Time to make the first step in training. Let’s begin with your preparation before training, the packing of your bag and your mental preparation.
> FITNESS BAG for GYM PACK
Any convenient bag will do; it’s better to have a sports one because it usually has a useful strap which allows you to carry the fitness bag over your shoulder. It also has several easily accessible side pockets for items of need (like water or training diary).
> SHOWER ACCESSORIES
After each workout session it is necessary to take a shower; that is why you’ll need the following shower accessories in your gym bag: a towel, soap or shower gel and a sponge. Instead of a sponge you can buy a shower brush (it would be even better because after a training session with heavy weights it can be a problem to reach to your back with a sponge when your muscles are pumped with blood). You’d better also take bathroom slippers: in any public place there is always a threat to pick up a dermatophyte or something worse; and besides this your feet will feel more comfortable when wearing slippers.
It is neither convenient nor allowed to train barefoot. And it’s unreasonable because in a gym your unprotected feet will face danger at every turn. Falling plates, unaware visitors, splinters and flat-footedness – these are some of the most widespread risks. That is why I advise you to buy good-quality gym footwear with hard grooved soles and high heels useful for convenient performance of squats and pulls. When choosing fitness footwear the most important thing is your comfort.
Nothing special: just an ordinary fitness pants and a t-shirt. In the beginning of each training session before your muscles are warmed up it’s better to put on a flannel jersey or pullover; you can take them off later. Frankly speaking, your clothes depend greatly on your gym conditions; you can train in shorts and a vest if it’s comfortable and not cold. Your clothes should not hinder movements and should soak in your sweat well. Cotton is the best material for your vest or t-shirt. Of course, there are special types of clothes for power lifters but it’s up to you to decide.
> BENCH TOWEL
It is not an obligatory thing in your gym pack list but if you train in a vest and sweat a lot you’ll need something to cover the benches you are training on. Besides this, you simply don’t know who used these benches before you; that’s why a bench towel is not a bad idea.
I mean special fingerless leather gloves. Their main task is to prevent bar sliding in your hands and protect them from corns, which can become rather visible due to heavy loads.
Such gloves are not an obligatory thing (for example, I don’t use them considering corns a natural means of adaptability of hands to friction). Still, a lot of sportsmen like them; so, it’s again up to you. But I’d like to stress one necessary thing: do not buy inappropriate gloves, buy gloves for fitness/lifting
> WORKOUT STRAPS
Cotton or leather straps of approximately 1 foot length wrapped around wrists, then under and over a bar held by clenched hands to aid in certain lifts (rowing, Pull-Ups, shrugs, dead lifts, cleans, etc.) where you might lose your grip before working muscle to the desired capacity. The positive aspect of using straps is that you can concentrate on lifting and almost forget about your grip. The negative one is that by this simplification you don’t allow your grip force to increase. You decide whether you need them, many people do not use them.
> FITNESS BELT
It is a very important accessory in your gym pack that helps you fixate your back and keep your entrails inside. Usually, it looks like a broad leather strip that’s thicker from behind to support your back. It is useful for a number of exercises that can be dangerous to your health. First and foremost, it is obligatory for the following exercises: Dead Lifts, Bent Over Rows, Barbell Squats and classic Standing Barbell Press. These exercises belong to a group of the most dangerous and still the most effective exercises. It’s not good to wear this belt during the entire training period because, in this case, your abdomen is squeezed. Appropriate use of a secure belt requires you to tighten the belt right before performing a difficult set of dangerous exercises and to loosen it after that to normalize the pressure. Sports shops can offer you different types of secure belts; the most important thing when buying one of them is to choose the right size.
This is really an important thing in your gym pack. We are going to cover this issue in the corresponding section of this site. Up to now, you need to know that you’ll have to take it to every one of your workout sessions. A workout journal can be made of a simple notebook or a datebook.
I am a supporter of the idea of replenishment of electrolytic balance when training. The majority of professional sportsmen, whom I know personally, drink water when training. There are a lot of theories regarding this problem but, being a practitioner, I am convinced in the necessity of drinking water when training. A dry throat is not the best companion for a successful training session. Find free space in your fitness bag for water. Drink at least 1l per workout!
> PROTEIN SHAKER
It is not an obligatory thing in your gym pack list; still, it can be extremely useful right after the training session when you urgently need to replenish protein losses of your body and by this to stop destruction processes in your muscles. Definitely, there are many other ways to replenish proteins but I think that a protein shaker is a very convenient tool to do so.
So pack up ladies and gents!