Okay, so you've decided that 2019 was your year to hit the gym and hit it HARD. As a gym lover myself, I'm not mad at it — and if no one else has told you, YOU GO GIRL! I applaud your dedication, and just know that the journey you're starting will be well worth it. With that said, after you've combed the Web for the perfect set of workouts, figured out your ideal workout split routine, studied all about meal prepping, etc. it's finally time to think about how you're going to make the most out of your experience as a bonafide gym member.
For one, as you may already know, there are several great products you can tote along with you to enhance your performance and make the gym more comfy. From in-app calorie trackers to squat pads (I swear by them!), part of the secret to fitness in my opinion is keeping your gear organized and using it to stay motivated.
Eager to learn what me, a personal trainer and avid fitness junkie, keeps in her gym bag? Keep reading for five of my must-have gym products that I can't see myself ever living without!
1. Barbell Squat Pad
I use the red Fragraim squat pad, and I love it! How it works is, you put it on the squat bar when you do your squats and it protects your neck/shoulders from the metal bruising your neck. For just $11.99 on Amazon, it's such a steal that saves a ton of hassle — plus, grabbing your own pad rather than taking one from the gym is WAY more sanitary.
2. My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a free app that you download to your phone. I love it because you can track all your food — and it tells you how much fat, protein, carbs, and vitamins you've eaten throughout the day. You begin by making a profile with your current weight and goals (whether weight gain or loss), and then it gives you your recommended calorie count and vitamin goals for each day. The app pretty much comes equipped with every food, brand, and restaurant chain you can think of in its library, so all you have to do is select the serving size you've eaten and let it do the rest of the work. I tell all my clients it's a must-have!
3. Knee Brace
I hope that you NEVER have knee pain while working out, but knee braces are a great preventative measure you can take just in case. For around $12 bucks on Amazon, you can get an Ace Knee Wrap to assist with support. If you're just beginning weight lifting or you find your knees fatigued during a long run, these can help assist your body with support and ease the pressure placed on the knee joint.
4. Amino Acids
An amino acids supplement is something you can use (AS DIRECTED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN) to assist in muscle growth, weight-loss, and recovery. They are entirely natural and found in protein-rich foods. in fact, they are the “building blocks” of protein! I use Optimum Nutrition's formula, which can be found on Amazon for $18, and it works great! I find that I'm much less sore when I put a serving of amino acids in my water to drink during and after the workout (They come in fruity flavors, yum!). Plus, in my experience, they've made it much less likely to burn muscle and much more likely to burn fat.
5. Halo Top Ice Cream
While technically this isn't something you can 100% keep in your gym bag, it's still a personal favorite for when I just can't shake those sweet-tooth cravings. Halo Top ice cream is a low-sugar, high-protein dessert that comes in so many different flavors it's crazy! An entire pint ranges between 280-360 calories, with a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving! As someone who also believes that you shouldn't have to give up your favorite foods in order to lead a healthier life, Halo Top has been a life-saver. Topped with a dab of whipped cream, it's super delicious. You're welcome.
I'm always looking for great products to recommend to my clients and make their fitness journey better. If you have any favorite fitness products, make sure to leave a comment below!