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What you will find in EmJ’s Gym bag!!

It’s been a long time coming but finally I managed to clean out my gym bag! And WOW I don’t know what I was trying to achieve - breaking my shoulder, having the heaviest bag in the gym or going ‘Mary Poppins’ style and hiding pieces of furniture in there! It was chocked full of so many things I don’t know how I managed to fit it all.

Besides the usual gym accessories you would normally have in a gym bag I found a few things that probably aren’t all that necessary – I just had to share with everyone!

Things I would classify as normal:

Gym Towel: 
One of the dirtiest places you could possibly visit may just be your own gym! I’ll even go ahead and say that it’s probably dirtier than your toilet seat at home! I know I definitely do not want to be sitting in anyone else’s sweat and I doubt they would want to be sitting in mine. A towel is a must and I never leave home without it!

Calluses are not my friend and nor should they be yours either! There is nothing worse than going to hold your boyfriends hand and your hand feels just as rough as his! It’s not cool, and this goes for guys too… our hand a precious; we need to look after them!

Heart rate monitor: 
Although I try and avoid it whenever possible, when it comes to cardio I like to keep track of what my heart rate is doing! I try to keep my heart rate between 60%-70% for optimal fat burning!

Stretchy bands:

Tearing the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff is so commonly done and I see many people injure their rotator cuff when it comes to doing their upper body exercises. If I can’t find any small weights in the gym (probably because the boys are using them), I rely on my bands to help warm up my rotator cuff whenever I do any upper body workouts - not just for my shoulder workout! Because our shoulder joint is so mobile, this also means that it is one of the weakest joints in the body (opposed to the hip joint). Take the time to ALWAYS warm up your shoulders, muscle tears and impingements are not fun! Warm up exercises help strengthen the muscles around the scapular and can help to define and enhance your deeper back muscles like your rhomboids.

Skipping rope: 
Some of you might know that when it comes to cardio, I am not a huge fan. Avoiding it is definitely one of my talents (besides eating and talking). However incorporating cardio is required leading up to a comp and also helps to release endorphins! As much as I hate to admit it, at the end of a cardio session I do feel pretty amazing - it’s just starting and getting bored that really kills me. Skipping is my way out of long bursts of cardio, it’s great to get the heart rate up and can be done in between sets of weight training to help burn those extra calories!

This item should be kept in the most easily assessable pocket in your gym bag ;) You might not be able to smell yourself but others can! Be considerate, no one wants a smelly spotter. B-O BASHER is a MUST!

Running Spi-belt:
Available in many sport stores! This handy little belt holds my Iphone, stops it from getting moisture to it and is stretchy so you can still skip songs without taking it out of the pouch!

Hats are perfect in the gym when you don’t feel like talking and just want to get in, do your workout and get out! To me, wearing a hat is a nice way of saying “don’t talk to me I mean serious business!” ;) Hats are also perfect for bad hair days or simply if you’re massive fringe like mine gets in the way… I don’t lose hats like I do with bobby pins, so wearing a hat always solves my annoying hair problems! Of course I don’t just have one hat but three! I love to accessorise, so whenever I wear a hat it has to match my outfit and my shoes!

What’s a good gym session without your favourite tunes blasting in your ears! I love mixing my music to suit my work out!

Post and intra workout shakes: 
Two things that I never forget to take with me! At the moment I am using watermelon flavoured Xtend, Acetly-L-Carnitine and Glutamine for my intra workout shake. Aminologic WPI and Glutamine for my post shake.

Wrist straps:
I’m not sure about anyone else, but I have the worst grip strength and even though I wear gloves, sometimes I need straps for big compound movements like deadlifts or for upright rows. My poor hands and wrists just can’t take the weight but if I use wrist straps I’m all good to go! My favourite straps at the moment are the ‘versa gripp’ straps, they work amazingly!

Some things that might not be normal to everyone else:

Wet wipes: 
Call me a germ freak I don’t mind, I always take wet wipes whether I go just in case!

This was a rule made up by my partner! Apparently I always have to have a bikini in my gym bag just in case we want to go for a swim at the beach afterwards. It’s a pretty good rule; it’s never failed us yet!

For two reasons – 
1, I’m a sucker for people who hurt themselves and instantly feel bad, Band-Aids always get rid of the pain or so my mum used to say ;) 
2, I have the weakest stomach and can’t stand the look of blood and because not covering up a cut in the gym is just gross!

Spare clothing: 
I always carry a spare set of clothing in my bag if I’m heading somewhere after my session and don’t want to be smelly. Underwear and socks are always kept in my bag too… Yes I always like to be clean! I also have a spare MASS singlet in my bag ready to go just in case I’m needed! I always keep a spare plastic bag in one of the side pocket to just in case I need it for sweaty clothes!

After pulling everything out of my bag and going throw all the things that I do and don’t need to keep, I found that a lot of the things in there were pointless. Especially with this cooler weather I could definitely get rid of the bikini and I normally go home after a training session so I could also get rid of the spare clothing – this would definitely lighten the load!

However, after seriously contemplating what to get rid of and how lame I actually am, I realised two things –

1, that I need ALL of these things in my bad, I couldn’t possibly get rid of anything, just in case and

2, that I am a germ freak in the gym!

So there you have it, my gym bag is going to remain heavy and full of unused items because I always like to be prepared! And now you know my little weird quirks, I’m sure you have some for yourself that are just as weird as mine!