At the very least – your workout gear should be good enough to totally forget about. When you are trying to push through the middle of a tough WOD or hitting the 10th mile on your Sunday run, the last thing you want to have your mind on is the fit of your shorts or your headphones cutting in and out.
Really great workout gear, however, does more than just disappear in the moment. It makes getting in the saddle, heading out onto the trials, or tying in for a climb that much more fun, and helps you go for that literal or figurative extra mile. This week we huddled up and built a list of our favorite pieces of athletic gear and broke it all down by workout. Take a scroll through and maybe add some to your own arsenal.
1. Aer Gym Bag ($165)
2. BlenderBottle ProStak System ($12)
3. 18 Ounce Hydro Flask ($50)
4. Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth ($100)
5. Nike Metcon 2 Trainers ($95)
6. Rhone Bullitt Shorts ($48)
7. Isora Micro Knit T ($125)
At its core, weightlifting is all about measurements. Measurements of weight, repetitions, time, and of course, those scoops and scoops of whey. When you are hitting the gym and incrementally upping the pounds, time spent, and your own bodyweight weight, it’s important that you have the right set of gear on you. Hitting the plyo boxes on leg day? Better have a solid pair of shoes on. Racking weights up on the bench? Time to turn up the tunes and go for it. Much more than just getting out of your way, the stuff you throw in your bag when the sun hasn’t risen yet should help you push yourself to throw that extra pound on and get that extra rep in again and again.
1. New Balance Fresh Foam Zantev2 ($90)
2. Patagonia Duckbill Cap ($29)
3. ASICS Kayano Single Tab Sock ($8)
4. Garmin Forerunner 230 ($250)
5. Pantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless Headphones ($80)
6. Nike Dri-Fit Cool Tank ($55)
7. Tracksmith Longellow Short ($90)
The difference between a normal runner a great runner is their willingness to abide. A lot of people talk about running as being freeing and exhilarating, and while they aren’t wrong, it’s also just plain painful. If you are really pushing yourself, really trying to go the literal extra mile, then you are in essence setting your lungs on fire, dousing your legs in acid, all while feeling like you have a 100 pound gorilla on your back. Your ability to work through that is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, and if there is anything that could take your mind out of that zone, it’s faulty sub-par equipment. Chafing because of bad shorts, headphones that cut out, or cotton shirts that get too heavy with sweat are all unnecessary obstacles getting in the way of an already difficult task. Treat yourself to some stuff that actually works and get back to trying to ignore the wildfire in your chest.
1. Petzl Calidris Harness ($109)
2. Black Diamond Big Air XP Package ($31)
3. Prana Stretch Zion Short ($50)
4. Grateful Dead T ($20)
5. ToGear Chalk Bag ($13)
6. Belaggles Belay Glasses ($90)
7. Friction Labs Bam Bam Chalk ($25)
8. Tenaya Tarifa Climbing Shoe ($165)
Dirtbags. That is the affectionate term that Yvonne Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, uses to refer to the feckless and wild rock rats that do little more than live out of their vans and search for new routes. The landscape has changed pretty drastically since the 1970’s, however. While there are still plenty of dirtbags out there roaming around national parks in their Westfalia’s, there are an increasing number of people – young and old – who head to their local climbing gym with the same regularity that they exhibit when heading to work. Yet with all the laid back attitude and crunchy wisdom these folks will dole out, what they’re doing is actually pretty damn dangerous, which makes coming with quality gear all the more important. Wether a boulderer, a trad climber, or a sport climber – all of this stuff is essential for a safe and ‘chill’ afternoon on the rocks.
1. Catlike Road Whisperer ($189)
2. Rapha Classic Glasses ($295)
3. Ornot Blue Jersey ($125)
4. Ornot Bib Shorts ($165)
5. Garmin Edge 520 Cycling Computer ($300)
6. CamelBak 25 ounce Insulated Bottle ($15)
7. Specialized Sworks Trivent ($400)
8. Clif Shot Bloks ($30)
Could you think of a more equipment-focused sport than cycling? From head to toe, everything a cyclist has on while on the road (including, of course, their bike) is ripe for optimization. Shoes, socks, bib-shorts, jersey, sunglasses. You name it and there are almost definitely incrementally more aerodynamic and light items a person could add to their kit. For some, that is totally overwhelming, and then for the rest of us gear junkies, it’s awesome.
For a while there, yoga got way too much flack. So much as mention that you wanted to try it, and that one guy who assigns himself ‘man police’ (everyone has at least a couple friends like this) would chastise you it. For the most part, but not totally, those days are past. Yoga has become much more broadly accepted, and brands that once exclusively sold products to women have begun to cater to men as well. That’s all for the better, too. Yoga is a solid way to stretch out and strengthen parts of your body that you usually won’t hit while at the gym or on a run, and there is no reason just one gender should lay claim to it. Whether you do it as your staple workout, or add it on as a compliment to whatever else you do, these are some solid picks to help you be a better yogi.
1. Braven Limited Edition BRV-XXL ($350)
2. Jumprope ($13)
3. Myles Apparel Shorts ($58)
4. Rogue T ($25)
5. Reebok Nano Pump ($150)
6. Primo Chalk ($22)
7. Mobilitywod Supernova 2.0 ($40)
8. SKLZ Training Rope ($180)
Talking about exercises that get criticized… A few years ago it seemed like at least one think-piece/critique a day was published on major online outlets about the ‘culture’ of Crossfit, what exactly rhabdomyolysis was, and how the exercise was just a fad. Well, here we are in 2016 and Crossfit remains one of the more popular and all around intense exercises a person can do. When it comes to outfitting yourself for a WOD, you have to be ready for anything. Whether its a Grace, Fran, or the brutal Murph, you need to have the tunes to help you get through it, clothes light enough to keep you cool, and a pair of kicks that can do anything.
1. Hardwear Camo Short Sleeve Shirt ($60)
2. Patagonia Men’s Baggies ($49)
3. La Sportiva Synthesis Surround GTX ($180)
4. Talon 33 ($130)
5. Smartwool PhD Medium Socks ($23)
6. Neutrogena SPF 55 ($17)
7. 32 Ounce Nalgene ($17)
While hiking isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘workout’, it most definitely has all the trappings of one. Sure, you’re not running around and lifting heavy things over your head, but hikers put up some serious miles over tough terrain with not insignificant loads on their backs. If you think otherwise, than you are just angry that they get to do all that work with beautiful views and a nice breeze while the rest of us have to settle for watching yoked bros flex in the mirror and a big box fan. Key for any solid hike is of course a good pair of boots, comfortable shorts, enough water, and a pack to carry all your extra gear along with you. Check out some of our favorite picks above and set out on your own trek far far away from those trashy clattering treadmills at your gym.