4 min read

gym bag essentials

Whether you hit the gym after work or before the kids get up for school, having a ready-to-go gym bag will help you avoid the stress of grabbing things on the fly when you’re running late. It’s easy to overlook items like a water bottle—or, worse, your gym shoes—in the mad scramble to get out of the house. That’s why it pays to plan ahead.

We’ve compiled a list of gym bag essentials to make sure you’re set with everything you need before your next cardio workout or lifting sesh. If you have multiple workout routines (cardio, weightlifting, Pilates/yoga, etc.) you may need multiple gym bags. This list will help you build them out.  

1: Workout clothes

There’s nothing more aggravating than getting to the gym and realizing you forgot an essential item of clothing—like socks or workout shorts. Before you hit the gym, mentally scan your body from head to toe and think about everything you’ll need during your workout. Here are some essentials to include in your gym bag:

  • Headgear (headband, sweatband, hair tie/clip, cap, etc.)
  • Moisture-wicking workout top (shirt/sports bra) and bottoms (gym shorts, leggings, sweatpants, compression shorts/pants)
  • Fresh pair of gym socks
  • Appropriate shoes (trainers, weightlifting shoes, rock climbing shoes, etc.)
  • Clean underwear/sports bra
  • Bathing suit, swim cap, and goggles

2: Proper footwear

Packing gym shoes may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to pick the right footwear for the activity at hand.

Trainers or running shoes are fine for cardio workouts, but you need more support for weightlifting. Proper lifting shoes feature a solid, raised heel, which helps you maintain correct posture and form. They also help reduce strain on your back by preventing you from leaning forward.

Be sure to pack the best shoes for your workout, whether it’s weightlifting, cross-training, or indoor rock climbing. Good shoes should distribute your weight evenly and support and stabilize your feet and ankles, reducing strain on your muscles and joints.

3: Lifting grips  

weightlifting grips

If weightlifting is part of your normal gym routine, you’ll want to pack an accessory that helps you grip the bar. There are lots of weightlifting products out there, but most of them aren’t versatile. Which means you end up constantly having to change gear when you want to switch between pushing and pulling exercises.  

Versa Gripps are the perfect all-in-one solution, replacing hooks, straps, and gloves. They’re engineered with proprietary non-slip material to help you grab the bar, so you can focus on your form—not your grip. 

Don’t bog down your gym bag with separate straps, hooks, and gloves. Versa Gripps are the only lifting accessory you need.  

4: Gym towel

It’s just common courtesy to use a towel at the gym. No one likes stepping into a pool of sweat or grabbing soggy handlebars. Most gyms provide clean towels for their members, but some fitness centers require you to bring your own. If you don’t like the idea of using the gym’s towel stock, best to pack your own.  

Cotton is king when it comes to absorbency, but microfiber towels also get the job done—and they dry faster and take up less space in your gym bag.

5: Fitness tracker

Wearable devices like smart watches and Fitbits get more sophisticated every year. Today’s trackers can monitor your heart rate, track your steps and how many calories you burn, and track other useful data to help you reach your fitness goals. Some of the more advanced devices will also send you reminders to move more and drink water.

If you don’t wear a fitness tracker all the time, don’t forget to charge it and put it in your gym bag before you head out.   

6: A good gym bag

You might be tempted to grab any old bag you find in the closet or garage. But why not take a few minutes to find the right bag—one that’s easy to carry and holds all your stuff without being cumbersome.

If you use public transportation, you’ll definitely want a gym bag with straps. Choose a water-resistant bag if you plan to shower at the gym or take a sauna bath. Also pack something that can hold a wet bathing suit or damp clothes, like a wet bag or even just a clean trash bag.

7: Water bottles and energy bars

It goes without saying you should always have a well-designed water bottle in your bag with an easy-open, leakproof top. Opt for a design that holds 18-24 ounces—enough to help you stay hydrated without getting in the way.

Energy bars are another gym bag essential for pre- and post-workouts. You don’t want hunger pangs interrupting your workout. You’re also more likely to give into temptations after your workout if you’re hungry. Keep your gym back stocked with high-carb energy bars for before workouts and high-protein bars for post-workout recovery.  

Pack Your Gym Bag with Versa Gripps

versa gripps in gym bag

Some people swear by weightlifting straps, hooks, and gloves. But why bother with a bunch of different gear when there’s an all-in-one solution?

Versa Gripps are like straps, hooks, and gloves in one. Their unique design lets you switch between pushing and pulling exercises with a simple twist of the grip. Versa Gripps are engineered with proprietary non-slip material to help eliminate grip fatigue. They help boost your mind-muscle connection by allowing you to focus on the movement—not your grip.

Designed for athletes of all levels, Versa Gripps are the only weightlifting accessory you need in your gym bag. Find your perfect pair and train better.