Whether or not you’re a track and field fanatic, you should know the name Christian Taylor. This American athlete is the reigning Olympic and World Champion in the Triple Jump, holding a personal best that’s a mere 3.25 inches away from the world record. If all of that isn’t impressive enough, Taylor is only 29 and he already has two gold medals.
At SPY, we appreciate the supreme talent and work ethic of an athlete like Taylor. Even if you are naturally gifted, you don’t make it to the Olympics medals stand without hard work. And for that reason, we wanted to take a minute of Taylor’s time to chat about the products he loves and how they benefit his training.
From recovery rollers and post-workout creams to music that gets him pumped up, here are Christian Taylor’s six must-have items and why he loves each one. We’re not saying these items will make you a world-class track star too, but then again, we’re not saying they won’t.
These quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.
1. Philip Stein Horizon Sport Band
“This bracelet truly helps me find a sense of balance. Training over several hours in tough conditions can be difficult. The technology in the bracelet helps me stay focused throughout my entire sessions. I also wear the bracelet during my competitions to help me with any competition anxiety and nerves.”
2. Foam Roller
“Having this roller is essential to keeping the muscles relaxed during and after training. Muscles tend to tighten up during training and the roller helps me avoid cramping. It is also an essential part of the recovery as I roll out the lactic after a hard session.”
While Taylor didn’t provide us with his favorite roller specifically, we at SPY are big fans of these rollers from TriggerPoint. The foam/plastic combo makes for a tough roller that won’t give in, even when you’re ready to quit. And with nearly 4,000 positive reviews, it’s hard to argue that this is a great item to keep handy post-workout.
3. Tiger Balm Cream
“This is another product that I must have in my bag at all times as some body parts don’t get as much blood flow as others. Tiger Balm helps get the areas nice and warm to avoid injury. As the season goes into the fall season, cold weather competition is normal and having the extra heating aid gives me an advantage on my competitors who may be stiff from the cool temperatures.”
4. Roll Recovery Arch Roller
“This tool is a very good way to help relax the arch and get added blood flow to the feet. Unfortunately, when I sprint, I tend to curl my toes and really stress the arch. The arch roller helps relax the foot and helps with circulation. I have had several toe injuries throughout my career and this also helps take pressure off of them and disperse it throughout the whole foot.”
5. Bose Soundlink Speaker
“I am an avid music lover and I believe music can set the mood of any environment. Having [a] speaker is a great way to break the ice with new training partners, help me with home sickness when training abroad, and just put me in the right state of mind as I push myself daily.”
“I believe in keeping track of my progress from year to year and want to always make the following season better than the previous one. Taking notes on training specifics help me keep track of the things I did correctly, the things I can improve on, and things I would like to add the following year. As each season is about 8 months, I can’t remember every single detail, so note taking is vital.”
Taylor didn’t provide us with the specific brand of journal he uses on a daily basis, but we’re huge fans of Moleskin everything at SPY, so we recommend their standard notebook for any sort of journaling. These journals are great because they’re small enough to fit in a gym bag but big enough to give ample room for detailed notes. You can also find many great fitness journals if that’s your primary reason for note taking.