We're about a week into 2016, which means it's a good time to upgrade the gym gear. To help you hit your fitness goals throughout 2016—and not just during the first month—I’ve put together a list of simple, easy-to-use tools that are useful, in some cases beautiful, and all really damn fun to use.
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve 2.0 ($68)
Some workout gear is drab. Other stuff, however, looks as good as it performs. Case in point: the Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve 2.0. It has a flattering, athletic cut while not being skin tight, it wicks like a champ during high-intensity exercise, and it has a silver compound woven into the fabric to mitigate stink.
The North Face Apex Gym Duffel ($74)
If you keep your bag packed, avoiding the hassle of tracking down all your gear every time you exercise, you’ll get to the gym more often. I like the North Face Apex Gym duffel because, at 45 liters, it easily holds all the essentials, like shoes, shorts, shirt, towel, and water bottle. I also love the separate, vented pocket for storing sweaty gear post-workout.
Kinetic Road Smart Bike Trainer ($410)
Cyclists may have it the worst when winter rolls in: riding in sub-freezing temps is no fun. To keep pedaling, check out the Kinetic Road Smart Bike trainer. It has buttery smooth, road-like resistance, and features a sensor for power, which is a great metric to train by. If you’re not sure how to get the most of your machine, Kinetic also offers a companion app that will create a custom training schedule for you.
Strava is an incredibly effective method of holding yourself accountable to your running and cycling goals. If you bail on those goals, or don’t go hard enough while exercising, the public data will tell.
Hoka Stinson 3 ($160)
Ease yourself into running goals with Hoka’s 11.6-ounce, 34-mm heeled Stinson 3. The jury's still out on whether the massively padded Hokas are easier on your joints than more traditional runners, but, based on anecdotes, their huge presence in the ultra-running world, and my personal experience, I'd say they make running much less painful.
Picky Bars Smooth Caffeinator ($28 for 10)
I miss more end-of-day workouts because of hunger than for any other reason. Picky Bars Smooth Caffeinator hits the after-work-snack sweet spot: in addition to having a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio that makes it super easy to digest, it packs just the right amount of caffeine (from actual coffee) to get you motivated to run or ride.