Your gym bag can be as important to your workout as a medical bag is to a doctor. The absolute minimum that you would need to carry in your bag would be a pair of kicks, shorts and a tee. This no-frills set up would pretty much get you through your workout and only take up a small amount of space. The problem is what if you want more than no-frills? Here are some suggestions to beef up your gym bag and thus your performance.

Compression Gear

Before you say anything, we admit that “yes” these are snug but “no” they are not tights. Smart fabrics have revolutionized sports. This base layer can do a number of things like help keep the body cool, increase energy return and flush lactic acid (that stuff that makes your muscles sore after a workout) to name a few. Best of all, is their wicking design. Those of you still working out in cotton boxers may want to consider stepping up to something that will not absorb the five gallons of sweat you just lost during your run. Nike combat clothing or UnderArmour make some great compression gear. If you are looking for higher-end energy returning materials check out CEP compression shorts.


Tailoring your footwear to your workout should not be overlooked. This means wear running shoes to run. If you’re lifting, you’ll need kicks that won’t collapse under pressure such as a cross-trainer or a weight lifting shoe. For those of you, who are hardcore lifters, check out the Adidas selection of lifting shoes. They have been updated to look less traditional without compromising its key function: stability.

Red Nike running shoes

Nutritious Food

Health experts say if you’re looking to build muscle you should consume protein no less than 30 to 40 minutes after a workout. What if that’s how long it takes to get home from the gym? Then make sure you’re packing a post workout protein powder or shake to feed the muscle building process. For you endurance athletes, recovery is just as important. Check out Accelerade, which has 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is supposed to decrease time to fatigue. FRS has a pre/post-workout drink. Both brands have a complement of products including gels.

Dumbbells and protein drink


Maybe you workout on your lunch hour or simply don’t want to wreak right after. Unless you want to carry a bottle of body wash and face wash, consider a combo product that does both. Dove Men + Care is a low cost and effective alternative to the laundry detergent most gyms are trying to pass off as soap. Deodorant? Body sprays like those offered by Axe, which dry quick and don’t leave much residue, can be purchased in combination with a shower applicator, so you can really scrub the muck off and keep your pits from being odiferous with a matching deodorant.

men's cosmetics

The Bag

Come on man, you’re likely toting that bag around with you to work or it’s lying around your crib with sneakers and clothes (dirty and clean) in it. Make sure it stays fresh. Keep some odor blaster deodorant balls in it. Totes make these and they will keep you bag and gear in it staying fresh.

You can configure your gym bag with essentials necessary to fit your active lifestyle. To prepare well, consider the recommendations listed above to ensure you’re ready for anything.

Gym bag with equipment

About The Author

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Dorian Brito brings over 15 years of fitness and rehabilitation experience to ‘LLERO. Dorian has a physical fitness pedigree that can compete with the best of them, holding a B.S. in Exercise Science from Ithaca College, an M.A. in Motor Learning & Control from Columbia University and currently in pursuit of his MPH from Emory University. Aside from the degrees this Exercise Physiologist has experience working with professional athletes as well as in orthopedic physical therapy clinics. But he hasn’t stopped their, aside from his clients and contributions to ‘LLERO Dorian has authored numerous other articles for outlets such as Men’s Health magazine.

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