I see people every day walking into the gym with a bottle of water and their car keys, and then there is me, trailing behind, trying to get the door open with my face due to my arms being piled high with stuff, prepared for absolutely every eventuality (including a food shortage). I need to befriend one of these gym goers and ask them how on earth they do it? Hints / Tips? Is all their stuff in their car to make them look uber organised?? Someone tell me.
Anyway...if you see someone who looks like they are moving into the gym, they aren't, I can assure you, they're probably just on prep. Be a darling and hold the door open for them though.
You're probably thinking "WHAT ON EARTH does she need to take to the gym that doesn't fit in a normal sized gym bag?". Well its your lucky day!
Prep is brutal, the one thing on training days I'm allowed that makes me happy from the tips of my toes, is this. 20g of Lindt 90% cocoa chocolate. Its no galaxy caramel but the sugars are low, it is packed with antioxidants, minerals such as iron, magnesium and copper, it is said to improve arterial blood flow and improve brain function in the short term. Perfect for before you start an intense training session, plus its yummy.
Carbs for energy, paprika or cheese flavour are the boyo, I tend to have these while I'm unpacking my gym bag / suitcase lol. Have you ever tried to eat one in a minute though? I have, failed miserably.
Highly caffeinated substance which comes in plenty of flavours, I usually drink mine as quick as possible as it tastes like shots you'd get in a cheap bar on a night out. Usually makes my face itch, the severity of said itch depends on the brand itself. The aim is to increase energy levels, increase focus, endurance and muscle power. Research is limited whether they actually work but I'm a caffeine monster so I use mine on heavy leg days and back days.
Glute activation!! Leg day warm up with one of these is a fail safe way of ensuring those glutes are switched on and ready to work hard. Glutes have a tendency to be lazy, they don't work to their potential if they aren't 'switched on' and other muscles compensate for this. Perfect used in a warm up for any exercise routine, runners especially. If you have any questions and would like to know more specifically, please just fill in the "contact us" form.
Branch Chain Amino Acids come in either tablet or powder form, I like the powder as it dilutes to give you healthy juice. I go between brands with these as I like to try the different flavours, at the minute I'm using Muscle Pharm, Lemon and Lime flavour and its lush. I have this during training, it is said to stimulate protein synthesis, and might do so to a greater extent than a normal protein on its own. BCAAs also increase synthesis of the cellular machinery responsible for carrying out the process of protein synthesis. So for a mere 41 kcal per serving (which I dilute into a litre of water) it's worth trying.
Protein is a must Post Workout, and protein shakes are the best way to get a high amount of protein in quickly, and without the need to be scranning chicken straight after you've trained. The 20 minutes or so after training is called the metabolic window, the period after exercise during which nutrition can shift the body from a catabolic state to an anabolic one. Specifically, it is during this period that the intake of protein and carbohydrates can aid in the increase of muscle mass.
I use USN Core Series Whey concentrate and isolate, Wheytella Flavour.
Rehband knee support.
As a Sports Therapist I am always wanging on to people about prevention being better than cure. Look after yourselves, if you feel a niggle or twinge, address it. Likewise, if you have had a previous injury, you more than likely will have a slight degree of weakness there, look after it. I use a Rehband knee support to help with an old MCL injury. I don't rely on the support, but it keeps the knee warm and provides a lighter support when going HEAVY! The reason we use these supports may be psychological, but surely if they are having a positive psychological effect then they are still working the way you want it.
Numerous hair bobbles and clips
Music is a must for me while I train, I go into my own little world. So whether it be Spice Girls Megamix or some AC/DC, you can guarantee with these on that's all you'll be able to hear. They aren't cheap but they are with the dosh, they have 40 hours battery life, are wireless and are in a pretty gold shade. You can look like a tele tubby in style.
Some plug in ones that stay in a pocket somewhere in my bag, incase I leave mine at home on charge. Happens often.
You can buy specific log books for training, but I like to use a pretty Accessorise one with stars and girly things on. I track every workout, it helps me keep an eye on my strength, previous session effort and gives me that extra push to beat my previous achievements.
Diet brain, it needs distracting, chewing gum comes everywhere with me.
When training back I like to use chalk, theres a lot of heavy pulling movements and the last thing you want to do is drop a weight, I personally, can't really get away with straps. So chalk increases your grip, and thats all it does really, apart from make you look daft when you spill it all over yourself.
Now these get worn as much as my trainers in the gym, they are the shoes I will be wearing on stage, and they need to be like slippers. 5 inch sparkly stripper style heels haha. Now I look bonny prancing round the studio in these while people are training, but hey ho, practice makes perfect and I am under strict instructions that I need to practice every single day. So hoovering, food prep and general day to day tasks get done in them, minus walking the dogs. People think its easy, its not, and smiling all the way through while being contorted into totally unnatural positions? I'm grimacing at the minute!
So yes, thats the majority of what I carry round with me in my Gym bag, every session, 5 days a week. If I'm at work (as I'm lucky enough to have a clinic room in my gym), I have even more!
Let me know in the comments your gym bag essentials!