So you’ve decided to become a gym guy. All the stereotypes are in place; you have a personal trainer, you go regularly and pay your dues and you care how much you can bench. Maybe it’s to impress the ladies, maybe it’s to trim up, maybe you’re having a mid-life crisis.
Whatever the case, you’ve decided this is your life. Michael Bay’s only good film – the Coen Bros. wannabe Pain and Gain – tells the story of a gym rat who, with fellow gym addicts, orchestrates the most misguided kidnapping scheme ever imagined. Nevertheless, it was a true story, and features what is quite possibly the funniest performance from Dwayne Johnson you’ll likely see.
It was true, and some of those involved were sentenced to the death penalty (Florida being one of the outlying states that still employs such a punishment – which makes sense given the attack-by-thrown-allligator assault crime ratio compared to other states). But still, there are advantages to living a gym lifestyle. You’ll be fitter, better prepared if ever kidnapped. You’ll be more attractive to the opposite sex.
In order for any of these things to come true, however, you’ll need a few things in your nifty gym bag to make the complete package. Below are seven gym bag essentials for guys to carry around:
1. Water Bottle
No matter what part of your body you’re working on or how hard you’re doing so, it’s a good bet you’re going to get thirsty. That much perspiration, particularly in a room full of others’ body heat, is bound to make you thirsty, so it’s necessary to stay hydrated throughout your workout. And while you may want to jazz things up and fill it with Gatorade or Kambucha, water is always the best solution. A solid, reusable 72ml water bottle is recommended as one of the gym bag essentials for guys.
2. Odor-Absorbing Laundry Bag
After working out, you’re bound to be sweaty. And though a shower will take care of your body and give off the natural pheromones that attract those of the female persuasion, you may still have to lug around a bag full of used gym clothing – particularly if you traveled by bus, subway or foot.
These bags will not only be appreciated by fellow travelers, it’ll make it easier on just about anyone you happen to pass by to take you seriously and not a goofy, sweaty fellow who happened to be wandering the street that day. The stench of gym clothes can too easily be associated with that of a homeless man, and that’s not the impression you want to make.
If you’re fortunate and rich enough to have a private membership at a club, they typically supply you with your own locker and combination. For the rest of us peasants, however, the lockers are open, typically unguarded and ripe for the pickings. Much like a bike lock or school locker, a simple lock will guard your belongings while you get on the treadmill or in the pool. If you are carrying any valuables, then a lock is one of the most important gym bag essentials for guys.
It’s very doubtful your gym is playing the kind of music you can find an appropriate workout rhythm for, and sometimes – even worse – they just leave it on CNN all the time. So get together your own jam and be sure to keep it with you for whatever exercise you are attempting. Attention gym owners: no one works out to 80s hairbands anymore. Or the latest Taylor Swift, for that matter. Compile some songs that inspire you – and it’ll be different for everyone – and drown out the nauseating music too often played at such locations.
5. De-oderizing Wipes
You’ve surely packed your Axe Body Spray or whatever your typical deodorant you use after a workout, but always have a back-up plan. You never know when that stick might go dry; that bottle will be empty. These wipes leave you with a nice, glistening feel, like a freshly brushed set of teeth. You’ll also get a dose of aloe vera if you pick the right brand, and leave the gym feeling moisturized and fresh.
6. Flip Flops
It may seem like it makes sense to walk around the gym barefoot, but unfortunately, locker rooms and showers are notorious breeding grounds for germs and skin infections. This can all be easily avoiding with a simple pair of flip flops. It may look slightly less cool, but so does a bad case of athlete’s foot.
7. Gym Towel
While towels are often provided by the gym, it’s best to carry your own, lightweight, personal fitness towel. Usually good for up to 500 washes, this personal touch will add a bit of class to your daily regimen.