One of the recent changes to my schedule is the addition of a seasonal job. I am still a graduate assistant, but in the summer my hours get halved and I don’t receive tuition reimbursement. So, I was left to find a job that would only last until fall semester starts. My hours for this job change every week, so I need to plan accordingly for workouts before shifts. This is when I realized, my gym bag has been full of the same stuff for a while now! I’m always curious as to what other people’s must-haves are, so I figured I would share some of mine with you. 🙂
First things first, my go to bag is my NASM drawstring bag that I received when I purchased my exam materials. it’s the perfect size for all my little necessities, and the side pockets help keep me somewhat organized. Before this, I had a nearly identical, brightly colored bag for years, that I still hang onto for hiking or if I just want to switch it out. Josh also has a similar bag he uses for the gym. You can find similar styles here.
Spartan Five iPhone 5 Arm Band & Skull Candy Headphones – These are nothing special, and my arm band is almost 4 years old so it has certainly seen better days, but it has lived a long and fruitful life in those 4 years! (You can find a newer Spartan band here!) I refuse to buy a new one until I get a new phone, so hopefully it stays intact. The Skull Candy headphones, however, are my favorite and super affordable. I have small ears, and most buds don’t fit, but this is my second set of these earbuds and they’re small, stay put during HIIT, and have great quality sound for the price. I’ll likely continue to repurchase these until I find a formidable wireless set.
Survival and Cross Jump Rope – I love this jump rope. I tend to use it to warm up, or as part of a HIIT circuit. I love that it comes with a carrying bag, is adjustable, and never seems to get tangled, despite the chaos in my gym bag. It’s also fast enough for double-unders and other speed work, which is a goal of mine.
Mario Badescu Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea Facial Spray – I have also used the Rose Water version of this spray, and love both of them. I usually use a cleansing wipe and then spray my face with this after a sweaty workout and it just feels so nice. It also seems to keep the redness down which comes in handy if I’m headed to class after the gym.
Batiste Dry Shampoo – Since I’m growing my hair our, I try not to wash it too frequently. I tend to throw this dry shampoo in my bag on days I have to shower and head to work after, but it’s not a hair washing day. Batiste is one of my favorite dry shampoos, and this scent is super clean and refreshing. It soaks up any oil and gives my fine hair lots of volume without the powdery look of most dry shampoos.
Circular Resistance Band – I’ll be honest, I don’t use this very often. I received it free with a BeachBody program, but the quality is pretty poor – it often curls up and slides down during movements. I’m going to purchase the set I’ve linked, because I’ve heard great reviews, but for now I use it so seldomly that I’ll stick with it until I see more of a need for it. I use this mostly for warm ups, lateral squat walks, band pull-aparts, and add it into squat and hip thrust work.
Victoria’s Secret PINK Body Mist – For Christmas, my mom gave me a set of 4 travel size Victoria’s Secret PINK scent body mists, and they’ve come in surprisingly handy! They have a variety of scents, but this is my favorite post-gym, appropriately named Fresh and Clean. I mostly use this on my spray and go days, but use it when I remember I have it!
Simple Radiance Cleansing Wipes – I’ve tried a number of cleansing wipes and Simple’s are by far my favorite. Most leave my face feeling irritated or leave an oily residue, but these wipes remove every bit of sweat and makeup (minus mascara) post-workout, and leave my face feeling refreshed and clean. The thought of sweat sitting on my face during my commute home from the gym gives me the willies, so these are always in my bag.
Notebook / Workout of the day – I have gone through a number of notebooks to track my training, but what I use largely depends on what I’m doing that day. In the picture is a crumpled up print out of the Girls Gone Strong (love them!) blueprint that I decided to try out for a week. My notebook contains workouts I’ve done and really enjoyed, as well as some HIIT routines from programs like Born to Sweat (love her, too!) when I forget to bring my booklet to the gym. Some days I am intuitive about my workout, but when I just want to follow along and get it done, my notebook saves me.
Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor – I have had this heart rate monitor for 4 years (hence the blank screen, it needs a battery change from a few weeks ago!) which should tell you a little something about how I feel about it. If you’re looking for a fancy, feature-filled, blow-your-mind technologically advanced heart rate monitor, this is not the one for you. BUT, if you’re looking for an inexpensive, accurate, no-frills way to track your heart rate and calorie-burn, the Polar FT4 will serve you well. I go through phases where I use it on and off, and mostly use it for the heart rate option, to make sure I’m in a zone that’s not too high or too low. It’s comfortable, compact, and easy to clean, so as long as you don’t mind the occasional battery replacement, it’s a fantastic find.
Last but not least, the necessities (+ socks which aren’t pictured here!) Because a day without one of these when you need them can be a serious buzzkill. 🙂
- What’s in your gym bag?
- What’s the one thing you can’t work out without? (For me, probably my headphones!)