Inspiring your health and fitness
What’s in your gym bag?

What’s in your gym bag?


The inevitable January rush is upon us. Rather than bore you with tales of busy gym floors and poorly thought out resolutions I thought I would best help you with a quick guide of what you should have in your gym bag for better training results.


  1. Proper gym shoes. Now this is dependant on what style of training you’re doing but there are a few rules all gym goers should adhere to. Firstly, clean shoes are a must! Dont drag mud or worse, dog mess all through the gym floor and expect the trainers to clear it up. It’s a sure fire way to lose friends and alienate people. Plus, your fellow gym goers are the ones that have to do press ups face down in the mud you dragged in. Anyways, rant over, if you’re looking to lift weights, use flat converse style shoes or if you’re a serious lifter, grab a pair of proper weightlifting shoes. Crossfit and other style cross training you can probably get away with flatter style trainers.
  2. Long socks. Not because you’re into crossfit and you’re following that fashion crowd (don’t, it’s turbo boring) but because deadlifting and other weight training can be abrasive on the shins. Rather than slicing your legs, get some football socks to wear when you’re lifting. Remember socks are not, and never will be a fashion statement. It’s simply to stop the bruising.
  3. Knee/wrist straps / weight belt. Now don’t get me wrong, the average beginner has NO need for straps and belts! they’re simply not lifting enough weight. However, for those of us who suffer with sore knees, wrists or simply need more support when squatting or deadlifting, then these are essential bits of kit. Knee straps can aid support during heavy squatting, and allow for greater proprioception (feeling) during heavy lifts. Wrist supports will enable you to handle heavy weights without feeling like you’ve been in shackles for years. A weight belt is not cheating, it simply gives more proprioceptive support for your back. A piece of tight leather won’t make you stronger, but if it allows you to have confidence and support to lift more weight, then indirectly it will. An essential piece of kit if you’re serious about strength gains.
  4. Protein shake. Having protein post workout will decrease muscle soreness, increase protein synthesis (muscle growth) and speed recovery. Now granted you could simply go home and have a meal, however, this is not an efficient way of getting vital nutrients into the bloodstream quickly (food takes longer to digest, and other nutrients like fat and carbohydrate slow the digestion and absorption).  It’s really something that I will be hammering into my clients next year. If you can have your protein shake before you train, as this has been shown to be more effective for muscle growth than a post workout shake.
  5. Creatine. One of the few market supplements that has definitive evidence that it improves strength and body composition. Stick it in with your protein post workout.
  6. Music. Nothing gets people going like their favourite training music. Make yourself a playlist, and if you’re struggling for motivation, stick on your iPod and I’m sure you’ll get a good workout.
  7. Towel. No one likes using sweaty equipment.


Seven items and still room for your lunch. Fill up your bags, and see you in January.