A lot of women ask me what I pack in my gym bag. Inevitably, I am always asked for an extra hair tie or a makeup remover. I come PREPARED, but the male gym bag will always look quite different from that of their female counterparts. Ladies, I got you! First of all, the bag itself is important. Let’s not kid ourselves, ladies: we’re fashionistas, and the cuteness of my bag is as important as what’s inside of it. Mine is an old school Nike bag with lots of compartments: 1 main compartment for my gym clothes and shoes, 1 zippered compartment for my money/ID and my ipod, and 1 large, buttoned compartment for sweaty clothes. It also has 2 outside pockets for hair ties, gum, tissues, or whatever else I find necessary to bring with me to the gym. My bag is OLD and I want a new one. I’m thinking something cute from Lululemon, like this one:
J’ADORE!!!So, in terms of what’s inside, here’s the scoop:
- Water bottle: Duh. Me without a water bottle is like Kim Kardashian without Apple Bottom Jeans. I drink 4-6 liters (yes, liters) of water a day, and I drink at least 1 liter during my workout alone. BP = camel.
- Hair Ties: I should probably have the same disclaimer about hair ties as I do my water bottle. I have a lot of hair; I mean A LOT. I am of Mediterranean descent, and my hair is long, thick, and curly. I joke around and call it my “weave,” but there’s nothing fake about it. It’s ALL mine. I use 3-4 ties and about 5 bobby pins just to get my junk in a manageable, semi-rats nest-looking ponytail. No exaggeration. I cannot workout if my hair isn’t up and out of my way. I move too fast and sweat too much to have thick, heavy hair hanging down my back. Gross. I carry at least 10 hair ties and a whole container of bobby pins in my bag at all times. If I shake my bag, I can hear them rattling around inside. It’s a sad, sad day when I shake my bag and hear nothing……that means I have to ask the front desk at O2 for a rubber band; let’s just say that rubber bands and thick hair are not friends.
- iPod: Music moves me in ways I cannot express. Music is as imperative to my workouts as a good hair tie. I am a spin instructor, so, needless to say, my ipod is FULL of pulse-pounding, fast, beat-heavy, motivating music. I love all kinds (except country, yeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaw), and I usually just put my ipod on random shuffle and get to work. My lifting favorites? Disturbed, Linkin Park, POD, Limp Bizkit, Styles of Beyond, Drowning Pool, Rage Against the Machine, and anything else that yells at me. For cardio (sprints only, ya’ll), I like anything pop, especially Rihanna and Britney Spears. Don’t hate: Hit Me Baby One More Time makes me run fast.
- Makeup Remover: Similar to my inability to have my hair flopping around when I’m sweating, I cannot STAND to have makeup sliding down my face when I’m working out. And I sweat enough that to actually make a problem. I bring makeup remover wipes, not liquid, with me in my bag. They come in a re-sealable pouch and don’t take up much space at all. And anything that saves me from having raccoon eyes is worth the space. Also, I don’t really care what I look like in the gym: I’m not there to pick up guys, I’m there to do work. If my natural, make-up-free looks scare guys away, then I probably need to build a home gym anyway. Everyone’s comfort level is different, but I supposed I just don’t care enough about what others think; I’d rather be comfortable than sexy. Sexy is for the club, not the gym.
- Extra socks: after going to the gym sock-less on way too many occasions, I’ve started packing an extra pair of socks in my bag before I go to bed at night. That way, if I forget to pack socks in the morning, I’m still good to go. I’ve taught many, many spin classes without socks, and it stinks. Literally.
- Obvious gym essentials:workout clothes, towel, deodorant, and shoes. Sometimes, I bring extra shoes, because I’ve forgotten those at times, too. Nothing is worse than getting to the gym and realizing you don’t have anything to put on your feet. I end up going home and eating chocolate if that happens.
- Lady things: me thinks this needs no explanation. You just never know…….
- Post-workout meal: I usually grab a banana or some other piece of fruit or a Think Thin bar. I go to the gym immediately after work. If I go home after work, I will inevitably fall asleep on the couch, so I just go straight for the iron when 5pm rolls around. Consequently, my post-gym hours are usually my time to go grocery shopping, run errands, spend time with Jim, etc. I’m not always in a place where I can grab some fast, healthy carbs, so I always come prepared. I am usually FAMISHED by the time my workout is over, and I’m an instant-gratification kind of girl: the Think Thin bar (crunchy PB is the best flavor ever) is usually in my face before I even walk out the door.