Every-Day-Carry in the Gym, 2021 Edition

With 2020 finally behind us, I know we’re all ready to kick the new year off with a bang. And while most people are talking about new year’s resolutions, I want to discuss and potentially update my gym EDC. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Jake, its Corona-cation 2.0! We’re not going out! Why should I worry about my EDC?” Well guess what? Gyms are still open. And I know we’ve all been taking advantage of the times to maximize our gains… right? RIGHT? Even if you haven’t, there’s never a wrong time to review your EDC and make adjustments. So, without further ado, let’s dive in to my gym EDC!

To start off, I’ll be basing my gym EDC around the Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 15. This is a fantastic little pack. It’s small and handy, yet you can stuff a remarkable amount of gear in it. The large opening at the top facilitates ease of access for any items you might need during a workout. A secondary pouch on the front offers specific storage for critical items, and there is one water bottle pouch as well that I actually use for my wallet and keys. This thing feels like pure quality and is my favorite small bag for civilian use at the moment.

Next up is a necessity in almost any EDC, our defensive armament. My current concealed carry pistol is a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 in 9mm. The small, single stack profile of this pistol makes it perfect for concealed carry. It shoots like a dream and fits my hand like a glove. The Rip Ruck 15 has a large sleeve inside the main pouch; this is where I keep the Shield (and nothing else) in a JM Custom Kydex holster. I do carry an additional magazine for the Shield as well, stored in one of the two smaller admin pouches inside the main compartment of the bag.

I don’t go heavy on meds in my gym EDC, but I do carry two Recon Medical Tourniquets. Why? Well, for the same reason you might want to carry a TQ to the movie theater, or have a couple TQs on you the next time you attend a marathon, among other things. An excerpt from a PubMed article on the Boston Bombing reads,

“After the Boston Marathon bombings, extremity exsanguination at the point of injury was either left untreated or treated with an improvised tourniquet in the prehospital environment. An effective, prehospital extremity hemorrhage control posture should be translated to all civilian first responders in the United States and should mirror the military’s posture toward extremity bleeding control.”

Point being, it’s better to be prepared in the event of a traumatic event. When seconds count, you don’t want to be jackassing yourself around searching for tools to improvise a TQ while people are bleeding out. And since they’re so small and lightweight, I carry two.

If you’re going to the gym, bring a notebook. I feel like the quality of my workouts definitely went up, as well as my sense of accomplishment at being able to look back at all the sweat equity I’ve put in towards bettering myself. Get yourself a notebook if you haven’t already, it’s worth it.

Another piece of gear that really improved the quality of my workouts is the Garmin Fenix 5. Now instead of going from set to set at my own pace, I can push myself by limiting the amount of rest I take between sets. This has allowed me to get more work done in less time, and under more stress. The Fenix 5 also features a heartrate monitor that I use on runs as well as a suite of metrics-based tracking that gives me a direct view of the quantity/quality of my workouts, and how much I’m improving over time.

One of the biggest quality-of-life upgrades I’ve made to my gym EDC is a pair of my own Olympic barbell collars. I’ve always hated that my gym has more equipment than collars, and some of the collars they have are broken, which is super annoying. Having your own collars means no more hunting around the gym when you could be lifting, or being forced to use broken equipment with sharp edges. Plus, you can buy the style of collars that you actually prefer. I use the Iron Labs Olympic Barbell Collars.

Finally, I’ve got a mix of items that are only just worth mentioning. I use elastic bands for physical therapy exercises. I’ve got a glow belt in case I end up running at night. A beanie for cold weather. Towel for anytime I end up working on the ground. One set of Ranger beads, for her pleasure… also helpful for when I do sprints so I don’t lose count. And usually a couple packs of GU Energy Chews in case my diet that day has been trash and I need a boost.

That rounds out my inventory of gym EDC gear. Did I miss anything? What do you guys use? Let us know in the comments!

Full Disclosure: The products in this article were purchased with personal funds and the review was written without regard for any outside influence.

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