If you were to ask me what I keep in my gym bag, I think, you’d probably be a little confused, as I often am described to have a side to me that is similar to an eleven year-old boy stuck in a girl in her twenties’ body. So open up my bag and you will probably notice a gameboy advance SP loaded with Pokemon, superhero wrist bands, big cutoff t-shirts, random food, crayons, etc. However, I still do keep some other very useful things in there!
Below I have put together a list and a brief description of things that you will find in my gym bag, as well as a few other lady lifters’ bags who I had the pleasure of talking to.
A mixture of our bags:
Liquid grips/chalk/straps: Although I will forever be a fan of straight up chalk, you never know when you’ll be at a more commercial gym that doesn’t allow it because it can be messy! How will you be able to deadlift heavy without your hands slipping?! Liquid grips will always come in handy, without the mess. Just squeeze an amount the size of a dime on your hand, rub it in thoroughly, let it dry for about 30 seconds, and you’re ready to move some weight! Lifting straps are “handy” when you do not have the grip strength yet, and your hands won’t slip!
Dry shampoo: I love showering just as much as the next person, but sometimes you just gotta go somewhere after you train. Spray some in your hair, toss your hair around a couple of times, and you’re good to go! It takes a few minutes to dry if you sweat, but it won’t be greasy by the time it is dry.
“Emergency Protein”: I know I don’t stand alone when saying I can be really forgetful. I have been known to pack delicious, extravagant pre and post workout meals in Tupperware, and then completely leave it on my kitchen counter top when I leave the house for the day. Carrying a single serving of protein, some canned or vacuum-packed tuna, a Quest bar, or a few scoops of protein in a plastic baggie can be very helpful when in a crunch!
Make up remover wipes: Okay, this is probably one of the girliest things you’ll hear me talk about, but it must be addressed. I have a horrible habit of putting on relatively water-proof make up (I only ever wear a little eye liner and mascara) one day, and then leaving it on for multiple days. I literally try to wash around my eyes sometimes. It is sad, but I am really not funky or creative in the make up department, so it doesn’t make sense to me to spend a lot of time on it every day. To make a long story short, I entered a swim class this spring and was in for a rude awakening after the first day when I got out of the pool and looked like Frankenstein’s wife with black seeping down my eyes. So yeah. Invest in some.
Men’s deodorant (or an all-natural, more neutral deodorant): Smelly pits are horrible. In my own, as well as my lady lifter friends’ opinions, smelly pits that are masked with fruity flowery powder scent are about 100 times worse. For whatever reason, any scent by Axe or Old Spice is so much more pleasant, so many of us use it, especially around gym time. If you are looking for a more natural source, Supplement Central carries a great and very affordable selection here.
Fresh smelling body spray: Perfume can be a little much on the nose at the end of a workout, but if you like to leave the gym smelling relatively nice, a fresh or fruity smelling body spray will do the trick. We know this goes against the armpit theory, but trust us on this one. More citrusy, cucumber melony, or coconutty scents are normally a little easier on your senses than the warm vanilla sugary or Victoria’s secret passion-whatever ones. Tips on where to spray- wrists, behind the neck, and behind the knees (strange, yes. But it does the trick!)
Extra sports bra/socks/undies/gym clothes: Ohhhh as a lady lifter, or just a heavily active female, I’m sure we can all agree there is not much worse than not having these. Surprisingly, many of us agreed that socks might be the most important. There is not much that feels more miserable than having to walk around in sopping wet socks after it unexpectedly torrential downpours during your 20 walk to the gym. Trust me. IT HAPPENS.
Extra earphones: Sometimes going to the gym and the sound of hard work is just enough to get the job done. Other times, your emotions pour through workouts and you want to block everyone out. Keep an extra pair of earphones in your bag, because some day you WILL forget your regular ones, you WILL be angry, and you WILL be thankful you had them, even if they are a little worse quality.
A little notepad with a pen: Not only can you write little motivational quotes every day at the top of the page, going to the gym is all about progress! You won’t know how far you’ve come until you track it. If you don’t already have a fancy app to track everything on your phone, a pen and paper is always just as useful.
Leather, old school jump rope: I am not the biggest fan of traditional cardio, but I do like to be active. This is not only a bad ass way of getting metabolic, but can also be a little more fun way to change up your high intensity cardio game! Do 50 fast hops through it with some kettle bell swings and you have a great little circuit!
Extras of other supplement you might take: Yup, get out the baggies and shaker bottles. Fill them up with dry powder so you can add water at any time. The two things I’ve seen and/or used personally are pre workouts and BCAAs.
Small foam roller: You might need to carry a bigger gym bag if you have one of these, but they are VERY helpful if your gym doesn’t have any available to use. Roll out your IT bands, hamstrings, quads, lower back, upper back, everything. You will last a lot longer as a lady lifter if you can keep these all in check!
Icy hot roll on/gel: For aches, pains, and staying loose!
Chapstick and mascara: Chapstick- no explanation necessary. You do not want your flaming lips to affect your workout in any way! Mascara, because, you never know when you might run into your SWOLE MATE!
Hope these are useful suggestions for next time you hit the gym!