Most guys will visit the gym with minimal luggage; sneakers; a change of clothes; and a spritz of aftershave if you’re organised. When it comes to your workout, you probably have a set plan in mind, so why would you not pre-prepare your gym bag too? Just like a good exercise plan, your gym bag should be consistent and organised to help you get the most from your session! So, whether you’re a gym veteran, trying to burn off the weekends sins, or a total novice, the following seven items are absolutely essential.
- The Right Gym-wear
First and foremost, you should never overlook the importance of having proper attire to ensure you can complete your workout to the highest possible standard. Not only will well-fitting gym clothing make you look and feel great, they will impact your performance.
Choosing the right shoes is essential, the trainers you pick for running will be very different to the ones you choose for weights. Try visiting your local Start Fitness, to get the best shoes for your goals, but bear in mind that sometimes you must prioritise function over fashion.
When it comes to clothing, choose fabrics that are non-absorbent and ensure that they are well-fitted. There’s nothing worse than having to hoick up your shorts after every set! Clothing should not be too tight, as this can restrict your freedom of movement, which will have a negative impact on your technique.
- Bluetooth Headphones
Unless you’re a fan of the eclectic mix of cheesy background music played in your gym, headphones will be your main priority. Whilst those little apple ear-bud style headphones might seem like a good choice, you’ll find yourself getting frustrated with the wires getting tangled up and having to keep your phone in your pocket.
Bluetooth headphones are a great choice for any exercise, from running to weight training. No more wires to tangle up, and no need to restrict your range with your phone in your pocket. If you are working out outdoors, then choose a waterproof model, so you aren’t limited by the weather conditions.
- Reusable Water Bottle
Regardless of your training programme, hydration is key. In fact, even when you aren’t working out, you should try your best to drink lots of water as this will have a positive effect on your fitness goals. Purchasing bottled water on the go, can be expensive and all that plastic is terrible for the environment! Do your bit to be ‘greener’ and save a little money by investing in a reusable water bottle to carry with you.
- Light Weight Towel
Especially important for morning gym-goers, a towel is an essential. Either for mopping your brow mid spin class, or for a post gym shower, either way, it’s a gym bag must. Whilst a fluffy towel is lovely in the home, it’s not so practical for transporting to the gym. Instead, choose a light weight micro-fibre design. Not only are they anti-bacterial, they are quick drying and perfect for grabbing on the go.
- Post Workout Layers
Men’s gym hoodies are an underrated gym kit necessity. Not only will putting on a hoodie help you to feel a little fresher on the way home, it will help keeping your muscles warm after you work out. Transitioning from the warmth of the gym, to the cold can leave you more susceptible to colds and viruses. Even if you do avoid the sniffles, when your muscles get too cold too quickly you increase the risk of muscle injury, due to blood pooling in the legs. Warming down gradually and layering up after you exercise will ensure the lactic acid build up is evenly dispersed and you’ll be less likely to injure yourself. Aren’t you glad you packed that hoodie now?
Kind of an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many guys forget their antiperspirant! Use before the gym to prevent any unpleasant odours (and avoid smell related nicknames) and afterwards to freshen up. Try to choose a neutral fragrance to avoid offending other gym members with an overpowering scent, or, even better, choose a roll-on/ stick deodorant.
- Healthy Snack
Whether you need a pre-workout energy boost, or a post-workout pick-me-up, you won’t regret having a snack on hand. Bananas are a great pre-gym choice for a fast-acting surge of carbs. Having a carbohydrate-rich snack before you exercise will restore glycogen stored in muscles and will jump-start the repair process, reducing that dreaded delayed muscle soreness! After you work-out, its recommended to have a protein-rich snack within 30 minutes. Protein Powders and natural paleo bars are quick and easy to grab for the drive home. Keep a box in your car for a go-to snack.