When I was in college, I bought an audio recorder. I had big visions of me recording lectures, and then sitting down promptly after class to listen to, and transcribe, said lectures. What that actually looked like, was I played Tetris during class, and never listened to a lecture once. But today, I dusted off the old recorder, removed the oxidized batteries, deleted 73 lectures from "An Oral History of the Written History of Uneventful Things that Happened in Psychology," and hit the gym to find someone to tell us what their 5 gym bag essentials are as I recorded them with the grace of Katie Couric.
Me: I’m like, maybe 80% sure I’m recoding this.
Amanda: Okay I’ll tell my agent.
M: Amanda, you are possibly being recorded, if not I’ll do my best to remember.
(I drop the recorder on the floor and accidentally kick it)
M: Well I’m probably not recording anything anymore
A: I think that red light means you are
As you can see this girl knows her stuff, and this is possibly why I didn’t listen to my recorded lectures. Amanda is a personal trainer here in NYC, and is always in the gym. Here are Amanda’s 5 Gym Bag Essentials:
1. Shaker bottle : Amanda’s shaker bottle has compartments in it, so you can take up less space in your gym bag with Tupperware, but still carry everything you need. Amanda keeps:
Vitamins (fish oil, multivitamin and Vitamin C) ,
and today Amino Acid, NOT COCAINE, in her shaker bottle, but sometimes keeps protein powder or pre-workout. “I don’t eat a lot of meat, so I need to get my aminos somewhere.” Pre-workout is sometimes used by people, prior to working out to increase endurance.
2. Lock: Having a lock makes sense. This lock, has a key, which Amanda notes is difficult to keep track of, and we’ve both had the problem of locking a key in a locker and needing it cut off.
However, check out this nifty gym hack Amanda suggests if you forget a lock. A lot of the time people aren’t looking to find your unlocked items, they are just looking for a locker and if you happened to not have a lock that day but, brought your iPad, then, you might be in trouble. Amanda suggests taking a plastic baggie (most gyms will have these to put your sweaty clothes in), and tying it through the locker. Most people are not going to untie the bag, and it’s a good way to let people know that a locker is taken.
3. Head Phones: “ I always listen to something when I do my cardio. Lately instead of music I’ll listen to podcasts, things I don’t have time to do during the day.” If you forget your iPod, or you don’t want to use up the life on your phone, most cardio machines have jacks on the TVs and then you can watch your favorite Bravo shows without reading subtitles and falling off the treadmill.
4. Socks: “These socks are glittery, and they match the glitter in my shoes. I usually have a few pairs of socks in my gym bag. There is nothing more uncomfortable than showering and having to put on nasty socks.”
5. Deodorant: “No one wants to be that person at the gym who people are avoiding because they smell terrible. I got this on sale. That’s how I pick my deodorant. If it’s on sale and I don’t smell when I’m wearing it, it’s doing its job.”
Because this is a blog about how to find your wellness balance, and even though I enjoy insider tips on where I can find deodorant on sale, I asked Amanda how she helps her clients stay motivated. Amanda usually recommends group fitness classes, but stresses that you have the proper form when doing exercises like squats or deadlifts, to maximize benefits and minimize risk of injury. If you don't know how to do something- ask! Group fitness classes are great because they can mix up your routine, and the added benefit of being surrounded by others working hard keeps you working hard! If your gym doesn’t have classes, or you don’t belong to a gym, look up boot camps, find a Groupon for a fun activity, or look into what a day rate for a local gym that has classes may be. If none of these work, get some friends together and create a circuit, or dust off your mothers VHS tapes, pull out your VCR, put on some Jane Fonda, and pretend you’re sweating with 30 other people.
(Jane Fonda was not present for this interview or available to comment on the essential-ness of Amanda's Five Gym Bag Essentials)