Whats In Your Gym Bag? 14 Workout Essentials

It's a new year. That means new resolutions, new goals, new aspirations. We here at BoldlyGrow want you to excel in all aspects of life but for today, lets focus on your healthy living goals. In order to have effective workout sessions, you're going to need to be prepared. The following is a list of the 14 workout essentials to have in your gym bag so you can take your grown and sexy to the next level:

Water Bottle:
This one should be a no brainer but water should be one of the first things you throw in your bag. Its important to always stay hydrated when you're working out. Whether you're training for cardio, strength, endurance, whatever. Hydration is crucial in any workout routine so water has to be accounted for in your gym bag.

A lot of times, when at the gym you'll notice people carrying around shaker bottles. The bottles will generally contain some kind of whey protein, creatine or other supplemental shake. Studies have shown that if your lifting weights you should eat approximate 15-30 minutes prior to hitting the weights and eating again within 15-30 minutes of finishing your workout. This allows your body the peak nutrient absorption and it is why you will see people packing extra containers of vitamins and supplements. *Always consult a physician before you start any supplemental regimen.

Tough actin' Tinactin's stock may or may not take a dive after this post but this subject has to be addressed. Sandals, Flip flops, or "thongs" as they're called in Australia, are an important, not always accounted for, supply in any gym bag. Especially if you end up using the showers or the pool at your local gym. Athletes foot, also known as foot fungus is very easy to catch at the gym. You can take a big time preventative measure by tossing a pair of flip flops in your bag.

Athletic Tape:
Ever dealt with the annoyance of a jammed finger or toe? Well I have, and you can take it from me, having a roll of athletic tape in your bag can be the difference between a completed work out session and going home early because of a strained digit. Athletic tape is used to support joints and add resistance to strains. Do yourself a favor a toss a roll in your bag.

A timer can really come in handy if you're training for competition or even if you're simply trying to improve your mile time. It helps to have a training partner to help keep track of your times but its not impossible to record your own times. Either way, keeping note of your times goes a long way towards improving the effectiveness of your workouts.

Resistance Band:
Besides their portability, resistance bands are increasingly popular because of their number of uses. Many athletes swear by them because they target smaller muscle groups and can add another level of challenge to your routine. Resistance bands are also extremely inexpensive compared to most work out equipment. So even if you are ballin' on a budget and cant afford a gym membership, they cheap to add to your "home gym".

The last thing you want when you sit down at the bench press is to lay your head in a pool of someone else's sweat. Unfortunately not all grown adults have reached the point in their lives where they clean up after themselves. Its not pretty but its the world we're living in folks. Bring a towel.

You smell that? What is that smell? As your nose darts around the gym, trying to locate where that funky odor is coming from you suddenly realize, that you. No one wants to be that smelly guy so remember to toss a stick or can of spray deodorant in your bag.

Gym Shoes:
Flat sole shoes work great for lifting weights and running shoes work great for running. What ever activities your workout routine consists of, have the proper footwear. Designated gym shoes will prevent unnecessary damage to those fresh new kicks you got for Christmas so remember to pack accordingly.

Workout Log Book:
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. It doesn't matter what kind of workout you're doing, the ultimate goal is to improve and you'll never know how far you've come unless you know where you started. Pick up a cheap notebook and a couple of pens to keep in your bag at all times. Another popular component to tracking your progress is take before and after pictures. You'll get a real self esteem boost when you can look back at how far you've come, and with pictures, you can share your journey with your friends.

Nail Clippers:
This one is mostly for guys but this tool is partially a hygiene issue and partially a safety issue. Its important to have good hygiene when it comes to working out to prevent any infections and it can also steer you away from injury. If your fingernails are trim and clean, you carry far less bacteria and you lower the risk of ripping a nail off. Clippers are a great addition to any gym bag.

Lifting Belt:
When you are lifting weights and you start increasing your weight limits, its a good idea to have a lifting belt in your bag. You wont need the belt for every exercise because you still want the full range of motion for your abs and core. However, when you are lifting heavier weights during squatting or power cleans it helps to have that support. You only have one back after all and if you hurt your back well...that will put a big dent in any progress you have made.

Jump Rope:
Another cheap, portable, effective form of exercise. Chances are you have used a jump rope at some point in your life but in case you haven't I'll break it down for you. Jump ropes are great low impact tools. Not only do they improve cardio performance and tone muscles at the same time. They are a quick way to burn off  extra calories. Come clean, you and I both know you snuck that extra candy bar in at work! You can make it up to me though. Jump rope for 10 minutes and we'll call it even.

Regrettable to forget. Headphones are one of my favorite tools in my gym bag arsenal. Listening to music while working out can really help you get in that zone to bust out those last few reps. They also help drown out all the over-the-top grunting from the gym rats in the corner. Since I do enjoy creating my gym playlists so much I'll share a few choice songs I use to get in my zone. Feel free to steal this playlist as long as you use it!

So there you have it. The 14 workout essentials in any proper gym bag and a bonus playlist to help get the ball rolling. Its a new year people. lets stick with those resolutions we typically break and raise the bar for ourselves. Good luck on your training and I'll see you out there!

"A man who is physically fit performs better at any job. Fatigue makes cowards of us all."
-Vince Lombardi

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