With the new year in full swing, many have decided that this is their year to get in shape. Whether you started January 1st or you are waiting to start your fitness journey at a later point in time, a proper gym bag is a necessity. You may keep your bag in the locker room or tote it around the gym throughout the workout as I do.
The items shown below are a sure fire way to make you look like a pro whether you are taking on Day 1 or Day 1,001 of your fitness goals.
Find what style works for. I prefer my gym bag to be a duffel with a strap. It is easy to throw over your shoulder to walk from machine to machine. Or slowly drag behind you when you are crushing a brutal workout. I have had the same Nike Gym Bag for years now. Opt for a dark color. Gyms are dirty, you do not want you're bag visibly showing all the grime. You'll thank me later.
(Find bag shown HERE)
Always bring your own water bottle. All gyms have water fountains, but the convenience of having a water bottle at your finger tips mid cardio session is like a pool of water in the middle of the Sahara.
Also going back to the dirt and grime thing, and by no means am I a germaphobe, water fountains are used by endless amounts of gym goers mouths everyday. Enough said.
Always, always bring a towel. I put always twice because towels at the gym are meant for two important things: 1. to wipe sweat off of yourself, and most importantly 2. to wipe your sweat off of the machines you use. No one wants someone else's sweaty secretions on them or their own personal towel. It's just like the rest room, please be neat and wipe the seat.
*To prevent wiping your face and machines and spreading bacteria designate a side for each. I use the tag side of a hand towel to wipe/lay on equipment, and the non-tag side to use on my face/body*
I label these items tiny treasures for two reasons.
Reason 1-If at any point you need any of these four items, you will feel like you have hit the jackpot by actually having them in your gym bag.
If your hair tie breaks, and you don't have any on hand, you're pretty much SOL. I always keep a few in my bag just in case. Same thing goes for a thick head band. If those pesky layers and/or baby hairs will simply not stay off of your forehead or neatly in place in your pony tail, a headband will easily get the job done. Hand sanitizer pretty much sells it self, and we also go back to the whole dirty gym grime thing. Chapstick seemed like a weird item at first for me to carry around, however, I have experienced my lips feeling more dry/chapped at the gym than at any other point in my day.
Reason 2- If at any point you need any of these four items, you will NOT be able to find them in your bag. They will most certainly be in there because you bought them for a specific reason, but when you actually need them, they will have disappeared into Narnia for gym bags.
(All of these items can be found at Target!)
Next Level Lifting:
You do not NEED these three items to have a sufficient workout, but having something along the lines of these three items will highly enhance it.
Lifting straps are meant to help alleviate some of the pressure that your hands/wrist endure while doing various lifts. This specific pair of lifting straps also double as a way to protect parts of your hands from calluses. You do not need to wear lifting straps your entire workout necessarily, or even at all, but there are several lifts that you will be glad that you invested in a good pair.
A quality pair of headphones will change your life. I use to workout with the headphones Apple provides when you buy any new Apple product. They were good, but holy heck, my wireless Beats take the cake. The sound quality is impeccable, and the lack of cord is awesome. I am no longer accidentally ripping my headphones out of my ears several times mid workout. There are other brands/types of wireless headphones on the market. Research which price point and style you like best.
A lifting belt is similar to lifting straps in the sense that it assists you during your workout. Lifting belts help support your back and core, and are always great when you are looking to lift heavy/lift heavier. I prefer a more old fashion leather lifting belt, but these lever style lifting belts are quite style and bad ass looking.
There are obviously tons of other items you can keep in your gym bag, but these are ten great items to get you started.