Dumbbells Vs. Kettlebells Vs. Resistance Bands
Dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands - if you want to build muscle strength you need to be familiar with all of them. That's not to say you need all of them, though: each of them has different strengths (haha) that you can use to your advantage. Dumbbells are your go-to: they're great for joint-isolation exercises (think bicep curls) and can be used for compound movements in ways that a barbell can't. Kettlebells lend themselves to dynamic, explosive lifts that can really work your shoulders, legs and back, and make a big impact on your gri[ strength due to that wild handle. Resistance bands give you tension in any direction (no need to depend on gravity for resistance!) and can help you develop full-body strength. They're also (naturally) a bit more travel-friendly than a full set of weights.
LOOKIN' GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
You know what they say: abs are made in the kitchen. Your nutrition is important to rebuild your muscles, nourish your body, and refuel. If you’re in the middle of a hard sprint on your bike trainer or taking a quick rest between high intensity interval training, refuel with light and concentrated energy packed with carbs and healthy fats, like goo, low-protein bars, waffles or blocks. Don't forget to hydrate too, especially if you're in it for the long haul - refreshing with something that includes electrolytes will help you keep going. When you’ve wrapped up your workout, make sure to rehydrate with more electrolytes and eat some protein to feed your worked muscles. Protein powders or bars can help you get your protein serving while also keeping you satiated.
PROPS FOR YOUR PRACTICE
The best thing about yoga is that anyone can do yoga. These accessories can help you find balance, modify positions, and even provide more cushion if you’re practicing on really hard surfaces. Shopping for a mat? Make sure you choose a thickness that accommodates your needs and practice. A thicker mat will be easier on your joints (especially your wrists and knees) while a thinner mat can make it easier to stay in balancing poses.
Why the Brits call them "trainers"
Ah, the age-old question: do I really need to buy different shoes for my gym workouts? The answer is... (drum roll, please): kinda? Cross-training shoes are designed for motion in multiple directions: forward, backward, lateral. Running shoes are designed just for forward motion, so they'll be less stable for some workouts. Note that word "some": if you're lifting heavy weights, or doing high reps with lateral motion (think grapevines or lateral lunges), then you'll want cross-trainers. For pretty much everything else, your regular running shoes will work great.