My gym bag is not very pretty. I use an old fold-up Totes bag that I “borrowed” from my mother. I’ve used it on many trips in my lifetime, from summer camp to packing as an extra bag to fold out and bring back as checked luggage full of chocolate and gummies from my first trip to Switzerland.
With the small handles and no cross-body strap, it’s not always the most comfortable to carry, but it was free to use what I had and works. Nobody said you need to spend extra money to work out.
So here’s what I’ve got stashed inside:
1. Wash glove: OK, I did go out and buy this. After a few weeks at the gym, I realized that it was hard to lather up and wash myself quickly and effectively without a loofah or something. I picked up this glove from a CVS in Puerto Rico and have been using it ever since. It’s maybe not my favorite, but the glove does give me a good exfoliation every morning!
2. Towel: Every other week I use my lighter, quick-dry camping towel that I had already or one of our smaller bath towels. Not pictured here is also my workout towel which is always a smaller quick-dry towel to save on weight and space.
3. Soap: I bought a bottle of camping soap for the container. It closes really tightly, but now I just refill it with whatever soap I want. I also have a travel size container with face soap that I refill. I store them both in a plastic bag I had on hand in case they would leak.
4. Plastic pouch: I think this was for a pillow or something originally. I stuff my towels in here to transport to the office without getting everything else in the bag wet. I pull out my towel at the office and let it dry on a rolling cupboard under my desk. Sneaky, sneaky.
5. Straightening Iron inside inside-out silicon oven mitt: This was not in my bag when I had long hair, but the oven mitt was my DIY solution to finding a heat resistant carrier for my straightener. I also bought a new GHD straightener for short hair, but to be honest I’m not sure if I got a fake copy and I’m not totally sold if it’s real. It works alright though, so I’m keeping it till it breaks.
6. Shampoo: This also was not in my bag pre-hair cut. Now I wash my hair three times a week instead of twice a week and generally I do it twice during the week at the gym.
7. Deodorant: Used a lot in the summer, but TBH, I have stopped using it since it got cold out. I just lotion my armpits now and don’t really sweat during the day since it’s cold. I also don’t put deodorant on just to work out and then shower. It seems way more healthy to let the sweat glands work they way they are supposed to!
8. Lotion: I keep small tubes in my bag and lotion after every shower. I’m better about it at the gym than I am at home.
9. Dry Shampoo: For the days when I need a freshen up, usually on the third or fourth day with long hair, but already by the second or third day with short hair.
10/11: Gym card and hair ties: I keep these in one of the pockets on the front. I store all the hair ties and clips and claws to avoid losing them in the bag and so I can grab them easily at home for the next day.13. Armband for phone: Honestly, I’ve kind of stopped using this since I got a new phone with a leather case. I don’t like taking it out of the case and I haven’t figured out how to make playlists with iTunes on xperia. They just … don’t transfer! It’s one of the only things I don’t like about the phone. Listening to music is fine, but making a beat bumping energy pumping workout playlist is not happening.
14/15. Earbuds, Lock and Undies: I use the outer pocket to store these items. The lock and earbuds for easy access and the undies to keep them clean. I don’t know why… but undies are the only thing I have consistently forgotten. It’s happened a handful of times since I started and I don’t like to be caught without fresh undies, so I keep an emergency pair. Used em twice so far!
16. Clothes: Each night I pick out my clothes for the next day and pack them up in my bag before I go to sleep. I even have to pick out my shoes and scarves and put them by the door because in the morning I’m so tired that I have no idea what I picked out anymore. I always pick out clothes the night before because I’m too groggy to make good fashion decisions in the morning and with the gym schedule, I only have 15 minutes from when I get up to when I need to leave. There’s not enough time!
Sometimes I’m even more proactive and I pick out the clothes for the next two days if I know that I’ll have an evening event the next day that would prevent me from doing my clothes planning when I get home. I don’t like to wake Kay up, so it’s easier to have the pile there ready when I get home late some days. Yes, you have to look at the weather and rely on it in order to do this.
17. Toiletries Bag: I store all my skincare, makeup, hair brushes and any jewelry I’ll be wearing for the day in here so that I can dump it all out on the counter and quickly go through all the products until they are back in the bag. If something isn’t used in my routine, I take it out.
18. Bag with Gym Shoes: I store my shoes in a bag to separate things in the main bag a little. I can use the bag to block my used gym towel from touching my fresh clothes or to block my stinky used gym clothes from touching something I might stuff in on the way home, like a coat, sweater or scarf.
Not pictured above would be my gym clothes that I wear on the way to the gym and store rolled up in my gym towel on the way home. That would be some yoga pants, running bra and top, socks, undies and my heart rate monitor.
Inside the toiletry bag:
- Makeup brushes. Tried to only bring the essentials, but I bring a little more eyeshadow brushes so I can do a normal eye or a smokey eye. I also have an eyebrow pen in here.
- 24h Maybelline Lipstick
- Mac False Lashes Mascara
- Jewelry, including earrings because I don’t have time to put them in at home.
- NYX Eyebrow Palette
- Clinique Blush
- Brush and Teasing Comb
- Armani Maestro Foundation
- Urban Decay Eye Potion Primer (a must, even at the gym!)
- Roller Eye Cream, speedy, speedy, speedy!
- Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette
- Toner in Travel Size Bottle
- Day Cream with SPF 15
- Bag for makeup brushes
Sometimes I switch up my eyeshadow palette and I have a few more lipsticks in my purse at times, but for the most part I keep my makeup the same and just do different looks with the Naked palette.
What’s in your gym bag? I’d love to see you write a post and link back here with your must-haves!