* Learn what to take to the gym and why they are best
* Head to the gym confidently and prepared
* Feel satisfied about your workout
Everyone wants to go to the gym to reach those fitness and health goals but it can get overwhelming when you’re not sure of the right thing to wear or take with you. There are so many options now but they’re not all good options.
You want to look good, sure, but you also want to make sure you have a legitimate workout and that you’re comfortable and safe. We’ve rounded up the eight items you should buy versus what not to buy, so you can leave the gym satisfied.
1. 2-Way Stretch Pants/Shorts vs. 4-way Stretch
With 2-way stretch leggings, you’ll have longer lasting leggings as opposed to 4-way. The difference is 2-way stretch fabrics stretch in just two ways while 4-stretch fabrics stretch side to side and up and down. Because of the durability and low flexibility of the stretch in a 2-way, it makes it better quality and a better shape, too. You’ll still be able to move without worrying about your pants riding up in unwanted areas.
Take Lululemon for example, who are always making noise for it’s booty-shaping powers. Their 2-way stretch shorts have a sturdier feel to it that fits your booty like a glove. It’s a pretty well-known fact that not only feeling good but also looking good in the gym can give you a lot of motivation.
2. Cross-Training Shoes vs. Walking or Running Shoes
With cross-training shoes, you can do different workouts at the gym and be confident you’ll have good support. In contrast, walking or running shoes are specifically designed just for running and walking activities.
The Nike Flex TR cross training shoes feature an injected unit sole material, that provides a lighter version of cushioning at the bottom which gives you flexibility to work with. Cross training shoes are the right fit for people who mix up their workouts often or who enter the gym with no routine planned but still want to have great support.
3. Ear Buds vs. Air Pods
Obviously, music is a must at the gym. So it’s important to choose the right headphones for your workout. You want to look for headphones that have a long-lasting battery life, are sweat-proof, and of course, are affordable. These Yoozon Bluetooth Headphones have almost five stars on Amazon.
Unlike Air Pods, which make it challenging to find the right fit, and run the risk of falling out of your ears, these ear bud-type phones are built for performance, thanks to its adjustable cups, lightweight construction and tangle-free design. Built-in magnets let you attach the two headphones together when not in use. Wear it like a necklace around your neck, and never lose your headphones again. (The same can’t be said for Air Pods, which often get lost due to its tiny size).
These are great for any type of workout, from lifting to running. The CVC6.0 feature allows you to cancel outside noise to listen to music clearer and really put you into the zone. The headphones also come with premium sound with deep bass and crystal clear treble. At less than $20, they’re a much more affordable alternative to Air Pods, too.
4. Resistance Bands With Handles vs. Flat Resistance Bands
You can never go wrong with a set of resistance bands. They are the most versatile piece of equipment in the fitness world. There are also different types that suit your workout. The one type you definitely can rely on for any workout are the ones with handles. You can use these for lower body and upper body workouts as opposed to the flat ones without handles which usually come in a shorter length and don’t provide as much support. These Wenfeng Resistance Bands give you everything in one. Not only do they come with removable handles, they also come with ankle straps, which provide you with more workout options for lower body training.
5. Neoprene Dumbbells vs. Iron Dumbbells
Neoprene dumbbells are more common because they are better to work with compared to iron dumbbells due to its flexibility and protective material. The soft-touch material is designed to give you a firm grip, protect your hands when you’re using them and even protect the floors if you drop them. ThisGold Coast set of 24 lb dumbbell weights is great for first-time gym goers or if you want to keep some equipment in your home. The set also comes with a rack, providing a safe and organized way to put away the dumbbells after use.
6. Built-In Water Bottle Entry vs. Bottles With Caps
You might think that bringing in a water bottle with a cap will be more convenient and sanitary, but try bringing one with a built-in filter in the straw like this Camelback Groove Water Bottle. It has a sustainable, plant-based filter that lasts about three months or 48 gallons. Plus, with a built-in entry, you won’t struggle so much getting your water intake while working out. The last thing you want is to struggle with opening the water bottle with your sweaty hands, or risk a spill all over the gym floor.
7. Non-Slip Designed Yoga Mat vs. General Purpose Mat
Mats are essential to use in the gym. Whether you’re warming up and stretching prior to working out or doing yoga, you need a stable mat that won’t let you down, literally. General purpose mats usually have extra foam and are used for workouts performed on the floor such as sit-ups. These don’t provide enough support or stabilization if you’re trying to balance.
Try to find a non-slip mat that has cushion and durability and sticks to the ground easily. The BalanceFrom GoYoga Mat boasts a slip-resistant grip on both sides and a strap for easy transport. You’ll feel more secure and stable in your exercises, with no more worrying about the mat slipping out from underneath you.
8. Protein Bars
Everyone knows protein bars can be a solid post-workout snack. However, not a lot of people actually know how to choose their protein bars. Brands definitely know how to market their products so don’t be fooled by their protein labels. Always check the nutritional facts as some “protein” bars carry more sugar than actual protein.
Bars with less than 8 grams of sugar and more than 12 grams of protein are ideal. Check out Quest Nutrition Bars which are packed with over 20 grams of protein, 17 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of sugar. They also come in many different flavors and the brand is always coming out with more flavors to choose from. Protein bars are good for pre-workout or post-workout, depending if you’re hungry, need fuel or on your workout.