Depending on your sport and lifestyle, packing for training can be an intense affair- especially if you’re heading to the gym on the way to or from the office and need a spare pair of clothes. Of course. A well-maintained bag should have you covered for every eventuality- it should cover everything you may ever need to get ready for your workout, to get ready again after your workout, and to make sure the workout itself is as easy and productive as possible.
Sport dependent equipment is a must in your gym bag- wraps, straps and chalk for powerlifter, racket, spare racket and balls for tennis players, gloves, wrist straps and gum shield for boxers, and so on. Dietary quirks need to be catered for as well, whether you’re aiming for weight loss from your exercise and need that low-calorie power bar, or you’re going for hypertrophy and need a hefty shake.
These specifics aside, there are a few items that every gym bag should have, no matter what. Nobody wants to be in the position in which any of the items below are missing: you’ve left a spare pair of socks, a clean t-shirt, or your deodorant at home and know you’ll have to spend the foreseeable future smelling like… well, like you’ve been at the gym.
However, you also don’t want to pack everything bar the kitchen sink just for a bit of exercise. We can streamline things a bit so that you have all the essentials covered but don’t have to make carrying your bag a workout in itself. We’ve therefore picked five of the top things your bag should have to make sure the hours you devote to exercise are as pleasant and smooth as possible.
If you forget all else on your trip to the gym, make sure not to leave these out.
Top picks for your gym bag
You need deodorant in your gym bag- preferably a good quality one, at that. Gyms in Mirdif and any other hot places need their patrons to look after their odour, so make sure to apply deodorant before working out. Nobody wants to end up lifting next to that one guy who doesn’t bother. With hard exercise comes hard breathing, and you want the air around you to be as fresh as possible.
Similarly, when you’re leaving the gym, whether or not you’ve showered, you’ll want to put some more on. If you’re walking or taking public transport, this is a service to the public as a whole; if you’re driving, it’s a service to yourself, so that you’re not confined with your own pit-stink!
2. Extra socks
The same reason as above- fresh cleanliness is key, especially in hot places like some of the gyms in Motor City. Even if your gym is nicely airconditioned, any good-quality, hard exercise will you’re your feet sweat. Clean socks are lovely to put on after a post-exercise shower, leaving your sweaty training socks where they belong: in the bottom of your bag, ready to be washed as soon as you get home.
Socks don’t take up much room at all, so it may be worth stashing a few pairs in your gym bag, just in case!
3. Gym shoes
Appropriate footwear will make or break your workout. Make sure that you have a comfortable pair of trainers well-suited to your discipline- running shoes for cardio, flat shoes for lifting, climbing shoes for climbing and so on.
Training in unsuitable footwear is a recipe for discomfort and, ultimately, injury.
4. Water bottle
You should never, ever train without water. Dehydration brings its own health problems, and in the short term will completely wreck your athletic performance. It becomes a much larger problem when you’re training in warmer climates, so if you’re attending the gym in Mirdif - or anywhere hot!- you have to make sure you drink plenty as you exercise.
Take an empty bottle to save weight as most gyms should have a water pump.
You want two towels in your gym bag. A small towel will be for use during training, especially if you’re hitting the weight room (especially, once more, if you’re attending the gym in Motor City or anywhere hot where sweat is a big problem). You can use it both to wipe up your own sweat, and you can lay it on a bench so that you’re not sticking to other people’s sweat. In addition, you’ll want a large towel for obvious reasons- you don’t want to be caught without one after your post-workout shower.