The Bioneer Toolkit

In my years researching human performance optimization, I have had the privilege of trying out countless different training tools, services, supplements, and gadgets. Everything from cutting-edge virtual reality training programs, to gene analysis services, to big heavy clubs that you swing around your head.

Bellow, however, you will find all of the tools and devices that have had a lasting impact on my training. This is everything I myself use regularly.

Suitcase carry for ripped obliques

This page will be updated regularly as I discover new, awesome stuff. So, if you see a video and want to know “where I got that,” check back here.

Click below to jump to a category:

Disclaimer: I earn a commission on many of these items, so making a purchase using one of my links will help to support The Bioneer in a big way. That said, all these recommendations reflect my honest opinion (you can get an affiliate link for anything, after all!).


REAKT: Performance Trainer


REAKT: Performance Trainer is a VR app for the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 that can improve working memory, visual processing (sports vision), focus, and more. I’ve long talked about the potential value of a VR brain training tool, and this is the realization of that concept.

(Or read my review here.)



SelfDecode is a service that offers DNA analysis. You can either get a home testing kit, or upload data from another service (like to get started right away. Either way, you’ll then be given insight into common genetic variations that are known to correlate (positively or negatively) with health, fitness, and cognitive performance. Detailed reports offer actionable insights that help you to mitigate your weaknesses and

(Or read my review here.)

Oura Ring

Oura Ring

The Oura Ring is one of two health trackers I use regularly, having reviewed countless as part of my other gig writing for Android Authority. This ring-shaped tracker is far less obtrusive to wear 24/7 and is capable of capturing some of the most accurate sleep data available.

I have found the ring can occasionally cause irritation, and the step-count is way off. But this is the device I trust for heart rate variability data, resting heart rate, sleep quality, and recovery.

(Or read my review here.)

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

The other health tracker I use is the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch has one of the most accurate heart rate sensors on the market, is beautifully made, and “just works.” More importantly, the Apple Watch hides surprising depth thanks to the huge amount of data gathered in Apple Health. You’ll find VO2 estimates in here, alongside information about your walking gait, and more.

Better yet, is just how flexible the Apple Watch is, thanks to the huge number of 3rd party apps available. You’ll find everything from brain training, to HIIT timers, and more. That’s before I’ve even mentioned the productivity tools.

The only downside is the short battery life which kneecaps the sleep-tracking potential. Combined with an Oura Ring, however, this is a killer combo.

Vivobarefoot Shoes

Vivobarefoot shoes

Vivobarefoot makes shoes that have a minimal sole, wide toe box, and no heel-to-toe drop. In short, these shoes mimic the experience of going barefoot. This has countless advantages, from increasing your sense of proprioception, to improving balance, to improving hip and knee stability. A simple change you can make that will have profound benefits for your general health. IMO.

They are a little on the pricey-side compared to some of the competition. But they are also really well-made and comfortable.

(Check out my review here.)

Training Tools

Mounted Pull Up Bar

Tactical Pull Up for Free Runners

SO many people have asked me for the link to my pull up bar that it was actually one of the main incentives to create this list. This pull up bar mounts to a wall, ensuring you have lots of space and no concern for damaging doorways etc. The real reason I love this pull up bar, though, is the eyelets. These let me hang gymnastic rings, ropes, punch bags, bands, and more from the bar. As a result, it becomes a multifunctional fitness station in my garden and has featured in countless videos of mine.

Dip Bars

Inverted Push Up

Dip bars are a fantastic addition to any home gym. Not only do dip bars let you perform dips (obviously), they also lend themselves to calisthenics skills (like planche training) AND they’re ideal for bodyweight rows to balance out lots of push ups.

The bars below are not the ones I use (these aren’t available anymore, it seems) but they are functionally identical from a brand I’ve used before and trust.



The Bullworker is a classic strength and fitness device dating back to the early 60s. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Unlike many other training tools, the Bullworker focusses primarily on isometric training. I primarily use this for overcoming isometrics (pulling or pushing against an immovable force). It’s also very convenient to bring with you if you’re travelling, or to keep in a home office for small bouts of exercise throughout the day.

Weighted Vest

Functional Training

Weighted vests are endlessly useful and can be used in a vast range of different ways. I use weighted vests for weighted calisthenics, for burning more calories on walks, and for plyometric training. The one I use is comfortable and has lasted a long time, so it comes recommended!

Medicine Ball

Medicine ball throw best ab exercises

Medicine balls are heavy balls you can throw against walls or the floor. I bought mine for a video and ended up using it ALL the time. Medicine balls are ideal for training “ballistic strength” as they benefit from explosive acceleration. They are also great for metabolic conditioning, for adding resistance to a number of common sports movements, and for making training fun with low risk of injury.

You can find the leather ball I use below:



Sandbags are extremely useful and versatile tools for training. These are heavy bags that you can fling over your shoulders, drag across the floor, or otherwise haul around. Because sandbags are soft, you can do crazy things with them that wouldn’t work with a barbell (jumping, throwing, dragging, etc.). Meanwhile, the fact that the centre of gravity is always shifting means that no two lifts are identical and you therefore build more “robust” motor patterns (to paraphrase from Nicolai Bernstein).

The sandbags I have multiple very useful handles that let you do a bunch of cool moves with them. Mine is 25kg. Although it would be cool to have a 100kg sandbag, these are more practical for the kinds of explosive movements I use them for. Ideally, I’d like to have a really heavy one as well some day!



Clubbells are large, heavy, iron clubs. The centre of gravity is positioned far from the handle, meaning they feel much heavier than they are. The unusual shape also lends itself extremely well to being swung around the head. Clubbells are a lot of fun (you feel like Conan) and offer a unique challenge that taxes grip, core, and shoulders.

The link is for the UK and I don’t believe that brand exists in the US. There are many good makes available though. 10kg is enough to start with, trust me!


Kettlebell training styles

Kettlebells are no longer niche, but they certainly deserve their new-found popularity! Useful for countless movements, particularly the all-powerful swing. I use the Amazon Basics 20kg version, which the link below is for. Again, this one isn’t available in the US (but plenty of others are).

Plyo Box

Plyometric and ballistic training

Very few people I know own their own plyo box! But why not? If you have space in a shed or garage, they can be fantastic for explosive training and building a higher vertical jump. They’re surprisingly versatile and can be used for upper body movements too, as well as step-ups, agility drills, and much more. Link below is only available in the UK.

Between this and a few other items, you can turn your garden into an awesome assault course!

Gymnastic Rings

Core training for abs

Gymnastics rings are among THE most versatile training tools available. If you have anywhere to mount these (tree branch, pull up bar), then they can provide a complete workout. This is the good kind of unstable surface training that builds supporting muscles and stability. They also allow for plenty of killer exercises that can’t be performed otherwise: iron cross, ring dips, ring muscle-ups. Much better than the overly-expensive (and less versatile) TRX.

The below are not the pair I use (they’re no longer available) but they come from a good company and tick all the right boxes:

Bulgarian Bag

Bulgarian Bag

Bulgarian Bags are like a cross between sandbags and kettlebells. The handles allow you to swing them around your body, which is great for rotational strength and core stability. They also work the grip (owing to the handles that are hard to grab onto) and they’re awesome for building strength endurance. Perfect training for wrestlers, in particular.

I love my Bulgarian Bag but I would never call this an essential piece of equipment. One to add once you’ve picked up the basics!

Unfortunately, the brand is once again unavailable outside the UK:

Balance Board


On the whole, balance boards should not be combined with weight training. This takes away from the central goal of adding resistance and introduces injury-risk. However, as a way to improve balance, to rehab ankles, or to train the brain… balance boards are awesome. Check out my post on Deathstroke Training to see how this activity can improve even your working memory!

Moreover though, it’s just really fun. Especially the one I’ve got, which loses points for only working in one range of motion, but gains points for being challenging and loads of fun.

Reaction Ball

Train reflexes with reaction ball

Again, I thought I might use this once, but ended up using it all the time! Reaction balls are balls that bounce unpredictably when thrown at the floor or a wall. This prevents you from predicting the movement, forcing you to quickly process the visual information. They’re great as a warm up for your workouts.

Wrist Strengthener

A small gadget that is useful for strengthening the forearm flexors and extensors. Check out my upcoming video and post on elbow strength to see why this is an important area to focus on. You can also use light weights for wrist curls, but this is a convenient way to fortify those elbows throughout the day without it eating into your workout time.

The Other Stuff

Of course, I also use a barbell and some dumbbells. I’m not going to list a particular brand or talk about those here, as you already know what they are and likely have a set kicking around.

I also use and recommend resistance bands. I haven’t listed mine here as I actually don’t recommend the ones I have! But I’ll be adding them in soon.



Creatine is a rare example of a supplement that appears too good to be true… but actually delivers. Creatine can increase your energy in the gym by recycling used ATP, helping you squeeze out an extra rep or two. It also increases water retention in the muscles, potentially increasing muscle size almost overnight. Then there are the myriad other benefits, such as the potential cognitive performance gains and possibly enhanced MTHFR function (study).

I look noticeably bigger when I take creatine and I perform better, too. There’s no question.

I use bulk-powders. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t available in the US either. But any simple, affordable creatine will do the trick.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 fatty acid is another supplement with no catch. Omega 3 can reduce inflammation, improve the communication between brain cells, aid myelination (for long term potentiation), reduce the incidence of neurodegenerative disease, raise DHEA, and more. You don’t me to link it here, however, as there are plenty of options available from pretty much everywhere. DHA is the slightly superior form according to some, but the best option is to get a combined DHA and EPA version. You do not need to supplement with additional omega 6, steer clear of those options.

Read my post all about omega 3 fatty acid.

Vitamin D

Again, I won’t link here, as you’re best off finding your own cheap brand. But vitamin D is amazing for your immune system (better than vitamin C, even), it raises testosterone, it can help regular sleep-wake-cycles, and it can boost DHEA (especially combined with omega 3).

Magnesium L-Threonate

Magnesium may help raise testosterone, it can improve quality sleep, and it is also good for brain plasticity and learning. I use magnesium threonate because it crosses the blood-brain barrier more readily than other forms. Intelligent Labs is a high quality brand and one of the best sources.

Protein Shake

Whey protein is an affordable and convenient way to get extra protein that I have been relying on for years. Bulk Pure Whey is affordable and no-frills. Again, not available in the US, I’m afraid!

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