strength training tools

5 Gym Toys Everyone Should Have

Getting new gym toys for me is like Christmas.

I love testing out new things.  Over the years I’ve come across good ones and bad ones.

Now I’m not talking about big equipment here; rather just a few things you should have in your bag for everyday use. In total, they may set you back about $250.  Small price to pay for the big gains they will bring you.

Here are my top 5.

#1: Fat Gripz

I use these on every barbell ‘push’ exercise I do for the most part.  Once you work with a regular barbell enough, you need a new challenge and I rarely use a standard size bar anymore.

They are awesome at building up your arms and grip strength, and they save wear and tear on your shoulders as well.  They are by far one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Check them out on the right sidebar of this page. For $40, you can’t make a better investment into your joints, forearms, and grip strength.

strength training tools

#2: Stopwatch

This simple tool might be the key to you making groundbreaking new gains.

Most people are guilty of resting too long.  If you want to induce muscle growth with standard high volume work, you need to keep your rest periods to less than 2 minutes on most occasions. Keeping yourself honest with a stopwatch is the best way to do that.

#3: Lifting Straps

For a while, I considered using straps cheating.  Some of you may agree with me.

But once I thought about it, I changed my opinion.  Listen, if you are doing farmers carries or trying to pull a clean deadlift, I get it.  Working your grip is part of the challenge and territory.

But if you are trying to build muscle and your grip is what is keeping you from crushing those extra reps but your muscles are still begging for more, it makes complete sense to use straps.  It’s not cool to claim PR’s with max weight using them, but if they aid in helping maximize your workload, I’m all for it.  I use Versa Gripps, which you can purchase on the right sidebar of this page.

strength training tools

#4: Gymnastic Rings

These are one of the most versatile gym tools around.

Not only are they better for your elbows/joints and more challenging when doing pull-ups, but you can also let them hang low for recline rows, feet elevated pushups, ring flyes, and all kinds of bodyweight exercises.

Take one look at a male gymnast who trains on rings all day long and tell me you wouldn’t want to look like him…

#5: Resistance Bands

Not a lot of gyms have these, even though I think every person who trains seriously should use them.  The ones I’m referring to are the thin, hand held kind, not the ones meant to deadlift or bench with.

I use them 3 different ways in my warm ups and frequently throughout my training sessions to stay loose and build a little extra muscle.

Band pull-aparts, both overhanded and underhanded, and dislocators are a Primal staple.  If you have never done these before, you should.  Not only do they stretch you out, but they hit tons of little muscles you probably never use.  Hitting these 3 variations before a big lift might just be the key to push you over the top…

You can get them here.

Start making your birthday and Christmas lists now my friends.  If you want to get jacked, you are going to need to add these to your arsenal!


— Tank
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Underground Strength Coach

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