Gym Bag Essentials: What to Bring to the Gym for Beginners

Gym Bag Essentials: What to Bring to the Gym for Beginners

A fitter and flexible body.

Better skin.

Increased energy levels.

This is the vision many people have when joining a gym, and it’s very achievable if you remain committed to working out at the gym at least several times a week.

If you’re looking to make gym workouts part of your routine, it’s important to turn up with the proper gym bag essentials. 

An organized gym bag stocked with the fundamentals can make your routine easy, letting you concentrate on your workout. Below is a comprehensive guide that highlights the needed gym bag essentials for beginners.

18 Gym Bag Essentials: What to Bring to the Gym for Beginners

Not sure what to bring to the gym for beginners? Here is a list of essentials you should add to your gym bag.


1. Membership Card

If your gym still uses a key fob or card, always have it in your gym bag pocket. It allows you to seamlessly access the gym and other facilities like the pool, aerobic classes, sauna, and more.

2. Workout Clothes

There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting an essential piece of workout gear at home. For instance, overlooking a pair of gym socks can cause chafing and blisters, making your workout sessions unbearable. Depending on your workout, some gym bag essentials to pack include:

- Workout tops and bottoms – sweatpants, shorts, leggings, and more

- Sports bra

- Fresh pair of gym socks

- Swimsuit, goggles, and swim cap

    3. Gym Shoes

    While gym footwear may seem like an obvious item, it’s important to know the exact type of shoe you will need for a certain workout routine. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of injury by using running shoes in a weightlifting session.

    Don’t forget to pack a pair of slides, Crocs, or flip-flops for walking to the pool or shower. If your bag doesn’t have a shoe compartment, pack your gym and shower shoes in a little breathable shoe bag first.

    4. Deodorant

    Since you're going to be sweating at the gym, pack some deodorant. You can use it before your workouts to ensure you're smelling fresh all through.

    5. Gym Towels

    Carrying gym towels in your Dalix duffle bag is not only hygienic but also courteous. You can use them to wipe the sweat off and clean gym equipment before use. This can limit the spread of bacteria and viruses.

    Cotton towels are usually ideal for a gym session since their fibers are very absorbent and will dry in a short time. Microfiber towels are also recommended, especially for wiping gym equipment.

    6. Water Bottle

    No one likes waiting in line at the gym’s water source, especially after a strenuous workout. To avoid the hassle, remember to pack a reusable water bottle. It makes it easier to stay hydrated for an effective workout.

    7. Music/Audio Playing Devices

    Music can help you pace your workout. If you want to enjoy your playlist while you exercise, carry your music player and headphones. Ensure these items are sweat-resistant and wireless for convenience.

    Also, include an armband to help you hold your device while you move around the gym. Don't forget to carry a charger and charge your devices before using the gym.

    8. Weight-Lifting Gloves

    If you’re looking to lift weights, carry your weight gloves. They’ll give you a solid grip on gym equipment, prevent calluses on your hands, and absorb some of the pressure on your wrists and hands so you can lift more.

    9. Fitness Tracker

    Keeping track of your steps, calories, and heart rate as you work out is important. This is why a fitness heart rate monitor should never miss in your gym bag. It monitors and records your fitness progress at the gym.

    10. Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands are essential for warming up your muscles before a workout to improve your mobility and flexibility. Adding them to exercise routines like squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts can help you feel the burn in all the right places.

    11. Hand Sanitizer

    For proper gym hygiene, bring your hand sanitizer. Use it to clean and sanitize some of your gym gear. Additionally, you can use it on your hands and on gym equipment to kill bacteria and germs.

    12. Odor Remover

    From sweaty shoes to wet towels, your workout bag can get stinky quite fast. And that’s why an odor remover should never miss on your gym bag essentials list. Whether you prefer odor balls or spray, carry an odor remover to stay fresh and confident.

    13. Snacks

    Carry a few healthy pre- or post-workout snacks like protein bars, nuts, energy bars, dried fruits, and more. If you didn't have time to fuel up before the gym, a high-carb bar is ideal before a workout. A high-protein bar can also help in recovering after a workout.

    14. Toiletries

    Toss a bar soap and face wash into your Dalix duffle bag to freshen up after a heavy workout. Also, include small bottles of shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner.

    Carry antiperspirant wipes and a natural body spray or perfume to smell good. Remember to pack baby powder to absorb excess moisture on your body and cool your skin. A toothbrush and toothpaste may also come in handy.

    15. Skincare Products

    Once you’re done freshening up, you’ll need to moisturize your skin. Pack a light moisturizer, body lotion, or nourishing oil. Don’t forget to add lip balm and some sunscreen. 

    16. Change of Clothes

    When you go to the gym, you need fresh clothes to put on after your workout. Carrying a change of clothes can be convenient, especially if you’re heading to work or school after your exercises. As you pack your extra clothes, don’t forget to add spare socks, a bra, and underwear.

    17. First-Aid Kit

    To ensure your safety in the gym, carry athletic tape, band-aids, and cotton pads. They can come in handy in case you have a minor injury. Also, include a pain relief cream to soothe achy muscles.

    18. Gym Lock

    Since some gyms don’t provide locks, bring your own lock to ensure your items are safe when working out. Consider using a combination letter or number lock to avoid the hassle of walking around with a key.

    Additional Gym Bag Essentials for Women

    More than 50% of gym-goers are female. Planning to join these active women? Here are some women's gym bag essentials to carry.

    Hair Ties

    The last thing you want when working out is hair on your face. Carrying bobby pins and a hair tie will keep hair out of your way, allowing you to focus on the next rep.

    Makeup Remover Wipes

    Before working out, always remove your makeup to avoid dealing with skin issues caused by clogged pores. Ensure you add makeup wipes to your checklist for gym bag essentials for women.


    If you have plans after the gym, keep some makeup essentials in your bag. This may include mascara, concealer, hairbrush, brow gel, and a multitasking cream blush. Keep your makeup products together in a pouch so you don’t have to dig through your gym bag when you need to use them.

    Dry Shampoo

    Sweaty hair is inevitable after a workout – and this is where dry shampoo comes to your rescue. It’s a gym bag essential for women that soaks up sweat and dirt while leaving a fresh scent. Carry a dry shampoo that’s oil-absorbent, non-powdery, and light for effective results.

    Hair Dryer

    There's nothing more challenging than turning wet hair into a neat hairstyle. Fitting a travel hairdryer into your gym bag can help. Use it to dry your hair fast before styling it with products. You can also use it to wick away sweat, especially if the AC isn’t sufficient at your gym.

    Menstrual Products

    Always carry a few menstrual products, such as sanitary pads, tampons, or menstrual cups for peace of mind. Sanitary pads are recommended for short gym sessions and light flows. If you have heavy flow and longer gym sessions, tampons are preferable.

    Additional Gym Bag Essentials for Men

    Men’s gym bag essentials can make your workouts efficient and stress-free. Below are some basic items that make up a proper gym bag checklist for men.

    Shaving Products

    If you’re planning to work out very early in the day, you may need to shave at the gym. So remember to carry your shaving products. These include:

    - Safety razors

    - Pre-shave: Prepares your skin for a smooth shave

    - Shaving cream: Softens your beard for a safe and comfortable shave

    - Aftershave: Moisturizes and soothes your skin after shaving

      Don’t forget about gym shaving etiquette. This means cleaning up the sink and leaving the locker room hair-free for the next user.

      Performance Shorts

      Carry breathable performance shorts with moisture-wicking properties. Their design regulates your body temperature, improving performance for longer.

      Compression Shorts

      These are shorts under your gym shorts. They help with recovery and keep your blood flowing through your legs during intense workouts. If you’re a powerlifter, they can help you move more weight with less effort.


      If you’re a heavy sweater, these are must-have gym bag essentials for men. Sweat in your eyes stings and constantly wiping sweat away can be distracting. Headbands can keep sweat out of your brow. They can also hold your hair in place when exercising.

      Extra T-Shirts

      Prepare for sweaty disasters by packing an extra t-shirt in your gym bag. It can come in handy, especially on days when you want to train longer. It’s also nice to have a clean t-shirt on after a refreshing post-workout shower at the gym.

      What to Pack in a Gym Bag: Gym Bag Checklist

      Forgetting gym bag essentials can be a great inconvenience. That’s why we created this handy gym bag checklist so that you can have a stress-free workout session. The items you need include:

      - Gym shoes

      - Workout clothes

      - Membership card

      - Water bottle

      - Gym towel

      - Deodorant

      - Fitness tracker

      - Music playing devices

      - Hand sanitizer

      - Weightlifting gloves

      - Odor remover

      - Resistance bands

      - Toiletries

      - Skincare products

      - Gym lock

      - Snacks

      - First aid kit

      - Change of clothes

      - Performance shorts

      - Headband

      - Compression shorts

      - Makeup remover wipes

      - Makeup

      - Hair ties

      - Menstrual products

      - Shaving products

      - Dry shampoo

      - Hair dryer

      - Extra t-shirt

        What to Put in a Gym Bag: Final Word

        As a new gym-goer, it can be hard to determine what to take to the gym for the first time – but not anymore. Our guide above highlights the important items to pack for your next session. Once you figure out the proper gym bag essentials, trips to the gym will feel like a breeze.

        To be more organized, pack your gym bag a day before your next session. This will ensure you never leave any gym basics at home. Ensure you get a sturdy gym bag with adequate compartment to hold all your gym gear.

        What to Bring to a Gym: FAQs

        What should be in a gym bag for lifting?

        For an effective lifting session, you need the right items in your gym bag. Some gym bag essentials for lifters include liquid grip and chalk to make your hands less sweaty and improve grip. Don't forget to pack weightlifting tape, belt, and gloves to prevent blisters.

        What kind of gym bag do I need?

        A medium-sized bag will suffice. These bags can easily hold a pair of gym shoes, workout attire, a small toiletries kit, a change of clothes, and a water bottle. You can also include other gym accessories such as resistance bands, gloves, music player devices, snacks, and more.

        What should I put in my gym locker?

        A change of clothes isn’t enough for a gym session. As a beginner, consider adding a few key products that’ll make your post-workout sessions more productive. Some of the items you should stock in your gym locker include shower shoes, body wash, shaving products, dry shampoo, and more.

        Should I bring a towel to the gym?

        Yes. Gyms produce a lot of sweat. You can use a towel to wipe your face while you work out so that it doesn’t go to your eyes. Also, use it to wipe down equipment before and after use to limit the spread of germs and bacteria.


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