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Gym Essentials: 7 Items You Need In Your Gym Bag

Is that empty gym bag staring you in the face? Fill it with these gym bag fundamentals, and carry the basics of fitness with you wherever you go!

Your gym bag should be your fitness "bag of tricks." Although every gym bag is unique, and will probably reflect the fitness goals and personality of the person who carries it, every bag should have a few essentials. These fitness must-haves are perfect for anyone and any goal.

No more going to the gym empty-handed! Fill your bag with these items and set yourself up for a more productive workout. Whether you're just starting out or have been in the trenches for years, you'll benefit from a bag stocked for your success.

1 / Quality Workout Threads

Without good training clothes, your workout is probably going to be less than satisfactory. So, if you hit the gym after work, remember to pack some breathable, well-fitted clothing. There's nothing worse than unpacking your gym bag in the locker room and realizing you've forgotten shorts!

It's also important to remember fit over fashion. Don't waste time worrying about your gym attire—pulling up or tugging down your clothes while you work out is annoying. Your butt might look great in those tight pants, but those low squats are going to be problematic. Keep the moon outside, buddy.

2 / Good Shoes

If you're an advanced lifter, you may prefer lifting shoes to traditional cross-trainers or running shoes. Whatever choice you make, make sure it provides the support you need for the type of training you will do. Box jumps or running in sandals would turn out even worse than it would look.

3 / Shaker Bottle

A gym bag isn't complete unless it contains a quality shaker bottle. You can use it for your all of your refreshment needs. It can hold your pre- and intra-workout supplements, water, or shake up your post-workout protein/carb combo. Be sure to grab a good shaker bottle so you end up with a protein that's easy to drink instead of some nasty, clumpy mixture you have to choke down.

4 / Workout Log

A workout log is absolutely essential to consistent progress. Use your workout journal to record sets, reps, weights, and rest. You need to know how much you lifted in past workouts to lift more in future workouts. A gym log is an essential tool for anyone trying to build their best self. Be sure to track every session!

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5 / Towel

Sweating is normal—especially in the gym! But nobody wants to sit in your sweat. Bring a towel to wipe down the equipment after you finish using it, or simply to keep your sweat to yourself.

6 / Music

Most people find music incredibly motivating, but it has to be your music. Your personal selection will deliver better results than the "Call Me Maybe" crap they play at the gym. Use your phone or an Mp3 player, and pack some headphones.

7 / Timer Or Monitor

Finally, if you want to keep real-time tabs on your progress every step of the way, keep a quality heart rate monitor in your gym bag. You can use this during cardio and lifting sessions to monitor your heartbeat and stay in the desired zone. Some heart rate monitors will even give estimations of total calories burned, so if fat loss is a primary goal, give them a look.

If you like circuits, HIIT training, Tabata, or CrossFit-style (timed) workouts you will want an interval timer. Interval timers, like the Gymboss, are customizable, easy to use, and help you focus on your workout, not your rest times. In some cases, timed workouts can be one of the best ways to up the intensity of your training and overcome a plateau.


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About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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Dave4D

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Dave4D

I keep a shaker cup, lifting belt, gloves, HR monitor, wrist wraps, workout clothes, after shower accessories, and flip flops in my gym bag. I also have a pad lock, and head phones for my phone, which I use to play my music, time, and log my workouts, and rest periods. I use Jefit to log my workout, and time my rest sets.

Jan 4, 2013 7:09pm | report
 
benchweight

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benchweight

Most of these are not items you "need"

Jan 4, 2013 8:01pm | report
 
Critter5592

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Critter5592

Obviously you dont "need" anything but your body and weights, but most of these you SHOULD have.

Jan 5, 2013 12:11pm | report
Biggeritis

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Biggeritis

I was assuming the "Call me Maybe" crap was only on my gym. I see we are talking about a worldwide epidemic.

Point 8. Training gloves
Point 9. Shower essentials
Point 10. A magazine of your choice to read when doing longer cardio sessions.(or something else like a study)

Jan 4, 2013 9:15pm | report
 
FromTwigsToBigs

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FromTwigsToBigs

Haha it must be world-wide because they play that here too!

Jan 5, 2013 10:19pm | report
CitizenCL

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CitizenCL

I haven't heard it at my gym yet.

But, I'll trade you all that Justin Bieber junk that keeps blaring at my gym for your "Call Me Maybe" any day.

Jan 6, 2013 11:31am | report
RobRocks

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RobRocks

I just have a towel and straps in my bag.I wear my shoes all day at work and they are the ones i train in as well,converse chuck taylor shoes.

Jan 4, 2013 9:34pm | report
 
daudy

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daudy

I have seen a couple of people at the gym with them, are they comfortable to work out in?

Jan 7, 2013 3:45pm | report
danielcole1919

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danielcole1919

new list.. 1) motivation 2) balls 3) bucket for puking on squat days.. that is all

Jan 4, 2013 11:13pm | report
 
Casali

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Casali

Tried that 10 x 10 squat workout. Bring the bucket that day for sure!!!

Jan 5, 2013 9:01am | report
jester9168

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jester9168

LOL. That was good.

Jan 5, 2013 10:42am | report
Andrea928

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Andrea928

Excelent!

Jan 6, 2013 7:24am | report
Rudice

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Rudice

everyone who is saying glove aren't on the list... lol toughen up. calouses are proper gloves

Jan 5, 2013 5:02am | report
 
Andrea928

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Andrea928

Sorry, but girls can have muscles and still be pretty. And that includes our hands!

Jan 6, 2013 7:26am | report
joe_discus57

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joe_discus57

A cheap $8 watch with a stop watch feature is the best piece of equipment I keep in my bag. Allows you to time your rest and make sure you are taking too much time in between sets, or not enough time .

Jan 5, 2013 9:21am | report
 
Stamosghost

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Stamosghost

I actually have one of those little timers I got once for the kitchen. It has a magnet on the back so you can pretty much just slap that baby up anywhere (you know, since everything's metal) and then it's right there counting away for you right where you can see it, hands-free!

Jan 5, 2013 1:04pm | report
chadwr85

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chadwr85

Don't use hardly any of this. All gyms either provide small towels or paper towels with disinfectant spray. If I need straps I will bring them, if I need a squat belt I will bring it. I always bring my Iphone with music. And that's all I need. I come in clothes ready to workout. Gym bags are bulky and unnecessary.

Jan 5, 2013 10:18am | report
 
jester9168

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jester9168

I like wrist straps. They make me feel stronger and give me a lot more stability. I also don't feel that my wrists are any weaker for using them. I highly recommend them.

Jan 5, 2013 10:46am | report
 
POTA

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POTA

Well, wrist wraps definitely prevent your wrists from getting stronger, as they provide artificial support. But if you have bad wrists, then it's better to use them than to sustain an injury.

Jan 5, 2013 11:12am | report
magnum61938

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magnum61938

Belt towel earphones shoes gloves bcaa

Jan 5, 2013 11:04am | report
 
lucas604

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lucas604

Left out a lifting belt, gloves, straps...thought this was BODYBUILDING.com not mens health

Jan 5, 2013 11:12am | report
 
Bodice

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Bodice

None of those are needed. Belt maybe...the other things are, if anything, detrimental.

Jan 5, 2013 11:43am | report
MattClooten

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MattClooten

If you have an iPhone, downlaod iFitness Pro, best workout log/timer I've ever used and highly customizable as far as workouts go.

Jan 5, 2013 11:19am | report
 
Salsero691

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Salsero691

I use Jefit on Android.

Jan 5, 2013 11:50am | report
POTA

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POTA

Nexercise gives you points which you can redeem for Amazon gift cards and gift cards from other places.

Jan 5, 2013 2:02pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 46 Comments

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