What Do You Need to Bring to the Gym?
There was a time when fronting up at the gym in faded black trackie daks and a ripped singlet was just fine. And burgundy stubbies were the height of fashion. These days prepping for the gym is a little more sophisticated.
Gyms have grown from basic sweatboxes to social hubs and your fashion needs to be as fit as you; looking the part is almost more important than actually participating.
Well, not quite, but standards have certainly been raised. So what do you really need to hit the gym like a pro?
A good attitude
Yep, you can’t pack that in your gym bag, but if you turn up with tepid enthusiasm, your workout will be a waste of time.
Before you prep anything else, prep your mind. Find the focus you need by reminding yourself why you exercise. Visualise the ‘you’ you’re striving to be. Find the steely resolve you need to hit the gym hard.
A gym bag
Speaking of gym bags, you need a decent bag to carry all your stuff. And no, it doesn’t need to be some branded super bag with a gym membership-sized price tag; any old backpack or duffle bag will do as long as you can get your gear in and out with ease.
Side pockets are a good idea if you’re packing any of the accessories outlined below.
The best way to get offside with your fellow gym goers is to turn up without a towel. In fact, plenty of gyms won’t let you train without one. Why? Well, do you want to lay in someone else’s sweat on the bench press?
Do your reps and wipe up before you move to the next exercise. So bring a towel!
Some gyms come complete with pumping music to keep your energy up, which is fine. Others have the atmosphere of a morgue.
If you need to provide your own exercise soundtrack, ‘Leonard Cohen sings about death and despair’ won’t be the greatest motivator. Create an upbeat song list on your smartphone and don’t forget your headphones.
Wireless headphones are by far the best option if you don’t want to rip plugs out of your ears every couple of minutes.
The key word here isn’t ‘branded’ it’s comfortable. Workout clothes can be any kind of activewear as long as it’s lightweight, makes you feel good and allows free movement. Avoid anything tight or it won’t be your legs doing the splits.
Oh, and ladies, give some thought to all that bending gym work calls for. It’s not just the collar of your top that responds to gravity; be mindful of tops that are loose around the stomach as well.
Your standard, garden variety running shoes are okay, but for a real stable base, flat soled trainers are worth the investment.
You don’t want to waft about the gym in a cloud of unpleasant odour so plaster on the deodorant before you start each workout.
A water bottle
An absolute must. Water is a workout’s best friend and you need to be constantly replenishing fluids to stay hydrated. No, you don’t need an expensive sports drink to do that, water does the job as well as anything.
A tracking app
Don’t worry, this isn’t a must and your gym may give you a good old fashioned workout folder to track your progress. However, if you want to get super scientific, find a tracking app to record and monitor your progress in a more high tech way.
If you’re getting to the serious end of your training, your gym bag might also contain such things as a lifting belt, lifting straps, chalk bag, dip belt, knee sleeves and lifting shoes.
A personal training qualification
That’s about the best thing you could ever pack in your gym bag. Personal training is a massive growth industry in more ways than one and there’s never been a better time to get qualified. You’ll find all our nationally recognised courses HERE.
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