surprisingly weak in their ankles in modern society as well which leads to impaired movement in later life and poor posture and mobility. Building strength in this area can help to alleviate some of these long-term problems you may become exposed to at a later date.
4) Wrist Wraps
If you’re lifting heavy weights, then it’s fair to say your wrists and tendons will come under a lot of strain & pressure either sooner or later.
Having a solid set of wrist wraps in your gym bag can be a good protective measure to ensure you don’t get injured, while still allowing you to press and pull heavy which is required in order to stimulate new muscle tissue in your workouts.
Ideal for heavy deadlifting and rowing exercises, a pair of lifting straps can help you to overcome your grip strength deficiencies and isolate your back muscles more on certain exercises that you want to focus specifically on that muscle group.
While lifting straps shouldn’t be used as a crutch to compensate for poor grip strength, they are an awesome tool to use to lift additional weight on your heaviest sets to further stimulate growth.