What’s In Your Gym Bag

18 Jun

TGIF! This week went pretty smoothly, no complaints here…I am not even going to touch the Celtics game. I will say that thanks to that loss I can’t listen to sports radio for at least a month. Today I just wanted to give a short post about what I carry in my gym bag and why, and ask you guys and girls what’s in yours!

  • First Off, Get Gym Bag – You bring a brief case to work. You go to the gym to DO WORK, you need a good bag.
  • Flat, Thin Sole Shoes – We won’t get into why here too in depth, but please stay away from shoes like Nike Shox, “running” shoes or Basketball Shoes. They lift your heel putting your foot and ankle into plantar flexion. Furthermore, if you are trying to generate power from the ground through your feet you want to be close to the ground. I perform my deadlifts and variations in bare feet for just this reason. I wear Chuck Taylors and I love them, but if you need to look hip I also recommend Nike Free’s or Vibram Five Fingers,  see picture below. I would also recommend Nike Frees and Vibrams for trainees who run or have a more active workout to include sprinting, jumping, etc., as they allow for more movement than the oldschool Chuck’s. I generally run and sprint in a Nike Free myself. Running shoes lift the heel and promote heel striking in your running stride which we’re finding could cause a lot of the problems you may feel yourself such as shin splints and knee pain. Check out this cool video and the picture below!

  • Stop Watch or Interval Timer – As you become a more advanced lifter you will self – regulate rest periods, but until then it is helpful to have a number in mind. In addition, you need a good stop watch or interval timer for circuit work. I recommend GYM BOSS’s timer it’s cheap and it works great (gymboss.com)

  • Lifting Belt – Chin Up / Dip Belt – To use a belt or not to use a belt that is the question. I have wavered in both directions throughout the years. I say best to have one available. I don’t use it for every set, In fact I only use it for squats and Deadlifts, one working set per workout. If your going for a big lift or for High Heavy Reps such as a final work set in a program like 5/3/1, I think it’s a must. People are against them because they say you lose the advantage of working your core, bullshitdeis. If you’re training your core directly and only using the belt a set or two per workout you will be fine. Plus, you will have safer more productive work sets. As far as the Dip Belt, if your gym doesn’t have one…then your gym probably sucks, but none the less you need one to load your chin ups and dips, so get one.
  • Chalk – Most gyms don’t allow it, but some do, and if they do it is much safer to use it. Just clean up nicely and don’t leave a trail of it every where you go Gretel.
  • Training Journal – If you are focusing on your progress, as you should be, then you might just need this. Write down more than just what you lifted, the more you write about how you felt during the workout and training week, the more you start to learn about your body and the volume of work you can handle.
  • Spike Energy Drink – This stuff is like a slap in the face in a can. Spare me the information on caffeine and how it will kill me. I don’t slug one down before every session but sometimes when your racing around all day you need a little slap across the face to get focused and honed in.

  • Surge Workout Fuel, Surge Recovery and A Blender Bottle – Your Para Workout Nutrition is soooo important. You need to fuel your body for performance and recovery. Seen the new Gatorade products? Kind of like that, except this stuff is way freakin’ better. I don’t carry the jugs with me, I said gym bag not gym suitcase guy. Put the days servings into tupper ware and don’t forget your shaker bottle. I use the blender bottles they are durable and easy to clean.

  • IPod – You’re not there to socialize, contrary to overwhelming evidence against that theory. Stick your headphones in and get after it. (see my post on what’s playing in my ipod). I have been known to just stick headphones in connected to nothing on days I don’t feel like listening to music just so people leave me alone. This works at the mall too when you don’t want to be hassled. (Is that bad?)
  • Fat Gripz – These things are awesome, they make a standard barbell a thick barbell and help improve your forearm recruitment and grip strength.

  • Lacrosse / Tennis Ball – I keep this in my bag to do some soft tissue work, you can use them in a similar fashion to a foam roller. If your gym doesn’t have foam rollers, get one.

That about sums up what’s in my bag, that along with sweaty socks I keep forgetting to take out. Oh, and the cell phone stays in the car, or at least the locker for that matter. What’s in your bag?! Leave a comment below and let me know!

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