10 Must Have Gym Bag Items
Written by Kaitlyn Kassis
Even if you’re not a Games level athlete, there are some pieces of equipment you should seriously consider carrying with you to the gym so that you can make the most of your workouts with as few malfunctions as possible.
It’s better to be “extra” than unprepared! If you are a low-maintenance athlete you’ll be able to get away with just wearing your favorite pair of Metcons – but chances are you may like the extra heel height you get from lifters for snatch day, or the cushion from runners for longer conditioning pieces. Make sure you have shoes to suit your preferences for any workout scenario!
Most gyms have jump ropes to borrow, but it’s a lot more convenient to have your own that is the perfect height for you. They come with a variety of handles and cables (and colors!) so it’s important to have one that makes doing dubs as comfortable as possible for you! A jump rope is also a convenient piece of equipment to pack when traveling for those underwhelming hotel gym situations. We love the Rx Speed Rope for most athletes!
Gymnastic grips are a must-have gym item especially for those days when your hands are sore and your grip is shot! Though they may take a little getting used to at first, eventually they will allow you to perform higher volume gymnastics movements like pull-ups and toes to bar without tearing your hands nearly as often, if ever. Check out this video for how to use Victory Grips.
Though you may not need knee sleeves that often, they are a great tool to have for heavy squat days when you need a little extra boost out of the hole. They are also great for high volume squat workouts like “Karen” (For Time: 150 Wallballs) to help you bounce out of your squats a little more effortlessly. Or to protect your sensitive kneecaps from grinding into the ground during lunges and Turkish Get-Ups. Knee sleeves are also nice to have on hand to use as a shin guard for rope climbs!
Though you shouldn’t have to rely on a weight belt for midline stability on a regular basis, it is a nice piece of equipment to have for max-out days to make you feel more sturdy and confident going into 1RM effort lifts. Something to consider: Why Beginner Weightlifters Should NOT Wear Weightlifting Belts.
Though this once high-fashion CrossFit accessory reached its peak in 2012, it is still convenient to always have a pair tucked away just in case rope climbs show up. High socks + Knee sleeve= No more rope-shin burns!
Stretchy athletic tape is good to have if you suffer from sore thumbs when hook-gripping the barbell. It is also great to have to tape underneath gymnastic grips if you tend to get sores where the grips rub against your wrists. Goat Tape is our brand of choice!
Always have extra hair ties! Even if you don’t have ponytail length hair, still carry an extra hair tie – you never know who’s workout you could save by having one on hand. If you have to go to work post wod, scrunchies or invisibobbles are a great option to leave your hair crease-free. Here are some hair style tips for all your various workout needs!
A toiletry bag filled with whatever you need post-workout like dry shampoo, deodorant, face wash and moisturizer! The sooner you get the sweat washed off of your face the happier your skin will be – especially if you aren’t going to be able to take a shower immediately after.
*Pro Tip: Spray your hair with dry shampoo before you workout to help absorb sweat and oils while your workout. And if you’re really in a time crunch, blow dry the residual sweat back into your hair. It sounds gross, but it totally works in a pinch if you don’t have time to fully wash and style your locks.
Snacks, duh. This one’s pretty obvious, but it’s always a good idea to have a little something on hand if you find yourself starving or low energy before a workout. Some favorite snacks that aren’t too heavy to eat right before a workout, that are also easy to keep in a gym bag, are all-fruit based squeezy tubes of baby food, dried mangoes from Trader Joes, or Bare Cinnamon Apple Chips. It’s also nice to have a post-workout snack – like a bar or a shake – if you aren’t able to eat a full meal for a while after you train.
Other Gym Bag Items to Consider
There are many other items you might like to keep in your bag as well – think about what’s been a lifesaver for you or the things that would make life in the gym easier if you always had them around. Everyone has their own personal stash and trade secrets to performing their best. What’s in your gym bag?