While some people loathe packing a bag to the gym, many find it helps them with the routine. Having a dedicated bag with specific items to bring with you into the gym means you’re less likely to forget something.
Carrying a gym bag also means you have more room for the necessities of lifting, such as a water bottle or a change of clothes. Regardless, being able to easily carry your gym equipment means you’re probably going to take it to the gym with you.
Carrying everything you need with you, such as toiletries and a change of clothes, also ensures that you’ll be in and out of the gym in as little time as possible.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the absolute necessities you should be packing with you into your gym bag.
1. Water Bottle
This one should almost go without saying, but we’re going to put it right up at number one so you don’t forget. Carrying a water bottle when working out is always a good idea, and it can even be loaded with some additional Branched-Chain Amino Acid mix for improving recovery.
Even if your gym has a water fountain or filtered water machine, you’ll save time by bringing your own bottle.
Pro-Tip: Refill your water bottle at your gym’s filtered watering hole. It’s probably better than whatever’s coming out of your tap.
2. Weight Lifting Belt
This one is important enough to rank right up near the water bottle. The weight lifting belt is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment in your arsenal.
Many people mistakenly believe that a weight belt is only good for deadlifts. While a weight belt definitely helps protect the lower back during deadlifts, it’s useful on a variety of other exercises.
Lifting belts not only protect the lower back, but also increase intra-abdominal pressure by tightening up your core. This pressure gives your core muscles something to “push” against, helping to increase the stability of your lifts.
Even if you only use the lifting belt on occasion, it’s still a smart choice to bring it with you to every session. You never know when you might want to finish your workout with a set up deadlifts or bent over rows.
Towels are a basic item that a lot of people forget, until they get into the gym and find themselves covered in sweat.
A towel can help you clean up both during and after your workout, so it’s normally best to bring two with you.
A smaller, hand towel is great for wiping your hands and face during your workout, and a full sized bath towel or quick dry fitness towel works well for after your shower.
If your gym doesn’t provide towels for their customers, consider throwing a couple into your gym bag.
4. Gloves/Power Grips
Gloves have been a staple for many lifters for decades. Not only will they protect your hands from excess injury, but they also improve your grip on the bar when lifting heavy.
The glove is a nearly timeless piece of equipment, and there have been many improvements made in the last few years.
One of the best alternatives to gloves is a set of Gunsmith Power Grips. Power grips combine the best qualities of gloves with the practicality of lifting straps.
Power Grips will protect your palms, while also giving you a better grip on the bar, meaning you can lift more weight. These are especially useful for any pulling motion, such as deadlifts and rows.
5. Protein Powder
Protein Powder is another amazing addition to your gym bag. By bringing along a small tub or Ziplock bag full of protein, you can feed your muscles immediately after working out.
If you’re not careful this could get messy, so be sure to always completely close the lid or bag when you’re finished using it.
A more expensive, but more practical alternative to protein powder is a protein or energy bar. We all know how important it is to fuel your muscles after working them, so consider throwing a source of protein into your bag.
6. Hygiene Equipment
Hygiene equipment is also a very practical sub-category to pack with you, but many lifters will forgo hygiene gear if they shower at home.
But many lifters hit the gym on their way to work in the morning, and don’t have time to drive all the way back home for a shower.
This is where your gym bag really comes through, so make sure you bring a spare set of hygiene tools, such as razor, deodorant and after shave.
7. Spare Clothes
A spare set of clothes can really come in handy at the gym, both during and after a workout.
One instance where you might want some extra clothing during your workout is after finishing your lifting routine, you may want to go hit some cardio. In this case, you may want to throw on a sweatshirt or hoody while on the treadmill or stationary bike.
Our Apex Oversized Hoodies would be perfect for this situation, as they’re large enough to easily fit over any other gym clothing you may be wearing. They’re also comfortable enough and provide enough mobility to workout in by themselves.
8. Barbell Squat Pad
No serious lifter’s gear bag would be complete without a Squat Pad for the barbell. This is a simple piece of shaped foam that slips over the barbell to protect your neck and spine when performing squats.
Some people prefer simply wrapping a towel around the barbell prior to knocking out their squats, but this isn’t nearly as effective as a Squat Pad and can actually be dangerous.
Headphones are another great addition to your list of gym equipment, and for good reason. Not only will listening to your favorite music or podcast keep your mood elevated while lifting, but you can also switch up the playlist depending on what lift you’re on.
While some prefer leaving their ears open and just listening to whatever music the gym is playing, a lot of serious lifters know the benefit of putting on a specific playlist when they’re trying to hit PR’s or getting into the really heavy lifts, such as squats, bench or deadlifts.
10. The Bag
The bonus item for this list is obvious but often overlooked. The gym bag itself is just as important as what’s inside it.
You want your bag to be tough and high quality so that it will last years, but also functional enough for everything you need to bring with you.
Some lifter’s prefer the simplicity of the duffle bag, but if you want a traditional backpack check out the line of Gunsmith’s Camo Backpacks. Whether for the gym, school, work or a hike, our bags are designed with enough features to cover whatever you need.
And there you have it, 9 (well 10) items that are essential for your gym bag.
By having your gym bag squared away, you’re more likely to see success in your gym routine.