Is 2022 the year that you go after your dream bod?! First of all, congrats! Making the decision to want to become the best version of yourself is the first step towards success, so be proud of yourself for being there. Whether your goal is to lose some unwanted pounds, or to build some serious muscle, working out and changing your eating habits takes consistency, discipline, and dedication. Although the hard work that will equal results will depend on you alone, there are a handful of things worth the investment that will help you along the way. I personally am in a serious muscle building journey, and hit my nine month marker this January. Here are a list of items I swear by every time I show up to the gym:
Cute Gym Fits
This sounds silly, but a cute gym outfit can completely transform your entire workout! When i feel good about how I look, my sets are longer and I feel stronger. Whether you’re a matching set kind of girl, or baggy tee and biker shorts, whatever your version of beautiful is, rock that! Personally, the fit depends on the day and what we’re working out. If it’s leg day, some well shorts and a baggy tee makes me feel strong and covered. If we’re doing arms or back, a well fitted matching set by Gymshark or Alphalete will make me feel unstoppable. And one more thing…I’m here to normalize wearing a bit of makeup for your workout. When i take those extra five minutes to put some tinted moisturizer and a little eye makeup, it’s worth it. Okay, okay, let’s get back to the fit talk. I’ve shared below some of my must haves to build out that gym wardrobe of yours, and linked them for your shopping ease.
A Good Gym Bag
Your gym bag doesn’t have to be expensive, but has to be able to do the trick. I bring two bags to the gym, one to store in the locker, and the other to walk around the gym floor with. I bring so much stuff with me, you would think I was moving in lol. There should be enough room to store all of your items, as well as some additional space for things you might throw in last minute, like your towel or a post-pump snack. I’ve linked a few cute and functional bags to shop from, ranging from all kinds of styles and pricepoints.
A Quality Water Bottle
Can you use any kind of water bottle to get the job done? Yes, of course. When i mean a quality water bottle, I mean something that can hold some serious liquid. I love the jugs that are massive in size, making it impossible to run out! Needing to find a way to sneak in your daily water needs? Use the water bottle after your workout to continue to hydrate with purpose. Invest in a good water bottle that makes sense to you, but feel free to shop my options below!
A Set Of Resistance Bands
Workout bands are the absolute best! They add levels of difficulty to your sets, and help you increase your flexibility. The bands come in a variety if lengths and widths, and each are designed that way for a specific reason. I use the short, thicker ones to warm up and strengthen my glutes. The longer, skinnier ones I use to wrap around a pull up bar for leg support to practice my pull ups. I shorter, less thick bands are good for everyday exercises in a variety of ways. They’re easy to throw in your gym bag or backpack and barely take up any space. These babies also serve as a lending hand when you don’t have a gym handy. Take your bands outside to a park, or in the comfort of your own home and run a solid workout there! I’ve linked some bands that I use all the time and totally swear by.
A Yummy Container Of Pre-Workout
I have to begin this one by saying that it is not a necessity to use pre-workout before your gym session. I personally love using it to center my focus and get in those few extra sets. I notice a big difference in my performance, much like trying to achieve your daily tasks with versus without coffee. There’s an obvious difference in the level of productivity. Not everyone can handle caffeine before working out, so I don’t want anyone thinking this is a must, but it’s definitely a must for me! There are a few ways to ingest it; you can add a scoop or two to your water bottle and drink on the way to the gym, or you can “dry scoop” it, which is taking the powder and swallowing the scoop whole and chasing after with water. Both will do the trick, one just requires less liquid. If you’re new to the pre-workout game, or curious to try it out, there are a bunch of brands available to try. It all comes down to taste preference and price point. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
A Sweat Towel
This seems obvious, but honestly don’t forget your gym towel. With the world being more aware of the germs we pass on, wiping off your sweat before using another machine is, at the very least, the polite thing to do. I would suggest buying a few, so you have one on rotation when the other is in the laundry. Bringing a towel to the gym will help keep you with that subtle glow and the gym a bit cleaner. Most gyms provide towels for purchase, but you can always shop the options I’ve listed below.
A Good Pair Of Headphones
When it comes to this list, the headphones are king. Believe me when I say this, you don’t want to go to the gym without your headphones. The headphones create your own personal bubble of badass-ness that no one can penetrate. The music will help keep your energy up, and keep unwanted conversation from strangers away. I do not like when people come talk to me at the gym, and by people, I mean members of the opposite sex. I find it that it makes it a lot harder to spark a conversation, when I’m busy working out to my mix. We can’t control the music being played in the gym, so control your personal environment with a good set of headphones. You’ll notice there are a few options for headphones when working out. Whether it’s the type that wrap around your head, or wireless, just don’t forget your headphones!
A Supportive Pair Of Shoes
The type of shoes you will need for your workout will depend on your workout. I like to lift heavy, so I personally need a shoe on leg days that offers extra ankle support, for those heavy sets. On days when I’m mainly focused on cardio or upper body, I like to use a basic running shoe that isn’t so high in ankle support. I would suggest having two different pairs of workout shoes to switch from, so the sole of the shoe does not wear down so quickly. When I started my fitness journey, I bought some basic workout sneakers from Target. No ankle or arch support, and it caused a few injuries that we’re probably preventable with better footwear. Invest in quality footwear that will last you a few months of activity, and don’t skimp on support. You’ll be lifting heavy, running fast, and turning quickly, and you’ll need something that can keep up with the pace. I listed a few of my favorites I personally use, along with some on my wish list below and linked them as well.
Photography provided by Nicole Long Photography. You can book sessions with her by clicking the link below: