What's In My Gym Bag?
As a health and fitness enthusiast, I am asked this question almost every day. So today I thought I would put together a complete list of everything that is in my gym bag. I get it — knowing what is necessary and what is just an accessory can be overwhelming and confusing; so, by the end of this blog, my hope is that you will know exactly what you need to complete your gym bag helping make your workouts and life a little easier!
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First things first... my bag from Lulu!
I got this gym bag at Lululemon last year. As soon as I saw it, I was in love, but I was hesitant at first to make the investment. After all, 90% of the time the bag is on a dirty gym floor or thrown in the back of my car. I am so thankful I decided to get it! Not only it is a perfect size, but every compartment has a purpose which helps keep my gym bag super organized for easy access. Not to mention — this bag is so well made, I could honestly see myself having it for at least the next 5 years, no problem!
Next, let's talk about some hygiene products. Whether you're leaving a soul cycle class or just finishing a killer lifting session, chances are you're going to be a tad bit sweaty (most days, I sweat so much I could swim in it... I'm actually being serious). Over the last six years of consistently being active and in the gym, I have found a few products that I literally could not live without.
1. Dry Shampoo (Oribe Texture)
Having previously worked at a salon for almost four years, I have tried every dry shampoo in the book. Finally, when I came across this stuff a couple years ago — I was obsessed. This stuff is incredible! Not only will it leave your hair smelling like a million bucks, it also has patented polymers that absorb oil at the roots. This will help you prolong your hair washings and boost volume and style!
2. Hand Sanitizer Spray (Honest Company)
I actually just discovered this product a couple months ago, and I am obsessed! Not only is it super convenient because of the spray, but it smells amazing! It is by far my favorite hand sanitizer I've ever had.
3. Spray Deodorant (Degree)
I don't know about you, but I am a sweater! One exercise in and I am already dripping. Whether you sweat or not, it's always convenient to carry deodorant for those "just-in-case" moments. I found this one at Walmart. I love it because of the spray. I have found it to be way easier to spray on than roll on! This one also doesn't leave the white residue (which is always nice because 90% of my gym outfits are black!).
4. Makeup Remover (Neutrogena)
These are my absolute favorite go-to drugstore makeup remover (and have actually been using them since high school). They are simple, effective, and don't leave your face feeling sticky!
5. Lip Therapy (Vaseline Cocoa Butter)
I found this at a local drug store a couple months ago because my lips were super dry, and it has been a game changer. Although, kind of inconvenient (because it requires you to use your finger for application), it is worth it!
6. Mouthwash Spray (Crest Scope)
This might sound like it is extra, but I promise these are essential! I purchased these one time and threw it in my gym bag instead of my purse on accident. It actually ended up being one of the best accidents. I have found myself using these on multiple occasions to freshen up afterward!
7. Roll-On Scent (Marc Jacobs Daisy)
I love roll-on scents because it's way more convenient for the gym. Personally, my skin gets very sensitive to products when I am sweating. Using the roller on my clothing instead of spraying directly on my skin helps me smell good without worrying about my skin breaking out!
8. Hair Coil Ties (Kitsch)
I just found these a couple of weeks ago and am in love with them! If you struggle with your hair creasing after it gets sweaty, I would recommend picking some up! They also secure your hair, so you won't have to worry about it coming loose during your workout!
9. Laundry Bag (Target)
I got this laundry bag from Target, but any will do! I personally like to have a separate bag to organize sweaty from clean clothes in my bag if I need to head somewhere after my workout. Sometimes, I also use it to store my gym equipment, so I have everything in one place!
Okay on to the fun stuff! I have listed (in no particular order) some of the equipment that I have in my gym bag. I use at least one (if not more) of these things every single workout!
Ankle Weights (Go Fit)
This is the easiest way to spice up your workouts whether at the gym or on-the-go! The added weight will help add more challenge to any movement, especially the most basic ones.
Gliding Discs (Aardvark Fitness)
These will help you engage your core muscles through a full range of motion and introduce more balance in your workouts. They are great for traveling or at-home workouts to add more challenge and take those workouts up a notch!
Resistance Bands (Fit Simplify)
These are, hands-down, one of my favorite things I have in my gym bag! These will help increase the effectiveness of exercises and add challenge to basic movements like jump squats, lunges, kickbacks, and more! They also help increase strength and power!
Hip Circle (Gym Logic)
This band is different from resistance bands in that it was designed to help warm up the hips and legs before diving into a workout. However, it doesn't stop there — they will also add challenge to your workout when using it for exercises such as squats, hip thrusts, hip adduction, and abduction, walking side steps and much more!
Surprisingly, this was my first gym equipment purchase and is still one of my favorites to this day! If you struggle with grip strength, these are perfect for you. Grips help assist you by gripping around the bar for maximum hold and security while protecting your hands!
Ankle Straps (Fit Girl)
If you haven't trained glutes with an ankle strap, your life is about to be changed! I suggest getting these because most gyms don't supply them; yet, they can make glute kickbacks more effective. The ankle strap is designed for glute/hamstring isolation but is also great for ab exercises! The one I have is very old, so I have found a very similar version that I know you'll love.
Lever Belt (Inzer)
If you are looking for a new lifting belt for deadlifts, squats, or overhead presses, this will be the only lifting belt you'll ever need to buy. It's simple to tighten and lock in place, and overtime, the belt comforts to your body and will stay firmly supportive. I bought mine over several years ago, and it still looks brand-new!
Knee Sleeves (Mava)
These are lifesavers... or should I say knee savers!?! These will keep your knees and shins protected and supported while you are crushing your workouts! Personally, I love using them for deadlifts, squats, and lunges! I love the ones from Rocktape because the quality is insane!
Wrist Wraps (Slingshot Gangsta)
I wear these almost every upper body day! I love them because they help keep the wrists safe while lifting. I have tried many different kinds, but the ones with the thumb loop keep the wrap in place on your hands or wrists no matter what (which is super nice)! Remember, taking care of your wrists is vital. They help support so much that you do daily... be sure to protect them!
Elbow Sleeves (Mava)
I just started training with elbow sleeves several weeks ago and absolutely love them! They really do help take your chest and shoulder training to the next level. The purpose of these is to help you lift heavier weight for more reps and/or increase the level of intensity. I would suggest these to intermediate to advanced lifters only.
I have been using my reactive slingshot for about a year now. If you're focused on increasing your upper body strength, I would suggest that you grab one of these. The use of the slingshot allows you to overload by 10%, while keeping your elbows close to your side to maintain proper form and technique. It’s great to use for bench presses, push-ups or dips!
Note: For sizing references - I am 146 lbs. and 5'8.5" tall, and use a large!
I was skeptical about working out in these prior to purchasing them. I was scared they would slip out of my ear when it got sweaty, or I would lose them. Although they are easy to misplace if you're not careful, I have been training with mine for the last few months and absolutely love them! The only con I would say is that sometimes when you are jumping or doing an intense cardio session, the sound will cut out; but, other than that — wonderful headphones to have for your gym sessions!
So there you have it! Everything that you need to stock your gym bag so you're ready for your next workout. Whether at the gym, on-the-go or at-home these accessories and essentials will help you take your workouts to the next level!
Let me know in the comments below some of your favorite gym bag essentials!