You’re certainly not the only guy looking to bulk up come winter. Cooler temps direct your workouts indoors—where the gym becomes your hallowed stomping grounds once again. And even though you’re rocking a steady wardrobe of sweaters, flannels, and jackets, you still want to look good.
Of course adding 50 pounds to your deadlift PR and packing on as much lean muscle mass as possible is no easy feat.
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Effort and time aside, your favorite pair of jeans might rip through the crotch and that old college tee will barely fit over your shoulders. To help you on your bulking journey, we’ve put together a list of gear designed to maximize your workouts, recovery, and everyday life now that you’re standing a little bigger, wider, and taller (even if the latter is all in your head).
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Legacy Lifter by Reebok
If you’re trying to grow thick and wide, you’re gonna utilize fundamental mass-building exercises, namely squats and deadlifts. It goes without saying: You need a solid pair of lifting shoes—something to elevate your heels, which is critical, especially if you have limited ankle mobility. Besides looking fresh, Reebok’s Legacy Lifter has laces and two velcro straps to give your foot maximum stability.
Athletic Fit Jeans by Barbell Apparel
Normal jeans are not made for men with large quads, sizeable glutes, and tiny waists, which is where Barbell Apparel comes in. With more room in the seat and legs, these jeans actually fit how pants are supposed to. Be aware: Instead of ordering a size up like you’re used to, go based off your true waist measurement. For those of you seeing chest gains as well, the company also sells tees and polos.
Courtesy of Barbell Apparel
Wazimu Athletic Tights by Cotopaxi
Not only are these tights lightweight and warm, critical for the cold months ahead, they’re also designed to emphasize the largest part of your legs, meaning no gains will go unnoticed. In addition, Cotopaxi is a certified B-Corp, meaning they donate 2% of their revenue, so you’re supporting a good cause while you smash your one-rep max.
Courtesy of Cotopaxi
Unstoppable / MOVE Full-Zip by Under Armoud
Fitted but not constricting, this hoodie accommodates your post-bench press swoll. It contains air pockets that keep you cool when you’re active and warm when you’re done working out. If you’re outside running, the hood is guaranteed to stay around your head.
Courtesy of Under Armour
Transit Sweatpant by Olivers
Made with a wool blend and tailored for any size, Olivers’ Transit Sweatpant looks good whether you’re wearing it in the gym or trying to find the best avocados at the grocery store. Plus, it has that one sweatpant essentials: pockets…with zippers!
Courtesy of Oliver's
Zipper Pocket Crew Sock by 2(X)IST
Speaking of pockets with zippers, this mid-calf sock is outfitted with ’em. Instead of leaving your valuables in the locker room and hoping they don’t get stolen, stash them in these socks. The pockets are big enough for credit cards, keys, and even a serving of protein powder.
Protein Powder Keychain by OnMyWhey
If you don’t want to stash a plastic bag of protein powder in your socks, you need this keychain, which holds a full serving. Both ends open, making it easy to fill and pour. And, for the truly committed among you, OnMyWhey is set to release a double serving size soon.
Mighty Muffins by FlapJacked
Your bulking season is nothing without protein powder. Mighty Muffins are another way to get your muscle-building macros in. There are loads of flavors to choose from (our favorite is lemon poppy). Each contains 10 grams of sugar, which is more than, say, a sweet potato, but less than most any other protein-packed treat on the market. Plus, you’ll get 20 grams of protein per serving.
[$29.99 for a 12-pack;
Courtesy of FlapJacked
The Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat
Looking for more protein—but want it to be plant-based? Each of these burgers has 20 grams of vegan protein (one gram more than a cow-based burger), and no GMOs, soy, or gluten. Less saturated fat and cholesterol, and fewer calories than traditional beef, the Beyond Burger is a great way to add lean muscle mass.
[$5.99 for two patties;
Nut Butter Variety Pack by RXBAR
On your quest to becoming your biggest, strongest self, don’t neglect the importance of healthy fats. Made with egg whites, dates, and nuts, RXBAR’s line of nut butters are a hearty snack, especially paired with a banana or apple.
[$17.00 for 10 packs;
Courtesy of RXBAR
Organic Savory Seed Variety Pack by Patagonia
On-the-go snacks are necessary when you need to constantly fuel your body. We like Patagonia’s Organic Savory Seed Variety Pack. Each package has 130 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 6 grams of healthy fats. Tear the top, tilt your head back, and chug: These are great for the office or commute.
[$30 for a 12-pack;
Courtesy of Patagonia
Hydration Powder by Klean
Muscles require water to stay healthy. And it’s even more important to stay hydrated if you’re taking a supplement like creatine. You can be
that guy carrying around a gallon jug of water, or you can try this hydration powder by Klean. All of its products are tested by a third party to ensure the highest quality.
Courtesy of Klean
Tactec Plate Carrier by 5.11
Want to up the intensity on your bodyweight workouts? Try this tactical vest by 5.11. It’s the same one athletes use at the CrossFit Games. It’s designed to distribute the load evenly. You might be huffing and puffing, but at least your shoulders and chest won’t be crushed.
Knee Sleeves by Bear Komplex
Maxing out your lifts puts pressure on your joints. Needless to say, you shouldn’t wait until you’re injured to take action. Knee sleeves, like these ones from Bear Komplex, give a little rebound and oomph at the bottom of lifts by increasing blood flow and proprioception.
Courtesy of Bear Komplex
Muscle Rub by W.O.D Welder
All that hypertrophy is going to leave you sore, which is where this muscle rub comes in. It’s shaped like a deodorant stick, making it easy to apply wherever it hurts (a.k.a. everywhere). It has hot and cold sensations to relax tense, agitated muscles.
Edge 2.0 Muscle Stimulator Kit With TENS by Compex
If your soreness is particularly bad and you need to call in the big guns, turn to Compex. Used by Mat Fraser, CrossFit’s Fittest Man on Earth, the device uses electrical currents to prevent training fatigue, reduce muscle and joint damage, and decrease your recovery time
Courtesy of Compex
The post The Best Gym Gear You Need to Bulk Up for Winter appeared first on Men's Journal.