Gym Bag Essentials 2.0 – One Year Later

It’s crazy how time flies. Am I right? A year can pass by in the blink of an eye.

One of the first articles we launched on Eat . Whey . Love was “Gym Bag Essentials” and we listed the core tools that we carry around in our gym bags. Well a lot can change in a year, we learn a lot, we grow and we expand our horizons. Figured it was a good opportunity to reach back into the gym bag and see what goodies we pull out now.

Fat Gripz

There is no denying that have a strong grip has tons of benefits when it comes to weightlifting. Just think about your deadlifts or shrugs or barbell rows. More often than not it’s not our strength that gives but rather our grip. That weight just starts to slip out of our hands and there’s nothing we can do … except use lifting straps. But God gave us two natural lifting straps – called hands!

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Fat Gripz is a great supplemental tool to help improve the area of grip. It has the ability to increase muscle activation as the circumference of what you’re grabbing has increased. You can see that I called out “supplemental” as the benefits of this tool has a finite end. After a while, it’s not so much a grip issue but rather an overall strength issue. However, Fat Gripz should definitely be incorporated into your training to address weak links in grip and forearm strength.

Wrist Straps

I feel like there are certain body parts that we underestimate or take for granted. The wrist is definitely one of those. It takes a beating during many different moves – bench press, military press and even squats. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more in tune with my body and I know my wrists were crying out for help (prob just because I have baby boy wrists – oh well).

The main reason I started incorporating wrist straps is because I’ve made low bar squats a main part of my training I just love the different tension you feel on the legs compared to high bar. If any of you have ever done low bar, you know that your wrists take a beating. Wrist straps have given me that little extra security when I go heavy.

Nothing fancy needed here as it is a pretty simple tool.

Mava Knee Sleeves 

Knees I tell ya. It’s probably the one part of my body that hates being in the 30s the most. So when it comes to protecting them and taking care of them, it’s top of the list for me. Focusing on things to strengthen the knee such as working the IT band, building strong quads & hammies and eating nutrient dense foods that have anti-inflammatory properties (vitamin E and/or calcium) are all top priority.

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All that aside, it never hurts to give the knees a little support. I used to rock Rehband Knee Sleeves but they would never stay in place. I’ve switched over to Mava and I’m really digging them. The compression feels great, easy to put on & take off and I immediately feel the support. They’re also really comfortable. Lunges, light squats, step ups, etc. I don’t think I was blessed with superior knees so as the saying goes “train smarter, not harder.” … But sometimes harder too while being smart 😉

Weightlifting Barbell Clips 

There are a ton of things that suck about being in a packed gym trying to get a workout done. Sweaty ass people not wiping their stuff down. Weights left everywhere in the gym. The unique combinations of “squeaks” and “bro screams” coming from people lifting. Despite all of that, nothing sucks more than getting the barbell you need but there’s zero clips anywhere. Sure, you can roll the dice … but safety bruh!

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We decided to invest $9 for the sole purpose of never experiencing this frustration again. Throw them in your bag and forget about it. Plus, most standard gym clips are either disfigured or just plain suck. Get yourself some olympic lifting clips and make that the least of your worries.

BFR Straps 

Blood flow restriction or occlusion training is all the rage. All the cool kids are doing it and it’s picking up in popularity and general understanding. By that, I mean the amount of people that know about it today are way more than say 3 years ago.

BFR training is a highly advanced technique and one that should be used carefully and strategically. What it does is restrict blood flow to the veins, but not the arteries and by doing so you deliver blood to the target muscle without letting it leave.

Long story short, BFR causes an increase in cell swelling. When your cells swell, they sense danger and eventually restructure themselves and get larger. This can lead to big shiny new muscles! Wee!! Get yourself some straps, study up and implement BFR training into your regimen.

And that’s all the goodies we have. It’s always fun to look back over the past year and see how far you’ve come. Really take pride in everything you’ve learned, and perhaps some of the silly things you have left in the past.

Hope you’ll find some of these tools useful and you actually start incorporating them into your workout routines. As always, leave us some love and let us know what tools you can’t live without!!!

Cheers to gains ~ Eat . Whey . Love

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