If you’ve ever bought anything from a major fitness brand, then you’re probably bombarded with emails about “must-have” products promising to optimize your performance on the regular. But let’s get real: None of us actually need the newest color of Nike’s or another pair of $80 yoga pants to get *ish* done at the gym.
What we do need is a solid set of basics. But um…what exactly are those again? In a world where everything from waist trainers to sweatbands is marketed as essential, it’s hard to know what’s worth your dime, especially when you’re new to the post-pandemic gym scene.
Lucky for you, we’ve done some research, asked around, and put together a list of what we believe are 6 things every gym rat needs in 2022!
1. Smart Watch
Yep, we’re starting strong with one of the coolest items on the list! Every gym goer who’s truly looking for results has one of these, and here’s why: Tracking your output—your calories burned, distance run, heart rate, etc—is one of the best ways to know what your input should look like the rest of the day. And by input, we mean nutrition, rest, and hydration. Not to mention, knowing how hard you hit the gym will show you how on-track you are with your daily/weekly goals. Haven’t hit your step-count despite that morning run? Your watch will remind you. Only slept 6 hours? You’ll know to take a post-lunch siesta.
Our fave watch on the market? The FitBit Inspire HR! This sweet, touchscreen gadget tracks all your activity, no matter the kind, all day and all night long. Not only is it water-resistant, Bluetooth-compatible with your phone, and one of the most accurate trackers on the market, but it comes in various designs too, all for just 149.99 on Amazon. Want to stick to Apple products? We recommend the Apple Watch SE.
2. Multi-Purpose Sneakers
The healthiest workout regimen is well-balanced, incorporating cardio, strength-training, and endurance. It’s easier said than done, of course, and so is finding a shoe that allows you to do it all—without the aches and pains. While using a running-specific shoe on the treadmill is probably your best bet, just about everything else you do in the gym can be done with the right multi-purpose sneaker. After all, why switch in and out of shoes or worse, risk injury using the same ones, if you don’t have to?
Whether you’re heading in for a HIIT workout, heavy lifting sesh, or just a stint on the elliptical, a pair of Reebok Nano Xs will get the job done. With a comfy yet durable body, flexible footbed, and cushioned insole, these sneakers offer plenty of balance, stability, and support. They’re our choice for anyone who likes to train, and play, hard.
3. Sports Bottle
We said basic, right? A good water bottle is hard to find. It’s either too small, too big, too hard to open, or leaves you soaking wet without a splash guard. And we shouldn’t have to tell you how important water is for both your overall health and for killing that workout. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue, and more fatigue equals less endurance in the gym. Without adequate water intake, you can say goodbye to gains. So, when it comes to buying the right bottle, the goal should be to find one that’s easy peasy to drink.
Our pick: The Iron °FLASK Sports Water Bottle, 3-lid option. This insulated water bottle is perfect for keeping your drink cold (for 24 hours) or hot if you so choose—which is great ’cause…who wants water bottle sweat when you’re creating enough on your own? Made of stainless steel with endless color options and sizes up to 64 oz, this bottle is leak-proof, splash-proof, BPA-free, non-toxic, and as sleek and stylish as it gets. Plus, it’s affordable at just $16-$32 on Amazon!
4. Wireless Earphones
Hopefully by now you have switched to the wireless side, but if you’re still rockin’ a pair of classics, we’ve got news for you: You’re wasting your time. Most gym goers have about 45 minutes to work out each day, and that’s the bare minimum of what we should be doing. So if every 10 minutes you have to stop to adjust your earphones (or take ’em out to to set your phone down), your workout just got a whole lot shorter.
To help you keep your pace and your focus, we’ve got a couple wireless solutions you’ll love. Our #1? Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earphones for their personalized noise canceling software, comfortability, water resistance, and price! Check them out here.
5. Gym Duffel
We all know going to the gym isn’t all physical. The endorphin rush, stress relief, and confidence boost that follows a good sweat—that may be the best part. But being disorganized and starting (or finishing) your day in a frenzy can diminish the experience and leave you wondering why you even bother. That’s why absolutely everyone needs a good gym bag. But is there a brand that does it best?
There are a lot of great bags out there, but we’re a big fan of duffels—’cause shoes!—especially these two: the Under Armour Roland Duffel and the Vooray Burner Gym Duffel. Compact enough for gym lockers, water-resistant, and of super high quality, the first has been a mega crowd pleaser, which is no surprise coming from the signature brand. It’s also pretty stylish if we do say so ourselves—almost as stylish as the Vooray duffel! This bag comes in a number of unique designs and colors, and apart from its great price ($50), it’s best feature is definitely that side shoe compartment. Choose any one of the two, and you’ll be more put together than ever.
“Why would I need gym chalk? I just lift weights,” says everybody who’s never experienced the difference chalk makes. Even if you’re not into gymnastics, rock climbing, or CrossFit, chalk is still your BFF—trust us! By soaking up the moisture in your hands, chalk improves your grip and protects you from those “beloved” blisters and calluses. And, while weight lifting gloves are a thing, chalk does the job even better—just ask the US olympic team.
But don’t get caught being that person who carries around a baggy of loose chalk or dipping your hands in a chalk pit that everyone uses—yeah, no thanks! Instead, grab you a GRITSTICK from none other than Armored Fitness Equipment (You didn’t think we’d write a whole article about gym gear and not mention our online store, did you?). This dual end, portable device makes it easy and mess-free to lather up during your workout. It also provides a space to store the personal items you’re prone to lose like keys, jewelry, chapstick, pre- and post- workout powder, earphones, and more. So go ahead and get gritty! Order yours now here!
That’s all we got! We hope these finds help you sort through your mailbox and, most importantly, feel more prepared than ever to show up, sweat, and shred all year long!