Preparing everything you need the night before a workout is going to make you more likely to actually do it – yes even in January. Making sure you have everything you need before you head for a workout can be the difference between quitting halfway through and smashing a new PB.
Luckily our friends at PhD Nutrition have given us the lowdown on everything you need in your bag to have a next-level session. Use this as your personal training prep checklist to keep you moving towards your goals – be that completing Tough Mudder Challenges or getting ready to get back out in the mud in 2021.
Everything You Need in Your Gym Bag
1. Pre-workout Fuel
Many of us have to squeeze in a workout at the end of the day, when we’ve already battled through 8 hours of working and general life admin. If this sounds like you then it’s important to make sure you have the energy to tackle an evening workout and ensure that hunger won’t distract you mid-rep. A banana, or a protein bar will always be a welcome sight in your bag.
2. Enough Water
There isn’t a more effective hydration technique than…drinking enough water. That’s literally the answer. But knowing how much we’re supposed to drink, especially if we’re exercising, is a different story. PhD Nutrition recommenced using their water bottle which holds 2.2 litres, so yeah that tiny bottle you picked up earlier isn’t going to cut it.
3. Intra Workout Support
If you’re thinking, “what the hell is intra workout support?” We don’t blame you. But it’s just fancy words for a simple idea – drinks, snacks and supplements that you consume during your workout. Prepare yourself for some more complicated-looking words. BCAAs (or branched chain amino acids) are essential for your body when it comes to rebuilding and growing muscles, they make the perfect intra workout support as they’re absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream and quickly delivered to your muscles. By delivering essential amino acids PhD Nutrition’s Intra BCAA+ can help to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness.
We know we don’t need to tell you this but Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. If you’re back in a gym they should be providing plenty of sanitiser and cleaning apparatus to ensure that equipment is kept clean (as well as putting social distancing procedures into place) but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.
5. Post-Workout Nutrition
After all the hard work is done your body needs protein to recover and support muscle regeneration. If you’re heading straight home a protein-packed meal featuring things like chicken, fish, lentils, beans or eggs will fill you up. If you’re an early bird though and your session is before work or when you aren’t able to access a full kitchen a protein shake will give your body everything it needs to recover.
6. Specialist Equipment
Depending on your goals and the kind of workouts you enjoy, the gym might not have everything you need. If you’re planning an intense weight-lifting session then bring lifting shoes (the elevated heel will give your ankles stability and a better range of motion). Working on your gymnastics skills? You’ll want chalk and grips in your gym bag. If you want to focus on stretching and getting a great workout then add a resistance band and foam roller in there too.
If you’re only just heading back to the gym then find out what to expect and how to make the most of it.