As cool as you might think you are not needing anything aside from your muscles in the gym it never hurts to bring some support. #TeamMEAT put together a list of items that we find essential for every one of our trips to the gym. We might not use them every single day, but now and then whenever we need to, we know they’ll be there. All items are carefully selected to help take a workout to the next level no matter how big or small. If you don’t have something from this list already in your bag feel free to toss them in.
*Items are not listed in any specific order
1. Gym Bag
First off a gym bag is what you’ll need to carry all your things. No way are you going to walk around holding these items in your arms or leave them in a locker unattended. An essential for every bodybuilder and can very much be considered the most important accessory. You can use this bad boy for your clothes, towels, belts, snacks, phone, and anything else that does not fit in your pockets.
2. Shaker Bottle
The best way to mix your supplements without having any clumps left over! This is a must if serious gains are on your to do list. Whether you use one regularly or not, just throw in (a clean) one for good measure.
Sweating is a normal thing especially when in the gym! Just think for a second though, would you want to sit in someone else’s sweat? Snag a towel, it can be a microfiber or a regular towel from home, just have one to wipe some of the equipment down. You can even bring an extra for yourself so you’re not leaving puddles everywhere.
4. Wireless Headphones
Do we even have to mention why these are essential, sometimes the gym music just isn’t your thing or you need to block out the noise so bring a pair of headphones. There is nothing like tuning into your hand picked playlist and not having to hear anybody else during your workout. Speakers just won’t fly in a public gym nowadays so headphones are the way to go.
5. Weightlifting Belt
Not necessary for everything you lift, but a very useful tool when wanting to go for a new PR or when you just plan on lifting some heavy weights. It is important to have proper support on big lifts during your squats, deadlifts, OHP’s, etc. by preventing lower back injury as it keeps your core locked in place. It’s always a good thing to have one handy.
6. Wrist Straps
Much like the other tools on this list wrist straps can be an indispensable tool as well. More often than not it is our wrists and grip that fails us, not our back. Used to assist your grip during heavy pulling exercises, straps can help squeeze out an extra one or two more reps when your grip starts to give. Allowing you to lift more weight and prevent fatigue, these are a must buy for any serious bodybuilder.
7. Wrist Wraps
Not to be confused with the above mentioned wrist straps, these puppies help provide joint stability and give you the ability to push beyond your fatigue limits. These also make the weight feel lighter and will also force you to grip more weight. More typically used to help with injuries by reducing the strain on your joints and muscles.
8. Knee Sleeves
These provide compression and support for the knee! However, keep note, they should not limit movement in any way. Sleeves can be useful for someone who has experienced a minor injury. The compression provided increases blood flow to the area to reduce pain and help reduce swelling after your workouts. Please just throw this in your bag.
9. Gym Chalk
Some good old fashioned gym chalk. If you haven’t seen or used this at least once by now are you even lifting heavy weights? Improving your grip while also protecting your hands against skin tears is what makes this so special. Reducing the chances of some heavy weights slipping out of your hands or falling from some pull ups should be enough reason to add this to your bag as well.
10. Water Bottle
Dehydration can have a huge impact on your workout performance. Losing even a little water can lead to premature fatigue and weakness. Thinking you have to only sweat to lose water is wrong, while exhaling you constantly release water vapor. The harder you breathe the more water you will lose. Drink throughout your workout without needing to step away and lose your equipment or weights. Also another plus would be staying away from those chemically cleaned water fountains used by everyone and their mom.
The faster we are to recovery, the sooner we can get back in the lab and train again. Providing you are fully recovered, more workouts in less time mean better results. Kickstart your process with a protein shake or a snack as soon as you are finished with your workout. Ignoring post-workout nutrition could delay your recovery, leading to slower progress.
12. Pre Workout
While not essential to a great workout it adds something whenever you need a boost. These Safe and effective supplements are regularly used to enhance physical performance and energy levels. Just keeping some on you along with your shaker cup and water is a perfect combo. One scoop and you’re ready to push some weight right through the roof. Just find the best fit for you and you will be all set for your next workout.
As important as all the others on this list that are mostly for support during your workout, we have something that is perfect for before or after. Used for relieving muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, while also increasing your joints range of motion. Rollers improve flexibility without impairing your strength. Along with that, using these can also help improve your posture and you can use it as a simple self massage so why not. Do yourself a favor and find a roller.
14. Barbell Collars
For the love of all things good if you find yourself never having collars at the gym please be a smart person and buy some. Gyms have either been losing them all together or people don’t know they can find them at a store and take them. Necessary for that extra security when heavy lifting and your plates do not slide off during your rep. Along with that they make sure your weight is evenly split so there aren’t any imbalances and it doesn’t cause any problems for you. You can find them online or in stores and probably find some cool designed ones too so just get some.