Having a well prepared gym bag is a big key to success. I refuse to go to the gym without the necessities. Don’t have a gym
bag? Get one! There are so many out there to choose from – my personal, new favorite, is from Sol and Selene. It has two straps (shorter ones and a longer one for over the shoulder), two side pockets for my water bottle and keys, inside pockets to keep me organized, a shoe/laundry bag, and the material is great for any type of weather (cleans SO easy!). Ever wondered what the experts (okay, I’m not EXACTLY an expert :D) keep in their bags? Well, here is my list of essentials!
A must, for obvious reasons. But ultimately I like having a separate pair of shoes, just for the gym. That way I’m not wearing out my gym shoes so quickly and they’re staying clean – especially in the winter! I like to keep mine in a shoe bag, that way they stay away from all the other stuff. I swear by Nikes, but find something that works best for you!
I never go to the gym without my water bottle. When I’m working out, or all the time really, I like my water ice cold. You have to keep yourself hydrated throughout your workout, and having your water right next to you is much easier than running to the drinking fountain constantly. My favorite I got at Dick’s Sport Goods; it’s a Polar Bottle, fully insulated to keep my water cold!
Aminos (and a shaker bottle):
This is another must for me. I’ve tried pre-workouts before, but they never work for me – I always end up feeling jittery, tingly, and uncomfortable. My friend suggested trying amino acids, and I’ll never go back! I mix two scoops into my shaker bottle with cold water; drink about half before your workout (10-15 minutes), a couple sips throughout, and the rest when you’re finished. It gives me that extra push and energy I need to work hard, and having some after really helps my muscles regroup and prevents them from being overly sore the next day. I get mine in the health mark at HyVee (ON Essential Amino Energy). They have a bunch of flavors, but my current favorite is Green Apple! This one is definitely not for everyone – example, my mother hates it, but I absolutely love it!
I keep a smaller bag inside my gym bag, just to throw all the random little things in so they don’t end up all over the place! In here I like to keep: hair ties (an obvious must, although I can never seem to find them when I need one!), bobby pins, hand sanitizer (especially during those months when EVERYONE is getting sick), body spray, “that time of the month” supplies, gum, deoderant (obviously), bandaids, chapstick (my favorite is EOS), and advil/tylenol.
Granted a lot of gyms will provide towels for you, but sometimes it’s just nice to have your own. I have one that I got in Victoria’s Secret Sport deal; it’s microfiber (I think), and it’s absolutely amazing!
If I’m coming straight from work, or it’s just been a long day, sometimes I need a little pick me up. I like keeping a granola or protein bar in my bag for those moments when my stomach needs a little something! My favorites are Cliff Bars or Pure Protein Bars.
This is a must for me when I’m teaching classes. Without my AUX cord, there won’t be any music – and no one wants that!
Lightning Headphone Jack:
Another must for me when I’m teaching. I love my IPhone, but sometimes it can be fairly inconvenient. Without this jack, I can’t plug it into my AUX cord… which, again, means no music and unhappy students!
Music is a wonderful, powerful thing. I’ve tried working out in silence before, and it’s absolutely horrible. If you give me the right song, I swear I can conquer the world! Plus, gym time = me time, so I like to exclude myself from the rest of the world. Headphones let me do this without seeming like a royal sass.
Kickboxing Hand Wraps:
If you’ve ever been to a kickboxing class, you know that having your own hand wraps is nice. Not to say the ones at the gym don’t get washed, I just prefer to have my own! I try to keep these in my bag at all times, for the days when I completely forget.
Hello POUND! I love Pound, which means I love my Ripstix. We do provide these for you at the gym I teach at, but I love having my own. Plus – if they’re in my bag, I can do a Pound workout whenever I want!
This is an obvious for me when I’m teaching a class – I’ve had to wing it before, but I’d rather not! Besides this, I like to have some sort of workout in my bag at all times. That way, if I’m at a loss for what to do, I always have something.
Alright, now it’s time to get yourself a bag, pack it with your necessities, and get your cute butt to the gym! It’s a brand new year, and a great time to start working on those goals. Need help, or not sure where to start? Let me know, I’m here to help! Happy sweating!