I’m pretty obsessed with workout since about 1 year ago. Sure, I have joined gyms in the past, doing regular classes here and there, but the level of commitment and completely transfers my lifestyle to be more active? This is the first time. Through this one year, I have come to realize what a world of difference those workout essentials can make – I’m not talking about the workout clothes, because I can probably write a book about my obsession with those (I do have a post talking about my favorite yoga pants here, if you are interested), but the small items, which look negligible at first, but they are the ones that help you be more effective in the gym and go for that extra mile.
- Spotify, or any other music subscription services
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Whether you have the right music or not sometimes decides if you can keep moving after an intense sprinting run or feeling exhausted after a few simple stretches.
I used to only listen to music when doing treadmill, and even worse, I was listening to soft, slow songs, the ones I would listen to when I try to fall asleep at night. In my mind, if I listen to my most familiar songs, I can focus better and perform better – not sure where that logic came from, because it totally makes no sense whatsoever now I think about it, but I swear it was a sound decision in my head back then. Anyway I finally started using spotify last year and signed up for premium account, wow, what a difference! I can choose the category of music based on my workout – cardio, run, HITT and etc., and once I discover the ones I love, I can save them and create my own customized music lists, say, one for boxing, one for running, and one for stretching. I know, the whole universe is probably doing this already, and I just sound like someone that has been living under the rock, but hey, if you are wondering why you don’t seem to have the energy to worktout, maybe it’s because you don’t have the right music.
- A pair of solid wireless earphones
If you think your current iphone earphones work just fine for your workout, you are wrong. In order to move freely without the fear of dropping your phone, and have the flexibility to do all sorts of jumps (such as burpee), trust me, you need a pair of wireless earphones! It took me one cracked phone case, one cracked phone screen and numerous drops to figure this out.
I certainly didn’t imagine it will revolutionize my workout game when I got the Jaybird X2, I mean I used to hate bluetooth earphones, thinking they were just gimmicky, low sound quality and not practical. And boy was I wrong! This pair of wireless earphones has been with me pretty every single day when I’m in the gym, and on the days I forgot to bring it along, I felt lost and not productive. It’s not the most comfortable earphone in the world, I actually think the earphone bud is unnecessarily hard, and it did take me a week to get use to it, especially given I have quite small ears. But the sound quality is very impressive, probably the best among all the wireless earphones I have tested. Also, you can go quite far without losing the signal. I also love the fact that it does an excellent job at noise cancelling, when I put it on and turn on the music, I don’t hear anything around me, no matter how loud the gym is blasting the music. I don’t know about you, but I get distracted easily when I do cardio workout in open space, the wireless phone helps me shut down all the noise and quickly get into my own zone.
- A Hairband, especially if you have long hairs
If you do quite a bit of intense workout, help yourself and get a nice hairband. The last thing you want when pushing yourself to do one extra burpee, punch one extra uppercut, is having your hairs flying around and blocking your clear view, the less distraction, the better.
- A nice pair of socks
Now, this may sound surprising, but let me just say: not all pairs of socks are created equally. I never thought a pair of socks can make such a big difference until I tried the Lululemon speed sock. They are very pricy for a pair of socks, but when you tried for the first time, all you can think of is “what color should I get for the second pair?” If I may use a weird analogy, they are like the most comfortable bras, but for your feet, they tightly hug your feet in the most comfortable way possible, they have the right curve around the ankle with a bit of cushion so the socks stay on no matter how hard you run or how your twist your feet – yay to no socks sliding down the feet in the middle of workout!