First time going to the gym? Not sure what to take to the gym? Packing for an upcoming fitness retreat? Worried you’re missing out on some workout essentials? We understand. Look no further.
Please don’t pack everything and the kitchen sink. When you’re going to the gym, you only need the essentials. Remember, you’ve only got that small dressing room locker. It’s not a two-week all-inclusive retreat (unfortunately).
We rounded up our Innermost team and asked them what they keep in their gym bag. Aside from the odd waiting-to-be-washed-up protein shakers and snack packets, here’s the essentials…
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
An absolute staple. Aside from being the most practical footwear, properly fitting and exercise-tailored trainers are the best way to avoid any injury. If you’re heading to the gym for a power cardio session, make sure your trainers are lightweight and padded. If you need some inspiration and advice when it comes to selecting the perfect running trainer, we’ve put together a nifty little guide featuring Our Five Top Tips To Selecting The Best Running Trainer For You.
If you’re scheduled in for some weightlifting – flat footed trainers are key. We personally opt for Converse or Vans style trainers, but that’s up to you.
No one likes working out in silence. Whether you opt for a wireless or wired option, make sure you’ve got your headphones packed. Listening to a great playlist is a huge motivation when it comes to working out and is a great way to keep yourself engaged and focused.
Block out the world and get to work – your workout awaits.
- Padlock and key
This is a big one. Public gyms often have shared locker rooms, and this means shared lockers and open space. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that in a shared space, there is a risk of your property being stolen, and often due to the nature of changing and locker rooms, CCTV is few and far between.
In this case, it’s important to keep your belongings safe. Bringing a personal padlock and key means that no other gym-goer will have the same padlock as you and ensures that you’re not relying on shared padlocks or lock combinations to keep your personal items away from anyone with alternative motives.
It’s about to get sweaty. Whether you bring a large towel for your post-workout shower, or a smaller, hand towel to wipe away the sweat from your brow following that hardcore cardio session, packing a towel is a hygiene essential.
These are also a great way to wipe down machines after a particularly sweaty workout, which is just common courtesy in the gym. But you know that.
- Reusable water bottle
Save the planet and hydrate yourself at the same time. A water bottle is an absolute must for any workout, as not being able to hydrate yourself throughout exercise is a one-way ticket to dehydration: which means headaches, nausea and maybe even fainting.
Our Innermost Protein Shaker doubles up as a reusable water bottle. Hint hint.
- A change of clothes
No one wants to walk around in sweaty clothes after a workout. If you’re working out before work, heading for a quick session before drinks on an evening, or have plans following your gym session, make sure you’ve packed a change of clothes to ensure you’re not caught out.
Even if you don’t have any plans after, make sure you have a change of clothes. No one wants to sit in sweaty, smelly clothes – it’s uncomfortable at the least.
This leads nicely on from our last point. It’s important to freshen up. No more explanation needed, we think.
- Your mobile phone
Music source, safety device, set timer, access to fitness apps. All in one. You should always keep your mobile phone on you, and make sure it’s charged up as much as possible before you go.
For one, there’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and having no music to jam out to during your workout, but aside from that – from a safety standpoint, especially if you gym alone, it’s important to be able to get in contact with someone – for whatever reason.
As above, you never know what might happen! Just as a general life tip, keeping money on you is always a good idea. You might just get tempted by that snack in the gym vending machine, forget your drink and need to grab one, or need to get an emergency taxi home.
A small amount of money is always a great item to keep handy in your gym bag.
- Post-workout snack
Ah, the post-workout snack. Many a time, when you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, the post-workout snack can just be enough to get you through that last set. A post-workout snack is also a good idea just to refuel following a particularly heavy session, as consuming the necessary nutrients and protein after exercise is key to progress and leading that all-important healthy lifestyle.
Need some snack inspo? Say no more…
- The Best Homemade Protein Bar Recipes
- 5 Easy And Healthy Snacks
- Best Healthy High Protein Smoothies
- The 5 Best Sources Of Vegan Protein
So, we’ve worked out what to take to the gym. Those are the absolute workout essentials. But what about one extra? Oh, go on then…
- Resistance bands
Resistance bands are a small and light workout addition to add into your gym bag. They can be incorporated into tons of workout techniques from squats and leg presses to bicep curls, there are lots great benefits of resistance bands, as they help improve the quality of your exercise, engage your muscles and help focus control… so if you haven’t tried them out yet, what are you waiting for?