What’s In My Gym Bag – The Essentials

Fit is not a one-size fits all. Our bodies are unique and require different training and nutrition to achieve desired results. However, there is one thing that every successful fitness journey includes… preparation! If you aren’t prepared to succeed, how do you ever expect it to happen?

If you follow my nutrition and fitness advice, you’re probably doing a great job at meal planning and scheduling your workouts at the beginning of the week. But what are you doing on a daily basis to make sure your #noexcuse game is strong?

To ensure my workouts happen five to six times per week, I always pack my gym bag the night before or the morning of. I’d be lost without it. I’m lucky enough to work in a gym, so I can shower, change, and eat breakfast at the facility. This also means my gym bag gets very full, heavy, and worn out. I have to think way ahead of time about packing shampoo, conditioner, towels, razors, etc.

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You’d think I’d have some super cute designer bag by now. I mean, I use it on the daily and stuff it full. Apparently, I’d rather spend my money on Brooks Running shoes and Vitamin Shoppe supplements. Even if you don’t shower and get ready at your gym, it’s important you have everything you’ll need for pre and post workout ready for you to not only ensure exercise happens, but also get the most out of each sweat session!

I’m showing you my essential little secrets hidden inside my grungy gym bag.

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1. Oxigen Water

I just recently tried Oxigen Water and I love it! This isn’t your average bottled water. Au contraire, it contains the O4 molecule, a highly stabilized form of oxygen, to improve mental clarity, stamina, endurance, muscle soreness and recovery, and can even help with hangovers and jet lag! I tried drinking it both during and after exercise as well as after a night out (shhh 😉 ). I definitely felt a difference! It’s worth a shot…a literal one. Oxigen Water also comes in shot sizes to swig back when you need a quick boost. 

2. Headphones

Because music is life. There’s no greater motivator than a good soundtrack. You can follow me on Spotify for all my favorites :). 

3. Sweet Sweat cream and wrap

I love using the cream on my midsection, arms, and legs and the wrap helps me target my tummy. Don’t get this confused with a waist trainer! It’s not meant to reshape your body. This soft wrap paired with the cream targets “slow to respond” areas where you may hold more water weight, promotes additional increase in circulation, sweating, and motivation, accelerates warm-up & recovery time, and fights fatigue and painful injuries. 

4. Sweat Towel

Because all the Sweet Sweat makes a lady drip!! I mean, I sweat unreasonable amounts anyways, but this stuff really amps up the heat. Did you know the amount you sweat is an indication of your fitness level? Yup, that’s your body’s proof that it can regulate your heat. The more in shape you get, the sweatier your workouts will be. 

5. Moisturizer

Even if I don’t shower right after my workout, I always wash my face to clear away dirt and grime. And I like to moisturize after a wash. 

6. Brush

When I say I sweat, I mean it. And, unfortunately for me, the top of my head is not left out of the mess. After I workout, I like to brush out my hair so when I get in the shower I’m not dealing with a sweaty, tangled mess. 

7. Deodorant

With sweat comes stink. I will usually run an errand or two after my workout before heading home and I’d rather spare the innocent Trader Joe’s employees from witnessing my BO. 

8. I Am Bars

I always like to eat a combination of carbs and protein within 60 minutes after finishing my workout. Making sure your body gets what it needs within an hour after sweating is necessary to build muscle and burn fat. After working out, you’ve depleted all your energy stores. If you body doesn’t have the proper macronutrients to replenish, you can actually hinder your results! I always have an I Am Bar on me for times when I don’t have a full meal planned yet. They’re made with grass-fed whey protein, have minimal sugar, and taste delicious. My favorite flavor is the Apple Cinnamon! It tastes like pie. When I’m home I love putting it in the toaster oven for a couple minutes to make it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You can use my coupon code LIFEINSPANDEX for a FREE box when you sign up for a subscription or 10% off individual orders. Yup, you’re welcome! 😉

8. Slap Nutrition BCAAs in Salted Caramel

This flavor is ridiculous! From low calorie ice cream/slushies to lattes, I use the Slap Nutrition Salted Caramel BCAA on the regular. I like to drink BCAA during or post exercise, especially when I’m fasted, to help preserve my muscles. You can read in more detail on this blog post about the supplements I take and specifically why I take BCAA. 

9. Pre-Workout Supplement

Because sometimes I need an extra boost! Now, a pre-workout supplement is not for everyone. It’s a stimulant, so you want to steer clear of it if you’re sensitive to caffeine. I do not take it every day. Most of the time I prefer to have coffee. 

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How do you prepare for your workouts? Do you carry a gym bag? What’s in it at all times? Tell me in the comment box below!

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Health and happiness,



*Oxigen Water compensated me in exchange for writing this blog post. However, all opinions and statements are my own. I truly love this product!

Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
  1. Love it! I need to start keeping protein bars with me. Good idea!

    1. I always have one 🙂

  2. This reminded me that I haven’t thrown a gym bag in my suitcase yet (I’m getting ready to move), so thank you!! Your suggestions seem perfect; I wonder if I could find the oxygen water in the UK. 🙂 -Kayla

    1. You’re welcome!!! Hmmm I’m not sure.

  3. Those bars sound amazing!

  4. This is basically my purse! Haha but essentials for sure!

  5. Great tips, and good ideas on what to pack. I usually only pack along water… bad me!

    1. Well at least you bring water! You’d be surprised how many of my clients forget it!

  6. Great tips! This is motivating me to go hit the gym right now haha. Should definitely try out the Oxigen Water sometime.

    1. Get it girl!!! What are you going to workout today?

  7. Those I am bars sound delicious!

  8. Such a great list! I have been hearing so much about Oxygen water and BCAAs recently – my curiosity is officially piqued!

    1. They are worth the investment!! And the salted caramel flavor is like woah! 😉

  9. I’ve never heard of that water before! I’m intrigued! One of the main reasons I’ve always loved post like these!

    1. Let me know if you try it out Carrie!

  10. I worked in a gym like you, and I looked like I was moving house every time I walked into work 🙂 My gym bag was loaded with water, towels, sweat towels, change of clothes, deodorant, brush, make-up etc I packed food into another bag – #snacksforlife and another for my diary, wallet, phone, iPod etc So good.

    1. Hahaha yup I’m the bag lady too! 😉

  11. I’m intrigued with the I Am bars. Having the little towel for sweat is an awesome idea too.

  12. I always use my Lulu bag for the gym too! It’s big and roomy. That Oxigen water sounds really interesting.

    1. Haha yay I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  13. Yes these really are the gym bag essentials. That is interesting looking water

    1. It helps with my energy so much!

  14. So many great suggestions! I really want to try that water, it sounds so helpful!

    La Belle Sirene

    1. Ya I loved it!! Get on board Courtney! ?

  15. I’ve never tried I Am Bars but the apple cinnamon sounds so good

    1. It’s really yummy! Don’t forget to use the promo code LIFEINSPANDEX for your free trial box!

  16. Love this!! Great tips for working out and being prepared!

  17. My daughter has two gym bags. One is for when she is going to shower afterwards the other is I’m going straight home bag. These are some great ideas for what to carry.

    1. Oh I like the idea of having two!!! 😀 she’s one step ahead of me

  18. I have to pack my bag the night before as well. I don’t have much time in the AM, so if I don’t do it the night before, I may forget it totally or one essential item.

    1. I love when I wake up and can just “grab and go.” So much less stress!

  19. Thanks for the tips! My husband and I just started working out at the gym in April and we love it. We just got done training together to get him ready for the physical portion of his police test, which he passed!

    1. That’s amazing!! Congrats to both of you 🙂

  20. Agree – pack the night before! Great list. At the moment I’m working from home so I put on my gym clothes first thing in the morning so that I don’t have to create more effort for myself later when I decide to go to the gym! But then it’s an easy habit just to live in my comfy training gear and not actually use them for their intended purpose 😛

    1. I love that idea!!! Haha ya gotta actually do the workout. Can’t just look like you are 😉

  21. Such a great list! I think I need to try Oxigen Water. I always keep a protein bar nearby for a post workout snack.

    1. Yes I love it! Let me know what you think when you try it Cassie

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