Pack Your Gym Bag With These Essentials, According to a Trainer

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Being prepared for a gym workout is important. Sure, you could just show up and use the facility’s communal towels, limited toiletries and water fountains; but why not make the most of your efforts (and stay safe at the gym) by bringing your own supplies? It doesn’t take much time, and you’ll appreciate the convenience of having everything you need all in one place.

Torso View of Woman in Workout Studio Packing Gym Bag Essentials into Gray Duffel Bag on Floor |’s how to properly pack a gym bag.

First, which type of bag is best?

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to gym bags – you’ll find them in all shapes, sizes and colors. Most importantly, you want a bag that’s functional, meaning it has plenty of room inside, pockets on the outside and a sturdy strap. You might also consider durability. Look for something that can be wiped down easily.

Besides the actual gym bag, you might want to consider purchasing smaller totes, wet bags or zippered pouches to store personal items and to keep workout gear separate. This also will help keep things organized and easy to access.

Now let’s pack it up with gym bag essentials.

What to Pack in a Gym Bag

Workout items

Workout clothing, socks, workout gloves and small quick dry workout towel


Elastic hair bands


Combination lock (using a combination lock for your locker is easier than having to carry a key)


Personal necessities

Natural sport deodorant

Soap/body wash (or exfoliating body wash); (no time for a shower? Try a cleansing body spray)

Natural cornstarch body powder

Body lotion (choose a non-greasy lotion for post workout)

Foot powder if needed (or sprinkle in sneakers post workout)

Dry shampoo

Oil blotting papers

Spray facial toner

First Aid

Ibuprofen pain reliever



Reusable water bottle (16 oz. or more)

Pre-workout energizer packets (for convenience; just mix with water).

Naturally flavored organic gummy snacks (good to keep handy in case you feel a little light headed during your workout)

Shaker bottle

Post-workout plant protein powder packets (easy on the digestive system)

Nutritional protein bar