My fitness must-haves as a personal trainer that make for an awesome workout
As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I’ve tried a ton of fitness products over the years. From shoes to fitness trackers, I’m always looking for those essential items that really make a difference in my workouts. I firmly believe that the right products will motivate you and help you stay consistent in your exercise regimen—not to mention, you’ll look great doing it! These products are my fitness “must-haves” as a personal trainer; I use them weekly if not daily to get the most out of my workouts.
My fitness must-haves as a personal trainer: Shoes
Shoes will make or break your workout, and depending on what type of exercise you’re doing, you’ll want different pairs of shoes. I know, shoes are expensive. But if you want the most out of your workouts and don’t want to potentially injure yourself, you’ll want to invest in a few pairs of workout shoes.
Another thing to note: workout shoes need to be replaced every 3-6 months depending on how often you’re wearing them and for what. Here are my favorite shoes for various types of exercise that I do.
- Nike Metcon: This shoe provides incredible support and stability for weight lifting. It is lightweight with a wide base for stability; the rubber sole makes for good grip and durability.
- APL Techloom Tracer: These are both stylish and functional. The heel is padded and doesn’t slip, which for me is a must because I do a lot of lunges!
- APL TechLoom Bliss: Lightweight, comfortable, and slip-on. Need I say more? These shoes are both functional and stylish. The knit fabric and rubber sole make them quite durable, as well. And, they come in tons of cute colors!
- Nike Metcon and APL Techloom Tracer (see above)
- APL TechLoom Phantom: Similar to the TechLoom Bliss shoe, these are super comfortable and lightweight. These have laces, but are designed to tie inside the shoe so they won’t come untied during your workouts.
- APL TechLoom Bliss (see above)
- Nike Odyssey: I use these for running sprints with my husband. They are supportive and comfortable, providing plenty of cushion for impact.
- Shimano SH-RP2 Cycling shoe: I use these for teaching and taking indoor cycling classes, and I love how easy they are to get on and off with the Velcro strips. If you take spin classes regularly, you will greatly benefit from having a pair of designated cycle shoes—they provide greater efficiency and power output, better muscle recruitment, stability and safety. I use these with the compatible SPD clips.
My fitness must-haves as a personal trainer: Clothes
My requirements for quality workout clothes include durable materials plus functional and stylish designs. Again, having the right clothes makes a huge difference in how you feel during your workout, so they are worth the investment.
While I’m not endorsing spending your entire paycheck on new workout clothes, investing in a few quality items will be worth it over time. The better the quality, the more durable and longer-lasting the items will be, plus they will fit you well and provide the best support for your workouts.
I prefer Lululemon and Athleta leggings for training and running, and ALO leggings for yoga. These are more expensive brands, but in my opinion, you get what you pay for. Furthermore, all these leggings are durable and stylish, and supportive in the right places. I’ve had a certain pair of Lululemon leggings for seven years and I still wear them!
When it comes to workout tops, I want something that is functional and modest, but doesn’t make me look like a grandma–which is sometimes hard to find. Once again, Lululemon and Athleta are great brands that meet my standards. Another brand I wear is Beyond Yoga.
Again, quality is important to me! I am a sufferer of the dreaded under-boob sweat, so I need tops that are going to wick away sweat and also provide coverage—I do quite a bit of jumping in my cardio workouts, so I want to keep everything covered! And, of course, I want to look put together, and these brands offer both classic and stylish options.
I have worn the Panache Hi Impact Full-Busted Underwire Sports Bra for 6+ years now. It is amazing! I am a 32DD bra size, so I need a bra that’s very supportive for my cardio and plyometric workouts. I also wanted a bra that created shape and didn’t just smoosh my boobs together (no one likes a uni-boob). This bra has 3 hooks in the back to give you a locked in feel and minimize bouncing. What’s more, it has adjustable straps and can be worn as a racer-back, too. It is pricey, but it is 100% worth the money, and will last several months to a year depending on how often you use it.
More of my fitness must-haves as a personal trainer
I love my Series 4 Apple Watch. I wear it daily to track my activity and to track specific workouts—it can track distance, speed, heart rate and calories for most types of exercise. Also, I like that it reminds you to stand every hour and walk around, which is great when I’m working on my computer!
I also use the MyZone MZ3 heart rate monitor (on sale with this link!) specifically during my workouts. It is a belted heart rate monitor with incredible accuracy in detecting heart rate and caloric expenditure. It syncs with an app on your phone and electronic devices so you can see your heart rate in real time. Moreover, it stores your workout data and allows you to see exactly how hard you worked throughout your workout. You can even set goals and do physical challenges with other users. Some gyms and fitness studios even have monitors that are specially for displaying MyZone users. It motivates me to see my workouts and how hard I’m actually working–it’s kind of addictive!
Dumbbells & Weights
This set of neoprene dumbbells is my favorite because they don’t hurt your hands–no one wants blisters from weight training! Bonus: they come in a ton of different colors. This medicine ball is perfect for my HIIT workouts, because there’s nothing like ball slams to take the stress away. I also frequently use this kettlebell for at-home strength workouts.
This Lululemon backpack is my go-to gym bag right now. It’s the perfect combination of functional and stylish. Moreover, it’s small enough to haul around but with enough pockets to hold all your gym essentials. It even has separate pockets for your wallet, laptop, water bottle and sweaty clothes! I especially love backpacks because the weight is distributed evenly across your shoulders, so your posture doesn’t suffer as much.
A lover of all things Apple, I am partial to the Apple AirPods. They’re comfortable and user- friendly. They sense when they’re in your ears and pause the music when you remove them.
This is one of my fitness must-haves as a personal trainer I truly can’t live without. I’m obsessed with the Hydro Flask water bottle! It’s vaccuum insulated, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours–which is great for carrying around all day. I fill mine up with ice in the morning and it doesn’t melt as I refill it throughout the day! It’s also non-toxic (BPA and Phthalate-free).
I often grab whatever I can find in my bathroom drawers to put my hair up. But, when I really want my hair to stay put during my workouts, I use the Pony-O. It forms to fit your hair, keeping it secure and looking good! These hair ties are also great and come in a variety of colors! And, if you’re like me and don’t wash your hair after every workout, these are perfect because they don’t leave a crease!
I have used this type of Lululemon yoga mat for a few years and love it. Whether it’s a hot power or deep stretch class, this mat is well-cushioned and the rubber material provides good grip. It wears well, too, and is easy to clean. Plus, it comes in tons of colors!
Let’s work out!
I am a firm believer that the right gear will make your workout. Now that you’ve got the essentials, the next step is the actual workout!
For workout tips and ideas, check out my posts on how to create an exercise plan that works and 4 types of exercise for your strongest, healthiest body.