What's in Your Gym Bag?: Workout Essentials

Nothing is worse than arriving at the gym (or track or fitness studio) ready for your sweat session only to discover you've forgotten a critical piece of equipment. That's precisely why it's important to have a well-equipped gym bag. Pack it with the following workout essentials, grab it, and go knowing you've got what you need.

Lightweight workout gear

It's not really feasible to pack dumbbells in your gym bag, but you can definitely fit in resistance bands, a TRX suspension trainer, jump rope, and lightweight hand weights so you'll be able to work out wherever you go.

Workout shoes and clothing

Assuming you're headed to your workout in street clothes, you'll need to pack athletic shoes, socks, and fitness wear -- which may be a running tank and shorts or yoga pants and tunic depending on what your workout will consist of. Consider buying one pair of athletic shoes for home and another to keep in your gym bag. If you'll be showering after your workout, pack some slip-on athletic slides to wear in the locker room.

Water bottle

Choose a bottle that's BPA-free, ergonomically pleasing, easy to clean, and small enough to fit into the cup holders on a gym's cardio equipment.

Plastic bag

If your workouts are intense and sweaty and you plan to change back into your street clothes before you head home, pack a plastic bag for your sweaty clothes.


If your gym has shower facilities, equip your bag with shampoo, conditioner, powder, brush or comb, and deodorant, and perhaps a small hair dryer.


Outfit your gym bag with a couple of sweat towels, as well as a full-sized towel for the shower.

Body wipes

If you don't have time to shower after your workout, pack body wipes or sprays to freshen up.

Earbuds and music

If you can't stand the thought of exercising without music, you know how devastating it is when your ear buds die halfway through your treadmill 10K. Keep a spare pair in your bag. If you don't have a smartphone with music, pack an iPod, too.

Pre- and post-workout snacks

Fuel up before your workout with a protein bar and replenish your potassium afterwards with a banana. Both are easily portable.

Once you get into a workout routine, your gym bag becomes like your home away from home. In it are all of the creature comforts that keep you motivated to work out and stay healthy. It's important to equip your gym bag, but also to choose a bag that's comfortable and stylish to carry. Check out our assortment of stylish bags and the equipment to put into them.

This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.