10 Basic Workout Essentials (What’s in my Gym Bag)

By Joanna 13/01/2013 In
Fitness Tips

Hi everyone, it’s Joanna here. So you’re getting serious about your fitness and you are ready to invest in some fitness gears to for a better workout. What are some of the basic workout essentials we all need? I’ll be sharing with you my top 10 workout essentials, which you will be using for many years to come. Most of these items are not expensive and easily available

Let’ start with what’s in my gym back which is also necessary for home workouts.

1) Trainers (Shoes & socks)
Buy trainers according to your feet
Normal foot, flat foot or high arched
Buy according to your activities as well.
Speak to the shop assistant to have your foot checked out prior to purchasing a pair of shoes.
So don’t just buy a pair of trainers because it looks cute. Check the weight of the shoes, make sure it’s suitable according to your feet and supports the type of activities you do.
For instance I have two pairs of trainers here, this addidas trainer is really light and it’s meant more for indoor training. So I tend to use it more for the gym. As for this Brooks trainer, it has more cushioning, better grip and it’s meant for outdoor running.
When you are in the shop, walk around for a good 5 mins or so, jump or run on the spot if you need to and see how the shoes support or do not support your feet.

2) Sports Bra (workout clothes)
different type of sports bra:
high impact – any activity which involves jumping, running: cardio based workout.
medium impact: strength training
low impact: yoga, pilates
Best way to test out is to jump up and down. If you need to hold your breasts, then it’s not offering you enough support

Don’t just wear whatever, where comfortable workout clothes that doesn’t restrict your movements and allow your workout clothes to motivates you as well.

3) Towel
always have a towel with you when you are working out.
If you are drench in sweat, wipe it off. It’s for hygiene.
And personally, I wouldn’t use the same towel you use to wipe your face to wipe the bench or mat in the gym, especially if you have sensitive skin. The gym isn’t the cleanest place.

4) Timer (App on Phone)
You can buy a separate timer if you want to, but I just use an App on my phone called ‘Seconds’. I might look for a better timer in the future, or if you know a better timer, do share it with me. =)
Timer is useful if you are doing circuit training, high intensity interval training, tabata and more.

5) Water Bottle
Remember the importance of keeping yourself hydrated throughout your workout? This is pretty obvious but some people just don’t have a bottle of water with them.
You MUST have a water of bottle with you and drink an average of 250ml for every 15-20mins of workout.
If you notice people who joins a group workout without having a bottle of water with them tend to struggle more. Keeping yourself hydrated will help to improve your workout performance.

6) Heart Rate Monitor (£90)
Not everybody needs a HRM, but if you really want to keep track of your workout progress and to motivate yourself, I would definitely suggest that you invest in one.
The HRM I have here is a Polar FT40 and it cost me about £90.
This HRM will keep track of your HR during the workout, so if your HR is too low, you would want to work harder and bring it up.
It’ll also keep track of calories burned, maximum HR and average HR, workout time, workout sessions. Plus it acts as a normal watch as well.
The most accurate way to track your calories burned is to wear a HRM, so if you want to take your training further, this is definitely worth an investment.

7) Weight Training Gloves (Price: £5 - £15)
better grip
avoid calluses and rough hands
To be fair, there aren’t many training gloves to choose from for female and the designs available aren’t the most attractive too. Personally, I’ve been wearing Nike’s gloves since I started training. I find that they have the best design, fits my hands just right and it’s comfortable during training.

8) Dumbbells
If you are looking to buy a fitness equipment, I would suggest that you invest in a pair of dumbbells because as you progress with your workout, having a pair of dumbbells will help you to increase the intensity of your workout and also you will be able to perform so many other home exercises, which uses a pair of dumbbells.
So how heavy should it be? Beginners, go for either 2kgs or 3kgs each. As you progress, you can buy either a 4kgs or 5kgs dumbbells.
Personally, I wouldn’t bother buying a 2kg or 3kg dumbbell, reason being is that, I know I can make it using home items, just like what I have here. This is about 3.5kgs. So I would invest and buy a pair of 4kg dumbbells, which will benefit you long term.

9) Yoga Mat
Another home fitness equipment that I would suggest you to get is a yoga mat. This will help you with all the floor workouts we do together. It’s important to support your back whilst lying on the floor with a yoga mat to avoid back discomfort and pain.
What I have here is a basic yoga mat, which is the most affordable ones. – it’s made of PVC and the thickness is 1/8 of an inch.
If you feel like you need more cushioning to perhaps support your knees or for certain yoga poses you are practicing, then go for a thicker yoga mat, which is quarter of an inch, if you do frequent travel and you want something light and portable, go for 1/16 of an inch.

10) Ipod / Workout video
Next on the list is motivation! It’s great that if you’re someone who’s really motivated to workout, most people will find that they need the extra push or support to workout.
So this can come in the form of having a playlist of workout music to pump up your energy either in the gym or running outdoor. If you workout from home, perhaps you might want a virtual personal trainer like me.
That’s what my workout videos are for, to make exercising accessible to everyone either from the comfort of your home or you can adapt the workout in the gym.
Everybody will need some sort of motivation at one point or another, what’s your workout motivation?

Let me know what is your must have item for every workout?

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