Gym Equipment Essentials: My Top Choices and Their Advantages

Gym Equipment Essentials: My Top Choices and Their Advantages
December 30, 2023
Viking Beast

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I’ve always liked Rich Piana for his character, transparency, and brutal honesty.

When he passed away on the 25th of August in 2017 it was a sad day.

A fitness icon was lost. But his legacy continues to live on.

One way is through his supplements from the brand 5% nutrition.

Today I’ll be reviewing the Kill-It reloaded legendary pre-workout.

Let’s explore if this pre-workout is good enough to summon the spirit of Rich Piana, and give you the strength to bang out some extra reps.

Sick headphones

Powerbeats pro earphones
Your favorite song blasting through your ears.

Nothing beats that feeling of being in the gym, lifting weights, and having the perfect music.

Music is the one thing that increases my energy, boosts my will to live, increases my strength by 400%, and makes me an overall happier person.

My music can be anywhere from “Pokémon theme song” to the darkest metal you could imagine. Often I’ll have one song on repeat for two hours and just completely be in that vibe.

If there’s one thing from this list you put in your gym bag, a pair of good headphones is it.

Wrist wraps

Wrist wraps in the gym
Don’t let your wrists hold you back.

I’m a 6ft1 (187cm) male that weighs 200 pounds (90 kg) but has the wrist size of a 12-year-old girl.

Luckily there exists something that prevents my tiny wrists from crumbling under the pressure of lifting heavy weights.

Let me introduce you to wrist wraps. Its whole functionality is literally in the name. You put your thumb through the circle at one end and wrap it tightly around your wrist.

It helps with supporting your wrist and keeping it in a neutral position while lifting weights. For me, it prevents pain and injuries, and simply allows me to lift weight safer.

Lifting belt

Heavy squatting with a weightlifting belt
Nothing better than a tight hug from the person you love.

Except when you’re doing heavy squats or deadlifts in the gym, then a tight hug from a lifting belt around your waist feels A LOT better.

I see some people walk around the gym with a lifting belt all the time, I don’t do this, because it’s pointless.

However, if you’re going heavy 80% or more of your 1 rep max on compound exercises (squats, deadlifts, overhead press, etc.), then a lifting belt is very useful.

It helps with creating and maintaining pressure in your midsection and makes it easier to keep your entire body tight. It prevents injuries and makes lifting heavy weights a lot more enjoyable/comfortable.

Knee wraps

Heavy leg pressing with knee sleeves on
Keep your knees warm and secure.

I’ve had my fair share of knee pain from doing squats and all kinds of other leg exercises.

I didn’t seem to get this fixed even though I try to warm up before starting my workout. But then, I found out about knee wraps.

A good pair of knee wraps changed my leg training completely.

They keep my knees warm, which helps to stay injury-free, and my knees don’t hurt anymore. Never.

Another benefit is an increase in stability and overall feeling more confident to handle heavy weights. I especially notice this while squatting or leg pressing.

Elbow wraps

Incline benchpress with elbow wraps on
I’m not blessed with bulletproof elbows

In my first years of weight training, I had issues with elbow pain during heavy bench-pressing and doing certain triceps exercises.

At one point it became so bad I had to wear one of those elbow braces. In a moment of clarity, an idea hit me, why don’t I just buy elbow wraps specifically for lifting weights?

Well, turns out, that was a brilliant idea. A good pair of elbow wraps keep your elbows warm, which helps in staying pain and injury-free.

It also helped me a lot with stability and handling heavy weights in pushing exercises, such as bench pressing, push-ups, and overhead pressing.

Dipping Belt

Too strong for your own body

Bodyweight exercises are a staple in any good workout routine.

But what happens if you hit the point where your body weight is simply not heavy enough anymore while doing pull-ups, dips, etc.?

May I welcome: the Dipping Belt. A belt that purely exists to allow you to add more weight to these former bodyweight exercises.

You hang the belt around your waist and in front, you’ll find a steel chain. You pull this chain through the weights you want to add and you attach the chain to your belt.

Extra weight, extra gains. Let’s go.

Weightlifting shoes

A heavy squat with weightlifting shoes on
Heels to look fancy or boosted performance?

A good shoe combines two very important things: they’re practical, and look awesome.

In the gym, there are certain exercises where a specific kind of shoe can give you a (huge) benefit.

If you lack ankle mobility or overall stability while doing exercises like squatting, then you may benefit from a very firm type of shoe that has an elevated heel.

When I bought my first weightlifting shoes and did squats the first time, I was like WOW.

It felt like my feet were stuck to the ground, I could go deeper, and lift heavier.

Lifting Chalk

Powdered chalk
Creatine isn’t the only white powder I use daily

Have you ever looked at the hands of somebody that lifts (heavy) weights regularly? Perhaps you’re that person yourself, and you can simply look down.

Well, it sure doesn’t look very pretty. My hands are unfortunately teared up inside and out.

The sweatiness of my hands when I grip the barbell limits my ability to lift heavy weights and causes my hands to rip open.

The solution is fairly simple. May I introduce Lifting Chalk? The absolute best friend of my hands. It makes my grip 200 times stronger and prevents their hands from ripping open so easily.

Weightlifting Gloves

Keep your hands soft and smooth

I don’t use lifting gloves myself, because I somehow love the feeling of iron in my hands, and would rather use chalk or just rip my hands open.

However, using lifting gloves is a perfect alternative to keep your hands pretty, have more grip, and have less pain.

You can use these if you’d like to.

A lock

A lock on a gym locker
Keep your stuff locked up

One of those things I’ve forgotten plenty of times over the years, and every time it gives me a small headache.

In most gyms to use the lockers, you need to bring your lock. Be aware of this if you bring a gym bag, that if you want to store it, then don’t forget it.

Buying a cool lock you like will help you in remembering.

A Towel

Two towels and a water bottle
A lot more than just your palms will be sweaty

That’s why in nearly any gym a towel is mandatory.

And for good reason, because you lay it on the bench or equipment you’re currently using, so the next person doesn’t drown in your sweat.

I faced some problems with towels, such as bringing a towel I simply don’t like or forgetting it altogether.

My advice is to invest in some cool gym towels you love because you’ll be using them a lot, and you’re less likely to forget them.

Water bottle

A fancy water bottle
I’m always dehydrated

This one is of course, painfully obvious.

However, I’ve forgotten my water bottle many times, and at such moments you realize that DEHYDRATION is a real thing.

I’m fortunate enough to have tasty, refillable water at my gym, so in this regard, I advise a cool water bottle you love. If it’s too cool to forget, you won’t fear sudden dehydration and the inability to continue your workout.

Bring a water bottle, stay safe.

Final words

You’ve probably noticed by now that I love everything that’s inside of my gym bag.

I did not buy all of these at once, but kept adding them over time, as I found them necessary to take my fitness journey to the next level.

I hope you found this list useful and that it gave you inspiration for what you can put in your gym bag.

If you don’t have a super awesome gym bag yet, be sure to get one.

What’s your favorite gym equipment?