How to Pack the Perfect Gym Bag
“By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail”, said Benjamin Franklin, and we can apply this to all aspects of life. When it comes to gym workouts, it’s not about looking good, but about increasing your effectiveness. With the right gym essentials packed in your bag, you’re ready to get the most out of every training session. It’s essential for a safe, effective, and powerful workout, as well as to avoid the scramble that happens when you realize that you’ve forgotten something important at home. We present you the essentials that should always be packed in your gym bag to be prepared for your next workout to burn those calories, break through plateaus, recover faster, and build extra muscle.
1. Food & Beverage
When working out, water goes out of your body through sweat, so it’s of vital importance to stay hydrated. Even if there’s a vending machine in your gym, you can stay hydrated without spending any money by packing your own water. Get a reusable water bottle, put it in a waterproof pocket (if your gym bag has one), and drink during the workout (about 10 ounces every 10 minutes) to ensure a healthy muscle function. Also, pack some protein- and carb-rich foods if you don’t have time for a proper meal after a workout. Put a protein bar, a handful of nuts, or an apple in your bag, as well as a good protein shake.
Always use clothing that’s designed specifically for the type of workout you’ll perform – goggles and a swim cap if you plan to swim, or weightlifting gloves if you’re going to pump some iron. In most cases, you should avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes, as it can become snagged on gym equipment. The list of clothing essentials you should pack includes a T-shirt, shorts, athletic socks, running shoes, and sweatbands. Take the clothes, fold each item, and place it flat on the bottom of the bag to keep the bag bottom-heavy and balanced. Although regular clothing is acceptable, compression clothing provides comfort and improves blood circulation during aerobic exercises. You should pick gym clothing that’s made of light and breathable materials.
3. Personal Hygiene
If you like to shower at the gym immediately after a workout, you should carry personal grooming items, which help you feel almost as comfortable as at home. Grooming essentials include soap or body wash, shampoo, deodorant, hair products (a comb and gel), and shaving products (shaving cream, a razor, and aftershave). To lessen the risk of contracting athlete’s food, pack a pair of sandals for the gym shower. Some of these items, such as deodorant, seem like a no-brainer for your gym bag. That’s why it’s the easiest thing to forget to pack.
If your gym doesn’t provide complimentary towels (even if it does, it may feel unsettling to use a towel that many others used before you), you should pack a towel in your gym bag. Pack a large towel if you shower after the workout, and a smaller one to wipe down the exercise equipment after use (standard gym etiquette).
5. An MP3 player and high-quality earbuds
Music is known to be a great motivation booster in the gym, so you can pack your MP3 player and a pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Nothing can ruin a workout faster than low-quality earbuds that keep falling out every few minutes.
Find a pair that fits, has a decent battery life, and a sweat-proof warranty. To prevent wet towels and clothing from dampening these items in your bag, a zip-top plastic bag is ideal.
6. A good fitness tracker
Fitness trackers are great for tracking and recording your workout progress, but are also designed for everyday use. Quality fitness trackers have sleep, step, and calorie tracking down, an altimeter to track stairs climbed, and they can automatically recognize when you’ve started a workout. One of the biggest advantages of fitness trackers is that they have continuous heart-rate monitoring. These devices sync smoothly, and are relatively accurate at gathering the data.
7. Quarantine your gym shoes
Have a sealable plastic bag to place your gym shoes, and stop odors and bacteria from spreading to the rest of your workout gear. It will also keep away debris and dirt that may be on the bottom of your shoes. Place them on the bottom of your bag, next to your gym clothing. You can make small changes and adjustments to the content of your gym bag, but this is a list of essentials that should always be packed before any gym session. Some gyms offer various perks for their members, while others only provide a place to work out. Whatever the case, you should pack your gym bag thoroughly to be prepared. Article written by Luke Douglas Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.