Your Ultimate Gym Bag Packing List
When people first start working out, they’re often surprised to learn that having a good workout is rarely just about the effort you put in during the session. In fact, there are plenty of things that can affect your workout long before you even pull into the gym car park. It could be forgetting to wash a fresh set of gym clothes, sleeping through your alarm or missing the slot to book onto your spin class.
Some of these things you won’t have any control over, but some you definitely do – and it’s all in the prep-work. As the saying goes, ‘By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail’. One of the things you can do to set yourself up for a great session is packing your gym bag well in advance. If you take your time to get your kit ready – ideally the night before – then you’ll avoid a lot of the classic pitfalls.
Of course there are the obvious things you’ll need, such as trainers and a towel. But what about the little extras that you might not think of? The things that might not seem important, but that can actually make or break a session?
We’ve put together a list of 9 ‘essential non-essentials’ that will make your trip to the gym a lot easier. Follow these gym hacks for a more organised bag and smoother workout.
- Spare Earphones
If you’re hitting the gym without a workout buddy, then the chances are you’re going to want a motivating playlist to get you through. However, having your tunes of choice ready to go is only half the battle, as you’ll likely know if you’ve ever turned up with headphones that are either dead or broken. Nothing kills your session as quickly as boredom, so make sure you avoid this pitfall by always having a spare pair in your gym bag.
It can also be a good idea to have a set that is either Bluetooth-enabled or has a universal lead. This way, if your phone dies during the session you can hopefully connect to the cardio machines or TV.
- Sunglasses Case
Lots of us like to get our workouts in either before or after work. One problem with this can be getting changed, and specifically keeping your accessories or grooming products together. For women, this can lead to lost jewellery and hair ties, while men could find their watch getting scratched when bungled into the locker.
A glasses case is the perfect size for stashing these small items when you change out of your work outfit. Keep one in your gym bag for those rushed days and make sure you never lose another earring.
- Flip Flops
Depending on your gym, communal showers can be a grim experience. Pack a cheap pair of flip flops in your kit bag so that when the time comes to hit the shower, you’re not worrying about walking barefoot through everyone else’s dirty water.
- Travel Size Toiletries
On the topic of showers, products offered within them really varies from gym to gym. Some will have dispensers filled with great quality shampoo, conditioner and body wash free for all – while in others, you might be lucky to find a suspiciously old bar of soap.
Most people prefer to take their own toiletries with them if they need to shower at the gym, but this isn’t always the most practical choice. First of all they’re bulky, secondly they’re easy to forget and finally, you risk annoying whoever you live with if you’re constantly taking the shampoo on the move with you!
Travel-sized minis designed for holidays are therefore the perfect gym hack. Keep these in your gym bag permanently rather than packing and unpacking, and simply replace them as you need. We recommend including a mini shower gel and deodorant as a standard, but travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothpaste and perfume/aftershave are also great additions to your gym bag.
- A Sports Drink
Even when armed with the best intentions, a lack of focus or energy when you get to the gym can ruin a workout before it begins. Packing a sports drink in your gym bag guarantees that no matter how busy your work day was, you can give yourself a bit of a boost to get through your workout. Our CBD-infused drinks are the ultimate gym hack. They give you the glucose you need for energy, replace electrolytes lost through sweat and give you all of the additional benefits of CBD oil.
CBD also has plenty of benefits for sports recovery, so having a bottle in your gym bag to enjoy after your session is a great idea if you have a busy day ahead.
- A Snack
It’s a good idea to have a couple of emergency snacks in your kit for those occasions when you need something more substantial than a drink alone. If you’re heading to the gym straight from work and need something to tide you over until your evening meal, an energy bar or piece of fruit are perfect. Or, if you’re doing a heavy weights session and want to get your protein in as soon as possible, a protein bar or shake is the ideal gym bag addition,
- Makeup Wipes
Working out with makeup on is generally regarded as a no-go unless you want clogged pores. So, if you’re coming to the gym after a busy day then a pack of wipes in your bag is a great idea. And this isn’t just a tip for women. If you’re heading home to shower after your workout then men and women will both benefit from quickly freshening up with a wipe before leaving the gym.
Wipes are also a great gym bag hack in case there are any spillages or dirt in your kit. Give your shoes, phone or sports bottle a quick wipe down and you’re ready to go.
- Talcum Powder or Baking Soda
If you’re worried about your gym bag starting to smell a little funky, this tip is for you. Prevent your sweaty trainers from getting too musty by shaking a little bit of powder into them post-workout. The powder soaks up excess moisture and odour, keeping your footwear fresh. Scented talcum powder is great for this, but baking soda has been found to work just as well.
- Zip-Lock Plastic Bags
On the subject of sweaty workout gear, this final hack is a must for those hitting the gym before work. If you hate the thought of your damp clothes sitting in your bag all day, pack some small air-tight plastic bags (the ones sold for freezing food are perfect, and come in a variety of sizes).
When you get changed after your session, pack your worn top into one of these bags so that it’s kept separate from the other items in your kit. Not only will it stop your gym bag from getting a musty smell, but it’s also easy to find when unpacking so you can throw your worn bits straight into the wash.
For more hints and tips on all things exercise, take a look at our Blog.