The 10 Best Gym Essentials

gym equipment

What are the best accessories for the gym? It depends on what you’re looking to use them for, but here are 10 of the best in different categories. From bags and shoes to headphones and water bottles, this list has something for everyone.

1) Sports Bra

A sports bra is a must for any female gym-goer. Even if you’re not working out in one of your favorite sports bras, you still want to feel comfortable; nothing ruins a workout like pinching or chafing from an ill-fitting bra.

When choosing a bra, go for one that’s made of moisture-wicking fabric (most are) and remember that two is better than one: put your bra on for the workout a fresh one after. If you have big breasts, try using stick-on breast pockets to give them added support without adding bulk to your top. Sports bras generally last 6–12 months; once they start to lose their elasticity, replace them. Your workout will thank you!

Funnily enough, women are just starting to realise that some of the best sports bras on the market are actually on Amazon too.. for a good price!

2) Proper footwear

When you’re lifting weights, your shoes should provide stability and support. There are different types of shoes for different type of workout. For example, if you mostly do cardio, you should get running shoes that have proper stability at sides and soft heel. On the other hand, if you are weight lifting, you should wear shoes that are flat heels and provide proper support at the ankles.

Nike is probably the best place to find proper running and gym shoes. Plus, their shoes are made from recycled material which is a great thing since that’s exactly what our planet needs right now.

3) Barbell Jack

Barbell jacks are an essential for any gym and can be used to change barbell plates quickly and easily, without hurting your wrists. When you’re tired of doing curls or presses and need to switch to another exercise that uses a different weight, a barbell jack lifts the barbell and helps you switch your weight plates with no problem.

Barbell jacks are also good for when you need to make small adjustments in between sets; if you’re lifting a significant amount of weight—and plan on lifting even more over time—it helps keep things safe. For example, it’s hard for you or your spotter to catch too much barbell weight that has been thrown off balance by an imbalance in weight between dumbbells.

Make sure to check out the mini Deadlift jack which is small, easily portable and can lift up to 250kg/550lbs.

Barbell jack

4) Dry Shampoo

Unless you want to shower in a locker room that’s grimier than The Blair Witch Project, you should bring a dry shampoo with you. This is crucial for women who spend a lot of time at gym because it prevents hair from getting greasy and nasty between washes. For guys, dry shampoo can help your scalp by absorbing oil so sweat doesn’t smell as bad when it dries. I like Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo ($4). It has no harsh chemicals or heavy perfumes so it won’t irritate your skin and there are multiple styles/flavors to choose from. Do not underestimate how great dry shampoo is—just don’t use too much!

5) Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is one of those workout essentials that a lot of people forget. Not only does drinking water keep you from feeling sluggish, but it helps your body perform at its best during those intense gym sessions. Invest in a good water bottle and take it with you to every single workout—you won’t regret it! There are tons of options on Amazon, but we recommend going for a stainless steel bottle like Hydro Flask (£34). It will keep your water cold all day and won’t ever leave a metallic taste in your mouth. Plus, these types of bottles can be dropped (or tossed) into practically any drink bin and they’ll come out unscathed—no sweat necessary!

6) Headphones

The best accessories for gym are headphones. At my last gym, I had to share earbuds with three other people in my spin class. The result? Exhaustion from constantly battling for a good earbud placement and even more exhaustion when it was time to leave class. If you like music during your workout, headphones are essential. There’s no better way to make a grueling workout bearable than by jamming out and turning your mind off. Try wireless earbuds or large over-ear headphones if you can afford them; they’re worth every penny (or song).

It’s also important that they stay on while you exercise. So, make sure that they are Bluetooth (so the cable doesn’t get in the way) and appropriate size for your ears (so they don’t hurt). Noise cancelling is also quite useful so you don’t hear anyone huffing and puffing in the background. The Technics EAH-AZ60 wireless earbud headphones are highly recommended with over 300 positive reviews. You can check them out on Amazon here.

Foam Roller

A foam roller is essential for any gym-goer. In addition to reducing post-workout muscle pain, it also helps you recover quicker by relieving tension and improving blood flow. A basic foam roller will set you back a few bucks, but it’s worth every penny if you can afford it. If not, a tennis ball will get you similar results, and they’re pretty much free! To work out those sore muscles that are still bothering you even after a day or two of rest, try rolling out the pain.

8) Protein Powder

Finding a protein powder that fits your goals and tastes can be an exercise in frustration, especially if you’re unsure what you need. But worry not—I’ve put together a handy list of things to consider when shopping for whey or plant-based powders, so that finding one that is both effective and delicious won’t be an exhaustive effort. Essential for gym buffs and athletes looking to increase muscle mass, protein powder should blend easily into water or milk and taste good enough to drink on its own. Many supplements are packed with artificial sweeteners, which give zero nutritional value (and taste very fake). Stick with natural ingredients whenever possible.

I personally recommend MyProtein Whey powders simply because MyProtein is a very reputable company which takes their supplements seriously. They check, double check and triple check their quality. Plus, they formulate the supplements using scientific studies, so you know that the blend that is included is exactly what your body needs to recovery properly. Since different protein shakes are suitable for different goals, be sure to read more about them here.

9) Weight Belt

A weight belt is a must-have for every powerlifter, strongman competitor and anyone else with a serious interest in strength training. During squats, deadlifts, cleans and other heavy lifts where you’ll be engaging your core muscles to stay stable and upright, you can put unnecessary strain on your lower back by not having extra support. Lifting belts come in different sizes—pick one that will fit around your torso comfortably but snugly so it doesn’t slip or move around while you lift. It’s also important to get one with an all-leather construction instead of just synthetic leather because they’ll hold up better over time.

One of the top rated weight belts on Amazon is one from ‘RDX Giant Inside’. It is it only leather material but also has 10 adjustable holes which is what you need if you have a big or small waist. Check it out here on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

To be the best, you have to train like the best. That means doing what the pros do—and that includes bringing a few gym essentials with you to every workout. From warming up properly to cooling down and helping your body recover, I’ve discussed 9 gym essentials. These little extras may not turn you into Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt overnight, but they will help keep you safe and healthy while getting you fitter faster. And that’s exactly what you’re looking for, right?

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