Your Gym Bag: The Essentials

Hate packing a bag for the gym? Don’t know what you’ll need before it’s time to hit the shower and you just realise you’ve forgotten to bring an extra pair of underwear?

Here’s my checklist of what I bring to the gym, and what products I prefer to use.

Now there’s one rule I always apply to my gym bag that I think everyone should follow:

If your bag is remotely heavy, you’re doing it wrong.

Sometime I’ll be in the locker room getting changed and see people walk in with bags that would make you think they’re about to head off for a week’s holiday self-catering and not only spending a few hours in the gym WHERE ALL THE EQUIPMENT already is.

Unless you’re going to the gym in your normal clothes and have to change, there’s no reason to have to carry such a big bag that you’ll spend five minutes trying to stuff in the locker to get the door closed.

For the last 2 years I have had this reliable Jansport bag with me at the gym. I break down where I’m putting my stuff like this:

  • The gym clothes, socks, underwear and towel go i the back pocket
  • Shoes goes the middle pocket (because I don’t want them poking in my back)
  • Toiletries in the bigger front pocket as it will have a few in-lines that separate the likes of shower gel and deodorant well
  • Loose change, headphones and lock in the front pocket
  • Drink and any sort of snack in the side pocket

That’s all you ever need. But what goes in the bag? Here’s my default assemblage (fancy word for stuff) for day to day gym sessions:

Combination Padlock

If I was king for a day, I would ensure that lockers you needed a pound coin every time you used them were outlawed. While finding someone has left their pound behind is only second to getting a free trolley at the supermarket, I’ve had so much trouble with these kinds of lockers that I always just use one i can throw a little combination padlock on.

Head to Amazon to get a good deal on one. I went to a big name key cutters in town to see how much locks were in the shop and it isn’t worth spending a tenner on. Search online and you’ll be able to get 4 packs for roughly ¬£5. Multi-packs are best for the eventual day that you lose one and know there’s a few more back at home you can grab.

Power Bands

Exercise that is resistance based is my favourite as it is basically your body’s way of saying you haven’t even reached your peak yet. Try doing a push up like the one in the photo with some bands and you’ll quickly reach failure. Unlike the padlocks, I wouldn’t recommend buying a pair or two on Amazon or Ebay. I once thought i’d got a bargain pair for ¬£3 only to use them in the gym and actually having them rip on me. A good pair from Adidas as super resistant and don’t show signs of wear as much. (You can save some dough ordering yours by visiting¬† where they have deals for Adidas store)

Hair Powder

You’re sweating buckets after your workout, you’ve hit the showers and even after using a hair dryer, you still have that “I am roasting” feeling where your body hasn’t cooled down yet. Don’t make the mistake of throwing some hair gel on half wet hair that will make it clump and have you spending the rest of the day fighting with your fringe.

I copped on to using hair powder from a female friend who told me it was just like using chalk dries everything and help keep things in good form. Osis is my preferred one, but it’s hard to get in Boots or Superdrug sometimes. You just sprinkle some on the palm of your hand and work it in to your hair, which it clings to in no time at all. Only use a little though or you’ll end up with your hair stuck in clumps.


So that’s what I always pack n my gym bag. Goes to to show you don’t need a million things every time you visit the gym.

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