New year, new me. The refrain is so often repeated that it is kind of a joke in and of itself. Everyone is so desperate for a new start and a new opportunity to improve themselves that they overreach and go for wild pie-in-the-sky goals without being realistic about the kind of work that they require. Changing yourself, your daily routine, and your body is very hard work that requires attention, consistency, and drive. Nothing you can buy in a store or online can circumvent that fact. You can, however, find small ways to make the process of working towards your goal somewhat less cumbersome.
We’re not talking about magic powders that will ‘melt away fat’ or athletic shoes that promise to make you jump higher and run faster. Think something closer to pull-up bars that don’t require you to drill holes in your doorway, shorts that’ll wick sweat and articulate to even the wildest movements, and duffel bags to help carry it all. This is the stuff that doesn’t make the hard work easier, it just allows you to do it right in the first place. So whether your goals are to start working out again for the first time since college, or to try and push yourself to the next level after a successful previous year, this list of best workout gear for the new year is sure to help you get it done right.
1. Rhone Powerstretch Gloves ($39)
2. Ten Thousand Interval Short ($52)
3. Olivers Convoy Tee ($68)
4. Tasc Performance Tahoe Fleece 1/2 Zip ($78)
5. Nike Power Flash Tech ($84)
6. Aer Gym Duffel ($165)
7. Adidas Originals NMD_R1 ($295+)
We’ve all gone the Rocky IV route at some point or another. Thrown on old sweats, dug up a big baggy shirt from the bottom of the dresser, and lifted rocks or whatever in an attempt to get your swole on and beat the USSR. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has done it, let us assure you that it isn’t a good look (the sweats and rocks part, not the beating of communism part). And for a couple of reasons.
While trying not to make a statement about how little you care about the seemingly more extraneous parts of your workout routine, you end up doing the exact opposite. Whether at the gym or on a run, you look like an athlete trying to deprive yourself of all worldly indulgences both in terms of comfort and looks. Part of getting fit during the new year is learning to show yourself some real self-respect – caring about your body and your health. A closely related component of this is finding threads that you look good in.
The second reason for why exhuming old cotton threads for wearing to the gym is not such a great idea; they’re not comfortable. If you are being totally honest with yourself, have you ever felt unencumbered or even comfortable when wearing this stuff during a workout? Cotton is a great material for daily wear or while sporting a summer shirt – but when it comes to hitting the gym it gets weighed down with sweat and as result does a poor job at regulating temperature. Ever walk out of a gym with a wet cotton shirt on during the colder months? Brr.
Our primary criteria for putting this section of our best workout gear for the new year together was both finding apparel that was designed to help you perform at your peak, and that would look great whether in the gym or grabbing a quick bite right afterward. Whether one of these products stand out to you – be it Rhone’s fantastic new running gloves, Olivers’ tried and true merino wool shirt, or the popular and handsome gym duffel from San Francisco-based bag designers Aer – or simply provides some inspiration to finding something similar, we hope this helps you on your road to accomplishing your new years goals. Now go beat the USSR.
1. Grenadier Grips ($25)
2. RUNFast Weighted Vest ($29+)
3. Iron Gym Workout Bar ($38)
4. Rogue Cannon Grips ($67)
5. Elevation Training Mask ($79)
6. Legend Bells Werewolf ($147)
7. Garmin Vivosmart HR+ ($150)
Ok so now for the ‘lifting rocks’ portion of that Rocky IV analogy. Look – we can’t deny that watching Sylvester Stallone do a bunch of DIY workouts in a barn, run up a mountain, and sport a wintry beard all to the tune of Hearts on Fire by John Cafferty is as awesome as it is timeless. By the same token, however, we can’t lie to you and say that we didn’t think Dolph Lundgren’s gear was sick. Come on. We’re HiConsumption. How could we not think that gym setup was awesome?
The implicit message in that montage is that all of the tools and technology that surround Lundgren’s Ivan Drago somehow make him less of a legitimate competitor. While all of the scientific fitness tracking instruments and precise workout equipment give him an outsized advantage, we see Balboa’s supposedly more pure and true version of a training routine. This is a false dichotomy. Being smart about how you workout and discerning about the kinds of equipment you use is not only a perfectly legitimate way of getting fit in the new year, but it is the best way. The more energy you have focused on accomplishing the task at hand, the more efficient you’ll be with your time. While it pains us to say it – the Soviets had it right on this one.
When putting together the workout gear section of our list, we picked out some stuff that Drago may have had in his gym. We’re talking about things like Grenadier Grips, large grips designed to work your forearms during any workout, Rogue’s American made cannonball grips that are built to challenge your pull-up strength, and one of the highest rated fitness tracking wearables available on the market today – the Garmin Vivosmart. Once again – whether this stuff is exactly what you need or it inspires you to look a little deeper and find your own perfect setup, we’re just happy to be some part of your new start this year. Just remember; Soviet smarts, Rocky’s heart.