9 Essential Items You Need to Pack in Your Gym Bag
In our opinion, a good workout starts before you even head out your front door. It's all in the planning and preparation before you exercise. From diet to a workout plan to packing your gym bag, there are a few things that contribute towards a successful workout.
Your gym bag is one of the easiest things to get right. So where do you start with packing all the essentials? Simple, with a gym bag essentials list!
This list will make packing your gym bag simple. Whether you’re off to train with friends, lift heavy or include a post-workout swim, this list will ensure you don't leave behind any gym essentials.
So personal trainers, gym addicts and fitness enthusiasts keep on reading to prevent mishaps with our favourite gym items that should live in your gym bag!
What Type of Bag is Best for the Gym?
Let’s start at the beginning, you can’t pack your gym essentials without a great bag. If you’re starting out, any backpack or duffle bag is a good place to begin. If you’re using a backpack you already own, make sure you pack a plastic bag for your dirty or wet clothes!
If you’re looking to upgrade your bag, then we recommend these game-changing elements to look out for when choosing a new bag. They are:
- Shoe compartment
- Meal prep storage
- Wet clothes holder
- Small pockets inside for valuables
- Adjustable straps
These aren't essentials however they will make packing your bag much easier. Now we have covered your gym bag, let's dive into what to pack in it.
9 Essential Items for Your Gym Bag
Before we dive into these essential items, you may want to pick and choose some items which work better for you. Remember this is a guide to what to pack in your gym bag and can be personalised to suit your needs. Happy packing!
Preworkout is a supplement that increases your energy levels, and exercise performance and can stimulate muscle growth. It's particularly popular with athletes, before heavy lifting sessions, HIT classes and with personal trainers.
This is an optional inclusion. Not everyone uses pre-workout, so only pack your shaker and product if it works for you!
Heading to work after the gym? Or just love to leave the gym feeling fresh? Then you need to bring a towel for those post-workout showers. There is no better feeling than leaving the gym feeling clean!
Good gym etiquette also requires you to bring a towel specifically for the gym. It's a courtesy to use a towel when using gym equipment or mats to stretch after your workout. It is not only hygienic for yourself but for your fellow gym goers.
Due to covid, as well as a towel, use the wipes and antibacterial sprays provided by your gym to wipe down machines after each use. This contributes towards good hygiene and stopping the spread of Covid-19.
Our favourite towels for the gym are microfibre towels. They are quick to dry and easy to wash. Most importantly, they pack small in your gym bag. You can rent a towel from your local gym to save space in your bag, but if you love to be prepared, bring your own.
3. Personal Care Items
Having a few extra personal items can help fit your gym session around your lifestyle i.e work, and looking after a family. It’s also great for your own hygiene and those around you. There are a few essentials you may want to consider packing, they are:
- Hand sanitiser
- Shampoo and conditioner for showering
- Body and face moisturiser
- Soap or body wash
- Flip flops for the shower
- Hairbrush and spare bobbles
For these items, having a dedicated space in your gym bag or smaller bag to contain them in will help you avoid any unwanted leaks and spills.
4. Water Bottle
Did you know that being dehydrated by just 2-3% can reduce your overall performance in the gym by up to 20 per cent? Now that’s a reason to stay hydrated!
Staying hydrated in your gym sessions is essential! Water helps your body perform better and recover quicker. As well as the many other incredible benefits, not forgetting its essential to our body's functioning, bringing a bottle in your gym bag is crucial.
We highly recommend you get a reusable water bottle to look after the environment and your hydration levels simultaneously.
5. Lifting Grips/Accessories
Using weight-lifting gloves, straps or even a belt can transform your workout. Athletes and pro-lifters swear by them! If these are essential to your workout or you’re planning on smashing your PB, then these need to be packed in your gym bag.
You may love to finish your session with a box or a stretch. If so, don't forget to pack your boxing gloves and a yoga mat.
If you need a boost of motivation, whether it's an upbeat playlist or gym podcast, then a pair of headphones is crucial for your workout.
When listening to music in the gym, make sure you consider how you will carry your phone or music device. Whether you wear a pair of leggings with a phone pocket in it or use an armband to hold your phone, it's something to think about when packing your gym bag.
7. Post Workout Snack
Stop the post-workout “hanger” and pack a snack. Whatever snack you choose to eat, make sure it's high in protein. This will give your body amino acids which help repair and rebuild your muscles.
Some great post-workout snacks are:
- Protein bar/shake
- Crackers and tuna/hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Berrys and yoghurt
- Trail mix
8. Spare Clothes
Forgetting a piece of gym wear isn't the best way to start your workout. Having a few spare items in your bag will save the stress. Pack spare socks, underwear and a warm hoodie as these can come in handy.
You may want to consider packing swimwear to make use of your gym's sauna, steam room or pool. This can be a fantastic way to end your workout and a great way to de-stress!
If your gym bag isn't the biggest, try and pack thin layers that are easily foldable. Go for quality over quantity.
9. Smart Watch or Heart Rate Monitor
Having a smartwatch or heart rate monitor isn't essential but it is a great way to track your workouts. You can measure your heart rate throughout your exercise to follow your progression. This is a great motivator to continue working hard in the gym.
On a smartwatch, you can track your burnt calories, workout time and heart rate. It's not essential to your workout, but can help you improve the quality of your session.
You may already work with a personal trainer and use this to record and feedback on your progress.
That concludes our essential items for your gym bag! You may not need them all, but there is something for everyone on this list.