What To Bring To The Gym? (10 Gym Bag Essentials)

If you are a beginner starting out on your fitness journey, you may have a lot of doubts. One such obvious doubt you’d have is about what exactly are the things you should take to a gym.

Leave beginners, even people who have been hitting the gym for several months or years, also sometimes forget about those gym essentials.

So, if you don’t want to find yourself in an awkward situation in the gym, learn what you should always put in your gym bag! Through this article, we will guide you through some basic gym items you should never forget to take with you.

So, let’s dive into the gym bag checklist.

10 Workout Essentials To Put In The Gym Bag

Gym Bag Essentials

Your gym bag doesn’t have to be a big one, as long as it can contain all your gym belongings. Also, there is no rule that you should have a bag specifically for the gym.

Given below is a list of 10 workout essentials that you should always bring to the gym. We will also be discussing in detail why these items are very important.

Go through the list!


Working out involves intense body movements, which also means a lot of sweating. You don’t have the right to leave your sweat on the machine and to let others suffer.

For this reason, towels are by far the most important gym essentials. Some gyms may provide fresh towels each time you visit, if it’s a luxury gym. Otherwise, always remember to bring a towel when you hit the gym.

The best way to use the towel is to lay it on the machine before you start the exercise so that the sweat in your body won’t transfer to the machine. Also, wipe the machine once again after you’re done. It would be even better if you could keep a small extra towel to wipe the equipment after use.

Towels are also useful for wiping excess sweat. Excess sweat can sometimes affect your workout performance and regular cleaning will help you avoid it.

However, one annoying thing most people would do is, not washing or cleaning their towels regularly. Sweat, grease, and other dirt would make your towels stinky, unhygienic, and annoying to others.

So, consider having two or three workout towels, and clean them as soon as you come back home.


Never hit the gym barefoot, nor by wearing slippers or sandals. Wearing sneakers is a must while you workout, for several reasons.

The most important factor is, of course, safety. Sometimes, bad things can happen, accidentally losing grip of the dumbbells for instance. There can also be sharp pieces of metals or other things on the floor, which can also cause injuries.

Besides safety, sneakers also give you more comfort to work out. The more comfort you have, the better will be your performance. Sneakers will make you more comfortable, balanced, and dynamic.

But speaking of bringing shoes to the gym, never bring a shoe that you wear outdoors. You should have a dedicated gym shoe or at least sneakers that you wear only indoors. Outdoor shoes can make the gym floor as well as equipment dirty.

Water bottle

Proper intake of water is very crucial while working out. Take smaller, frequent sips of water or some other liquid to ensure you stay energetic and hydrated during your session.

Sometimes, the gym might also have a drinking water facility. But even if that’s the case, always carry a bottle of water while going to the gym. Perhaps the water dispenser might have some complaints, or it might not be that hygienic.

So, do you have to take multiple bottles of water while hitting the gym? We don’t think so. A bottle of a liter or even 500ml can be enough.

Keep in mind that if you drink too much water, your stomach may bloat and can affect your performance significantly. Even worse, gulping down a lot of water while working out can cause hyperhydration and several other unwanted situations.

Membership Card

Some gyms may be having physical membership cards that you need to swipe or show the front desk executives in order to enter the studio.

If your gym also has such physical membership cards, never forget to bring them.

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Gym Clothes

Just like what footwear you wear, it also matters what dress you wear to the gym. A good cloth that fits just well, can let you work out comfortably.

For men bottom wear, shorts or track pants are both great options. For top wear, a normal t-shirt, or a Tank Top can be great. There may still be a lot of other options.

But there are some kinds of clothes you need to avoid. Some of such clothes are normal shirts (of cotton for instance), jeans, or cotton pants.

For women as well, there is a wide variety of gym cloth choices available. Leggings, shorts, regular t-shirts, and sports bras, are all good options.

Women as well should avoid certain dresses like jeans and cotton dresses.

Some gyms might have some dress code, planet fitness for instance. So, learn what you can wear to the gym according to the club’s dress code or rules!

If you can, consider adding an extra pair of dress while packing the gym bag.

We don’t know what can happen while you work out, and putting an extra pair of dresses in the gym bag won’t hurt! But that being said, bringing just one pair of dresses can also be enough, provided you also have your normal outdoor dress with you.

Besides these clothes, do bring socks as well to wear with the sneakers.

Shower Essentials

Most gyms offer Shower facilities. If your gym also offers it, try to use it. Taking a quick shower after an intense workout session can free you from bad odor and can also make you fresh.

Shower Essentials to bring to the gym might include soap or shampoo, another piece of towel, or anything that you think necessary for taking a quick shower.

But here as well, never bring certain things that turn into waste after one use, like plastic packs. Even if you have them, disperse them properly!


While some people love sweating out and are proud of its smell, most people would hate it. If you too hate smelling of sweat, bring a Deodorant.

Also, it’s a plain truth that most gym goers might have a gym crush. If you also are such a person, do we have to reiterate the point?

But keep in mind that certain perfumes can in fact make you smell worse when combined with sweat. So, pick your deodorant carefully; there are Deodorants available in the market, that are made specifically for the gym!

Snacks or Meals

Having post workout or pre workout meals, or both of them, are proven to be beneficial.

A quick pre-workout meal can give you the energy to last a long, intense workout session. But you also have to take care to have them in small amounts since a big meal can mess up your workout session.

Food items rich in carbs or caffeine are great as pre workout meals. Some examples are bananas for carbs, and coffee for the caffeine. You can also consider pre-workout drinks.

But keep in mind that you have to have the pre workout meal 1 hour or at least 30 minutes before starting your exercise.

Post-workout meals are equally important, if not more. A meal rich in carbs and protein, will help you in several aspects.

You should not wait for more than two hours to grab a meal after the workout!


Well, headphones are not necessarily a must but can come as helpful. Sometimes, all you want to do in the gym would be to vibe to a song of your choice and work out on your own.

Using headphones while working out has several advantages. For instance, you stay focused on your performance, and will get that motivation that you wouldn’t receive otherwise. We all have songs we are attached to!

Another great use of headphones or earphones is while doing steady state cardio exercises like treadmills, elliptical, and indoor bikes. Without the company of good music that you love listening to, a 30 minute or hour long cardio session can get really boring.

So, try to bring earphones as well. Now, you might be wondering if you should take earbuds or wireless earphones, or are wired earphones just as good. Well, it depends.

Wireless ones can give you more comfort while working out, as the cable is wired ones might sometimes obstruct your motion. But if you can manage the cable properly, wired ones are also great. If your wired earphones have long cables, you can comfortably place the phone in your pocket and listen to it while you exercise.


This is an additional item you can consider adding to the gym bag. Especially after you take a shower after the workout, you need to comb the hair. So, put a comb in your gym bag; it is neither heavy nor occupies too much space in your gym bag.

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Wrapping Up

That was a list of the most important things to take to the gym. Always make sure that you take these items before heading to the gym.

Besides the gym bag essentials that we have listed above, there might be some extra things you might have to bring. For instance, if you are a woman, bringing certain things like hair clips, or even diapers might be a good idea.