Over the past few years, weight lifting has gained mass appeal amongst both men and women. It’s renowned as a more efficient way to gain muscle mass and to burn fat than cardiovascular activity. As a bonus, weight lifting is generally seen as a more enjoyable workout than sweating it out on the hamster wheel. Whether you’re a total novice in the weights room, or a seasoned-pro, there are certain items that your gym bag should not be without:
The Right Gym Wear
It might seem obvious, but you’d be so surprised at how many people show up to gym sessions in ill-fitting clothing, that are simply not suitable for the activity. Your gym wear should enhance your performance, it should not restrict your range of movement, or induce skin irritation, nor should it be so loose that it catches on equipment – it’s all about getting the right balance. When it comes to weightlifting, you should choose solid, flat soled trainers, a slim fitting men’s gym vest, and shorts. You should also wear layers to shed as your body temperature rises and to put back on during the cool down process. Keeping your muscles warm pre/ post work-out is important to prevent injury.
Chalk is a grip agent used to enhance performance and prevent sweat induced slippage when lifting heavy weights. Whilst many gyms will have a supply of chalk, these can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Chalk can be super messy, so if you don’t want to ruin your kit, we’d advise choosing a liquid chalk. You can pick up a bottle of liquid chalk for a little over a tenna from Amazon, this My Protein one is great to chuck in your gym bag!
A Log Book
Some people choose to use a note on their phone, but our preference is a good old fashioned notepad and pen. In your log book, you can keep track of your exercises, weight, reps and any comments/ notes to bear in mind for next time. This will allow you to document your personal best’s and to track your progression over a set period of time. It’s so rewarding to flick back and see how far you’ve come on your fitness journey.
Reusable Water Bottle
Working out when dehydrated can be detrimental to your progress. You will notice that you are unfocused and easily fatigued, due to the lack of fluid in your system causing a significant drop in blood volume. As a result, your heart will need to work twice as hard to push oxygen through to your muscles, bloodstream and brain. Carrying a water bottle with you in the gym is the best way to ensure that you remain fully hydrated throughout your workout. A reusable water bottle is the best choice, to save money and to do your bit for the environment.
A Resistance Band
You may also find a range of resistance bands to choose from at your local gym, but it’s better to have your own, so you can adapt the resistance to your own requirements. A resistance band makes the perfect tool for warm-up sets, to add difficulty to any powerlifting exercise, and as a substitute to weights. Incorporating resistance training into your workout regime can help improve your flexibility and your range of movement, which is proven to impact your overall fitness. Whilst it might seem like an unusual piece of equipment to keep in your gym bag, with regular use, they can enhance your performance.