Your Gym Bag is Not a Hand Bag or a Man Bag

Essential weightlifting kit, including what you don’t need

With companies trying to sell you everything from fart de-stinkifying pants to pink chalk, what is it you REALLY need in your kit bags?

The essentials for a training bag:

  • A pair of lifting shoes – All sorts on the market but I personally choose Nike Romaleos and swear they are the best on the market for people with a regular/wide foot. Second place goes to the Adidas AdiPowers (my feet are too wide for them).
  • Chalk – You can’t guarantee every gym will have a full chalk bucket. I’ve shown up assuming there would be some, and had my session ruined because I didn’t bring my own. Simple little box in my bag for such occasions.
  • A pair of knee sleeves – Injury prevention is the number one priority for me. And as every lifting movement consists of a squat, I keep those knees wrapped up in a warm blanke– AKA neoprene knee sleeves. Rehband are the market leaders for a reason and provide a sleeve for everyday, day-in and day-out use. With a huge range of supports and thicker sleeves for some cushioning and oomph! #shamelessplug #rehbandfullpotential
  • A note pad or training diary – Always track your lifts, your bodyweight, and how you feel from session to session.
  • A pen – To write in your notebook or on yourself.
  • A lacrosse ball – Save yourself from failure, warm up and loosen up correctly for every session. So many problems can be solved by shoving a ball into your armpit/back you would not believe.
  • A theraband – Or a resistance band of your choice. I use mine to warm up my glutes and stretch my shoulders. Failing to prepare usually results in failing. Or so says my old school’s motto.
  • A water bottle – Stay hydrated!

The less essential:

What else I have in my bag

  • A form of caffeine – Coffee, pre-workout, caffeine powder (beware, drink only if you don’t want to shit ever again)
  • Trainers – Sometimes you have to do cardio, and no matter how cool I think I look going on the cross trainer in Romaleos isn’t okay.
  • Spare pants – On rare occasions you may wee or, as I’ve seen most recently in my gym, even shit yourself.
  • Smelling salts – A magic jar of egg farts that seems to get you ready for the big lifts. My salts only come out on huge max out sessions and during competition – thus not essential for every day.
  • Tape – Zinc oxide tape/K-tape – To cover you thumbs if that is your preference or save the rest of your session if you get a hand tear or shin burn.

Oh, and of course pink chalk is an essential. I’ve missed that one off.





  1. What kind of things do you write in your training diary? Would be interested to see a template, so I can see some of the useful things that lifters write.. As this is one thing I’m aiming to improve on. Thanks. Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jamie, Everyone approaches diaries differently. You have to find your own voice with what you find useful. Personally I write in my program i have set, then add little side notes about how i felt or cues i used on that day. I also outline my warm up sets and reps for the day. I add my BW when its been measured. I like having a hard copy written down and its nice not to look at a phone for an change. I hope this helps. We will do a post about it again soon. MiniBig


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