Especially with all of us at home, many athletes at our gym have asked about jump ropes, weight vests, and different training gear to get.
Here’s a round-up of the gear, apparel, and nutrition-related products that I use and love.
→ Weight vest: 5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier (pictured to the right)
A lot of the athletes at our gym have asked about weight vests for at-home training. Weight vests can be great for adding extra strain to bodyweight movements like running, air squats, pull-ups, and push-ups. (Mine is a 14# vest.) I have the classic 5.11 TacTac Plate Carrier, which fits nicely, stays in place during vigorous movement, and looks awesome (especially when you add patches). I haven’t experienced any chafing or discomfort with the vest.
→ Jump rope: Rogue SR 1 Speed Rope
If you’re going to invest in one piece of training equipment, I’d recommend getting a personal jump rope. This Rogue rope is only 26$, and you can cut the rope to your desired length. Plus, it’s fast as hell on double-unders.
→ General training shoes: Nike Metcons
I’ve tried a lot of different cross-training shoes (Reebok Nanos, NOBULL trainers, STRIKE MVMT). Once I tried the Nike Metcons, I never went back to any other shoes. They’re hands-down my favorite — and suuuuper comfortable. I love how light and airy they feel with running and jumping, while also providing enough stability in the heels for lifting.
→ Weightlifting shoes: Nike Romaleos 3
Weightlifting shoes are unavoidably less comfortable than general training shoes, but I do like the Nike Romaleos. This is the only pair of weightlifting shoes I’ve used. My biggest complaint is that Nike only makes weightlifting shoes in men’s sizes. I remember walking into a Nike store a few years ago, asking to try on the Romaleos, and getting a confused reaction from the store rep. Women do weightlifting, too….
→ Weightlifting tape: Element26 tape
This tape is a godsend to my thumbs. I use it to protect the skin on my thumbs during high-volume snatches (especially dumbbell snatches) and cleans. It’s stretchy, but not too sticky, and forms a flexible mold around your thumbs. Most importantly, it stays in place during workouts and holds up well with chalk, too.
→ Chalk: Joshua Tree Ice Herbal Chalk
Speaking of chalk…. If you happen to need chalk for training at home, this one smells really good and I think it’s antibacterial.
Quick note on grips: Although I own a pair of BearComplex grips, I personally don’t use them. Nothing against the brand, I just don’t love the clunky feel of grips on the rig.
→ Workout leggings/pants: Lululemon Align Pant 28″
The Lulu Aligns are a dream. I wish I could workout in these every day, but I only have two pairs right now. I’ve tried so many different workout leggings (Nike, Reebok, Under Armour, Virus, IABMFG), but there’s always something wrong with other brands. The Lulu Aligns are squat proof and sit perfectly on the waist.
→ Workout shorts: FLEOs 3″ Inseam
(pictured to the right)
Just like with pants, I’ve tried just about everything when it comes to training shorts. These FLEO mid-rise shorts are my favorite because a) the material is high quality and b) they don’t give you camel toe.
→ Sports bras: Born Primitive Warrior Sports Bra
I’m not too picky about sports bras, but I do find myself reaching for my Born Primitive bras before any others in my wardrobe.
→ Joggers: Born Primitive Athleisure joggers
These joggers are soft, stretchy, and perfect for lounging around at home on the weekends. I also wear them over my shorts to the gym — if it’s a bit chilly outside — or wear them when I’m warming up.
→ Headbands: Sparkly Soul thin headbands
Since I have bangs, headbands are a must-have for keeping my hair back in the gym. These Sparkly Soul thin headbands stay in place really well (even during handstand push-ups), plus they’re cute. I tried JUNK headbands for a while, but I didn’t like how they framed my face and it felt like a battle to keep them in the right spot on my head.
→ Mobility: Lacrosse ball and foam roller
There’s a lot of fancy and expensive mobility gear out there, but I just use a lacrosse ball that I found on the street (for self myo-fascial release) and an AmazonBasics foam roller. They get the job done.
→ Nutrition Tracking App: MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal (MFP) has a lot of capabilities, but I only use its food log features. MFP makes it incredibly easy to track against macronutrient (protein, fat, and carb) targets. It has an expansive database of foods, you can scan food label barcodes to log foods, you can copy/paste meals from day to day, save recipes, and see lots of cool data on your consumption patterns. Below is a screenshot from my app.
→ Food Scale: VitaGoods Digital Kitchen Scale
This is the scale I use for weighing and measuring food. It’s not too expensive and it doesn’t have any frills, but it’s so very useful for getting precise with my food intake.
→ Protein Bars: RXBAR
When possible, I prefer protein bars made of real foods (no whey protein or artificial sweeteners). That’s why I go for RXBAR most of the time. The nutritionals for each bar are pretty good too (on average 12 g protein, 25 g carbs, 7-9 g fat). My favorite flavors are Peanut Butter & Berries, Banana Chocolate Walnut, and Peanut Butter Chocolate.
→ Protein Powder: Ascent and Driven Nutrition
I try to limit protein powders in my diet because I prefer to get protein from real food sources, but whey protein can be really good in a pinch and for making smoothies. Ascent’s PB Chocolate and Driven Nutrition’s Vanilla Milkshake are my favorites for the taste and blending capabilities.
What I Do Not Have / Have Not Used:
- Pre-workouts or any other supplements. Just haven’t found them necessary.
- A fitness wearable, like a Fitbit or a WHOOP band. I think they’re awesome, but I worry that I’d get a little too obsessed with checking the data all the time.