Packing Your Gym Bag

Packing your gym bag can seem like an endless task.  Sweaty clothes in and out, making sure that there are fresh soaks in there.  Did I pack a hand towel instead of a regular towel for the showers?  Shit, I packed a change of clothes for after the race but I forgot a bra and now I’m stuck in a sweaty sports bra.  

Having a nicely packed gym bag can make or break anything from a post-race beer to squeezing in an emergency work out in between a late meeting and a date.  As we all know, the hardest part of a work out is getting there are doing it.  Having a well-stocked gym bag ready to go every morning or in your car eliminates your excuses and makes it so that there is one less thing getting in the way of your one on one time with those weights or that treadmill.  Because we all know if we go home after work, most of the time getting back out isn’t going to happen again.

Mind you I am going to lean towards running in this because…that’s what I do the most but really this applies for any workout.  

Gym Bag Essentials

The Basics

  • Water bottle: Stay hydrated and ready to go pre, during and post work out. You don’t want to be caught spending 3 dollars on a water out of a vending machine. 
  • Gym Clothes: Make sure that you have a clean set of work out gear and your kit ready to go including socks and your sports bra.
  • Sneakers: Nothing can hurt you more during a workout, especially a run, then wearing the wrong shoes.  
  • HairBands: For women, this can be a major deal breaker.  I have a pixie cut and even I need a headband.


  • Snacks:  Pre and post-run nutrition is important.  You don’t want to ruin a good work out by having a big mac on the way home because of you’re starving.  I keep RX bars and protein powder on hand.  
  • Gels, Goos and Chews: If you are a runner you probably have some of these laying around with marathon and half marathon season wrapping up.  Keep Goos and gels on hand in case of a long run.  
  • Nuun:  I love Nuun and it a wonderful way to get your hydration and electrolytes in without all the sugar.  


  • Battery pack/charger:  Nothing worse than having your phone or music die during a workout! Or worse, finishing a race and not being able to call your uber or find your bus/ride!
  • Head Phones: Second to the phone dying is your headphones dying.  I keep a spare set of wired headphones in my bag too.  Not just because of the dying but also because sometimes with a ton of people on a course, sometimes the Bluetooth can clash or not connect.

Clean Yourself Up:

  • Dry Shampoo: I dont know what it is about gym showers but they gross me out.  I would rather avoid them even if they look 100% clean.  Dry shampoo is a life saver for a thick-haired, sweaty little pixie, like me.
  • Face Wipes/Cleanser/ Witch Hazel: I sometimes keep a full thing of cleanser in my bag but an on the go, no sink after a race, a way to go are face wipes.  Burts Bees are my favorite but other companies make a bunch too.  Witch Hazel is something that I buy miniatures of at places like Target.  They are great because they take care of any bacteria that can get trapped in your pours.  
  • ChapStick:  One thing that we seem to forget about it our lips.  When we dehydrate, they dry out.  Not to mention lick them, get wind burn on them…you get the painful picture.
  • Deodorant:  Seems obvious right?  Well, you’d be surprised how often it gets forgotten.  I personally get wrapped up in my own head when it comes to how I look after a work out too…and more importantly how I smell.
  • Extra Clothes (Including socks, shoes, new undies ect):  Extra clothing if you are going out after a workout or have to go back to the office is a no brainer.  Don’t forget new undies and socks too! 


  • First Aid Kit:  Band-aids, body glide, all of those things that you need.  Most of all for people who like to go on trail runs and the like. Anyone who has been on a trail run, much less does it frequently, knows that sometimes cuts, scrapes and bruises can magically appear.  
  • Plastic baggies: Random?  Not really when you think about it.  Keep all of that sweat away from your neatly packed bag by keeping gallon plastic baggies in your car for sweaty, muddy, wet clothing.  

Did I not mention something that you find super helpful to keep in your gym bag?  Leave a comment so that others can read it too!  I am always looking for new ideas!

Note:  Products that I recommend in this post are not sponsored.  They are just products that I love and that I think that you might like too!

3 thoughts on “Packing Your Gym Bag

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s