I have clients who are new to the gym and I typically give them sound advice about what I like to do when it’s my first time in a new space. I ask the front desk for a tour, sit on a cardio machine while I look around for my favourite equipment, and I try to go at a quiet time. I try to carry them through the experience of their workout as much as I possibly can!
But today I had a client who wants to explore the gym, and she asked me “What do you like to keep in your gym bag?” and I realized… all this time I’ve been helping reassure my clients when they’re at the gym, but dropped the ball when it came to how to prepare BEFORE the gym.
So let’s talk about it! 👏🏻 ⬇️
First things first:
- My personal gym equipment. I always have a plan made ahead of time of what my workouts consist of before I go. So if I need any resistance bands or loops… in my bag they go! Some people also like to bring ankle straps, bar bell pads, fat grips, wrist straps, gloves, you name it!
- Hair products – you won’t want to forget these. If you forget your hair elastic or clip, something breaks, or you just forgot to bring one… you have back ups! (and don’t forget to replace these when you inevitable have to use them one day).
- Water bottle and snacks. Sure, the gym has its own water stations but it is so much easier to drink water at your workout station rather than getting up every set to go get a sip from the fountain. You’re probably more likely to stay hydrated this way too, which is KEY. 🔑
- Clean freak? Don’t forget to bring your sanitization wipes. The gym usually has these but if you want your own product or worried the gym might run out and forget to restock… this will be your saving grace.
- A lock 🔐 Personally, I prefer to use a lock with a combination on it (just make sure you remember the combo). But if you happen to use a key, make sure it can’t fall out of your pocket or get one of those dollar store coil elastics so you can keep it attached to your water bottle (see, it’s a 2 in 1 at this point) or around your arm.
- Snacks! I guess this could have been organized better, but I’m keeping it as is. Especially if you’re new to the gym or working out, it’s not a bad idea to have a snack near by. I’ve seen some clients who feel very faint or nauseous during a workout because they aren’t used to exercise, or they skipped a meal, or they might just be prone to a drop in 🩸 blood sugar. Snack will be really helpful in helping you feel better! And this is also a good time to mention… if you use supplements, it’s a good time to pack those in your bag too!
- Are you showering at the gym? 🚿 The gym does typically provide hair and body wash but you might want to bring your own. You can’t guarantee that there will be enough soap available, or that it’s anything high end. Skin care, moisturizer. Do you need to dry your hair there? Don’t forget a fresh change of clothes, especially underwear! There is nothing worse than having to put on sweaty underwear after you’ve just showered – or I guess you could forgo it altogether..? This is a good time to include that you will want to pack socks too, for your workout – if you wore sandals to work, went straight to the gym after and didn’t pack socks 🧦, you might regret it.
- HEADPHONES 🎧 These really should have been in order of importance. Keep your headphones charged, keep a headphone charger in your bag. I always have wired headphones as back ups. If you’re using the wired headphones, I always run the cord up through my shirt so it doesn’t get caught on equipment and cause any safety concerns.
- Notebook if you want to track anything. Not much more I can say about that. A pen?
- Hand towel is also helpful… and I guess if you’re showering, a real towel as well. Hand towel is good if you’re sweaty or want to put it down on equipment before you sit. I can’t do a spin class without mine!