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Best Gym Gear (Reviews & Buying Guide) 2018

Did Somebody Say Gym Gear? Here’s What You Really Need

If you are a fitness freak, then you are probably already equipped with all kinds of gym gear.

There's no shortage of product reviews for bodybuilding, but how many of them can you really trust?

After all, the reviewers simply highlight all the good points to make a commission, don't they?

It's true—not all product reviews are equal.

Sometimes people will say anything to make a sale, whether they believe in a thing or not.

But spotting the genuine from the fake is easier than it seems.

Reviewing products for Bodybuilding

In this category I write about various bodybuilding products based on three factors:

  1. Real user feedback (not manufacturers spiel)
  2. Opinions from experts
  3. Personal experience in cases where I have tried and tested a product

I never endorse any bodybuilding products on this site by manufacturer's claims alone.

If we could trust them, well, there wouldn't be any need to dig any deeper before making a decision to buy.

Those who are getting started or resuming their workouts after a while will possibly need to upgrade their gym gear.

Here are three types of gym gear every fitness enthusiast should own and use. 

3 Types of Must Have Gym Gear

1. Accessories

There are many gym accessories one needs on a daily basis. 

Things like, straps, braces, sleeves, gloves, bands, backpacks and much more. 

There are various types of fitness tech available today.

From watches to bands, chest straps to apps, there are many solutions at your disposal but you must buy the most reliable fitness tech that suits your workout routine.

You can always use a band or a watch if you are running, jogging or walking.

The band or watch would be ineffective and essentially futile since the motion of the hands or arms have nothing to do with the calories burned or the impact of the workout during a bench press or squat or some other exercise that is not running, jogging or walking.

Even the bands or watches that you use should be calibrated properly.

Do not go with the factory settings or even the standard recommendations of the manufacturers.

You must figure out the specifics pertaining to your workout.

Use your heart rate and other relevant data to know how much calorie you are actually burning.

The generic math does not work for everyone. It usually does not work for anyone.

An unspecified calculation of calories burned without factoring in heart rate, body mass index and surrounding conditions during the exercise including heat or cold and humidity will be speculative and unhelpful. 

Make the Most of Gym Technology

There is no dearth of fitness trackers and wearable gadgets.

From wristbands to smartwatches and chest straps, there are options galore but you must make the most of available gym technology.

It is futile to wear a fitness tracker if it uses a random method to count your calories.

Many people who have purchased smart bands and other trackers rely on the calories burned displayed on the device as proof of whether or not their exercise has been effective.

If the device has calculated calories without factoring in your body weight, height, age, heart rate and other specific factors, then the count displayed is a guess.

It can be an educated guess or informed speculation but it is still a ballpark.

You are not being shown the exact calories burned.

Gym technology has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years.

You can calibrate the devices to reflect the exact nature and impact of your exercise.

You should use your personal details and calibrate the device accordingly. 

You should not use the random or preset settings.

You should always customize every reading or monitoring system there is in the device.

Only then can you expect to gauge a fair idea of how well you are exercising and if you would achieve your predetermined goals. 

To get familiar with how your device works, take some fitness tests that are preprogrammed in the system.

You will be able to understand how your body is responding to specific exercises and accordingly ascertain the relevance of the stats being recorded by the device.

Gym technology needs to be relevant. It is futile to wear a wristband, however smart it is, to measure the impact of a workout if you are squatting or lifting a hundred and forty pounds during a bench-press.

You need a chest strap for such exercises.

Wristbands are to an extent effective in calculating the distance traveled and effort put in during a jog or a sprint.

Squat, bench press, sit-up, pull-up, crunches and all other types of body workouts cannot be assessed by something that is limited to the wrist. 

Either your heart rate should be measured impeccably or the device should be somewhere on your core to assess the impact. 

There are many such finer aspects of gym technology that are not usually discussed or highlighted.

You do not need to be a fitness enthusiast to make the most of gym technology.

Ensure you pick the right device and use the system for the best outcomes.

2. Gym Clothes And Apparel

Wearing the right clothes to the gym can make a big difference.

In fact, there are certain clothing items you should avoid at all costs – high heels, tight pants, fabrics that don’t breathe.

So, why it is important to sport the correct gym apparel?

As it turns out, the reasons have a lot more to do with your success and are a lot less about your fashion sense. 

Benefits of Wearing the Correct Gym Apparel

Although some gym clothes can be expensive, the main idea is to wear items that give you the following advantages: 

1. Improved Movement 

Freedom of movement is important when you’re working out.

In fact, properly fitted clothes can also reduce chafing and skin irritation.

On the contrary, gym apparel that’s so loose it hangs or sags can be very dangerous in or around exercise equipment.

Therefore, it’s vital that you wear proper clothes to the gym – something that’s form fitting but also allows you to move freely through your workout routine.

Check out this post on the best workout pants for men to see what kinds of pants will be the most comfortable for guys. 

2. Comfort 

Even clothes that are designed specifically for the gym can be uncomfortable, especially if they are ill-fitting.

It’s essential that you try on each piece to ensure it is cozy enough for intense physical activity.

The right gym apparel will feel weightless and stretchy, not to mention it will allow your skin to breathe as you start to sweat. 

3. Enhanced Performance 

When it comes to physical fitness, the clothes you wear can have a direct effect on your ability to succeed.

For example, if you’re running on a treadmill and have poorly made shoes, you may tire more easily or even sustain an injury.

In fact, gym apparel that is of low quality or that doesn’t fit you properly can interfere with your performance and cause you to hate working out. 

4. Recovery

Gym apparel that offers medium to high compression can aid in your post-workout recovery.

These types of clothes improve blood circulation while preventing muscle and tendon pain.

Furthermore, fitness clothes that are made from high-quality materials feel much better against the skin and can help control sweat bumps, breakouts, and rashes. 

5. Boosted Confidence 

No matter where you go, the clothes you wear directly affect your confidence level.

The right gym apparel is comfortable and therefore boosts your self-esteem even when you’re not working out.

With the right attitude, good fitness clothes can go a long way to improve your experience at the gym.

This is a quintessential requisite and most people will buy a few shorts, tees, bikes and socks, perhaps headgear and wristbands too.

The objective should not be to buy just about any type of shorts or tees.

The material you choose matters more than anything else.

You must choose gym apparel made of materials that can absorb a lot of moisture while allowing your skin to breathe.

There is no dearth of materials that can really hold their form and even weight when you sweat profusely but they may not allow your skin to breathe normally.

You need moisture absorption and breath-ability. 

Choose the Right Kind of Gym Footwear

Gym footwear is a category.

It is not a particular type of shoe.

You have to choose the right kind of gym footwear.

This will be mostly influenced by the type of training routine you have.

You should also factor in your bodyweight, the form of your feet and not just the size as well as the level of fitness you have.

It is easy to generalize and say that gym footwear with amazing cushion is great but it does not work for everyone.

Some people need a more realistic feel of the ground during workouts.

Some people feel better with lighter shoes and some people are just too heavy for them. 

The exercises should be the most significant criteria. You may have a cardio workout routine, wherein you run on a treadmill, do some cross training and perform everything from jumping jacks to burpees.

You may be more into strength training and core workouts.

Every type of workout demands a certain set of attributes in the gym footwear you would consider.

Let us broadly distinguish the types of shoes people choose for workouts.

The most common is a pair of running shoe. Walking shoes are just as common but among older people.

Court shoes are quintessential if you play tennis, basketball and racquetball.

The fourth category of gym footwear is cross trainer.

All three can be classified as athletic shoes or gym footwear.

You can choose court shoes as your gym footwear.

Court shoes would offer reliable support for your mid foot and there would be lateral stability.

The traction and durability on court surfaces would be more than sufficient to facilitate your agility and hence movements.

However, such shoes are best for sports and not ideal for different kinds of training in the gym, even if the floor is similar to that of a tennis or basketball court.

Running shoes are ideal and quintessential if you spend most of your time jogging on the treadmill.

If you are more into strength training and other workouts then you cannot pick a pair of running shoes.

Walking shoes are not suitable as gym footwear unless you do not indulge in any intense workout.

Cross trainers are the best gym footwear for anyone who does some cardio exercises, strength training and other workouts.

Cross trainers are kind of a combination of running shoes and court shoes.

Cross trainers assure cushioning and stability, durability and lateral support for movements.

The thick soles are sturdy and they can endure impact on court and asphalt surfaces.

Get a pair of running shoes if you jog every day. 

Walking shoes would suffice if you do not run and avoid cardio at the gym.

If you do some cardio and train with weights, cross training shoes are the best option.

Always have the perfect pair of gym footwear depending on the type of workout.

3. Equipment

You must have some home gym equipment even if you have a membership.

Not many people like to work out at home.

Some people lack the motivation, some lack the space and some are more comfortable with the recurring membership fee than the substantially higher cost of buying home gym equipment.

Whether or not you have a membership, have a few essential equipments so you can work out whenever you want.

You do not need a treadmill or a cross trainer, a multi gym station or some fancy installation.

Some barbells and dumbbells, yoga mats, adjustable sit-up bench and perhaps adjustable rods for pull-ups and parallel bar exercises can be an amazing investment.

These simple equipments can be more than sufficient to help you lose weight and develop a sculpted body. 

Choosing a Home Gym for Bodybuilding

The benefit of having some home gym equipment is far-reaching.

Aside from convenience, workout equipment can help you stay motivated and allow you to exercise at your own pace without facing judgement from others.

However, none of that is possible if you have the wrong stuff.

Choosing the right gym equipment for your home is important.

But first, you must consider a few key points:

1. What are your fitness goals?

2. How much space do you have to spare?

3. What is your budget?

4. When will you be able to work out?

5. Are you the only one who will be using the equipment?

Once you have answered all those questions, picking out the right home gym equipment is usually much easier.

In general, home exercise equipment comes in a variety of setups, from weight benches and treadmills to rowers and stationary bikes.

However, weight vests, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and workout mats are popular as well.

Often, choosing a wide variety of different types of workout equipment is your best bet, especially if you have several fitness goals to achieve.

Still, the amount of space and money you have to spare can determine what you use.

Picking something that helps you lose weight and/or gain lean muscle mass without breaking the bank is vital.

To find the right equipment, consider the following:

1. Your Beginning Fitness Level

It will do you no good to buy home gym equipment that requires more skill or strength than you possess to use it.

However, with frequent workouts it’s easy to outgrow your equipment quickly.

Find something that is versatile, so you can save money while also enjoying a challenging workout as you develop skills.

2. The Portability of Your Equipment

Because life is sometimes unpredictable, but fitness is also important, choosing workout equipment that is portable can help you stay fit regardless of the ups and downs you endure.

While heavy-duty home gym equipment has its merits, it’s is not ideal for people who have limited space and time.

Furthermore, using a variety of items can help you work out despite those limitations.

3. Safety

You may or may not be the only one using the gym equipment in your home. 

That’s why it’s important to choose something that is well-made and safe for everyone.

Although it’s possible to get something on sale or through an individual who is selling equipment they don’t want, it’s probably a better idea to purchase brand new home gym equipment to prevent accidents caused by faulty or missing parts. 

home gym all in one machine

The home gym is another popular option for newbies.

It's particularly appealing for the skinny guys who want to stay out of community gyms, at least until they've developed some muscle.

Home gym equipment for skinny guys is less of a mine field than supplements.

Even so, there are still things to look out for before making a decision.

For this reason I review home gym equipment too.

If you're on a tight budget it's quite possible to get started with just three items:

  1. Squat rack
  2. Adjustable bench
  3. Barbell and plates

If money's no object, and you have the space, you could opt for a more professional setup:

  • Adjustable bench that has a leg extension and leg curl attachment
  • Adjustable dumbbells
  • Olympic barbell set
  • Adjustable squat rack that has a chin-up bar
  • Dip station
  • Standing calf raise machine

Some people just go with brand name and reputation, and that's one way to shop.

But it's possible to get decent stuff at a fraction of the cost.

This is where my bodybuilding product reviews can help.

Foam Rollers

Consider buying foam rollers.

Some rather affordable home gym equipment can be extremely handy.

Battle ropes may be a little difficult to install inside your house. You can always have a tire in the backyard.

There are several exercises you can do with a tire. They would have a marvelous effect on your body.

Foam rollers can be useful for workouts and they are therapeutic.

You will need to work on the knots in your muscles, more specifically soft tissues.

As and when you work out, burn a lot of calories and experience niggles here and there, use the foam rollers to relax the targeted muscle so the tissues can get untangled and you would feel much better.

Foam rollers can assist in recovery and will help you to sustain your exercises.

In due course of time, you can extend the period of workout or try more intensive exercises. 

How To Use Foam Rollers Correctly

You will need some time to be familiar with foam rollers.

The workouts are quite simple and there is no major risk or danger but you cannot embark on an extensive routine right from day one.

Your body will need to get accustomed to the contortions. You may or may not have a perfect poise.

Your core muscles may not be strong enough and your bodyweight may not be ideal.

It is best to be safe in the initial days rather than prioritize effectiveness, only to get injured in the process. 

Anyone who has a serious health condition, physiological or musculoskeletal and vascular, neurological or other illnesses should consult their doctor before working out with foam rollers.

If you have chronic pain anywhere in your body, consult a physician and get their approval.

People suffering from any heart disease should also exercise caution.

Use foam rollers after a normal workout.

It could be a long brisk walk, a jog or some workouts at the gym.

Your muscles need to be warmed up enough to be supple.

Else, your soft tissues will not be as effectively treated by the pressure applied by your body weight when you lay on the roller and move back and forth or sideways. 

You need to rest your body on the soft tissues.

Do not position your body along joints or bones.

You have to target the soft tissues while rolling as that would release the tension and improve the range of motion.

The purpose of foam rollers is to loosen or release knots in soft tissues.

Always be gentle when you roll, sideways or up and down.

Target the muscle specifically. Do not be random with the rolling.

You should keep the pressure on the muscle that needs to be relaxed and flexed.

You should focus on this affected area till you can feel the muscle or soft tissues relax.

You should feel the area softening when it relaxes.

You may experience some discomfort initially.

This is common so there is no need to worry, unless you feel some pain.

The affected area may feel a little tender after the first workout or some sessions.

Do not worry as it is normal.

Try to limit the first few sessions to fifteen minutes or less.

You can choose to rest one day between two sessions for the first week or fortnight.

Stay hydrated.

Increase the frequency and intensity in due course of time.

Muscle Building Products

My site is not a temporary blog just passing through cyberspace.

I'm a passionate bodybuilder who has gone from being a skinny guy to someone who no longer recognizes his former self.

I once heard someone say you can't keep a thing unless you give it away.

So I share my journey with those who still struggle. I have a genuine commitment to my readers and care about my reputation.

I learned the hard way, but I still learned.

I have firsthand experience on many bodybuilding products, plans, and routines.

I've been where many of you are at now, and I want to pass on what I know.

Try not to make your bodybuilding journey overly complicated.

There's no rocket science here.

There is a basic discipline, though.

These are the procedures we all need to follow to succeed.

There are so many people and companies who try to push stuff onto the new enthusiast these days.

Some of it's good, but there's a lot of crap too.

Alas, price doesn't always determine a product's worth.

The main products to bombard bodybuilders are supplements.

There are weights, gym memberships, online tutors, and all the rest of it.

But it's the SUPPLEMENTS you have to watch out for most.

All online stores look pretty straightforward and convincing:

  • Shop by category
  • Shop by goal
  • Shop by brand
  • Shop by ingredient
  • Shop by popularity

If only it were that easy.

Well, now it is.

My product reviews section cuts through the hype so that you don't have to.

I discard pretty much anything that doesn't have a lot of favorable user feedback.

Likewise, if something is new and untried, you won't find it on my product review pages.

I may mention a new arrival, but I won't say anything more until it's stood the test of time—or not!

Other Types Of Products

  • Books
  • Apps
  • Courses
  • Personal trainers

Bodybuilding Fitness Apps

iphone displaying myfitnesspal app

Bodybuilding apps are electronic products that really help some people.

You can find multifunctional ones that allow you to track all sorts of things from workouts to diet logs.

There are a lot of free bodybuilding apps for download but be careful.

Just because something is free that doesn't mean it's good. Frustration is the last thing you want when you're just starting out.

So my bodybuilding product review category looks at apps too.

Four of the most popular right now are:

  • Fitness Buddy ($1.99)
  • MyFitnessPal (free)
  • BodySpace (free)
  • JEFIT PRO ($4.99)

Apps come and go all the time.

I'll review anything on bonymuscle.com that looks promising to keep you in the loop.

Bodybuilding Courses Online

I can't review any of the online bodybuilding courses with any kind of firsthand authority.

What I might do if a course stands out for excellence is report on it based on member experiences.

My advice, though, would be to save your money.

That's unless it's an educational course that will award you with qualifications that you can put to good use.

If it's just a course on how to body-build, well… there's nothing a weight training guru can teach you that you can't find on these pages.

Most courses are pre recorded videos anyway, not one-on-one.

If you need a little third party motivation, get a gym buddy.

I doubt I would have reached my goals without a bodybuilding buddy to support me.

I can't recommend this approach strongly enough.