Braxton Gilbert Fitness

Gym Essentials

First day at the gym? Although it can be intimidating, confusing, or even scary, we have all been there! One thing that helps a lot is to ensure you come prepared and equipped to have a successful workout experience.


 The first thing you need to bring is…a great attitude! It may sound a bit cheesy, but this is single-handedly the most important variable you are going to need to bring with you to your workouts. Without a good mindset, you will never have a fantastic experience because it all comes from within. You can have the best ship in the world but if the captain is not equipped it will go nowhere. You gotta get your head in the game if you want to play hard and get the benefits of the workout. I’m not going to lie, some days will be harder than others to keep a good mindset, but you always need to have the end in mind. 


Now let’s talk about some other necessities like a gym bag. I believe the gym bag is essential because it houses all your other items. Without a gym bag, it makes things more difficult to carry with just two hands obviously and increases the risk of you losing any particular items due to them being so scattered. Usually, there are lockers or other safe spaces to place your belongings, but if carrying it around the gym is your thing, go for it. We recommend a duffle bag large enough to carry clothes, and any other personal items along with these other essentials.


The second thing I would like to discuss is some headphones/ earbuds. Now I don’t know about you guys but I absolutely love music! It can be the “X- Factor” in having a great workout and an amazing workout. Music can energize you like no other and can really get you in your “zone”. I personally recommend headphones or earbuds that are comfortable and accessible such as bluetooth options or comfortable ear clips. This allows you to put your attention where it needs to be- the workout, not on keeping your headphones from interfering with the exercise. 


Fourth up on my list is a water bottle. Now this is also an obvious one but one that still needs to be mentioned. A water bottle or any other hydration storage device is important because water cushions your joints, thickens your blood volume for better athletic performance, etc. You want to make sure you have a water bottle with you so you can reap the benefits of staying hydrated in a killer workout. As we’ve mentioned before, hydration is key for a healthy lifestyle, but especially in a workout. An honorable mention may even be a “shaker” which is essentially a bottle designed for protein shakes or other supplemental drinks like creatine powder, pre workout, etc. Another non-negotiable has got to be some comfortable clothes.


While there is no technical code for clothing here at BGF, we do recommend wearing something flexible enough and not restraining. Sure, you can wear flip flops or your 9-5 business casual desk job clothes, but to get the best out of your workout, you need clothes that will move with you. Tennis shoes and sports clothes work quite nicely. 


If you are planning on having an intense workout, it is a good idea to have a light, protein packed snack to prevent passing or low blood sugar. We would recommend a protein bar, walnuts, a banana, or anything to that degree. 


At the gym, we sweat a lot. In addition to bringing deodorant or other items that make us smell less bad, we recommend bringing a towel. Not only for yourself, but to wipe off other equipment you use. 


Lastly, this is a less obvious yet important one. We need to be comfortable during our workout in order to keep our focus on the task at hand. We need accountability. This may be in the form of a gym partner, journal log, or even a recording device. 

A gym partner is a great gift to have because it can help with certain exercises where a spotter is needed or another person’s assistance to ensure proper form. It can also really increase the energy levels in your session and allow you to push your own personal limits. You can also talk about your fitness goals together and help each other with them.

A journal log is something that I have full confidence to be a necessity. A journal log allows you to document all your sessions and what they were comprised of down to the smallest T. This is so crucial because we need to have accurate data to apply progressive overload correctly and to implement proper periodization. It also allows you to visually see your progress which is very rewarding and further fuels your motivation. 

A recording device is something worth mentioning because it allows you to get a visual depiction of physique and how it evolves over time. You can look back to see which exercises you are doing correctly, and which ones you need to improve on. Use it as a teaching tool when a trainer is not easily available.


Over all, there are a lot of things one may bring to a gym but it all boils down to something they carry everywhere with them- their mindset. Once a positive attitude and self confidence is instilled, the rest of the recommended tools can be of good use to them.