My Gym Bag Essentials

I’ve done it! I’ve joined a gym! No more debates with Mr AJ whose workout mat it is for a while. I’ll miss him claiming the mat for his own as soon as soon as it’s unrolled. We’ll still have yoga debates, but his little face not wanting to move I’ll miss.IMG_1355

I decided to join my old gym by the beach. When I moved to France I had no choice but to train at home as A: gym membership was too expensive and B: the better gyms with space to burpee were too far away by public transport. 3 years later training at home as become habit. I knew I’d have to eventually join one now I’m back in Barcelona, but have been putting it off. I like the connivence of working out at home but it doesn’t do me any favours with a social life! My course has pushed my hand to join one as a gym’s the only place I can get reacquainted with resistance machines and cardio machines again. Another reason, my legs are craving heavier weight. My arms, back and shoulders however have really taken shape this summer since I’ve been using a suspension trainer (it’s great for legs also. Don’t underestimate squat jumps with one. They kill! I just need heavier weight for squats and deadlifts). I definitely recommend one wherever you train. It doesn’t have to be TRX own, I use a great one by Woss. Most gyms here have a TRX though I take my own to avoid working in between. It’s fairly lightweight and folds up small.

Why my old gym? A few months ago I held local gym trials. My old gym won as it has box jumps, space to burpee, medicine balls, lots of fitness balls and bosus. All the things I like! Returning to a gym environment got me thinking: gym bag essentials! Here’s my pick after workout clothes and trainers:

Water Bottle. I used to use a 1 litre metal camping bottle, but it gets so heavy with everything else in my bag, I buy a 1 litre bottle every week and refill it. Not 100% environmentally friendly, but it works for me. I know you can get 1 litre plastic camping/gym bottles, but they always feel like they’ll smash if dropped. I drop mine a lot!

Towel. Some gyms provide, mine doesn’t. I recommend microfibre towels as they fold up small and are super absorbent.

Travel sized shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. Body lotion, I don’t bother to decant and have a bottle/tube just for the gym. I get through a lot of body lotion!

Spare hairbands and headbands. You can never have to many. I’ve been asked many times if I have a spare hairband and headbands change depending on top.

Deodorant. Self explanatory. I personally use a crystal potassium alum one. Leaves no white marks, no sticky feeling and it works. Trust me, I’ve tried and tested!

Stop watch: Great for timing circuits.

Spare lip balms. I never leave the house without one and keep a few spare in my bag. It’s nearly the end of the world if I haven’t got one on me. I’ve lost a few in gyms and felt completely lost without it. I know stupid, but dry cracked lips aren’t.

Workout gloves. To prevent callouses and slipping burpeeing! And you look bad ass.

Plastic carrier bags. Great for trainers, wet towels and sweaty gym clothes on the way home and protecting them should my water bottle leak.

Tissues. Always handy! I add lady items here too.

Spare 50c for the locker.

Suspension trainer. With my own I don’t have to work in-between. It’s also lightweight and folds up fairly small. Occasionally I’ll take my own resistance bands, depending on my workout.

Post workout snacks. This summer I took a few medjool dates, banana oat cookies, trail mix or a granola bar as a post workout snack to tide me over until I got home.

And there you have my gym bag essentials! What are your gym bag essentials? Do you prefer training at home or at a gym? What’s your post workout snack?

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