A motivational playlist
When skies are grey, you're a little too tired, or you just don't feel like moving, it can take a lot to convince you to get lifting – but armed with the right playlist, anything is possible. Whether you choose uplifting beats, motivational lyrics or rhythmic techno, a great playlist is an essential workout tool that can get you in the zone instantly, and help you push through those last few reps.
Of course, you can't lift without weights; for a full workout, choosing a mixture of weights is best. Bumper plates are one of the most versatile weights out there – add them to a barbell for traditional deadlifts and squats, or go freestyle and grip one during floor exercises, like Russian twists or planks, for an added challenge. Add a good quality set of dumbbells and a kettlebell to the mix, and you've got yourself a perfect arsenal of power-building tools.
The right footwear
Core strength is meaningless without a stable base, and that's exactly why choosing the right footwear for weight training sessions is so important. Unlike other workout-ready sneakers, which are designed to absorb impact and cushion your soles, weightlifting shoes need the exact opposite. Look out for a pair of sneakers with flat, solid soles, and a slight lift at the heel. They'll not only improve stability, they'll actually allow you to use more force when lifting and help you progress faster – win-win!
This skin-mimicking wonder tape can improve circulation and reduce pressure on your body's pain receptors, which both helps prevent injuries to your joints and muscles, and allows more movement for existing ones. Suitable for use on any part of your body, kinesiology tape will support you from the very beginning of your weightlifting career onwards.
You can't think straight and focus if you're dehydrated – in fact, not getting enough liquids during a workout can even be dangerous. Investing in a generously-sized water bottle will ensure you sip (or gulp) away regularly while lifting, and give your body the boost of hydration it needs to perform at its very best.
Loosening up after your weight training workout is every bit as important as your time spent lifting. Using a foam roller for self-massage (also called self-myofascial release) can help your muscles recover from a tough workout faster, and increase elasticity.