Yesterday my friend Mark and I were waiting in my office for our buddy Mike so we could go to  Fitzy’s wake.


Mike showed up late and came bursting in the office with his gear bag.


He throws the bag on my desk and said “I have everything we need.”


I didn’t know we needed anything to go to a wake, but what the hell, I’ll play along.


Mike starts rummaging through his bag and pulls out a bottle of Jameson and a few protein bars.


Then, a rubber training knife.


I didn’t want to ask, but of course I did, and of course I knew the answer before I asked.


Naturally, Mike brought a rubber knife in case we wanted to do a few minutes of Arnis in the parking lot outside-to make it realistic.


I declined.


In the bag, there may or may not have been:

  • A roll of duct tape
  • A dildo
  • Zip ties
  • Paper cups for the Whiskey
  • A change of underpants

That’s why I love Mike, he’s out of his mind. We just hit the Whiskey a little and went to the wake.


The bag gave me the idea for today’s Coaching Log.


I get asked a lot by our lifters, members and clients, “what do I need to train”?


You don’t NEED much, but having the right accessories is always good.


This is a tough list for me to whittle down because I don’t have a gym bag. I have an enormous locker filled to an almost overflowing point with all kinds of cool stuff, from bench shirts and squat suits, to Acumobility balls and bands to stuff that I don’t know what it is or where it came from.

I’ll try my best to narrow down the contents of my locker and give you the Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag now.



In no order here we go:


1. Notebook: You need a training journal to track what you did. What gets measured gets managed. A simple 8 ½ x 11 notebook and a pen is all you need. Track your training longhand, in cursive even, just not on your phone. Eric Maroscher covered extensively why you should not use a phone in this article and I couldn’t agree more. Get a notebook.



2.  A Belt:

p2belt, Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag, cj murphy, murph







mens-pro-series-belt-3-ply, Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag, cj murphy, murph





3. Wrist Wraps:

metal_all_black_1_1, Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag, cj murphy, murph




There is a lot of choice here. I’ve used countless wraps over the years and without a doubt, my all time favorite is the Metal All Black 80 cm.


4.  Collars:






You don't want to be the guy in a YouTube video with all the plates falling off one side of the bar. Best choice, get some Made in USA Pro Loc collars.



5. Bands:

Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag, cj murphy, murph Bands are so useful that once you get some, you’ll wonder how you lived without them. You can use them for accommodating resistance, to aid in pullups, for stretching and a thousand other things. Not sure which ones to get, grab the band pack.



6. Something to aid in mobility.


My favorite tool is the Acumobility ball. For best results, get a pair. Made in USA too.


7. Something for your grip:



Grip is under trained and underrated in my opinion.


The easiest way to train your grip is to add a pair of Grip4orce or Fat Gripz to your accessory work.

Toss them on a pair of dumbells or a barbell and make a light weight heavier. You’ll be surprised at how much a strong(er) grip carries over to your lifts and daily life.


8. Chalk:  Again, self-explanatory. If your gym doesn’t have it, just keep it in your bag, and don’t make a mess.


8. Water:   Not much to say here, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Maybe Dave can come out with some super jacked up EliteFTS water. Until then, just get some regular water.

Stay hydrated my friends.


9. Ab Wheel:



Most gyms have a crappy discount store Ab Wheel. If you’ve got the room, get the Pro Ab wheel.


If you don’t, get a bigger bag. Watch the video on how to use it correctly below.




10. Knee/Elbow Sleeves



There is a huge variety in knee/elbow sleeves. All I can tell you is that I’ve been using the same pair of Rehband sleeves since about 2001. They last forever.


Pro tip: Don’t buy elbow sleeves. Get knee sleeves sized to fit your arm.



And there it is.

My list of the Top 10 Things You Need In Your Gym Bag. Let me know if you prefer different stuff.




Bostons Strongcast by Total Performance Sports



Be sure to check out our iTunes page, or my site tomorrow for the all new Boston’s Strongcast podcast featuring Swede Burns of 5th Set and TeamEliteFTS.


Sadly, you won’t get to listen to my Masshole accent. Kevin did this one on his own.


It’s gonna be good.


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Vincere vel mori