My Favorite Training Gear
|August 13, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Uncategorized|
Hope your week is off to a good start! I got a super nice surprise present from my husband recently – wireless headphones! I’ve been using them for my workouts this week, and I love them. They made me think of other workout gear I love, and I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite training gear. This is not a complete list of everything I use or own (which is probably too much – 3 bikes?!?), but rather a list of some of the items that I’ve found to be really useful and worth buying.
- Weight lifting gloves: I originally got gloves because I didn’t like the callouses I was developing on my hands. I’ve found that they not only prevent callouses, but they also make my grip more secure and give me a bit of cushion.
- TRX: When I first heard of TRX I thought maybe it was a gimmick like the shake weight or the thigh master (remember that blue figure-eight looking object by Suzanne Sommers?). However, I read more about it and took a sample class at our gym, and I realized that it is the real deal. TRX is a suspension trainer that can be used for a full body workout. It takes up minimal space and is super versatile – there are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with it. It works for all fitness levels, and I also like that it really challenges your core during all of the exercises. Plus, it is portable so you can use it at home and also take it with you when you travel. A couple of my favorite exercises with the TRX are the atomic push-up and the single-leg squat.
- Straps: When I am in a strength building phase and lifting really heavy weights (for me), I find that my grip gives out before I’ve fully worked my legs. The solution: weight lifting straps. They distribute the weight so your wrist also helps support the weight. I use these for deadlifts and dumbbell squats or lunges.
- Properly fitted shoes: I’m currently wearing Mizuno Wave Riders, but I’ll probably go back to my local running store after the baby to get refitted and see if my feet changed at all. It is very important if you plan to run to have a shoe expert determine you running gait and shoe size. Running in the wrong shoes can lead to blisters and injury.
- Shoe pocket: I don’t like to hold things in my hand when I run, but I like to run with ID, emergency phone numbers, and some cash. I’ve found the easiest way to carry this is to use a shoe pocket. I can stuff everything in there and leave it in there for my next run. (When I’ve put these things in my shorts pocket I often forget to take them out and I end up with shredded money in the wash)
- GPS watch: I use a Garmin 210, but there are lots of models and price points out there. I don’t tend use the watch on my easy recovery days, since I find it more relaxing to instead run watch-free. I do use it on my long runs and any runs that I want to ensure I hit a certain pace. It is a very useful training tool if you are looking to improve your running.
- Cycling shoes: whether you ride outdoors or ride in the studio, cycling shoes are a great investment. They lock your foot in place on the pedal so that more energy goes into each pedal stroke. They allow you to pull up and well as push down on the pedal, a must for proper pedaling and getting the most out of your workout. I always recommend that people try cycling/spinning with regular shoes and pedals first and if they find it to be a mode of exercise they want to stick with, then I recommend buying cycling shoes.
- Helmet: this is obviously just for outdoor rides (unless you are really clumsy in spinning class). Bottom line: helmets save lives – wear one!
- Padded shorts: padded shorts can make the difference between an enjoyable workout and a real torture session. If you are new to cycling/spinning, it takes a while to get used to the saddle and you will definitely appreciate the extra padding the shorts provide. If you do long distance cycling, then you know that going without padding is asking for pain and suffering. If you don’t like the tight black spandex style of padded shorts (don’t worry – they look unflattering on everyone), you can buy baggier shorts with padded inserts instead (or even cycling skirts for the ladies).
- Anti-fog spray for goggles: I HATE when my goggles get foggy when I’m swimming (unless I’m swimming so slow that I don’t want to see the clock – ha). I found this anti-fog spray from Speedo. Just a few spritzes on the lenses before my workout, and I have clear goggles the whole time.
- Water running belt: Water running is an excellent way to rehab an injury or to get in a killer non-impact running workout. The belt gives you some flotation assistance and helps you maintain proper posture during your workout. Many public pools have belts, but if not, you can usually buy one for about $30.
- Swim workouts in a binder book: This is a great resource of swim workouts of varying distances and intensities. The best part – the book is water proof so you can take it on the pool deck!
- Music device: The most popular music device is probably the ipod, but whatever you use, music is a great way to entertain and motivate yourself during a workout. Studies show that people workout longer and harder when listening to music. I personally like music to drown out the sound of my own huffing and puffing – tricks me into thinking I’m not working as hard!
- Sweat proof headphones: Confession – I’m a heavy sweater. I’ve ruined several headphones over the years with my excessive sweat. My new wireless headphones are sweat-proof – let’s see if they hold up to that claim!
- Heart rate monitor: I don’t tend to use my heart rate monitor when running, preferring to use pace as an indication of effort level, but when I’m spinning or doing other cardio I like to use my monitor to tell me how hard I’m working. Using a heart rate monitor is a great way to ensure that you are varying the intensity of your workouts and not just working out at the same effort level everyday. It is also a good way to monitor fitness progress. If you notice that your heart rate has decreased over time for the same resistance/speed/incline, then you are getting fitter!
Again, these are just some of the equipment and training tools I use and find especially valuable. Coming soon, a list of my favorite training books and resources!
What training great do you find necessary?
If you had all the money in the world, what dream gear would you buy?
If I’m really dreaming big (and I mean BIG), I would build my own personal 50-meter lap pool. I hate having to deal with pool hours, crowded lanes, and driving too and from the pool. With my own lap pool I’d swim everyday!