Every superhero needs a strong sidekick.
Can you imagine Batman without the support of plucky, tenacious Robin? Your gym gear is pretty much the same way. Well... okay, it may not be EXACTLY the same as this, but there are for sure a few essential gym-kit accessories I think everyone needs to have handy. From basic to a little unconventional, here are my must-have gym accessories!
I'll be the first to admit that, for the longest time, I never used a gym towel. I thought there wasn't a point because, well, I didn't get all that sweaty. Then I realized that's because I wasn't training hard enough. In my opinion, you should need a gym towel. Not want a gym towel, "need". Plus, if you think about it, a zillion other people have sat their butts on that leg press and clenched them buns as hard as they could to force out every rep. Wouldn't it be nice to have a layer of towel between your butt and those zillion butts? Yeah, I thought so.
For about a year I lived with a massage therapist. Yes, this did mean I was the lucky test subject every time she wanted to trial a new technique she had learned, but we all can't be so lucky to room with a professional. What I learned from her is the importance of owning a mobility ball. This can be substituted for a tennis ball or something of a similar manner. But using it to regain mobility and tissue suppleness in your shoulders, glutes, calves or wherever you're tight is incredibly important for training as well as preventing future injuries. Plus, is feels damn good.
DECK OF CARDS
This is my favourite tool for shaking up my workouts or for training while traveling. Each suit represents a different exercise and the number of the cards represents the reps you need to perform of it (with Aces counting as 11 and Face Cards 10). Example: Hearts = Burpees, Diamonds = Squats, Spades = Push-Ups, Clubs = Plank *number then relates to seconds held x5 - ie: 3 = 15 secObviously, the goal is to go through all 52 cards but play however pushes you the most. And, if you have Jokers in your deck, they count as 1min of cardio. Lucky you!
I know this is an obvious tool for post-workout which most of us already have kicking around in our kitchen. But I'm talking about bringing it along for your workout! Water is such an essential part of life as is, but even more important when you're working up a sweat on the regular. If you'd rather use a water bottle than a shaker, have at 'em. But I say use what you got and begin taking your shaker with you to the gym filled with sweet, sweet H2O. Then, when you are finished training, toss in your post-workout protein and BAM, dual purpose. Isn't is fun being smart and efficient?
DAMN GOOD UNDERWEAR
There's nothing more uncomfortable than underwear that gets damp, clammy or (worst of all) bunches up your butt. You want something seamless, breathable fabric and preferably antimicrobial to control odour and bacteria. Then, from there, you can look at how much coverage, compression or additional features you need to make sure you're comfortable af. Honestly, I could probably tack on several other items to this list I deem "essential". However, I'll leave it at this handful and let you discover what items are your own personal must-haves. Just, if you take one thing away from these recommendations, make sure you get good underwear. If not for yourself, do it for me. Wait... that's a bit weird. Just do it for yourself.