Essential Gym Items for Lifters

There are some items that are essential to your comfortability and entertainment while working out at the gym. Listed below are some of my gym essentials that I always keep in my gym bag on lifting days. Comment what other items you bring with you to the gym that are not featured in this blog post 🙂

#1) Recording Device 

For most people their recording devices are their phones or even a nice camera. I’d argue this is one of the most essential gym items, especially for anyone who lifts alone at the gym. Using a phone or a camera to record your sets helps you see your lifting form from different angles. You can determine if your stance, tempo, and technique are optimal by watching videos between workout sets. Having a camera allows you to get immediate form feedback that you wouldn’t get while lifting without it. This may also require investing in a decent camera tripod or other camera-elevating apparatus as some exercises are difficult to record with just a phone and water bottle. Find a method you like to use that lets you record your workouts regularly and don’t feel embarrassed to do so in the gym. Using proper form is integral to your longevity in the gym and recording yourself is one of the best ways to gauge it. 

#2 Headphones

Everyone knows that commercial gyms tend to play whatever is featured on the radio… which is typically a song that first became popular 1-2 years ago. Listening to the same songs on repeat is not the most motivating matter for lifting heavy weights. This is why the second-most important item I take with me to the gym is my headphones. Some days I listen to my Cudi & Kanye playlist while other days I listen to podcasts about training, while training. Either way I’m not listening to the same Halsey song for the 3rd day in a row (no disrespect Halsey & The Chainsmokers, but Closer is the most annoying song that refuses to die in peace). 

#3 Water Bottle 

The next essential gym item is a water bottle. This item was not as important pre-pandemic as most water fountains were operational while most water fountains now are refill stations only. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day and throughout your workout to allow yourself to function at your fullest potential during all of your lifts. I highly recommend buying a ‘Hydroflask’ or ‘The Coldest’ water bottle to keep your water at an optimal temperature while working out, especially in warmer climates.

#4 Gym Bag 

A gym bag is essential if you plan on bringing most of the items listed in this blog with you to the gym. Having a gym bag makes it easier to carry all of your essentials with you without losing them and allows you to keep your gym essentials separate from your work or school essentials. Depending on how many items you like to bring with you to the gym, you may need to buy a small drawstring backpack or a giant duffle bag to carry all of your items. Either way, buying a gym bag will help you stay neat and organized for your regular trips to the gym. 

#5 Hand Towel 

Bringing a couple hand towels with you to the gym will allow you to wipe the sweat away from your face and off of the seat/bench after using one. Remember to bring a couple towels with you to the gym so you don’t have to use the same towel for your face and body sweat. Some gyms also have freshly cleaned towels available at the front desk so it may be wise to check if that is available to you at your gym. Everyone gets sweaty while working out so hand towels are another gym essential for regular lifters. 

#6 Hip Pad 

This gym essential is especially important for people who love to practice hip thrusts and glute bridges during their leg workouts. A hip pad gives cushion to the hip bones while placing them under heavy load. Hip thrusts and glute bridges are great ways to load the glutes in their shortened range, however, very heavy loads can cause bruising on the hips without a barbell pad. There are plenty of cute and cushiony hip pads available online to purchase and are a must-have item for people who love challenging their glutes. 

#7 Wrist Straps 

Wrist straps are another essential gym item that are ideal for people who lift heavy with upper body and carry lifts. A limiting factor for a lot of back and carry lifts is grip strength. Adding wrist straps in between your fingers and the bar helps isolate the muscle groups targeted during the exercise while mostly taking out grip involvement. This can be a negative component, however, as grip strength is very essential to everyday life and should also be progressively challenged in your workout routine. Use wrist straps sparingly, possibly only for very heavy, compound lifts where strength is your main priority and don’t use wrist straps for single-joint, simple exercises that can be used to help build grip strength. 

These 7 items are my typical gym essentials that I bring with me to the gym on a regular basis. The first three, my phone, headphones, and water bottle, are my non-negotiable items that I must have with me every day I go to the gym. Without these items, I typically feel I don’t get an optimal workout because of lack of motivation or dehydration. Do you have any additional items you bring with you to the gym regularly? Do you feel some of the items listed above aren’t necessary? Comment below to start a discussion on gym essentials! 👇🏾


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