As a personal trainer I have always been curious of what people have in their gym bag. From supplements to bandages the array of what's in there can be huge. Personally I have never needed to carry a bag around the gym with me but it got me thinking... What does the average gym goer have in there and what should we all have in our gym bag?
It's important to recognise that we all have different training regimes and not all of these pieces of equipment will apply to everyone but let's try and cover most areas.
Loose fitting clothing -
Possibly not really something in the bag but quite important. When I say loose fitting I mean non restrictive. Trying to squat in tight tracksuit bottoms with no give is only ending one way.... Embarrassingly.
Appropriate footwear -
For running this means something spongy and absorbent to limit the impact from each stride and avoid issues like shin splints, lower back soreness and other impact related issues.
For lifting weights this means a flat, hard sole shoe. Now different gym goers will have different types of footwear but the main thing is that you're wearing footwear appropriate to the work you're doing.
A water bottle -
This may seem obvious but everyone should have some sort of bottle on them. Water is your best friend regardless of the type of training you are doing.
A notebook or some form of tracking your progress -
All of my clients track their progress through an app that allows me to keep an eye on their progress. I use the same app for my 1-2-1 clients as I do for my online coaching clients. Having something to log your training is vital. You can use this as a reference for progressing, seeing what was the cause of an injury, tracking your mood in each session, your weight, strength and so much more.
Recovery aid -
Whether it's a foam roller, hockey ball or even a percussive therapy gun. Not only for addressing any niggles you might pick up but as a physical reminder to regularly do your recovery work.
As much as a callus is a nice reminder of having worked hard, exercises like pull-ups, muscle ups and other suspended exercises can really tear your hands apart. Although this might not bother you much at the time, it's more than likely going to make for an irritating rest of the week as your hands will be sore.
Small towel -
Nobody likes going to use equipment covered in someone else's sweat. Nothing more to say on that one!
I have never understood those who seem to bring their full array of supplements to the gym. If you need a bit of a boost before your session then you shouldn't really need to bring that to the gym and if you're on the go then maybe a little pre-packaged portion of protein or creatine might be necessary. Other than that I can't really see the need to bring supplements to the gym.
Music source -
Depending on your gym, the music on the speakers isn't always going to be to everyone's taste. So, having a pre-selected playlist to keep the motivation up can help with getting into and staying in 'the zone'.
Some other notable mentions at the moment are hand sanitiser and a mask. At the end of the day everyone will have their own little bits and bobs. I know I do. Although it's a bit odd walking around with a big bag in the gym, sometimes it is definitely necessary. I know there is nothing worse than a gym session being ruined due to forgetting something trivial like wraps, so I always advise my clients to come prepared. Like anything in a fitness journey, self discipline is key and preparing for a session is a huge part of that.
I hope my little blog helps you out and as always, if you have any questions please ask.