Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Yep it might be an old saying but it’s stuck around for a reason. Making sure you have everything you need before you head to the gym (or just for a workout) can be the difference between quitting halfway through and smashing a new PB.
We now give you the lowdown on everything you need in your gym bag to have a next-level session. Use this as your personal gym prep checklist and keep those 2020 goals in sight (it ain’t over yet) – whether that’s crushing a Tough Mudder Challenge or training towards your next IRL event in 2021.
Everything You Need in Your Gym Bag
1. Pre-workout Fuel
Many of us have to squeeze in a gym session at the end of the day, when we’ve already battled through 8 hours of working and general life admin. If this sounds like you then it’s important to make sure you have the energy to tackle an evening workout and ensure that hunger won’t distract you mid-rep. A banana, or a protein bar will always be a welcome sight in your gym bag.
2. Enough Water
There isn’t a more effective hydration technique than…drinking enough water. That’s literally the answer. But knowing how much we’re supposed to drink, especially if we’re exercising, is a different story.
3. Intra Workout Support
If you’re thinking, “what the hell is intra workout support?” We don’t blame you. But it’s just fancy words for a simple idea – drinks, snacks and supplements that you consume during your workout. Prepare yourself for some more complicated-looking words. BCAAs (or branched chain amino acids) are essential for your body when it comes to rebuilding and growing muscles, they make the perfect intra workout support as they’re absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream and quickly delivered to your muscles. By delivering essential amino acids, BCAA’s can help to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness.
We might be back in gyms but Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. Your gym should be providing plenty of sanitiser and cleaning apparatus to ensure that equipment is kept clean (as well as putting social distancing procedures into place) but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.
5. Post-Workout Nutrition
After all the hard work is done your body needs protein to recover and support muscle regeneration. If you’re heading straight home a protein-packed meal featuring things like chicken, fish, lentils, beans or eggs will fill you up. If you’re an early bird though and your session is before work or when you aren’t able to access a full kitchen a protein shake will give your body everything it needs to recover.
6. Specialist Equipment
Depending on your goals and the kind of workouts you enjoy, the gym might not have everything you need. If you’re planning an intense weight-lifting session then bring lifting shoes (the elevated heel will give your ankles stability and a better range of motion). Working on your gymnastics skills? You’ll want chalk and grips in your gym bag. If you want to focus on stretching and getting a great workout then add a resistance band and foam roller in there too.