What’s in your gym bag? (Here’s mine + a few reviews)

January 21, 2014

What do you keep in your gym bag? Besides the obvious (shaker bottle, training log, headphones etc).


I’ve told the silly story of my actual bag before so we won’t go into all that again (just in case the Boots Parenting Club people are reading… )

Here’s a glimpse into what I’ve got in my gym bag at the moment:


“Figure of 8” type lifting straps from Legacy
I don’t use straps much, but when I do it’s for pull ups and rows – I find these straps really quick and easy to use

Fat Gripz lifting aids

I love these for bicep training and any pulling exercise. You put them round the bar to basically create a thicker bar, to increase muscle activation and train your grip.

You can’t see these in the pic – they are a pair of rubber grips you put round barbells, dumbells, even ropes and other cable attachments so you can brace your hands during the movement and activate the muscle slightly differently (also adds a layer of “Steritouch” protection between your hands and particularly grotty gym kit!)

Liquidgrip liquid chalk

I do like to use chalk particularly for deadlifts, but quite a lot of gyms don’t allow it (!), so Liquidgrip is good to have in your bag just in case!

Smartshake shaker/storage bottle
I’ve blogged before about my love of Smartshake bottles before (I do particularly love the neon ones though)

Paraben-free deodorant Bionsen
(so fresh, so clean… πŸ˜‰ )

Beet It Sports shots for pre-workout
I’ve been using these as a pre-workout recently and really rate them. I actually think they’d be fantastic to take backstage at a bodybuilding comp just before pump up. Beetroot juice contains high levels of naturally-occurring nitrate which converts into nitric oxide in the bloodstream. (Nitric oxide is the “NO” part of all those big-name pre-workouts!) Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which is why the Beet It Sports shots are so good as a pre-workout to help performance and stamina. Note – they are pretty high in carbs (as you’d expect, since they are beetroot juice!) but ITCFYM (“if that can fit your macros” hee hee) then go for it! Best served very cold – I keep mine in the fridge then pop in my kit bag on the way out the door. Oh – and they carry the Informed-Sport logo, too – great news for those of us who are drug tested in sport πŸ™‚ I might have a party soon and create the exclusive “Beet It Sports Shot Bloody Mary” πŸ˜‰

Sockwa shoes
These little minimal/slipper type shoes – Sockwa G4 – are actually designed for “barefoot running” and come from Barefoot Britain but I’ve been using them for deadlifting and absolutely love them. When I was still planning on doing a powerlifting meet, I was told they would be fine for wearing in competition (for the deadlift, anyway). They’re so comfy! I haven’t run in them so can’t comment on how they feel for their intended use, but for deadlifts they get two thumbs up!

Emergency zombie apocalypse SOS bag
Finally, there’s a little bag of essential items (ie mostly food) in case, you know, I suddenly find myself emerging from the gym to a world where food has ceased to exist, all shops have been burned to the ground, and my “anabolic window” is threatening to eat away at all my gainz. I keep a couple of little sachets of oats in there, some sample sachets of whey (Bulkpowders), some pre-workout (it’s Mezza Turbonox) and some lovely fragrant wipes from Mendill (I reviewed these just before Christmas). Because when the apocalypse comes, I want to my glycogen stores to be full AND my skin to smell nice. You understand.

What’s in your gym bag?

What’s in your gym bag? (Here’s mine + a few reviews) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Giveaway winner! Razzy roo hairband (don’t forget 20% discount for all)

March 11, 2013


Just a quick one to announce the winner of the Razzy Roo hairband giveaway

Sorry I know I said I’d do it at 9pm but I’m not sure I can keep my eyes open!

I thought about doing some techy online number generator thing but opted for something much funnier (to me, at least): the canine name-selector.

Frankie donned his favourite Razzy Roo headband to survey the names.

Then swapped to another to select the winner (by lying down on the bits of paper with his nose on one).

I opened it to reveal:

FI! πŸ˜€

Well done Fi, please email me (top right of the homepage) or contact me any which way and I’ll put you in touch with the folk at Razzy Roo πŸ˜€

Everyone else – thank you for entering – and remember there’s a great 20% discount on offer to blog readers. Just put the code THEFITWRITER in at checkout (code will expire on 1st April 2013).

You can find razzy roo on Twitter and razzy roo on Facebook as well as their own website.

Giveaway winner! Razzy roo hairband (don’t forget 20% discount for all) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Giveaway! These are a few of my favourite things: the hairband edition

March 7, 2013

People will often ask me where I get my supplements, food, workout gear etc from. I have a few discount codes for some of my favourite companies, and am generously supported in one way or another by some others. Then there are the companies, brands and products which I just straight-up love, without discount codes or freebies! I thought I’d start a blog series telling you about these “favourite things” – and extending the discount code to you where one exists. All these “favourite things” posts are on one page.

Ladies (or metrosexual males!), I’ve got a giveaway for you today. Let’s brighten up this dreary drizzly day.

I rarely venture to the gym without some kind of headwear. It just doesn’t feel proper. A beanie hat, a peaked cap or, if I’m feeling particularly snazzy, a sparkly hairband.

My absolute favourite place to get my sparkly hairbands from is Razzy Roo. I don’t care that they’re in the USA. I love their hairbands and have loads of them. I’ve bought them for friends, for Secret Santa gifts and even for my sister (you know something’s good if it makes it onto the list of “Stuff I Give My Sister”.)


I sent one to my “Fitness” Secret Santa at Christmas, and she says, “I love mine thanks to you! So pretty!” Here she is having just completed “Hot Pursuit” – an obstacle course race – hair perfectly in place!


Take a look at the Razzy Roo website. They do thin, medium and thick sparkly glitter bands (my favourite!) and a range of patterned ones. I love wearing two of the thinnest sparkly ones together.


I love these hairbands not just because there are so many colours and patterns to choose from, but because they’re so well made. They’re elasticated (and none of them have lost their elasticity despite a lot of use), and the inside of the band is a lovely velvety material so it won’t snag or rough up your hair. And they keep your hair in place really well.

I always have at least one Razzy Roo hairband in my gymbag or handbag, and I’d love you to have one too.


The lovely ladies at Razzy Roo have agreed to give one blog reader a free band (of your choice) and they’ll ship anywhere in the world (although they do point out that international shipping takes a little longer than within the USA).

To enter, follow razzy roo on Twitter or like razzy roo on Facebook, then leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so. If you’re on Twitter, tweet a link to this giveaway and put something like “I’ve just entered @thefitwriter blog giveaway to win a @razzyroobands hairband”

That’s it! I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday 11th March at 9pm.

20% discount

Everyone else can make use of an exclusive 20% discount on website prices – the code to use at checkout is THEFITWRITER. It will expire on 1st April 2013.

You can find razzy roo on Twitter and razzy roo on Facebook as well as their own website.

These are a few of my favourite things: the hairband edition is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

A few thanks yous: Moving Comfort, Brooks, Adidas, Boobydoo

August 28, 2012

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I went and did a training session/photoshoot combo for a Muscle & Fitness article I’m writing? Well, I need to do a follow-up post, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the fitness model who was in the shoot with me (lending an air of glamour, professionalism and… y’know… actually knowing how to model in front of the camera) was a jolly nice chap by the name of Shaun Stafford. Shaun was dieting and training hard at the time of our shoot. He competes as Pro fitness model with the WBFF, and this weekend was the WBFF Worlds – a huge deal for Shaun, the pinnacle of his competitive career. He only went and won! Yes, Shaun is now the World 2012 WBFF Male Fitness Model World Champion and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer (and harder-working) guy. So, first of all I have to say massive congratulations to Shaun at reaching your goal!

Secondly, and the main point of this post, is a series of over-due thank yous. You see, when Muscle & Fitness asked me not only to write the article but be in the photos, too, I panicked. Not least on the topic of outfits. Was I really going to be in a magazine wearing my ratty old mis-matched gym kit, some of which I have honestly had since University (circa 1842)? No. Help! So, I put a few shouts out: to clients (I do copywriting for sport and fitness brands), PRs and anyone who felt moved to help me!

Four generous companies sent me kit, and I owe them a great deal of thanks – and a few reviews!

Moving Comfort
Boobdydoo Sports Bras
Brooks running shoes
… thank you. Very much!

Moving Comfort is the the number one bra brand in the USA and I can see why. They sent me a load of stuff, including bras, and they’re all such amazing quality, very soft (but supportive) and great designs. Really top-end stuff. I’ve worn their kit for intervals, for steady state cardio, in the gym, walking the dog and just out and about, it really is that nice.

I think one of my favourite items is this Urban Gym sweatshirt (which has been admired by several of my gym-going girlfriends – and my friend’s 5-week old baby, who snuggled into the open-neck fleecy bit). It’s just lovely, so so soft and perfect for after the gym or just wearing at home. And it’s ever so slightly glittery if you look carefully…

Of the bras Moving Comfort sent, I really like the Rebound racer. That’s if I had to choose, because seriously every single bit of kit they sent me is amazing quality, design and comfort! I love a racerback (for the look and for the freedom of movement) and what I particularly liked about this bra (and a few of the others) was the clever way they adjust: at the front, the shoulder strap passes through the main bra and doubles back on itself, fastening with velcro. So clever and so easy to adjust, and not something I’ve come across before.

Another thing I’ve been wearing a lot is this Urban Gym tee – it’s a bit heavy for hot training sessions but perfect for yoga (if I did yoga that is…), pilates (ditto) or just for wearing out and about. It’s a lovely design.

Brooks running shoes are the sister company to Moving Comfort. They kindly sent me the PureFlow shoes which are a neutral shoe, really comfy and suited for running or gym work. I love these shoes! So very comfortable! I wore them straight out of the box for the shoot and did all sorts of plyos, jumps, hurdle work etc in them and the shoes felt supportive and springy but really lightweight. They also gave me great advice over the phone and got my size spot on (despite me initially insisting I was a size 6). I’d wear them more often but… my two-year old nephew removed one of the insoles without me noticing, so the insole is now in Kent and I am in Berkshire. When I am reunited with the insole, you can bet I’ll be wearing my PureFlows again!

Adidas sent me their Supernova racerbra and Response shorts. I like both but I really love the bra! It’s so flattering, can just about be worn as a crop top and is a lovely design and – being slightly padded – gives a really great shape.

Thanks also to Boobydoo Sports Bras – a great online source for sportsbras (they always give such fantastic advice and service) who sent me a few of the bras they stock to try, including the Sportjock action sportbra which is a simple design but extremely comfortable and plenty supportive enough for anything other than high-impact. I’ve been wearing them a lot in the gym and for cycling/spinning and they’re perfect – lightweight, comfy (and they come in lots of bright colours too!)

A massive heartfelt thank you to Moving Comfort, Adidas, Boobdydoo Sports Bras, Brooks running shoes. Join them on Facebook why don’t you?
Boobydoo on Facebook
Moving Comfort on Facebook
Adidas on Facebook

A few thanks yous: Moving Comfort, Brooks, Adidas, Boobydoo is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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