The secret is out of the BAG...literally! Well, it's really no secret, but I have a few little things that live in my gym bag that I just cannot live without. So if you are a beginner or a gym veteran, some of these are essential to help make sure you keep your workouts on track.
There is ALWAYS a clean shaker bottle in my gym bag. I opt for a shaker instead of a water bottle because if I want to mix up any of my supplements, then it is much easier to do so in a shaker. It's so important to stay hydrated not only during your workout but throughout the whole day, so a shaker or some form of a water bottle is definitely a MUST.
Amino Acids – BCAAs
BCAA's are very important to have during training to help enhance your overall results. The aim of resistance training is to maximize your muscle while losing body fat for most people. BCAA's ensure that you have minimal muscle breakdown or degeneration. The more muscle you can keep then the more calories you burn at rest (your metabolism will be quicker). The also help increase stamina and endurance while reducing fatigue. Plus, they state AMAZING so the help you drink more water. I put one scoop of BCAA’s in my shaker full of water and sip on it throughout my entire workout. I keep a tub in my bag at all times.
I have a leather weight lifting belt in my bag. I don’t use it all of the time for every workout. But I always use it on my strength and power days where I am doing either heavy squats or deadlifts, even heavy glute bridges. When you perform an exercise, you should suck a large amount of air in and push it down into your belly. The weight below gives you something to push and brace against which creates enough internal abdominal pressure which will protect your spine. A weight belt also ensures that your bodies biomechanics are working properly. Meaning they will help ensure that you use more of your legs instead of your lower back during big lifts.
I CANNOT train without music. Well, I can but I 100% don't train as hard or enjoy my workout as much without it. It is probably a psychological thing but hey anything to help pump up a workout. I can't live without my wireless Beats By Dre. They were the best investment I have ever made. For years, I used corded headphone, and I kept getting tangled in them, or I would accidently yank the earphones out of my earphone when I was training. But not anymore! These babies are the best; I just have to remember to charge them!
I have a dodgy wrist and hand from a silly injury, so my grip on my left hand is not the best. I also am much stronger in my upper and lower body compared to my natural grip strength. This is why I need lifting straps of some kind for some exercises. They help ensure my grip is intact, so I can perform the lift efficiently without the bar slipping out of my hands. I only use them when I really need them, but they are a great little tool to keep on standby.
Because nobody likes a stinky person in the gym! I actually have two types; I have an aluminium free roll on deodorant and a spray on to make me smell nice at all times. There is nothing worse than having BO in the gym. Not only that but sometimes I need to rush somewhere after training so a few sprays, and I'm good to go until I get home.
A towel is a MUST!!! I sweat so much so I have a towel at all times and sometimes keep 2 on standby. I love the microfibre towels they really soak up any sweat. Plus, I don't want anyone else's sweat on me either so it's great to have a towel to lay on if you need on any machine or on the floor.
I am not a huge fan of cardio, but I LOVE boxing and Muay Thai. So I always pack my gloves and wraps in my bag so if I decide to do a boxing class last minute or have a friend that can hold pads for me at the end of my session then I am good to go.
If you have seen some of my videos, then you know I love bands. Bands are a great way to help increase glute activation. I either incorporate them before exercises as a warm up or during to really ensure I have maximum glute activation as possible. They really make your glutes catch fire.
If you are anything like me, I am always either snappy hair bands or losing them. I always keep a spare packet of them in my gym bag in case I have any hair band accidents.
I wear sportswear every day for work, but I love my trendy shoes. These are not always so practical if I decide to go for a run after work. So I always have my sensible runners in my bag in case I feel like getting outdoors. Proper runners are important because they cushion your feet properly which helps protect your joints.
Mini Hand Sanitizer
This may be a little OTT, and I am by no means a germaphobe but having a mini hand sanitizer in your bag can come in handy. When you are in the gym, you are literally touching everyone else ‘s sweat and dead skin (funky right). So if you need to eat anything after training or go out anywhere then just pop a little sanitizer on, and you are good to go.
These are a godsend. I don't wear much makeup generally on a daily basis but some days if I am filming or have to do more media based things I have to wear a little more. So the last thing I want to do at the gym is train in a full face of makeup because this can clog your pores and give you breakouts. So I wipe my face before I train sometimes. But I find them handy if you need to go somewhere after your workout, they freshen you up and wipe off the sweat, so you are good to go.
This is so not essential, but it's what I have haha. I have a baby tripod in there so I can film more exercises and workouts for you guys at any opportunity I can. Sometimes I don’t use it because I am in a rush or just super tired and want to get home. But other times I like filming to share more of what I do with you all. But filming yourself training is always a good idea from time to time because you can also watch yourself and ensure you are performing certain exercises correctly.
So now you have your gym bag goodies sorted! But if you are still unsure of what to do in the gym (or at home) then make sure you take a look at my Body By Nina program. It’s a 4-week nutrition and training plan that covers workouts at home and in the gym. It's time to get started and become to the version of YOU that you can be.