What’s in My Gym Bag

Hello my favorite ladies! Today we are going to take a tour through my gym bag.  With so many new member and girls getting stronger by the day, I thought you all could benefit from a breakdown of what gear is essential for training at KFIT. Here’s a glance at what keeps me looking good and feeling good in the gym!

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1. KFIT Junk Headband- I always keep a headband packed in my gym bag. We are partial to Junk bands over here at KFIT and believe me I have tried many brands! Junk Headbands stay put during workouts and come in super fun patterns. Total bonus. Because looking good is just as important as anything else.

2. Fresh Firm Kicks- Different shoes are built for different types of exercises. Most commonly people arrive with some type of running sneaker. These sneakers were built for just that, running. They have a cushion sole to help decrease impact at contact and promotes a forward propelling motion.  The soft cushion is not very stable, it decreases our contact with the ground affecting our balance and ability to generate force through our feet in our lifts. Think kettlebell swings, wall balls even box jumps, we need that ground force to transfer to our hips in so many moves we do. We want a shoe that has a minimal sole and is relatively firm.  Of course we still run at KFIT. So the best bet is to get yourself a cross trainer, effective for squatting and for those days we are hitting 400 meter sprint.

Here’s a few of my top picks!

Nike Free Cross Compete– OK all around kicks at a reasonable price.  Nike has several minimalist cross trainers (Frees and Furys etc) that would be an acceptable all around KFIT shoe.

Nike Metcons– Best all around kicks and great for those with wide feet. Pricey but worth it.

Reebok Nano 2.0  or 5.o – Still my favorite of all the Nano’s! Firm and great for lifting.  Unfortunately the 2.0’s are not so great for those sprints!

3. Workout Log- I always have my workout log handy!  Tracking your scores from workouts and strength sessions is super important. You may think you will remember but let’s be real you can’t even get through a workout without a white board. Log it! It’s so cool to see those PR’s over the years and also get to see where your weaknesses may be so you can work on those too!

4&6. Weight Belt,Wrist Wraps and Knee Sleeves-   You may think these items are for the heavy hitters. But let me ask you, ever had wrist discomfort when lifting?? Bracing  is going to help you. Coming from a Sports Rehab background, I initially had mixed feelings about bracing all together. Is it helpful or is it a bandaid? I think it ultimately comes down to your training. Are we providing you with accessory work and methods to strengthen imbalances and improve your mobility? The answer is yes.  The addition of bracing will provide you with some added support. And why wouldn’t we want that? Weight Belts are going to improve stability and support the spine by increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Many think the belt is just bracing the spine but it is actually this pressure that helps to reduce stress on the spine and discs.  Wrist wraps help to keep wrist aligned properly, helping the muscles contract better as well as decrease compression on the joints and tendons. Knee sleeves are going to provide a little compression,  increasing blood flow to the area as well as keep the patella (knee cap) stable. They also act to protect the knee from future injury or risk of damage. For me, these were a staple when I first started lifting. I had wrist discomfort like most with barbell moves and my bum knees hurt with squats. These items added the support that I needed, and over time my mobility improved and my muscles grew stronger.  Now I am rarely  grabbing for my wrist wraps and have zero knee pain when squatting some (serious) weight.  Here’s a few options you can pick right up from amazon!

Wrist Wraps

Weight Belt

Knee Sleeves

5. Lifters- So what’s with the 2 pairs of kicks, right? These fancy shoes are specifically for weightlifting. Squats, cleans, jerks to name a few.  Lifters won’t make you awesome at lifting. But, like running shoes to concrete, they have a few nifty designs to make your lifting experience better.  First,  they are designed with a raised heel. The benefit of this is to allow increased motion in the ankle. This increased motion allows you to squat deeper, helping you maintain a more upright position with your squat. There is a lot that can limit one’s ability to squat deep, and tight ankles is a limiting factor that affects most. So this can be a game changer for a lot of folks.  Being in a more upright position also enhances the contraction of the correct muscles.  Second, our lifting shoes are even more stable than the shoes suggested above. This is super important to help drive equal force through the feet with our lifts. Like our wrist wraps, and belts, these shoes are not a cure-all to an ugly lift. It’s essential to continue to drill technique and work mobility regularly.

7. Protein, Ear Buds and Tape-Some random items: Keeping an emergency pack of protein or a protein bar helps me from getting hangry. Ear buds so I can hit the pavement with tunes at any time. And tape. I don’t really use tape much, but this is a good purchase to make some homemade grips to wear for pull ups or to wrap the fingers with snacthes to avoid scraping from the bar.

8. Lifting Straps-These are a great purchase for our more advanced girls. When working technique drills for certain lifts, these will help to keep your grip form getting fatigued and allow you to focus more on the pull of the lift. Not a huge necessity but certainly can come in handy with snatch and clean work (think April Specialty Class).

8. Extra Gear- Just in case!

10. Speed Rope-If you want to learn double unders, purchase your own speed rope already! We can help you customize your cut, as an appropriate fit is essential. Plus, you’ll get used to the feel of your own rope and also have the opportunity to break it out at anytime to practice! If you are just learning,  start with an inexpensive slower version and once you get them down, move up to a speedy one!

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Of course there is lots of other things you may want to stuff in your gym bag. These are just my essentials! If you are training 3-5 days a week, I strongly recommend you invest in some of these items.

Safe Lifting!

XO Coach Kerrie

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