The right gear to assemble your arsenal, according to experts
When it comes to fitness, dedication is the name of the game. And proper preparation is the key to maintaining that dedication—so make sure you’ve always got your gym bag stocked and ready to go. Because going to the gym is nothing if not a small trip; you’ve got to be prepared. So what goes into the perfect gym bag? Lucky for you, we went to an expert to find out. Rhys Athayde is a celebrity personal trainer who’s also the co-founder of Phantom, a results-driven at-home workout platform. He’s packed many a gym bag in his day and while he knows some items are a given - you likely have your go-to protein bar and favorite grooming products already in there - here are some other items that he says no bag should be without.
Water and Shaker Bottle
Did you know your muscles are nearly 80% water? The more you sweat out at the gym, the more you need to hydrate. While any old bottle would do, a proper, insulated spill-proof bottle will keep your water cool and where it belongs until you need it most. And if you’re utilizing a pre-workout supplement or want to mix up a protein shake after your time at the gym, you’ll want to pack a shaker bottle as well.
Don’t let your footwear hold you back from giving it your all. “Because workouts can switch up at the last minute, I like to pack extra shoes,” says Athayde. “I’ve always got shoes for weightlifting, cross trainers for running, and maybe even some comfy shoes for after the workout.”
Easier to pack than a long foam roller and just as capable of working out knots and relieving tightness. The MB5 ball is a favorite with personal trainers because it targets pressure like a massage therapist's elbow to release muscle tension and encourage blood and oxygen flow.MB5 massage ball, $27.99 by Trigger Point
Athayde says a quick jump rope session is a simple and effective warm-up. Plus, no piece of equipment packs up more easily. You need to be comfortable with your jump rope—you don’t want to just use any old one. So pack your own.
Getting in your workout before starting your day? Those sweaty clothes are a marker of a good workout, but they can really stink up your bag. Athayde always carries a change of clothes in his gym bag. But an odor-blocking laundry pouch will secure your damp post-workout gear while keeping everything else dry and smelling fresh.Antimicrobial sport sack, $44 by Ornadi
You may not need these, but if you do a lot of lifting or pull-ups, a pair of grip gloves allow you to workout smarter, not harder. Choose gloves that suit your style and provide plenty of protection and anti-slip grip.
This is something you want to have on hand so it’s ready when you need it. A good pain-relieving gel comes in clutch to tackle any sprains, stiffness and inflammation instantly. When it comes to pain management, you don’t want to go cheap. Invest in a quality product like ASYSTEM’s roll-on gel, packed with 25% active ingredients (that’s 5x more than anyone else). There’s cooling menthol and arnica (which decreases healing time in bruises and sprains) along with high-quality, hemp-derived CBD to penetrate deep into muscles and boost recovery.Radical Relief CBD gel roll-on, $52 by ASYSTEM