You can tell a lot from a woman by what she packs in her gym bag. Ok, I’m not sure on that, but I definitely try to make sure I’ve got everything I could possibly need to have a successful gym session.
When I first started the gym, I used to make terrible errors when packing my gym bag. For example, forgetting to bring a towel or not having a hair clip or sports bra. Honestly, when you don’t have these things, it puts a real bummer on your session. So hopefully, I’ll give you some handy items to always carry with you; helping to avoid being caught out unnecessarily.
1. Gym Kit
I’ve arrived at the gym many times forgetting my trainers or sports bra. This is usually because I’m rushing around in the morning and I completely forget to check what I’ve packed. Check out my tips for making sure you always have your gym kit with you.
My standard items include:
- Sports Bra
- Sports top
2. Water bottle
With so much coming to light over the terrible effects of single-use plastic, I do my very best to limit my usage of this. One of the ways is to invest in a reusable bottle. I actually bought mine from a UK charity called Save the Children.
For every bottle sold, a child is provided with clean water and other life-changing essentials. So whether you pick yours up from a supermarket or you support a local charity, buying reusable bottles is helping to make a difference.
3. Hair Clips and Bobbles
If you’re like me, your hair is your nemesis in the gym. I always need to make sure I’m carrying bobbles and clips so I can hold it the f**k down. Haha. The other problem though is that I’m always losing them. I literally find those little kirby grips everywhere, except in my hair box. So, I’ve now bought a packet of them and I just keep them in my bag after each use. I’ve seen that Amazon sell 100 kirby grips for under £5.00. Just picked some up myself.
4. Cleansing wipes, deodorant etc…
Whether you like to take off your make up before your session or after, having a couple of these items in your bag is always worth it. For me I have:
- Cleansing wipes – it doesn’t actually bother me working out with makeup on as it hides my tomato face when I push hard. However, once the session has finished, there’s nothing better than taking it all off and having a hot shower.
- Deodorant – this is a must. If I’m coming from work to the gym, I like to have a quick spritz before I start and then also once I’m finished and showered.
- Shampoo/Conditioner – Now I don’t do my hair in the gym all the time but I like having the option. I’m lucky in that my gym has some pretty good hairdryers so I can quickly dry my hair before heading off and if I’m meeting the girls after my gym session, I’ll bring my straighteners too.
- Body wash – Some gyms already offer this in their showers but don’t be caught out. Also, I’m quite pedantic over the products I use and I like to know what’s in them so I always opt for my own body wash.
Oh my god guys, don’t be that person that doesn’t bring a towel. There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym, making a play for a piece of equipment to find someone has sweated all over it and not wiped down. I always carry two types of towels with me. 1 for in the gym incase I become one of those sweaty people and the other one for the shower. You don’t want to be doing the no towel dance after a shower (or maybe you do…).
I always carry a small padlock with me, only because I’m normally hitting the gym before or after work so I usually have my work equipment with me like a laptop, phone etc. Can you imagine if I lost that?!
It also gives me peace of mind when I’m in the gym that my personal items are safe. You can pick these up for under £10 and just keep it in the pocket of your gym bag. You can’t put a price on safety.
Ok… so now we’re getting to the gym equipment that I always have packed.
7. Resistance Bands
Ok, so resistance bands are amaaaazzzing for working out those upper thighs and creating a peachy butt. Some gyms have them dotted around, however, most don’t so it’s important you have a set for yourself. Now, depending on the type or intensity of your work out, there are actually two different types and I carry them both.
Type one is the standard resistance bands you’d see around in the gym. It’s a super versatile and adaptable exercise tool that can be used for a variety of purposes including strength training, improving general fitness, aiding with mobility, and recovering from injury.
I personally use this type of band for exercises such as donkey kicks and when I’m doing squats and want to raise the intensity.
Proworks are selling a selection of 4 bands, each with a different level of intensity for under £8.00
Type two is a much thicker band which really pumps the glutes when used. It’s great for:
- Warming up Glutes and Legs
- Activating Hips
- Walking Side Steps
- Hip Abductions
- Squat & Deadlift Stabilisation
- Hip Thrusts
- Forward & Backward Walks
- Side Lying Clams
- Kick Backs and so much more.
This is the one piece of exercise equipment that I literally use every time. I’m addicted to it.
Teknifit calls this the Booty Builder. I have one personally and I just love it. It’s slightly more expensive but worth the investment.
8. Weightlifting Gloves
Ok, so these only really worth buying if you do lots (or plan to do lots) or bar workouts. For example, deadlifts. Most gyms definitely won’t have these lying around and to be honest, I don’t think you’d want to use them after someone else.
I’m very girly so I have a pair of black and pink ones and I love them. They also help me avoid those annoying callus’s that you pick up from lifting without them. I paid less than £5.00 for mine.
So if you’ve made the effort to work out, you should be tracking. Tracking is so important for mental and physical improvements. It helps you stay competitive with yourself and where needed to push yourself. You can see daily/weekly and even monthly improvements which should spur you on to keep going.
I’ve used the Apple iWatch and I won’t lie to you, it has absolutely changed my life. I can visually see my improvements in all the different exercises I do, along with it pre-empting certain behaviours such as stress (It recommends using their breathing app when my heart rate reaches a certain point without exercise being triggered – usually when the hubby has ticked me off).
It also sets goals and challenges every day and each morning will remind me of how I did the day before so I can push myself to achieve more.
And finally, I don’t go anywhere with my Apple Airpods. As they’re Bluetooth, it means I haven’t got to worry about cables and whether I have a place close to me for my phone. The airpods are lightweight so you don’t even know you’re wearing them and they don’t move when exercising. I’ve done running, mat work etc and they’ve stayed exactly where they are. They work alongside the iWatch so you can skip music by tapping the airpod or by using your iWatch. Plus, they’re super small so will fit into a pocket of your gym bag, taking up next to no space.
As you can see, there’s an art to a good gym bag and unfortunately, I’m slightly OCD so if I forget one of these things, I’m like “OH EM GEE!”.
I hope this has been useful for you. Let me know what you carry in your gym bag below.