People head to the gym for different reasons. I, for one, take boxing classes for self-defense. Exercising is a good way to reduce weight, gain mass and stay fit at the same time.
I remember clearly my first day going to the gym. I was so stoked to start out my training and finally fulfill my new year resolutions (despite it being mid-year). Correct me if am wrong but the first week going to the gym is always the hardest like literally (I may be exaggerating just a bit but you get the gist).
The discipline required to show up without missing a session and on time is unmatched. And don’t even get me started on waking up with body aches and fatigue. And you still have to get up and drag yourself to the gym the next day. I really can’t be surprised by the number of people who always end up canceling their gym memberships along the way.
In making sure to never miss any gym session, not only do you need to be well prepared mentally, but you also need to be armed with all gym essentials. These items make your training life easier. That’s why I’ve jotted down the most gym bag essentials for men.
Being organized and avoiding unnecessary inconveniences is the goal here. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of ‘must haves’, plus some few important and luxury items to tag along with for your next gym session.
Gym Bag Essentials for Men
These as put above are your ‘must haves’ or crucial items. They’re basic items for all, regardless of your workouts or general goals.
1. Gym Bag or Gym Duffel
Taking the time off your schedule to do something special takes a lot of commitment. As such you’ll need a dedicated gym pack. (this means something for all your gym stuff and nothing else).
When I started I didn’t see the point of this. But along the way, I decided otherwise. Since then, I have been using Yeti Panga Airtight Duffel Bag which is both waterproof and spacious. So far no complaints.
Have you ever gone to work with the same bag you used to carry the same not so clean, stinky gym clothes (nasty right?). It might not bother you as much but think about everyone else. There are numerous and better ways to prove you were at the gym. Whether it’s a duffel bag or a backpack, this is a number one must have.
Get a gym bag that can comfortably fit your gym items. It helps in keeping the separate portion of your day to day life in different bags.
Shoes or rather sports shoes come in different shapes, sizes and designs and with a good reason for that matter. Just as people go to the gym for different reasons, just mentioning a few, losing weight gaining mass or staying fit. This is where the difference comes in, you’ll need either three types of gym shoes; flat shoes, track shoes or minimalistic ones.
a. Flat shoes
These are ideal Olympic recommended shoes for weight lifting. They’re low on the ground hence creating traction and support to your feet. This gives you a more stable, firm and stance on the floor.
b. Track shoes
These are shoes most suitable for hitting the treadmill or your morning jog before work. They’re just right for a perfect grip and comfort to your feet while moving.
c. Minimalistic shoes
These are quite average soled and versatile shoes best for all sports activities. Whether it’s a nice and cozy grip or a firm stance you’re totally covered.
3. Fitness Tracker
Are you a competitive individual like me? Then getting a fitness tracker is the right step to take. Imagine making your workout routine a game. This small device will give absolute control and knowledge of your body. Furthermore, it keeps logs of your movements, heart rate and calories lost.
4. Earphones or Headphones
Apart from group workouts, I enjoy some motivational music too. I’m pretty sure you would too. A decent pair of earphones or headphones will do just that. I personally fancy a pair of AirPods to avoid tripping or tangling.
5. Muscle Relaxer
You must have started a routine and realized unbearable aches the next morning. This is something you’ll ease out of after some time of sequential workouts. That being said it really doesn’t hurt to get your muscles to relieve quicker.
Don’t make it a reason to quit anymore, get yourself some muscle relaxers.
6. High Protein Bar
Gaining mass is a matter of eating a balanced diet with lots of protein. Likewise, protein comes in various forms. Whether as powder or bars, taking plenty will greatly help.
7. Reusable Water Bottle
Water is a basic requirement for survival. After a tiresome workout, you definitely need some hydration. Always pack along a water bottle for all your gym session. I insist on using reusable water bottles over disposable ones because we all are trying to save our planet, one tiny step at a time.
Considering most gym-goers tend to have their workout sessions either early morning or late evening, stopping to buy a water bottle is both inconvenient and expensive in the long run.
8. First Aid Kit
This item may seem a bit extreme considering it’s just the gym and not a whole expedition you’re going on. However, accidents are unavoidable and happen everywhere and every time. Ensuring your own safety might mean having your own backup plan. A basic but properly stocked first aid kit might be the immediate response needed.
9. A Lock
If you have an opportunity to leave some of your stuff in the gym, probably a gym locker, keeping them safe is important. Therefore, locking your gym locker is an appropriate measure you should really take. Fortunately, most gyms lockers have built-in combination locks and so you don’t necessarily have to carry your own.
10. A towel, Flip Flops, Gel/Soap, Lotion/Cream, and Deodorant
This is especially for people who go to the gym in the morning before work. The last thing you want is having a bad odor while at work. It does not only make you feel tired at work but also makes your colleagues uncomfortable near you.
Since all gyms are as different as we are, you should consider bringing along some items. Things like flip flops, towels, showering gel/soap and deodorant are a must.
11. Changing Clothes
Besides your basics, an extra pair of clothing is good too. You really don’t want to wear sweaty clothes after taking a refreshing shower. After changing into your clean clothes, where else to put the dirty ones than a separate laundry bag? A few gym bags come with separate compartments for putting in your sweaty gym clothes and shoes
Pro Gym Tips for Beginners
a. Pre-Pack your Gym Essentials
Anyone who frequently goes to the gym knows that packing is a fairly routine procedure. You should either keep your items pre-packed in your car or room for an easy pick up and go or do it before leaving.
b. Know what’s Free in the Gym and what’s not
It is also good to understand that not all gyms are alike. Most depend on what you’re paying. Certain items are provided for free in some gyms, for example, lockable lockers and clean towels. On the other hand, you might get yourself in one that follows ‘Be Your Own Boss’ slogan for everything, from towels to shower gels.
Let me finish by confessing it took me quite some time to be up to speed. My first week was a mess, I kept forgetting essential gym items and for that reason, I decided to compile this ultimate list of what to put in your gym bag and locker essentials for guys.
I wrote it to give all first timers and on goers an easy time at the gym. However, deciding on whether to partake in this experience solely depends on you. With few to no problems, you’re sure the routine will stick (effortlessly reducing your reasons to quit. Goodluck!