We’ve all been there… your alarm goes off in the wee hours of the morning. It’s asking you to get out of your comfy bed and hit the gym.
At this moment, you have two choices. You can turn the alarm off and go back to dreamland. Or you can get up and make some magic happen at the gym.
There’s one thing that you can do before you wake to ensure you’ll pick option #2. You can get your gym bag ready the night before.
Preparation is everything if you’re planning to start and stick with a workout plan. That’s why it’s so important to have your gym bag packed and ready to go when you need it. It makes getting out of bed easier knowing all you need to do is hit the road.
Here’s our ultimate sport bag packing list and how you can pack for the optimal workout.
Gym Clothes & Shoes
The most important part of your workout routine is having the right workout clothes. You want your clothes to fit the workout you have planned. Check out this guide for more tips on how to pick the perfect exercise apparel.
If you plan to mix up your workout routines, pack more than one outfit. This is a great way to prepare for a whole week of workouts at once. Make sure you have a big enough bag to hold enough gear so that you can do any workout you choose.
Remember to pack extra underwear and socks. You don’t want sweaty undergarments if you’re going to work afterward.
Here’s a list of the gear you need in your bag before every workout:
- Sweat-proof t-shirt or tank top
- Sports bra
- Gym shorts or pants
- Extra socks
- Extra undies
- Proper shoes
- Swimsuit (if you plan to swim)
Entertainment & Electronics
Working out while watching the televisions at the gym is okay… for a while. But it gets really boring after the first few workouts.
Download some energizing music on your phone and pack your earbuds. Many gyms have free wifi so you can bring your tablet along and watch Netflix or any other streaming service.
And if you plan to take it easy and walk on the treadmill, an old-fashioned book or magazine works just as well as electronic versions.
If you’re really serious about working your heart, pack your heart monitor or smartwatch to keep track of your progress.
Water & Nutrition
Don’t forget your water bottle! You don’t want to have to run back and forth to the water fountain every few minutes.
For those who want to build serious muscle, pack a protein shake or recovery drink to have after your workout. And it never hurts to have some snacks along as well. Protein bars, fruit, and nuts provide calories and carbs to help your body recover
Locker Room Gear & Toiletries
If you’re planning to shower and go about your day after the gym, make sure you’re fully equipped to clean up post workout. But first, pack a combination lock to protect your stuff while you hit the machines.
You’ll need a bath towel for after your shower. Ladies, don’t forget a towel for your hair too. And pack the styling tools you need to get ready, like a hairdryer or straightener.
It’s a great idea to have a dedicated toiletry bag for the gym. You can keep shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a razor in that bag. And don’t forget a washcloth.
Another important thing to remember: flip-flops or shower shoes. Lots of germs live on the floor of the shower and you don’t want to leave there with any type of infection. This is good for the pool too if you plan to swim during your workout.
A small sweat towel comes in handy at the gym. You can always use the gym towels to wipe down machines. But it’s nice to have your own sweat towel to wipe your face and body.
Pack sweatbands to keep sweat off your face. And make sure you have hair ties and bobby pins to keep your hair out of your eyes.
If you do plan to swim, pack a swimsuit that won’t pull down while you swim laps. And don’t forget your swim goggles.
Earplugs and a nose clip also come in handy when swimming. You can even get waterproof earbuds to listen to music if you choose.
Pack a small plastic grocery bag or a dedicated laundry bag with your gym stuff. This gives you a place to put your sweaty, wet clothes while you go about your day.
Don’t forget to pack your gym ID and any entry cards you need to get into the building. This is important if you’re planning to go there early in the morning or late at night. You don’t want to get stuck outside when the main doors aren’t open to the public.
Pack Your Sport Bag Like a Pro
Whether you’re new to this workout thing or a seasoned pro, everyone can benefit from a little preparation. Here’s a recap of how to pack your sport bag like a pro.
Pack clothes and shoes that are appropriate to the type of workout you plan to do. This includes undergarments and swimwear if you choose to swim.
Be sure to bring along stuff to entertain you while you workout. Also, don’t neglect water and nutrition. Pack your water bottle and some snacks.
Showering after your workout is a must if you plan to go to work. So make sure you’ve got toiletries, towels, and the gear you need to get ready after you shower.
If you’re trying to lose weight, check out this article for some great ideas on how to get your heart pumping with cardio!