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Woman working out at the gym with a medicine ball

Fifteen Products for a Better Gym Experience

Working out can mean getting rough and dirty, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the finer things of life. If you can swing it, these luxury gym upgrades can improve your gym experience and take your workouts to the next level while keeping you looking cool and feeling fresh.

From simpler gym accessories to products that improve the overall gym experience, we’ve got you covered. Check out these fifteen must-have gym accessories and exercising equipment to improve your gym experience.

Meal Prep Bag

Many people find success in achieving their fitness goals by meal planning and prepping. However, those same people are put off by the task of storing and packing every meal. This can be especially true if you live an active life where you’re in and out of the office, gym, and wherever else. Thankfully, some gym accessories can make this a little easier. Let us solve half of your meal plan woes and upgrade your gym experience (we can’t solve ‘em all—you’ll still have to cook it).

For those who are serious (or want to be serious) about that meal prep lifestyle, your gym experience will change when you discover gym accessory bags designed for your meals. These are like beefed-up lunch boxes that can fit your entire days’ worth of meals. Many of these bags come with their own coordinating reusable containers, so they fit like a puzzle with some freezer packs to keep it fresh. Look for one that has adequate storage for your other gym accessories like supplements and shaker bottles.

Our Pick: Meal Prep Bag by Performa

Meal prep bag from Performa Brands for storing supplements and meals

A Thick Barbell Pad to Go Heavy

Hip thrusts are, hands down, one of the best ways to build your glute muscles. Nowadays, everyone is all about the booty, and for good reason!

Strong glutes mean:

  • curves in all the right places
  • better hip mobility
  • improved stability
  • less back pain
  • reduced knee pain
  • better athletic performance and overall gym experience

To build up those glutes, you need to load them up with weight, and believe us—they can handle it. You know what might not be able to handle all that weight? Your hip bones. It turns out that bones don’t like coming into contact with inflexible, heavy objects (i.e., an Olympic barbell exercise equipment with a few 20 kg plates on either side). So, to really push those glutes as hard as you can, you need the right exercise equipment. Grab a thick, sturdy barbell pad gym accessory so you can stay comfortable. Aside from thick foam that’s not too soft, look for one with really strong Velcro so that it stays shut. These pieces of exercise equipment have other applications as well, like for squatting and good mornings, or any other exercise where a barbell rests on your back. 

Our Pick: Bar Pad Gym Accessory by Suzie B Fitness

Cheetah bar pad for the gym

Luxury Resistance Bands that Won’t Roll

Resistance bands are an excellent, multifunctional gym accessory to keep in your gym bag and your home. You can do various warmups and exercises with this piece of exercise equipment, and you can increase the intensity of other exercises that don’t typically involve bands.

The problem with traditional resistance band gym accessories made from thin rubber is that the loops tend to roll on the legs and not stay in place. This is particularly obvious when you’re attempting to use this piece of exercise equipment to do step-ups. We have a solution, and if you haven’t seen these yet but you’re an avid resistance band user, you’re going to want to scoop them up. They’re resistance band loops made from thick, stretchy fabric material and finished with grippy rubber spots on the inside. No matter what you’re wearing (or not wearing) on your legs, these babies don’t move. What’s more is the intensity is a lot better—one light/medium band will put your extra-heavy rubber strap to shame (we know from our own gym experience).

Our Pick: Glute Band Exercise Equipment by Suzie B Fitness

Glute band fitness accessory

A Fitness Tracker with a Heartrate Monitor

It seems like everyone and their mother uses some sort of fitness tracker today. They’re very popular gym accessories for anyone interested in being more active, taking more steps, or tracking their movement. However, if you’re not using a tracker with a heart rate, you’re missing a big piece of insight into your workouts.

Not only can you gather visual data about how hard you’re working, but you can learn about your resting heart rate, working heart rate, maximum heart rate, and more. This kind of insight can ensure you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can every workout. Some trackers include a VO2 estimate, which can provide an educated guess about your cardio fitness level. You might be surprised thinking you’re in excellent cardiovascular shape and come to find out you’re not as fit as you once thought. This insight can help you step it up and take care of your heart.

Our Pick: Apple Watch by Apple 

Apple watch

A Great Water Bottle to Support Your Hydration

You probably have a water bottle, and at this point, you’ve hopefully graduated from using disposable plastic ones. If you understand the importance of hydration but you still struggle to meet your goals every day, don’t underestimate what a fancy water bottle can do for you.

Play around with different sizes. You might find that bigger is better, and with fewer trips to the fridge to fill it up, you actually drink more. Some people might like a daintier size and be content with several water breaks for refills. Either way, you will be surprised at how much being hydrated affects your gym experience.

Water bottle technology has come pretty far, and extra as it may be, if a gym accessory helps you drink more water, it’s worth it. You can find water bottles that track your intake with the help of an app and even water bottles with bacteria-killing UV lights in the lids to keep them sanitary.

Our Pick: Water Bottle by Larq

Water bottle

Wireless Headphones to Jam Out Comfortably

If we’re talking gym accessory upgrades and you’re still using headphones with wires, do yourself a solid and invest in some wireless headphones for your workouts. Research shows that listening to music while you exercise can help you have a better workout and put you in a better mood.

While there’s nothing wrong with those cheap earbuds from the convenience store, they have been linked to an increased risk of ear infections because they are a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria that are then introduced directly to your inner ear. There’s also a greater risk of hearing loss and damage to your eardrums because the music is directed straight into your ear canal. Instead, try traditional over-the-ear headphones. You might be surprised at how comfortable they are to work out with when you don’t have an annoying cord to handle.

Our Pick: Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear headphones by Sony

Sony noiseless headphones

Amazing Shoes for Your Kind of Exercise

Shoes are highly underrated, despite the fact that the right kind of shoe for your exercise can reduce pain, improve comfort, and, in some cases, make your workout a heck of a lot harder. Have you ever noticed those people who take their shoes off to squat or deadlift in the gym? While most gyms won’t let you do that (hello, busted up feet), there’s a reason people do it. They have the wrong shoes.

Cushiony, supportive shoes are great for walking and running, but they can really help your body out when you’re doing some heavy lifting—and not in a good way. Keeping your feet flat on the ground is essential for making your body do the work during exercises like squats.

If you’re someone who does multiple exercises, make sure you get the correct pair of shoes for each style. That means a pair of running shoes, a pair for lifting, and a pair for anything else.

Our Pick: High-Top Trainers by No Bull 

High top shoes for the gym

Incredible Workout Clothing to Stay Cool and Comfortable

If you’re someone who is still working out in cotton shorts and that free t-shirt you got from that fundraiser that one time, it’s time to upgrade. Get clothing specifically designed for working out and you will never go back. If you’re not trying to upgrade your entire fitness wardrobe, we’d definitely start with a couple of good quality pairs of leggings and some sports bras. These items will make a huge difference in how you feel when you’re getting sweaty.

Next, you can upgrade your workout tops, but don’t expect the same difference as the leggings. Workout shirts are great and can keep you cool and comfortable, but quality workout leggings are life-changing. Once you try them, you won’t want to go back.

Our Pick: Wunder Train High-Rise Tights by Lululemon

Workout tights

Ankle Straps to Kick up Your Kick Backs

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones whose gym has ankle straps, you’ll want to grab yourself this piece of exercise equipment to help improve your gym experience. They’re great when it comes to doing your kickbacks, abductor kicks, and adductor kicks.

This group of exercises is excellent for toning and tightening the legs and building strength and stability in these targeted muscle groups. However, suppose you don’t have the correct exercise equipment and gym accessories so you’re trying to finesse the handlebars around your shoe and ankle. In that case, you’re probably both very uncomfortable and not getting a very effective workout. We like the straps that go around your shoe instead of directly on your ankle because they’re comfortable and the perfect support for leg day.

Our Pick: Cable Machine Ankle Straps Exercise Equipment by IPR Fitness 

Cable machine ankle strap for use in the gym

Microfibre Towel to Effortlessly Wick Away Sweat

Are you still carrying around an old, beat-up, terrycloth towel to wipe your sweat? Time to upgrade to a microfibre gym towel. They’re excellent for drying your body when the sweat is pouring, and they typically fold up really small so it’s easy to store it in your bag. You won’t need to worry about it dripping all over your bag or your car, and it feels better against your skin.

Another thing microfibre towels are great for? Resisting odors and bacteria build-up. Seriously. Grab two, in case you can’t wash one in time!

Our Pick: Set of Two Sweat Towels Exercise Equipment by Oak and Reed

Towels for the gym

Portable Blender Bottle for the Best Ever Protein Shakes

Blender bottles are great, but if you’re looking to improve your gym experience even more, try a bottle with a built-in motor. We recommend one of these bottles for your pre- and post-workout shakes, especially if you use various supplements that don’t always blend as smoothly as you want.

Creatine is one supplement that we absolutely love, but even the best brands don’t always dissolve completely and can leave behind a gritty texture for you to choke down. You can’t always throw your supplements in the blender, so instead, you can use a portable little gym accessory that will whip your shakes up lickity split.

Our Pick: Vortex Blender Bottle by Cellucor

Blender bottle

Foam Roller for SMFR

Did you know that self-myofascial release can reduce pain, increase range of motion, improve recovery, and improve your performance? There are many facia release techniques, but most of them involve another person and, sometimes, a professional clinician.

To successfully release facia on yourself, you need the proper gym accessories. One of the most popular and accessible pieces of exercise equipment is a foam roller. They are firm, textured cylinders that you use to roll out your muscles apply pressure to break up those wrinkles in your facia.

Our Pick: Double Roller by Lululemon

Foam roller

Theragun for Amazing Post-Workout Recovery

A Theragun is another tool for self-myofascial release and self-massage. They’re also great for use with a partner to give the best massages ever. A good Theragun is quiet and has customizable pressure, so you can be in control of how hard you’re working your muscles.

You will be surprised at how loose and relaxed your muscles feel after a session with these babies, even if you’re incredibly sore from a brutal leg day.

Our Pick: Prime Theragun by Therabody

 

Theragun massage therapy

 

Fitness Face Mask to Keep You Safe and Comfortable

We’ve got a vaccine, but it doesn’t seem like COVID-19 is going away any time soon. So, stay safe and comfortable with your new staple gym accessory, and upgrade your gym experience with a face mask designed to wick sweat away and prevent mask acne-causing bacteria.

We like face masks made from that high-quality athletic legging fabric. They feel great and keep you cool and dry.

Our Pick: Mindful Mask Two Pack by Onzie

Woman wearing a face mask to the gym

Gym Bag to Carry All this Stuff!

Lastly, don’t forget to grab a beautiful, spacious gym bag to carry all these gym accessories and exercise equipment to and from the gym! We like separate sections for your shoes and adequate space for water bottles and other exercise equipment.

Our Pick: Exercise Equipment Sports Gym Bag by Sportsnew

Gym bag

It’s true that you don’t need any of these gym accessories to get an effective workout. However, if you’re looking to upgrade your gym experience, these are all excellent places to start. You can make your workout more effective, more challenging, and more enjoyable with a few of these luxury pieces!

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