Fitness Essentials

June 7th 2017

It’s still quite funny to most of my old school friends that I’m so into the fitness lifestyle now because they know me as that girl who refused to do any physical activity in sixth form and couldn’t walk to school without running out of breath. ๐Ÿ˜…

I get asked questions about my current routine, how I got started and “essentials” for a good workout. I had planned a post for each of those because I think putting it all in one would be a bit overwhelming – today I’ll be talking about my essentials for a workout.

Perhaps compared to everyone else I don’t take much to the gymย – I mean, the most important thing is that I get my butt out of bed to get there in the first place!

Seem familiar? ๐Ÿ˜Ž For those who don’t know, I post my pre-workout selfie every morning on Instagram and Snapchat, 6 days a week for accountability

It saddens me that a lot of people think that in order to get fit you need a lot of thingsย to get started e.g. an x number of protein bars, protein shakes, pills, every single gym equipment, body sprays that melts off fat (seriously though, what the hell?), weights of all different shapes and sizes, from different companies, fancy shoes… the reality is, you don’t need much to get started or to go.

Fitness Blender really opened my mind to this. I do recommend you giving their blog, “Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated” a read!

I was one of those people who thought I needed those weird foil things to wrap around my tummy or that weird roll on gel thing to get abs. The reality is, you really don’t need much but the correct mindset – it’s what does the magic!

More ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ emojis

So, my fitness essentials are quite simple and consist of just these things:

๐Ÿ’ฆ A bottle of water or BCAAs (branch chain amino acids)

Water – it’s essential to keep hydrated. When I’m bored of that water taste, I like to add flavour with cucumber or lemon!

BCAAs – I get asked a lot of questions about them – what does it mean? which one do I use? what do they do?

Well, it stands for branch-chain-amino-acids and helps with:

  • recovery
  • performance
  • muscle building
  • muscle-mind connectivity

I personally have seen quicker recovery times (especially after a brutal leg workout compared when I don’t have it at all) and performance – I can definitely do an extra rep after sipping on it!

The science behind BCAAs for muscle building and muscle-mind connectivity makes sense (they prevent the breakdown of protein and promote glucose production to build muscle and connect mind to muscle) but I personally can’t really tell much of a difference when I just have water vs BCAAs with this. ๐Ÿค”

My favourite BCAAs isย Green Fusion by BPI Sports. Note: Some protein shakes have BCAAs so sometimes you don’t even need BCAAs! Do you see what I mean?ย Fitness is simple, folks!

๐ŸŽง Wireless headphones

When I workout alone (i.e. Hamdah isn’t there with me) I tend to wear headphones – it allows meย to block out everyone else and focus on just myself. I think this really helped build up my confidence when I first started and was self-conscious that everyone was looking at me.

My playlist is literally just my Spotify library on shuffle which is a mix of everything from Disney soundtracks, Ed Sheeran and lots of remixes of songs. I love a good remix – have you heard of the Galway Girl (Martin Jensen Remix)? It’s the bomb! ๐Ÿ˜

I sometimes like listening to my favourite fitness YouTubers (e.g. Whitney Simmons, GraceFit, Sarah’s Day, Aja Dangย to name a few) as I workout for extra motivation. If you like having music and motivation from a personal trainer at the same time, apps likeย Aaptivย work well with mixing this up together.

Although my headphones are wireless and awesome, I’ve been thinking of getting AirPods just because my headphones sometimes gets stuck in my hair and boy is that painful. Much more painful than the legs days where I forget to stretch and wake up the next day unable to get up. Yikes.

๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿป Gymwear

My gym collection is increasingly outnumbering my normal clothes. Oops.

I mostly wear gym wear from Gymshark, Missguided Active, LA Sports and Victoria Secret Sports. But let’s be real, Gymshark is the main MVP here ๐Ÿ™ƒ Fun fact: Whenever Gymshark releases something, I set an alarm on my Fitbit, Calendar, todoist and phone to remind me to buy it before it sells out! ๐Ÿ˜‚ #dedication

Saturday gym session – Gymshark gives me the power ๐Ÿ”ฅ

I don’t usually take anything else but a hoodie/coat and other clothes to change into if I decide to take a shower there (which I usually don’t because gym locker rooms are gross.)

As for shoes, I just wear any of my flat trainers – I minimised recently to two – Black Addidas Zx Flux trainers (I actually wear the kids version because of team small feet) and white converse. The reason I choose flat is because it helps on my heavy lifting ย leg days – it really gets the right places ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿป Hair ties

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in the situation where I’m there about to start my workout, tame my Simba-like hair by tying it up in a cute bun when… I realise I can’t ’cause … YA GIRL FORGOT AGAIN. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

I now make it a habit of bringing a couple with me every day. A couple may sound a bit extreme but because my hair is so thick, my tie breaks frequently. Life is hard.

โŒš Fitbit Blaze

I love tracking my workouts – to see the approximate calorie burn and heart rate changes during! I find it fascinating ๐Ÿ˜…

My Fitbit Blaze serves as my best friend with this. It also help keep me motivated in every aspect of my lifestyle from exercise to sleep!


But… I don’t always workout at the gym.

Last week’s home workout snaps!

In fact, I do most of my workouts during the week is done at home and I’m still able to stay fit! ย My essentials include the same as above but also:

๐Ÿ“น A Fitness Blender Video

This a must. I’ve talked about it before, but FB has been such a motivation. Their 40 minute efficient and effective workouts are one I swear by. You can see my progress photo from when I first started VS January this year here. The majority of my workouts were at home FB ones!

The only other things I need for my workouts with FB is a yoga mat and power blockย dumbbellsย and even then, you don’t really need weights! Especially considering how effective body weight is, as shown by other successful programmes such asย BBG by Kayla.

Powerblock Dumbells

You can find out more about Fitness Blender hereย – give it a try. You have nothing to lose – FB workouts are completely free!


I’d be interested to know what you bring to the gym or what your essentials are when it comes to working out? I love picking up things from others!

A big thank you to Aaptiv for this timely collab of ideas โœจ

Aaptiv isย a audio fitness app that combines the guidance of a trainer with the perfect playlist – talk about some endless motivation! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ Aaptiv is avaliable on Android and iOS.


Posted under: Fitness, Health & Well-Being


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15 comments

  1. Kandice says:

    Damn girl, your body is the goal!

  2. Eena says:

    Oh wow, Pauline! This is such an inspirational post – I’m definitely still that girl who gets out of breath when simply walking a longer distance although I am slowly trying to change that.

    Anyways, I followed you on Instagram by the way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I only do the things that require the least amount of essentials, like running ๐Ÿ˜› My main form of training used to be swimming, but I no longer have easy access to the pool. Lately I’ve been doing yoga, but after training in swimming for so long, I think I need something more intense. But yeah, I chose that because all I needed was a yoga mat. I might give pilates a try later haha -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  4. Rachel says:

    Good for you for keeping so active! I started Crossfit recently and don’t need too much gear for it but realized yesterday that I need to wear more arm/hand protective gear for the kettlebells and bars.

    It’s good to have at least a few different gym outfits so you don’t have to re-wear anything after it gets all sweaty and smelly!

    -Rachel @ Backcountry Petite

  5. Claudine says:

    I recently started working out so it’s great that I’m seeing these kinds of posts from you! But at the same time I feel like I’m not accomplishing much HAHA! You look great! #goals

    I’m super super self-conscious during workout sessions too, so I agree that headphones are a must! I think your Spotify playlist is a very interesting mix of genres, haha! I guess it really helps in motivating you during workout sessions if you’re listening to music you really like. That’s definitely the case for me (Westlife playlist ftw), sometimes I don’t even notice the time because I seem to be enjoying myself ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Michelle says:

    Glad you’re working out and getting the results that you want!

  7. Nancy says:

    Gymshark should be paying you for modeling in their gear! I haven’t found anything that I like when it comes to protein-oriented intake (bars/drinks). I’ll just stick to water! Headphones are a lot of gymgoer’s best friends! My boyfriend loves using his PowerBeats. And YES to hair ties!!! It’s not fun exercising with your hair all over your face.

    In an ideal world, I would have a gym set at home so I don’t need to spend time commuting. Good that you find ways to exercise at home! Your body weight is just as helpful with the toning aspect.

    I always leave my gym bag in my car so I can have my gym clothes handy. Oh yeah, LOTS OF HAIR TIES because of the wear and tear. Thanks for sharing your essentials ;).

  8. This is such a great post and I’m thankful I read this because I really need the motivation ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll definitely remember these essentials.

    yuki, solivagantic

  9. Gillan says:

    Your post just got me inspired to go back to the gym! I love this, thank you for sharing your favorite fitness equipment!
    I have never taken BCAAs but I’m definitely curious now. I also have never used a fitness blender but it sure does come in handy (Writes self a reminder to get one.)
    I live for your sports bras ๐Ÿ’– Yaaaas! To be honest, I only started working out because I love to wear them ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Your progress is amazing, you go gurl! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. Tara says:

    Thanks for sharing your fitness essentials ๐Ÿ™‚ Water is definitely a must. I can’t imagine not working out without it. Though I am still not sure what these BCAAs are. Time to Google it.

    I just use any old earphones for working out since I am cheap. I don’t mind the wires since at least I know they are with me. XD Clothes aren’t important for me and I’m cheap with them, too, haha! I just need a sports bra, a black tee and sweats, and sneakers, and I’m good XD

    Keep it up with your fitness habit, Pauline. Rock on!

  11. Interesting read! Was interesting finding out more about how you workout!

    Me I do it at home. Usually just use my Simply Fit Board.

  12. Ongaku says:

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s good to see someone else who doesn’t do all that crazy stuff with drinks and pills. LOL I went on a diet with exercise for a good 8 weeks and lost about 20 pounds just from eating healthier and doing the elliptical every day. Sometimes it would be just 15 to 20 minutes (because of all my health issues) but other times I would start to feel so good I could do a good 45 min to an hour.
    My goal is to try and drop another 10 pounds (possibly more now that I’ve been lazy) and try to tone up a little bit more. Thanks for mentioning your favorite BCAA. I have been needing to take something like that. The hardest part for me is doing things with my core because of all the surgery, but I got to start somewhere.
    You look great, btw! โ™ฅ

  13. Georgie says:

    I need to look at some more Fitness Blender videos โ€“ since you recommended them, I am more interested in having a look.

    I think everyone is different and not all supplements/proteins/etc. work for everyone, but I like trying different things to see what works for me. All that stuff costs a lot of money too! I donโ€™t take BCAAs but I do have protein powder regularly. I have recently been taking pre-workout, and I think it kind of helps, but other people think it is a placebo. ๐Ÿ˜† I donโ€™t always use the supplements though โ€“ for me my main thing is a bottle of water and my gym gloves!

    Err, and cute workout clothes. ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‚

  14. Amy says:

    Even though I don’t do any exercise currently (lol fail) I’ll definitely be looking back at this post when I get started! It’s great that you’re so dedicated to fitness, and it’s amazing how far you’ve come. I was also that kid who refused to take part in PE, so can definitely relate. I just need to motivate myself to get on with it.

    Water is sooo important when doing any type of exercise. I tried to do a workout video last year and five minutes in I REALLY needed a drink. I definitely couldn’t have got through it without one! I’d also have to have music too or I’d get so bored. I like having music on when I’m doing a lot of things though!

    Congrats on coming so far, Pauline. You’re such an inspiration. Keep going!

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