Blond woman with gym bagHave you ever wondered what’s in your fellow gym rat’s gym bag? Are you new to working out at the gym and have no idea what should be in your gym bag? The first rule of thumb about gym bags is to forget trying to figure out what’s in everyone else’s bag. Your gym bag is your gym bag. Nobody’s going to carry the exact same stuff, but there are definitely some gym staples that everyone can consider must have items. The 2nd rule of thumb about gym bags is to keep it small. You don’t need a bag that’s big enough to fit all your golf clubs or an entire wardrobe. If you possess the must haves, you’re set, and your bag can be just big enough to tote and place easily inside a locker.

So what’s in your gym bag? Here are 3 must have items for everyone, and 3 must have items just for guys and just for girls:


  1. Proper Gym Attire. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl, you better have some good gym clothes. This means good shoes that will last and fit your feet well for the type of training you will be doing. Nothing’s worse than a big fat blister or opening your bag and realizing you forgot tennis shoes. Other gym attire includes light clothes that fit well. You want some form-fitting attire to prevent all the loose ends from snagging on equipment. This isn’t the 80s. Also make sure your clothes aren’t too tight. Few things are more embarrassing than a split in the pants while trying to do the splits or a full moon when trying to do squats. Find some flip-flops or shower shoes to wear in the locker room, too. You don’t want to deal with athlete’s foot.
  2. Your Music. Most gyms will have some music playing, but is it what you want to be listening to? Get your iPod or MP3 player and get some good, upbeat and uptempo music that will keep you going through a tough workout. Studies show that this type of music can truly improve your performance in workouts.
  3. Water Bottle/Shaker. Of course gyms have water fountains, but having your own water bottle allows you to keep it close by and stay more focused on your workout (and saves you countless trips to the fountain). A good shaker can be perfect for pre- and post- workout protein and carb shakes. Don’t waste that workout!

For Girls:

  1. Your Shower Favorites. Gyms will have some items for you to use, but you want your favorites. Keep the bottles small. Don’t forget the blow-dryer either!
  2. “Those” Items for “That Time”. “That time” could hit anytime, so you want to be prepared. Always keep some extra feminine needs items handy.
  3. A Laundry/Wet Bag. Get a laundry bag to keep inside your gym bag for your sweaty clothes or wet towel. You don’t want the dirty clothes messing with the clean clothes. Guys may not care so much about this.

For Guys:

  1. Gloves. Wearing gloves when you train can really save your hands. No lady has ever said, “My my, what lovely blistered and rough hands you have!”
  2. Protein/Carbs. You need something to put into that shaker. If you need a pre-workout boost and a post-workout protein, talk to your local nutrition store about what will work well for you and the type of workouts you’re into.
  3. A Spare T. You’re going to sweat (if you’re really working out), and being a guy, you probably won’t shower, so load up a spare t-shirt to change into for the trip home.

Whatever’s in your gym bag, make it yours. Keep the essentials always ready to go and keep the bag in your car, so you never have an excuse not to head to the gym!