Gym rendezvous

Workout at the gym? Some essentials to have in your bag…

Are you a guy who uses the gym bag as a portable rubbish bin? Dumping everything from used shakers and banana skins to dirty socks and damp towels? Or are you the complete opposite; you have everything you need and more to successfully get yourself through one session at the gym?

We’ve seen this over and over and over. From the gym to the court to any other sporting environments, each of you is either one extreme or the other. Where’s the happy medium?

There’s no need to be trivial about this. Consider your training goals and aspirations, you’ll see what you need in that bag – all of that will serve to enhance your performance capabilities from both a psychological and physical point of view.

In no particular order, here are our picks for five essentials a fella needs in his gym sack…

Pre-workout snack

We know, in this day and age, our hectic lifestyle means our gym sessions are squeezed in between work, family and social life. With all this going on, it’s hard to keep track of your eating habits and you’ll end up having little power for an effective workout session.

Simple way to avoid this? Easy, always ensure you have a pre-workout snack in your gym pack that allows you to consume it prior to your training.

By snacks we mean pre-workout supplements. Sure, it can be a banana (which is still energizing), but we would suggest a supplement to enhance your exercise volume during intense workout sessions.

Music player

Escape from the stress and strains of everyday life with some music. The physics of it is quite simple, music allows you to shut off the rest of the world and focus on the task at hand.

According to psychologists, stock your iPod with faster music as it’ll enable you to perform at greater pace. It’ll provide better psychological and positive effects.

Post-workout snack

With the mention of a pre-workout snack at the beginning of this article, it’s only right to include a post-workout equivalent. As we’ve mentioned before, a hectic lifestyle doesn’t always allow you to sit down and consume a nutritious meal after a gym session.

The following 60 minutes after your workout is critical as it has been identified as the time to replenish your muscles through post-workout nutrition.

Your snack should range from specific post-workout supplements to anything that contains a healthy mix of proteins and carbs.

Towel & clothing change

There’s no better feeling than jumping straight into a shower after a long gym session in which you’ve built up a real sweat.

Take this chance to relax a bit before you dive back into the stresses of everyday life. A good shower not only lets you feel cleansed, but, the water, whether hot or cold, can assist with your muscular recovery.

Body spray

The biggest downside of going to the gym is sweating and generally looking fairly unattractive when hitting the weights or pounding the treadmill.

Body spray, deodorant or fragrance – whichever you prefer – is a must whenever you’re hitting the gym. A guy should opt for something light, it’ll lift your senses and re-awaken your skin to avoid that post-workout lull.

Last but not least…

No worries, these items are based on our view. There’s no definite list when it come to your gym essentials – everything is dependent upon your personal preferences and overall training and performance needs.

Hopefully with these few tips, you’ll avoid making the same mistake. Remember; keep it simple and your transition from couch potato to Adonis will be that much smoother!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Shawal Ras

A lecturer by day and a music blogger by night. Formerly: Managing editor at IIUMToday, and lifestyle writer for Esquire Malaysia and The Score Magazine.

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