The Best of Everything You Need to Head Back to the Gym

From CrossFit shoes to yoga mats to protein powder, we've got it covered.

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It's funny to look back at the fitness topics we were covering around a year ago: stuff like the best stay-at-home workouts, a face mask designed for running and the question of whether your activity tracker can detect COVID-19. My how times have changed. Yes, the pandemic continues to make its presence felt — we're going to have an Olympics with no spectators, after all — but in the U.S. things generally seem to be returning to some semblance of normal.

Case in point: gyms. All but abandoned a year ago, they are bouncing back in a big way. According to a report by the financial services company Jefferies, May traffic at fitness centers hit 83 percent of January 2020 levels, and it's down just 6 percent from May 2019. Quite a flex.

Thinking of returning to the gym yourself? Here's everything you need to gear up for some epic workouts, from shorts, shirts, shoes and masks to recovery goods, yoga mats, protein powders and even the best bags with which to tote it all.

Editor's note: For everyone's safety, follow CDC guidelines and state and local laws with regard to wearing masks in gym settings. They can be tricky and often vary depending on whether you are vaccinated. Thankfully, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has been tracking mask requirements by state, and here's a chart with the organization's most recent findings.

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The Best CrossFit Shoes of 2021

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The 10 Best Gym Bags of 2021

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The Best Shorts and Liners for Yoga

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