Everyone should have a gym bag filled with the tools and accessories they use in chasing their goals. From shoes to pre workout, it all needs to match up with what you’re training for. If you train for long distance running, your gym bag will be very different than that of a powerlifter. There are some things everyone should have, but the biggest thing is to match it up to what you have. Here is what I have in mine:
First and Foremost my gym bag is “The Orginial” King Kong Bag from King Kong Apparel. It has so many pockets, it’s made very durable, and the zippers feel heavy duty. I have had mine over a year with no signs of wear or tear taking place yet. I highly recommend it.
Now into the nitty gritty:
I carry two pairs of shoes with me at all times. One pair is for Olympic Lifting so they have an elevated heel, and the other are classic chucks that I use for basically everything else. For many people it may be running shoes, but if you are serious about lifting, I highly recommend a pair of Nanos or Metcons.
I always have the pre-workout from Max Effort Muscle in my bag. Balancing school and work, I am often on the move, so it helps to have something on me to give me a little boost before my lift. I sometimes carry Amino Energy from Optimum Nutrition.
I hold my foam roller very near and dear to my heart, as it is the Vyper ($200) from HyperIce. This is a vibrating foam roller and it works wonders.
This is the most often looked over and underrated part of any gym bag. It helps me keep track of my workouts, keep me off my phone, and keep me up to date with what I have been accomplishing. By tracking weights and workouts, it allows you to follow your progress, as well make sure you aren’t just doing the same thing over and over. Oh and bring a pen.
Straps, Wraps, and Chalk:
I carry all of the above. Lifting straps for grip on exercises like shrugs, and occasionally for deadlifts, but that makes me feel soft. Wrist wraps for heavier pressing movements such as bench, overhead press, or jerks. These can also be used on the Olympic Lifts, but I do not feel I am good enough to be using them just yet. Chalk is in my bag for instances when the gym doesn’t have it. For deadlifts and Olympic lifts, as I feel a lot better using this instead of straps.
It is smart to carry band aids in your bag, just in case you cut your shin or rip your hand. This is accompanied by tape to fix any hand rips, or any cuts on the shin. Both go a long way in order to keep you in the workout. The last first aid item I carry is Cryoderm. This works much like Icy-Hot, but only cooling sensations. Any minor aches or pains can generally be worked around after a little bit of this gel.
Last but not least, I carry food in the forms of bars, protein powder, and sour patch kids. Yes, sour patch kids. When a workout is dragging on, and I feel like it won’t seem to end, I chew on a few of these. Just to make my body think that it is getting a substantial amount of food, but it really isn’t. The protein powder is if I am not able to eat directly after, or I forget it at home. For bars, I really like to eat a ProBar before my workout if I don’t have adequate food around.
Voodoo Bands. These are life savers for warming up the joints and helping with muscle pain. A dip belt. This is used for weighted dips, as well as weighted pull-ups. A shaker bottle. For obvious reasons. A Multi Too. Because you never know.
Regardless of your training approach or goals, a well prepared gym bag will make sure you never miss a step. Of course many accessories aren’t necessary, and maybe you like the minimalist approach. Whatever your goals, style, and mindset are, set your bag up the best you can.