Knowing what to bring to the gym can be difficult.
If it's your first time, you may not be aware of what equipment your gym already has. Gyms can be intimidating if you are a first-timer, so the last thing you want to do is bring the wrong items.
Being prepared with a clear idea of what to bring to the gym is a great way to ensure a smooth first experience. The peace of mind of knowing you have everything you need means you can confidently start your workouts.
To take out the guesswork and make your gym experience the best it can be, follow this list to find out what to bring and what to leave behind.
What to Bring to the Gym- Dos
It’s important to think about your own individual needs and plan your work beforehand to give you a clear idea of what to bring to the gym.
Find inspiration on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram and create a workout plan. This will not only make you feel confident, it will also help you to plan the gym equipment you need to bring.
Not all gyms will have all the equipment you need, so it’s important to bring your own.
An interval timer is a great accessory to ensure you are maximising your cardio workouts. Interval timers are good because you can set unlimited rounds with varying lengths, as well as add rest periods between rounds. You can download an interval training app or grab a separate interval timer. Having an interval timer can be a better option if you’re using your phone for music or working out in a group situation. This can be worn or attached to a range of equipment and will notify you by sound and vibration when it’s time to move onto the next exercise.
Resistance Loops Micro/Booty Bands
Also known as Booty bands or Resistant loops, micro bands are a must if you are looking to increase the difficulty of your exercises. They can be placed around legs, just above the knees to activate muscles and increase glute and leg strength whilst performing squats and Hip thrusts, or around ankles for hip abductions and adductions. Micro bands are versatile and easily portable making them a perfect addition to your list of items to bring to the gym.
Having your own skipping rope to bring to the gym is a must. You can customise it to fit your desired length and they are a great fitness tool because they provide total body conditioning and increase your endurance. You can go for a basic rope, extra light speed rope or challenge yourself with a weighted rope to really burn calories.
If you do manage to find an ankle loop at the gym, it’s likely to be sweaty, uncomfortable or the wrong fit. Ankle loops are used for booty building exercises like glute kick backs on the cable machine. Using equipment that is not secure and uncomfortable can reduce the effectiveness of your work out and even cause injury. Investing in good quality ankle loops that are adjustable is a must. You can also clip your ankle loops onto multiple PTP PowerTubes to use at home!
Pilates bands aren’t just for classes. Activation is key before a lifting session, even if you’re using smaller weights. Using pilates bands to warm up before working on back or shoulder muscles will help you to activate the muscles, giving you better technique and faster results.
This is a great warm-up activity or an option if you have past injuries and want to ease into your fitness.
At the end of any workout, it’s important to spend some time massaging your muscles. Working out creates micro tears in your muscles (hence why you’re so sore afterwards). Massaging them after a workout helps to release tension, reduce inflammation and can reduce recovery time. Massage balls are a great help in releasing trigger points and breaking up soft tissue adhesions. They come in different densities depending on the level of massage you want, or if you’re super extra, you can opt for a massage gun that will work your stiff muscles and aches, providing a speedier recovery.
Perhaps the biggest essential to bring to the gym is a bag. How else will you be able to bring along all your gym accessories?
Finding the perfect gym bag can take some time given the large selection available. Remember to choose a bag that is durable, functional and spacious enough to carry the gym accessories you want to bring.
Choose a polyester bag as this is a durable material that is built to be moisture and odour resistant.
Since gym bags are bound to have smelly clothes and runners chucked in, it's essential to get a bag that is breathable. Choose a bag that has mesh compartments where you can store your dirty clothes away from your clean ones. Some bags even have a separate compartment just to store your shoes.
The clothes you wear for a workout can make a huge difference in how you feel during and after exercise. There are many factors that can influence how comfortable your workout clothes are. This includes whether they’re right for the type of exercise you will be doing and the fabric they’re constructed from.
The mandatory towel is one of the most useful pieces of gear for gymgoers, but it can only help you so much with absorbing sweat. When it comes to choosing workout clothes, some choices are better than others.
Breathable synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat away like our VIRUS ENERGY and VIRUS STAYCOOL ranges are fantastic for exercising. They will keep you cool by allowing sweat to be evaporated but won’t soak your clothing and leave you feeling gross and uncomfortable.
Protein Rich Food
It’s fitting that protein comes from the Greek word, proteos, meaning ‘primary’ or ‘first place’, as it could very well be the missing step in your exercise routine that will allow you to reach your full potential.
Incorporating protein into your diet is essential if you want to improve your fitness. When you exercise, you tear and break muscle fibres apart. Protein will help repair these torn and broken muscle fibres, resulting in improved overall muscle strength and enhanced post-exercise recovery.
Remember to bring some protein-rich snacks with you to the gym. Here are some easy, high-protein snacks you can pop into your bag and bring to the gym:
- Whey protein powder shakes
- Hard-boiled eggs
- High-protein bars
- Sandwiches with chicken, salmon or fish
What to Bring to the Gym: Don’ts
100% Cotton or Plastic/rubber-based Clothes
Cotton clothing literally absorbs every ounce of sweat, making you look and feel like you’re wearing a wet towel. Instead of cotton, opt for a sweat-wicking fabric specifically made for exercise. Wearing plastic-based or rubber-based clothing is a big no as they will keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature too high during a workout.
If you look at the sole of your shoe and can no longer see the design of the tread, it might be time to get a new pair of sneakers. Exercising in old shoes can increase the chance of injuries due to the lack of grip and can throw off the alignment of your feet, potentially resulting in knee and hip issues.
If you’re too nervous to leave valuables such as your wallet, sunglasses or jewellery in the locker room, maybe leave it at home. Further, in busy periods lockers may be unavailable, or even non-existent. That way you can focus on exercising stress-free.
When exercising, stick to water to stay hydrated. Stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee, soft drink and energy drinks while you’re working out to avoid light-headedness.
That One Distracting Friend
Workout buddies are a great way to stay motivated when working out – but sometimes they can be more of a distraction. If you have a friend that likes to chat more than workout, maybe catch up with them on another occasion.
For more information on what equipment you can bring to the gym contact our team today.