For anyone who goes to the gym frequently, packing a gym bag becomes fairly regular. You probably will scoff at the idea of creating a checklist for your gym bag essentials. I used to be that person. I never packed a bag before, but I realized that there were things that I needed before and after my workout that I didn’t have. That is, until the one day that you forget your running shoes. Then, suddenly, a checklist becomes more appealing. Now I don’t leave the house without my gym bag. If you’ve ever forgotten to pack something essential to a good workout, this list is for you. Here’s a reminder of the basic “must haves” for your gym bag, plus a few little luxury items nice to have stowed away just in case.
Before you pack your gym bag, you need to have a gym bag. An endless variety of gym bag styles, brands, and features are available, so choose the features you think make the most sense for your needs. I like a bag with a few small pockets for the smaller essentials, a separate compartment for shoes (or sweaty clothes), and an adjustable strap. Plus, it has to be washable. Here are some good bags from Amazon:
I tend to wear my gym shoes into the gym rather than taking them out of my bag to put them on. I only do that when it’s raining or snowing. Plus I have an extra pair of nike’s in my bag, just in case. I also have extra pairs of socks.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Staying hydrated is essential during exercise, and having a water bottle with you makes it that much easier to get adequate fluid intake while you sweat it out on the elliptical or spin bike. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink. The Contigo Jackson Reusable Water Bottleis one of my favorite, I have two! It has a screw top for easy cleaning. But what I really like is the single hand push button open and close feature. Plus, the blue ring on top makes for easy carrying.
If you are one of the “cant exercise without music” types, getting through an entire workout in silence or listening to the usually awful overhead music is the easiest way to lose all motivation. By all means, don’t forget your tunes.
Plus get you some good headphone. I know the smaller in-ear wireless headphones are all the rage but nothing beats Beats (pun intended) for my money. I like over-ear headphones to completely block outside noise allowing me to focus on the task at hand. They’re not cheap but I am saving all that money on water these days ;).
BONUS TIP: Choose a darker color as gym sweat will ruin your new headphones in no time. RIP my shiny white Beats…you went too soon.
You may want to keep an energy bar or two in your gym bag just in case you need some pre- or post-workout calories. Try keeping a high-carb bar in case you don’t plan your pre-exercise foods very well or if you need a boost during a long workout and a Carb + Protein bar on hand for a post-exercise snack in case you don’t have time to plan a real meal. Kind Healthy Grains Granola Bars
While using a heart rate monitor is not necessary for everyone or for every workout, it is a great tool to have when you plan to do some interval training or a specific cardio workout. Even if used temporarily, it will help you learn how you feel at a given heart rate and you will become a better judge of your exercise tolerance and any limitations.
This one is simple. B.O. is gross, use deodorant.
If you don’t double-bag those sweaty wet post-exercise clothes, you can contaminate everything in your gym bag, including your gym bag. Wet, post-exercise clothing can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so keep the wet clothes bagged until they find their way to the washer.
So I hope this helps with adding things to your gym bag or if your were like me and never had a bag going into the gym. I hope you take this list and customize it to your needs and lets make Gainz together