For regular gym-goers having a bag packed and ready to go with workout gear is part of their gym routine. For the less organised, gathering all the essentials as you run out the door is a more accurate picture. (Trust us, we know!).

We thought that for this week's post, we'd cover some workout essentials you can keep in your workout bag so that when the time comes, you're ready to rock and roll. From protein bars to clean clothes and even a shower cap - we've covered it all.

perfect gym bag

1. Start With The Perfect Gym Bag

Does the perfect gym bag exist? Yeah, we think so, and it's made by the team over at Gymshark. The LC Bag has a range of features like a see-through panel on the side with a functional touchscreen so you can use your phone without removing it from your duffle bag. Perfect for logging sets! It's also the perfect size for storing your workout clothes and gym gear.

Another reason we love this bag is that the design stands out, and you'd expect nothing less from the gym wear pros at Gymshark. It's big enough to hold all of your gym bag essentials while being small enough to comfortably carry on one shoulder and fit in a standard size gym locker.

2. Comfortable Gym Shoes

Thankfully, there are many stylish and comfortable shoes available on the market. If you find yourself prone to foot or back pain after a workout, then it is important to invest in a good pair of shoes that will support your feet without causing any unnecessary pain.

An excellent choice for a supportive gym shoe is our CrepStars Lambo trainer slipper. Made with breathable nylon engineered mesh and 4-way stretch Neoprene, you'll be able to work out in comfort and style without your feet getting over hot and chafing.

post workout snack

3. Post Workout Snack

Post-workout nutrition is important for recovery and muscle growth. Ideally, you want to consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your workout for optimal muscle synthesis.

Protein bars provide a convenient post-workout snack as they are portable, calorie-dense, and contain essential nutrients. Some bars also have added vitamins and minerals like magnesium to support muscle recovery.

gym towel

4. Towel For That Post Workout Shower

You don't just need a towel to wipe down the equipment when you're done; you'll also need another for your post-workout shower. A lot of people will just use the towel that they've used to wipe down machines for showering.

However, this can lead to bacteria from your sweat and body oils building up on your towel. We suggest keeping a spare, clean towel in your gym bag so you can have a fresh one every time. That way, you know your towel is germ-free and ready for use.

A quick tip, bring a plastic bag to put your towel in to protect your clothes from getting damp after your post-workout shower.

gym water bottle

5. Water Bottle

Nothing says hydration like a good old-fashioned reusable water bottle. The Represent Clo Water Bottle has a sleek design and is made of durable, BPA and DEHP-free materials. Additionally, it also has a silicone seal to ensure that you don't have to worry about it leaking in your bag to and from the gym.

gym clothes

6. Spare Gym Clothes

You know that feeling when you're halfway through your workout, and you realise what a sweaty mess you are? You start to worry about whether there's enough time to hop in the shower before running out of the gym. So we recommend keeping some spare clothes at hand, just in case.

Gym King has got you covered with its range of stylish, high-performance activewear. Shop online for everything from t-shirts and shorts to trousers, jackets and sweatpants, all designed with comfort and durability in mind. Their pieces are so comfortable; they'll feel like old favourites the second you put them on.

wireless headphones

7. Wireless Headphones

The first and most important thing you should always have in your bag is a pair of wireless headphones. Whether you like to listen to music while you work out or have a podcast on standby, it's important that you don't do so with wired headphones.

Not only will the wires get tangled and make your workout that much more difficult, but they'll also be dangling around your neck and getting in the way of everything else.

wireless headphones

8. Smartwatch Or Heart Rate Monitor

One of the most popular items to include in your workout bag are a smartwatch or heart rate monitor. These accessories can be vital in helping you keep track of how hard you're working and where you need to improve.

Smartwatches have many different benefits for fitness enthusiasts, from tracking your progress to counting reps; the watch does it all. Heart rate monitors are also great for those that want to keep tabs on their heart rate during a workout.

Both smartwatches and heart rate monitors are great for those who want to know more about their workouts but don't want to take up too much time figuring out what needs improvement. And with more and more brands releasing HRMs, there has never been a better time to upgrade your fitness tools.

hand gel

9. Hand Gel

Sanitising your hands before and during a workout is one way you can help prevent any unwanted sicknesses from creeping up on you. Hand gels are perfect for this and, of course, the number one thing to have in your gym bag essentials.

No matter how well you wash your hands, they can still be contaminated with germs. After a workout, it is important to clean them properly, and the best way to do that is to use hand sanitiser after your shower. It doesn't take long for bacteria to build up on your hands after a workout, so make sure to use the hand sanitiser as soon as possible.

spare socks

10. Spare Socks

Many people don't think to pack a spare pair of socks in their gym bag. But if you're doing intense exercise, socks can get wet and sweaty. Not only are you risking getting blisters, but it can also be uncomfortable to put wet socks back on after your post-workout shower, and most outdoor shoes aren't that comfortable without socks.

 key chain

11. Keychain

It is not uncommon to be asked for our membership card when we're working out at a new gym. That's why it's always good to pack your keychain with your membership card and any other cards you might need to show proof of membership, like your work ID, if you plan on using the gym during your lunch break.

workout app

12. Workout App

If you're looking for the perfect app to help you get in shape, look no further than Freeletics. Freeletics offers a free workout app with hundreds of different exercises, workouts and goal plans. Whether you are just starting out or an experienced athlete, Freeletics has something for everyone.

Freeletics provides different high-intensity bodyweight workouts, which are all aligned to your specific fitness level. All you need is a well-equipped gym to head to in order to get started. The app can also put you in touch with coaches that you can use when spending time in the gym so that you can achieve your goals faster.


13. Hair Tie

No matter what type of workout you're doing, a hair tie will be your best friend if you have long hair. No matter how you're rocking your hair up, it might come down at some point, and a hair tie is the best way to stop that from happening. Not to mention, some types of hair bands are designed to double as a sweatband for when things get really tough during your workouts.

locker room change

14. Change For The Locker Room

The first thing you'll need to have in your gym bag is change. You never know when you're going to need it, but it's always good to be prepared and have it on hand.

Not all locker rooms use coins, but if you're heading to a new gym for the first time, it's best to be prepared. Take at least a few pounds and some change with you so that you can ensure that your stuff will be safe if the lockers require coins. Additionally, you might think about taking your own gym lock which is common in most gyms now.

sauna and swimming gear

15. Sauna & Swimming Gear 

If you're into certain types of exercise, then this is a definite addition to your gym bag. While many people are only aware of the sauna's benefits for post-workout recovery, there are also other benefits from use like treatment of chronic skin conditions, detoxification and relaxation. 

Swimming gear is also another item that can be included in your gym bag, as this type of workout can't be done in your t-shirt and workout pants.

Swimming gear like goggles, nose plugs, earplugs and a swim cap is also important to keep on hand. If you're a fan of swimming laps for cardio or would rather take a dip than stay inside for an hour-long workout, make sure you have these essentials ready to go.

Written by Steve Jones

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