A woman’s gym bag carries some of the most important accessories to assist in reaching her ultimate fitness goal.
Random hair clips, hair bands and face-wipes definitely help with the maintenance side of things – but training accessories are second to none when it comes to exceeding your potential every time you enter the gym.
Here are a few of my essentials that I have found effective for assisting me towards reaching my fitness goals…
#1 Resistance bands
Resistance bands are great for warming up, helping you with chin ups and working out in general. I love using bands for glute work. They are also really light weight and can be folded up tiny in my bag so that they do not take up much space.
They are great to have to bring on holidays too or for at home work out sessions if I can’t make it to the gym!
#2 Weights belt
I love the extra support a weights belt gives me in squats and deadlifts. I never realised until I started using one just what a great addition a belt is to my routine. They are great for preventing injury and also help you keep your form tight throughout your lifts.
Studies have shown that wearing a weight belt may increase intra abdominal pressure by up to forty percent, giving your spine extra support reducing the stress on it during a heavy lift.
It is important to make sure that your belt fits you well, it should not be tight, but not to the point you struggle to breathe!
You want to be able to brace your core against the belt to get maximum benefits from it. Time for the ladies to hog the “men’s” weights room!
#3 Protein Shakes
Whey protein/none-dairy proteins are probably the most popular supplements on the market. Whey, for example, is a fast digesting form of protein which enables it to travel straight to your muscles for recovery post-workout. Protein supplements are really convenient, all you need is a shaker and some water and you are good to go.
Protein shakes are available in all different forms –
✓ Whey protein
✓ Egg, Beef Protein
✓ None dairy proteins: Soy protein, Pea, Hemp protein etc!
It is a handy snack but will also help aid in recovery and in building lean muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism as more muscle = more calories burned at rest.
#4 Wrist straps
Wrist straps are a god send for deadlifting as I find my grip tends to fail me before my arms and lower body do. By adding these into my gym bag I have found I am able to put more weight on the bar, this has lead to significantly more progress!
Because I have been lifting heavier using the straps, I can now lift heavier than before without them too – it’s a win-win situation!
#5 Liquid chalk
Chalk is something that should be in every ladies gym bag! It makes those heavy deadlifts for building those glutes a whole lot more comfortable.
If you get sweaty hands while lifting a heavy bar, chalk will sort your grip out!
Creatine is a great supplement that has been studied extensively as it helps you lift heavier, which in turn helps you build more lean muscle. If you change your body composition by building some lean muscle mass, you will not only feel healthier but you will drop a dress size or two as well!
Creatine has also been shown in studies to promote recovery. Creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular and cheapest forms of Creatine on the market, and is the form used in most studies.
#7 Dip belt
Dip belts are great for shaping the arms, shoulders and chest. If you become a pro at normal dips, you can add a dip belt with a weight plate to make the movement more challenging. Making an exercise harder is known as progressive overload, and this is an important factor for making progress.
Dip belts are fantastic to increase the difficulty of both pull ups and chin ups.
You can attach different weight plates to the belt to increase the difficulty of the movement. You can also use a dip belt for abs work too making it a great addition to any gym bag.
BCAA’s are another great supplement to add to your gym bag. They help fuel you through training so that you maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible while also promoting repair of the body after a workout.
BCAA’s have also been shown to reduce appetite, helping you to keep those cravings at bay, this is why they are fantastic for dieters in particular as they will also help reduce muscle loss in times of calorie restriction. They are also available in a variety of flavours that you can just add to water and drink through your workout.
These gym essentials may really help you get great results from your training, in addition to making gym sessions more enjoyable!