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. 😅
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 gym – I mean, the most important thing is that I get my butt out of bed to get there in the first place!
It saddens me that a lot of people think that in order to get fit you need a lot of things 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.
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!
So, my fitness essentials are quite simple and consist of just these things:
💦 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:
- 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. 🤔
My favourite BCAAs is 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? Fitness is simple, folks!
🎧 Wireless headphones
When I workout alone (i.e. Hamdah isn’t there with me) I tend to wear headphones – it allows me 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! 😍
I sometimes like listening to my favourite fitness YouTubers (e.g. Whitney Simmons, GraceFit, Sarah’s Day, Aja Dang 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 like Aaptiv 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.
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 🙃 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! 😂 #dedication
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 leg days – it really gets the right places 🍑
💁🏻 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. 🤦🏻♀️
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.
⌚ Fitbit Blaze
I love tracking my workouts – to see the approximate calorie burn and heart rate changes during! I find it fascinating 😅
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.
In fact, I do most of my workouts during the week is done at home and I’m still able to stay fit! My essentials include the same as above but also:
📹 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 block dumbbells and even then, you don’t really need weights! Especially considering how effective body weight is, as shown by other successful programmes such as BBG by Kayla.
You can find out more about Fitness Blender here – 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 ✨