What Essential Items Do You Need to Bring to the Gym?

Gym Bag Inventory
“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” -The Old Man, The Legend of Zelda (NES).

It’s time to go to battle, infiltrating an compound full of muggles and carry out your mission that helps you level up your life and helps further the cause of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

You, a Nerd Fitness Rebel, are going to train in an commercial gym.

They’ll expect you to use their rigid weight machines, expensive cardio equipment, and ab torture devices machines; they’ll gleefully take you on a tour of all the AMAZING amenities you clearly need in a gym, and expect you to fall in with the masses.

You nod politely, and then go about the business of actually changing your life in an enjoyable, fun way.

You see, like Link in The Legend of Zelda, you’ve come prepared. You have a compact gym bag that comes with you every day with the right items required to level up your life.

I’m not talking about the latest and greatest pair of spandex or the best lifting gloves (in fact, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t wear them).

Instead, I’m going to walk you through what you should be bringing with you to the gym.

Note: this advice will revolve around best equipment for people looking to use free weight and bodyweight training in the gym primarily.

Rebel Recruit Bag

Meh Bag
Before we fill up your inventory with items, we’re going to start with a disclaimer: exercising is goal #1.

This means you don’t need to do anything special other than GET YOUR ASS MOVING: you could work out in high heels, a coat of arms, and master chief helmet – that’s better than the best workout outfit that sits idle in your inventory chest back at home base. The point is this: absolutely do not let yourself avoid going to the gym today because your gear is in the mail, or you haven’t ordered it yet. That’s an excuse you need to squash: START NOW!

HOWEVER, here are a few key things that might make your workout experience better. Here’s our starter bag – The “Rebel Recruit” bag:

A simple workout bagRegardless of what game you play, all of your inventory needs a good back to organize it! I’ve been using this boring backpack since I traveled around the world in 2011. It’s big enough to fit all the equipment below along with a hoodie or pants in case my walk to the gym is cold.

Your “gym bag” can be anything. You can even pack it every night before going to bed so you can grab it and change into your workout gear after work.

Music: This is a no-brainer, but having a workout playlist is important. A great workout playlist can give you the energy and lift you need to go from tired to PR. If you’re curious what I listen to, here’s my Spotify Workout playlist; you’ll find a bit of everything, including some head-scratching guilty pleasures. Enjoy!

HeadphonesI’ve tried dozens of different types of headphones over the years, and personally prefer a cheaper pair of headphones. Headphones are a personal choice, but here are a few recommendations:

I’ve settled on these $25 headphones.

If you’re a baller like NF Team Member Staci, wireless headphones can be really helpful too depending on your level of activity.

NF Team Member Taylor prefers these slightly cheaper wireless headphones.

A way to track your workoutsEvery workout I have done is tracked in a simple text-format in the free Evernote app. I simply note what exercise I’m doing and how many reps per set and how much weight I lifted (here’s a screen shot of my workouts). I can quickly go back and review previous workouts and see what I lifted last time in order to be better next week. Staci prefers (like many) to track her workouts in an actual notebook (like this one), so something like a spiral bound notebook also works great. Just make sure you are writing down what you do so you know what you need to do next time!

Comfy workout clothes: They don’t need to come from Lululemon, they don’t need to be expensive, and they don’t need to be moisture-wicking. Wear comfortable clothes that don’t restrict your movement. Baggy shorts and old nerdy t-shirts? Great.

What shoes should you train in? If you’re just starting out, feel free to train in the shoes that you currently own. I don’t care what they are, but don’t let this be the limiting factor keeping you from exercising!

Personally, I’m a big fan of my Merrell Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoes (which I’ve switched after Vibrams – same benefit, 1/10th of the questions from strangers!). They work great for the gym and for my workouts. But again, just train in whatever you currently own!

If you own Chuck Taylors, those are GREAT for lifting (they have a strong sole and no cushiony heel – which we’re trying to avoid). If you’re going to deadlift and squat, do them barefoot if you happen to train in thick-heeled shoes.

Water Bottle (optional): my gym has water fountains throughout the gym, and I like to take the walk to and from to get a drink between sets as kind of my mental reset. However, you might want to bring a water bottle with you. We recommend something this stainless steel bottle that holds up to repeated use.

DO NOT BUY OR BRING: Gloves. Many people think that in order to protect your hands or help with grip, you should wear gloves. In fact, gloves make the bar harder to hold and can make your grip worse! Instead, you should allow your hands to build up calluses slowly and just take care of them (here’s a great video from Donny Shankle on hand care). If you have a callus and you wear gloves over it, the extra piece of cloth rubbing against it will often make it rip. Picking up things without gloves is a great way to develop grip strength!

Veteran Rebel Bag

gym bag

Now that you’ve been going to the gym and training for a few months, you’ve realized you’re actually enjoying lifting heavy stuff!

It’s time to start taking your hobby a bit more seriously, and there are a few key pieces of equipment that can improve your experience.

A jump rope for warming up: Jumping rope is a fantastic skill to develop and a great way to warm up before getting started in the gym. We recommend a speed rope like the following, that will eventually allow you to do the infamous “double under” (jumping once and having the rope go under you twice, made famous by Crossfit).  

Chalk BagGrip strength is a crucial part of building a strong and balanced body. Whether I’m doing deadlifts or pull-ups, I want to make sure my grip works great. Now, most gyms don’t want tons of chalk everywhere, so I’ve found this small bag really helps keep the mess down and my grip up! If your gym doesn’t allow chalk, you can get liquid chalk.

Dip beltAt some point, you might get to a level where just doing more and more reps of pull-ups or dips starts to lose their effectiveness. This is where a dip belt can come in. I wear one and hang weights from it for weighted pull-ups and weighted dips. Like anything, I started on this years ago at a very low weight (just hanging 5 pounds from it), and have slowly built up my strength safely over many years since then.

Veteran Shoe Recommendations: Our advice is to train in shoes that have zero or little drop (meaning the heel and front of your foot are at the same height when you wear them). I would recommend against training and lifting in running shoes with a high heel drop and lots of padding. While they say they offer “support” the cushion makes it more difficult to properly drive through your heels and keep the correct balance in your foot. Again, chucks are a great option. And if you are ready to get a real lifting shoe, see the next section.

Tall socks on deadlift days (optional): Both Staci and I recommend wearing tall socks, goofy like these on deadlift days. They’re really helpful for keeping you from scraping the shit out of your shins on heavy deadlifts! Also, admittedly they make me feel like a bit more of a badass, which is crucial for the GAINZ.

Lifting belt (optional): Belts can be a great tool to help you get stronger, though not necessary, especially if you’re just starting out. Be sure to check back for an article on this soon on Nerd Fitness. I train without a belt, while our resident badass Staci uses a single prong leather lifting belt from Best Belts: a 4″ for squats and deadlifts and a smaller 3″ belt for bench press.

iPod Tripod (optional): This is one of the best $20 expenditures you can make if you’re looking to improve yourself. The point of the tripod is to record yourself doing a movement so you can analyze and critique (or have somebody else do so!) your form and make sure you are doing movements correctly. I record my max attempts on deadlifts, new gymnastic holds, squats (to make sure I’m going deep enough), and so on. Yup, you may get strange looks as you record yourself at the gym (though at many gyms, nerding out about your form is totally normal and even a sign of a seasoned lifter).

Lifting straps (optional): Now, you do NOT need Straps, and we do NOT recommend you use them to allow yourself to reach a higher max on a deadlift. You’re better off building up your grip strength (thank you, Chalk!) and letting your body develop that balance. However, if your program has accessory lifts or high rep rows/romanian deadlifts, after your grip is shot from too many heavy deadlifts, you can consider using them. Be sure you know how to use them correctly, not as a crutch for grip strength. I prefer leather straps like these.

Rebel Elite Bag

Gym Equipment
Okay, now we’re getting into truly elite/gymrat territory.

This is where your friends at the gym start to ask if your gym bag is like Hermoine’s bag in Harry Potter. Or, if you’re Staci and a powerlifter, they might ask if you’ve seen the BroScience video on what to bring to the gym.

All of the following equipment is optional, and heavily dependent on your goals. My goals are primarily gymnastic focused, while Staci’s get more into advanced raw powerlifting territory with her recommendations:

Gymnastic Rings (Steve): For the past few years, I’ve been using a pair of wooden rings from FringeSport. I’m a BIG fan of wooden rings, and also a firm believer that everybody should mix some ring work into their workouts for a few reasons.

They are great at building up stability and strength and they’re a lot of fun, and super flexible. I bring my rings with me every day to the gym and hang them from the highest point I can find. It could be a TRX suspension system, a Smith Machine, even the underside of a staircase. When I travel, I’ve hung my rings from swing sets, tree branches, even yachts.

If you’re interested in mixing gymnastic work into your routine, our Nerd Fitness Academy is about to receive a mega-update with some great options!

Fractional plates (Steve): Sometimes, moving up by 5-10 pounds on a lift is too much for a body and brain to handle. I know how mentally exhausting and demoralizing failing a lift can be, so I’ve started using “fractional plates” (1/2 lb each). These allow me to increase the weight I’m lifting each week by just a single pound (1/2 lb. on either side of the bar). Mentally, my brain says “that’s just one pound more than last week!” But every week I get a tiny bit stronger with every workout.

Mini-Paralettes (Steve): These are a new purchase, but in my quest to get stronger with fun gymnastic holds, they are portable enough to fit in my backpack and allow me to build up my static strength (when you hold a pose without moving – example without parallettes). Up until buying these parallettes, I used hexagonal dumbbells as my parallettes.

Lifting Shoes (Staci’s advice) If you are a Weightlifter (the sport of snatch and clean & jerk), check out a shoe specifically made for weightlifting like Nike Romaleos. These have an elevated heel and are also great for squats.

For a great flat lifting shoe, check out Reebok CrossFit Lite Low TR shoes – these are similar to the Converse All Star, my previous choice for lifting in flat shoes, though their toe box is wider and the sole is a bit grippier.

For information on whether a higher heel is better or worse for squats, it depends on your goals!

If your gym doesn’t allow you to deadlift barefoot or you don’t have very thin soled shoes, consider Deadlift slippers.

Knee Sleeves (Staci) – These are neoprene and the purpose is to keep your knees warm and offer a bit of support and compression (unlike knee wraps that help you lift heavier weight, or knee braces that help with stability). Rehbands are also super high quality but less stiff than the SBD’s.

Slingshot Hip Circle (Staci) or exercise bands – Great tool to warm up the hips and glues, but also I use it for banded squats and hip thrusts. You could use a band instead, but I like the consistency of having my own circle.

Wrist wraps (Staci) – These offer a bit of support on your wrists once you start squatting or benching heavier weights, and are only in the bag of a serious powerlifter with a niche need.

What’s in Your Bag?

gymbag

Using workout gear as a reward for building healthy workout habits and sticking to your diet can be an excellent way to reward yourself with things that reward you back. Far better than fast food after a workout or a new video game – get yourself a reward that encourages you to keep leveling up.

Whether or not you use your gear as a way to level up, there’s nothing wrong with gearing up so you go to the gym with confidence and excitement – just don’t let it be the limiting factor.

Remember: You don’t need the perfect clothes or gear to work out.

What’s in your bag that we missed? 

-Steve

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photo: Dean Jarvey: Gym Bag, bnilsen: meh bag

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69 thoughts on “What Essential Items Do You Need to Bring to the Gym?

  1. Great list Steve.

    But you forgot one thing; Deodorant! So many stinky bastards in my gym 😀

    Thanks for the article, keep up the good work!

  2. Interesting list, especially getting to see which rings and mini-paralettes you’re using.

    I carry a bag I got at a conference (WDS 2013!) with this inside: water bottle, small towel, pair of gloves, and a headband.

  3. Nice list! I think you forgot some vitals though.

    My current setup:
    Bag – LiveWell360 Core
    180″ hand wraps
    Rival RB40 bag gloves
    Kicks – Nike LunarGlides
    Clothes – Nike dri-fit shorts and shirt
    Stainless steel water bottle
    Deo, hair stuff, cologne, spare undershirt, socks and underoos.
    Nintendo 3DS XL
    Jaybird X2 bluetooth earphones
    Microsoft Band 2 (track my workouts)
    Portable charger with cables (Life saver on so many occasions.)

    I’m surprised you didn’t add a portable charger to your list!

  4. Additional considerations (I find useful)
    – Isolated and easily accessible area to store a wet shower towel built into my CourierWareUSA (http://courierbags.com) courier bag still going strong into its third decade
    – Breathable (separate) bag for used gym clothes. I use an Assos (http://www.assos.com) cycling shorts breathable bag that came with my shorts

    +1 for deodorant as mentioned below
    -10 for men who throw their used gym clothes on the locker room floor when they hit the shower.

  5. I would disagree, with a caveat, on the no gloves rule. You are absolutely correct that you should not train in gloves, but I keep a pair of gloves and a pair of wod grips (http://www.wodshop.com/wodgrips-pullup-hand-grips/ lots of products just like this, these just happen to be the ones I have) in my bag for two purposes.

    1) If I have already ripped and need protection for my injury. Nothing will keep my out of the gym longer than torn hands, particularly because I don’t want to re-tear. It’s the worst. But, wearing a glove on the injured hand is usually enough to allow me to work out still. If the tear is really bad, I’ll bandage it and then wear a glove on top.

    2) High volume pull-ups or similar bar-hanging work outs. I’ll bust out my thinner grips for these. If I’m doing like 20~30 reps, gloves are not needed, but more than that and I always protect my hands. Did I mention I hate tearing my hands? Because I do. And there’s nothing like a bunch of toes-to-bar to make my hands a raw mess. Grips are handy.

    Of course, there is absolutely no substitute for good hand care. And I agree that for the beginner gloves or grips are not needed, but for the intermediate or advanced athlete they are helpful. But if you’re an intermediate or advanced athlete, you probably already know that, I guess?

    I would also recommend the Rx Jump Ropes. They are kind of expensive, but the quality is superb and they spin like no one’s business. Plus, the switchable rope weights are crazy helpful for learning good technique. I used to have a speed rope like the one you linked, but it was too light to learn how to properly double under and I hate that the handles kept sliding down the rope. It would always trip me up. The RX ropes don’t do that. I have never regretted that purchase.

  6. You had me at “Get your ASS out and moving”….. as an “older” exerciser, for me, if I can at least hit the treadmill (I don’t mean slapping it either) for at least 30 minutes, I feel like I’ve accomplished something! All I need in my bag is my baggy workout clothes, a towel, my phone / ear plugs for music and I’m good to go! Don’t need a lot of fancy stuff cause when I’m done – I’m headed to the house!

  7. My bag is also from a conference, it’s a Harris Radio messenger bag. APCO 2012!

  8. Hi Steve (and Staci!). Another great article, as always 🙂 My thoughts: I disagree a bit on the “no gloves: rule- I understand your point, and agree on that lvl, but gloves could also be a confidence booster for some. It may be out of style, but let’s be honest- black, leather fingerless gloves still imply tough and strong (and late 80s/early 90s thug, or Gambit 🙂 ) My point being, if it makes you feel strong and powerful, wear ’em. I agree on wearing a nerdy shirt- When i was doing the gym flow, I used to wear either my SF shirt (a silhouette of Ryu shooting a fireball w/ the direction pad input on the bottom of the shirt) or my 2014 Spurs Championship shirt. Sometimes you need to laugh at yourself to realize noone is paying attention to you 😛

    Thanks as always!

    Jean

  9. Oh! one more thing- Crossfit is way late on the jump rope “double unders”- we were doing that in my HS fencing class. I knew one guy who pulled off a triple! take that, Crossfit! 😛

  10. Here’s what’s in my bag.

    FOR THE WORKOUT: I pack clothing (baggy track pants from Target, wicking t-shirt, sports bra, socks and undies–all cheap and comfy), tunes (Bluetooth streaming device that puts music from my phone directly into my hearing aids), my phone, and a cheap digital watch.

    FOR THE SHOWER: I go to a gym that provides towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I pack *a shower cap* and it is magical. I have thick, shoulder-length hair. I don’t always have time to wash it. Covering it with a shower cap allows me to spend more time working out and less time in the shower. I also pack a hair brush, moisturizer, deodorant, sunscreen, ponytail holders (multiple, in case someone else needs one) and bobby pins.

  11. YES to “If it makes you feel strong and powerful, wear ’em.” That is why I never wear cute workout clothes. I wear modest, baggy, yucky clothes; that gets me in the mindset that I’m at the gym to MOVE and WORK and get freakin’ DIRTY. If I were to wear cute, new clothes, or even a nerdy t-shirt, I wouldn’t want to mess them up. So, I wear the same clothes to work out that I wear for gardening, deep cleaning, moving furniture, or anything else that I know will get me dirty and sweaty.

  12. Steve, I can’t help but mention the itch I finally scratched. After my phone kept falling out of my regular pocket and getting dinged during dead lift, I invented Kippo—the best way to workout with a smartphone. Your smartphone is secure and easy to grab, so you can (like you recommended) film your movements, log workout information, and change music tracks. http://kipposhorts.com/ —Hope this helps NF Nation.

  13. Awesome list, thank you! I also keep a (healthy, non-perishable) snack in my bag in case I don’t have time to eat after working out. It’s useful to stave off that holy-crap-i-have-to-eat-everything-in-sight feeling if you wait too long. My current favs include almonds and pecans; kinda boring but that way I don’t pig out.

  14. Warrior checking in. With today’s culture being what it is, a water bottle is essential. The time it takes to run to and from the water fountain between sets is enough time for somebody to decide I’m done with the squat rack. Never mind there is a bar with some weight on it.

  15. Holy shit, Mark. These look amazing. I can’t tell you how often I am switching things between pockets while deadlifting or doing cleans or whatever. It’s beyond annoying. I’m definitely going to try a pair.

  16. I’m a minimalist when it comes to lifting. It helps that I lift in a college varsity gym (good music is always playing, chalk everywhere, great equipment at the ready). I’ve seen some pros use gloves, but have usually preferred chalk, or nothing at all. I don’t remember ever not having calluses, so I guess that’s helped.

    The only thing I like to bring is a water bottle, and sometimes my camera for action shots for my blog lol

    gemma | http://activelygemma.com

  17. My gym bag has the following; my shoes (either Reebok CrossFit Lite Low TR, I have some of the last ones made in size 14 or New Balance Minimalist trail shoes or cross training shoes. Yes I like shoes); a weight belt, helps with deadlifts and squats; wireless headphones; hand towels; towel to dry off with; dry shirt; jump rope; and lock. I don’t bring a water bottle. I try to not drink water during my workout. If I absolutely need to, I can hit the water fountain.

  18. Two towels in my bag: a bath towel for shower afterwards and a hand towel for my sweaty brow, wiping off equipment, etc.

    Also, I’ve rolled up the hand towel to put length-ways between my shoulder blades when doing dumbell presses on the floor/mat/carpet. Helps me to remember to pack my shouldets down-and-back.

  19. Thanks Joe! I’m glad you’re going to give them a try. The upgraded experience is so much better than any current solution like armbands, belts, or clips. I think you’ll love it.

  20. I do some rather highly-specialized stuff at my gym- capoeira practice! When I go on non-class days, I’m never 100% sure if my practice space will be open, so I had to get a bigger bag to plan for all options:

    Gym shoes – a pair of Pumas that was recommended for martial arts, though I only really use them for training outside or if I’m having issues being barefoot. Also used when I don’t have access to my training space and have to go out to the muggle part of the gym.
    Coban – When practicing on hard floors, I wrap my feet in this stuff. Different brands have different levels of grip, and I was lucky enough to find one that works for me. Helps prevent blisters while ever so slowly allowing calluses to form, and a bonus side effect of arch support.
    Bluetooth speaker, phone (mp3 player), tripod, and camera – I get to practice to my music out loud!
    Resistance band – For assisted pull ups, I bring along whatever level resistance band I’m working with.
    Pandeiro and songbook – … I bring musical instruments to the gym. I’M NOT WEIRD YOU’RE WEIRD. (really it only comes out when I’m in class, but I bring it with anyway because it’s already packed up 😛

    Need to include a small towel and streamline the transition from purse to gymbag because when I start packing actual clothes in the bag (summer plans to bike directly from work to class), I won’t have any room left to stash my purse, and I HATE carrying two bags.

  21. I carry finger tape, flip flops, a mouthguard, and an ankle brace…but this is my jiu jitsu bag, so nevermind 🙂

  22. I keep things simple. My gym bad is an old reusable shopping bag that I rescued from somewhere, almost jumped at me wanting to be a gym bag. It normally lives inside my sports bag, which has additional clothing for athletics meets, training, spikes, etc, so I can put what I need on the day into the gym bag. During the summer months, I don’t use the gym often, if at all (due to very heavy training loads), so the bag has swim wear, towel and a water bottle. During the cooler months, when my other training eases back, I will add gym clothes (shorts and a singlet) to the bag. I also take the phone for logging workouts, and a pen, in case there’s any paperwork I need to do (renewals, etc).

    The swimming gear stays, in case I go to the pool (part of the same venue), and the towel is useful both in the gym and for a shower afterwards.

    On a different note, interesting to see you’re adding gymnastic moves to NF. I used to do gymnastics in my teens and early 20s, and it was one of the things that has transformed my life from clumsy nerd to capable sportsman. I also carry much of the flexibility gained back then to the present day.

  23. I leave my membership card or a towel hanging on it. They can ask to work in when I get back if they’re really keen, but it stops people from thinking it’s abandoned.

    Incidentally, if people would pack up their weights when done, it’d make it a lot less ambiguous as of to whether someone is still using it or not. Not sure if it’s a problem at your gym or not, but it is at mine (and it tends to be the curl bros who do it most often).

  24. Reading this list actually makes me really appreciate the gym I attend. We’re provided with rings (that oddly no one ever uses except me and one or two others), fractional plates and there are chalk pedestals dotted around the place. They also provide paper towels and eucalyptus spray in case people don’t have a towel and need to wipe things down.

    In any event: Comb, towel, deodorant and wrist straps (broken my wrists a few times and they get a bit achey sometimes…the straps help). That’s about all that’s different 🙂

  25. This pretty much covers everything I bring, except for maybe hair ties. I ALWAYS forget to bring one, so I just throw extras in my bag. I also bring an armband for my ipod.

    Also, I wear Merrills too! They started out as my running shoes but now I couldn’t imagine lifting in anything else. And, like Steve said, you don’t get questioned about them six million times a workout.

  26. Instead of music to disconnect your brain from the activity, why not be present with your movement and benefit from some more proprioception?

  27. Missed a big one,

    WATCH – to time rest periods, so many people wait too long or too little between sets, find what works and stick to it.

    Then to track my workout – SPREADSHEET of the full months training- this way it’s NOT how I feel on any particular day but the aim is to achieve a strength gain over the month.

    Other than that I have a fully stocked Gym bag – water bottle, fractional plates, skipping rope (weighted), dipping belt, weights belt + straps (only use them on tops sets) + ankle weights for abs moves.

  28. Yes I found the addition of a watch the best training aid, I was resting too long or too little, with one my training is shorter and much more effective.

  29. Hey great article Steve. I can’t remember reading it but in case I missed it…a watch/clock/timer. This has been an instrumental piece in my training. Now more then ever since my focus tends to be more towards CrossFit. Keep the blue side up. Joe

  30. “Resistance band – For assisted pull ups, I bring along whatever level resistance band I’m working with.” – Great point. I find that the bands in my gym disappear quickly so I’ve started bringing a set with me as well. Does anyone else experience equipment loss in their gym?

  31. Yeah…I admit I use music throughout my day but I continue to avoid it in the gym. Reading many of the above posts got me reconsidering (but Mike cured me once again.) I also think we lose the aspect of (gym) community if we’re all “plugged in” (physically or wirelessly) to our private set list. I’ve experimented with music on my motorcycle – long turnpike rides at a steady speed, music makes that riding even more enjoyable. On the usual city or suburban roads, music occupies some part of brain that I need for decision-making especially with look-ahead planning.

  32. Two questions:

    What are those pink gear-like items in the final photograph? Are those barbell collars?

    Deadlifting barefoot: is this okay/good for your feet? It is possible to overload joints with too much weight (obesity causing knee/foot problems), but that’s a chronic issue. However with deadlifts we’re also talking about a lot of extra weight too potentially. Is there any medical science or studies on this issue?

  33. I guess I’m a minimalist because the only thing I bring to the gym is my key fob to get in, and a lock for the locker room so that my car keys don’t wander off. Granted, my gym supplies everything from towels to lifting belts and gymnastics rings to water fountains. No music for me though. I actually find it distracting.

  34. Love the watch. There is nothing more loathsome in the gym than some jerk taking 2-5 minutes between sets on one of the few squat racks or incline benches. My personal rule is no more than 1 minute between sets for the toughest lifts, mostly keep it between 30 and 45 seconds between sets. I want to lift tired since every time I needed to be strong, it was when I was tired.

  35. I really need to plug in when I work out. If I notice the people around me, I know my social anxiety will be too great for me to really focus on my workout. I would be too concerned about my fear of people laughing at me. Also, I really don’t want community when I am at the gym. I want to get in; get to work; get out. It’s not that I don’t enjoy working out but I need to put my energy to my workout not trying to make friends while I am there.

  36. I started putting my chalk in a small plastic spice container – Now I just shake a bit on my palms and rub it in as needed.. No mess!

  37. Sometimes I just want to ask people if they’re finished with equipment. It’s nice to not have to wave them down to get their attention.

  38. I can understand that. Although people who aren’t using head phone can also be hard to their attention.

  39. When I’m struggling I no longer hear the music. Instead I hear the little voice in my head saying ‘keep going’ and the burn gets worse until I literally can’t contract anymore. Then I’m done and I notice the music again.

  40. Perfectly fine to deadift barefoot – it’s actually preferred by many lifters and why deadlift slippers exist. Form is the most important piece of a deadlift – and a high support running sneaker could hurt, not help.

    The gear like things are collars – I bring my own with me because the ones at the gym I go to are terrible and slide off the bars even with just 2-3 plates on the bar.

  41. ha I wait 3-7 minutes between lifts on heavy days! 1 minute feels like cardio.

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