Working out demands flexibility and toughness, traits that the best gym loadout will reflect. And while there are some who drag entire duffle bags from bench to rack, we prefer a lighter, more mobile carry. If you’re going to push yourself to the limit, after all, you’ll want gear that can keep up with you. Here’s what we’ve been carrying on our recent trips to the gym.
Since arriving a few days back, the Seiko 5 has been worn almost constantly. While it’s not what most folks would consider a “workout watch,” its relatively small size and light weight make it an excellent companion in the gym. The sweeping seconds hand is a big help, allowing you to easily track time between sets. And remember, the Seiko’s automatic mechanism transforms every one of your reps into a power source – something to think about when struggling through your workout.
Despite these pluses, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t $60 a bit much to spend on a workout watch? What if it smacks into a dumbbell or grinds up against a plate? We know, we know. But consider the price of the average Casio G-Shock, and you’ll see where this can still be an economical decision. Plus, while we’re busy testing our own limits, we’re also testing those of the Seiko. If it breaks, we have the warranty. In the meantime, we’re interested to see how it holds up in the gym.
Tracking your progress is a key part of working out. Beyond keeping yourself accountable, it also shows you just how far you’ve come. The problem with this is something of an irony. While regular gym notebooks are great for helping you recall your accomplishments, they’re easy to forget in the pocket of your shorts. As such, they sometimes wind up going through a wash cycle. This usually results in gobs of wet paper finding their way into the nooks and crannies of whatever other clothing accompanied the notebook to its watery grave. But with the Rite in the Rain notepad, we think we’ve solved that issue. It’s designed to be waterproof, and its cover is tougher than that of a traditional pad while still maintaining a good bit of flexibility. In fact, we plan to run this little guy through the washer on purpose, just to see how it turns out. For now, we’ll work on filling its 24 pages with workout records.
On to the pen. If you’ve read our review of the Parker Jotter, you’ll know we weren’t terribly impressed. That being said, we’ve found it to be an excellent workout partner. Its strong pocket clip fastens perfectly to the Rite in the Rain, riding unobtrusively in our pocket. And oh, that click. There’s something wonderful about the action of the pen, especially after completing a hard set. It’s truly a pleasure to deploy the tip and scratch your efforts into the page. So, while we may not love it in the office, we’ll gladly live with it in the gym.
We know. This gear is practically vintage. Neither item remains in production, and both are incredibly hard to find at a decent price point. That being said, we just can’t bring ourselves to upgrade. This has been our go-to combo for years, helping us sling literally tons of weight over countless workouts. No, 4GB isn’t a lot of storage. But the Sansa will play FLAC files, which earns it extra points in our book. The clip on its back has a strong spring, and its case is tough enough to handle years of drops. We’ve had two of these little guys, one of which accompanied our notebook on a trip through the washer. And it lived for another several months before dying. When this one goes, we’ll take a look at the newest incarnation, the Sansa Clip Sport.
The headphones are a similar story, though with one additional chapter. This is our third pair of Philips SHE6000’s, and we’re eyeing up a fourth. Why would we bother with rare $40 earbuds that last for only a couple years? One word – Sound. Billed as “In-Ear Surround Sound Headphones,” these little guys totally live up to the name. We’ve owned several other pairs of earbuds, but nothing has matched these in the audio quality department. Then there’s the comfort. Those big, squishy pads keep these nestled into our ear canal without causing the slightest bit of discomfort. We can (and have) worn them for almost eight hours at a time, with no ill effects. Until we can find a more modern set that we like this much, we don’t plan to purchase anything else.
And that’s it! If you have any suggestions on different gear, or if you’d just like to share your gym EDC, let us know on Twitter or in the comments.