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10 Workout Essentials for Your Gym Bag!

Maximize your workouts and time at the gym with these 10 workout essentials! Missing just one item can ruin your trip to the gym and side line your training. Let PERFECT Sports athlete and national figure competitor Larissa Miljavec give you the Top 10 Tips and Ticks that cover everything you’ll need in your gym bag!
10 workout essentials
10 workout essentials

You know what they say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. You put so much time and effort into achieving your fitness goals; workout gear, investing in supplements, researching the optimal training splits and nutrition protocols. However, if you’re unprepared at the gym, you can face added stress from not having what you need when you need it. Unfortunately, this can prevent you from reaching your goals and progressing at the pace you’d like. But don’t worry! I’ve got just what you need with this list of “10 Workout Essentials for your Gym Bag!”

Gym Clothes

Be sure to keep a fresh outfit in your gym bag. That way you have no excuse but to hit the gym after work, school, or dropping the kids off at practice. I always like to keep items that will correspond with the changing weather. Or that will benefit me more depending on what I am training that day.

I generally like to make sure I have a sweater packed, sports bra, socks, tank top or t-shirt, leggings or pants, and shorts. You can never be too prepared! I also like to make sure I bring appropriate footwear. Leg day or deadlifts? Converse or other flat-soled shoes. Powerful pressing movements or squats? Lifting shoes. Steady-state or HIIT cardio? Supportive training shoes. Running? Some good-quality running shoes. Do not overlook the importance of proper footwear! I can say from experience… hours of steady-state cardio while wearing loosely-tied converse WILL lead to shin splints (ouch!).

10 workout essentials - Gym Clothes
10 workout essentials - Gym Lock

Gym Lock

Imagine you’re at the gym and crushing your workout. You feel on top of the world. Then you go to your locker to fetch your belongings. You’ve been looking forward to your post-workout shake all day, but then you find an item decided to grow legs and walk away. Ugh, how frustrating!

Unfortunately, some people suck, and as much as we’d like to be positive and believe everyone is trustworthy – there’s always exceptions. This is an annoying mishap that can be easily avoided – if we came with a lock. Therefore, go to your local dollar store, pick one up and throw it in the gym bag. Don’t take any chances – protect your belongings!


The last thing you need is to be stuck after a tough work out trying to remember your lock combo when your fried after a crazy session! Get a lock that is easily recognizable, or put a dab of nail polish on the back. Better yet, take a snap shot of your lock (and the serial on the back) in case you forget which lock is yours – let’s face it, most locks look identical!

Shaker Cup

This is essential! You need a high-quality shaker cup to mix up your pre-, intra- and post-workout supplements. Additionally, I recommend bringing a large, 2L, reusable water bottle to help make sure you’re hitting your hydration goals. Bring this guy with you everywhere so you can keep chugging and refilling throughout the day. You can even fill it with BCAAs to add some flavour and maximize your muscle preservation and building potential!

10 workout essentials - Shaker Cup
10 workout essentials - ALTRD State


There’s nothing like a quick boost of feel-good energy to get you going before a killer workout. Whether you’re training in the early morning, on your lunch break, or in the evening after a long day – sometimes we need a boost so that we don’t feel burnt-out. Personally, the act of mixing up my pre-workout drink and downing it in the gym parking lot is part of my “get-in-the-zone” routine. ALTRD State always gets me going, with just the right amount of caffeine. Plus, ALTRD State is loaded with other performance-enhancing ingredients. It’s an all-in-one pre-workout like no other!

A half a scoop before a morning cardio session or before a hard leg day is my preference. This also keeps my rest periods short, my performance high and my mood stable. ALTRD State is definitely a must-have supplement!


When you’re going to the gym, you might not want to bring the entire container of ALTRD State (unless you’re interested in sharing. And we don’t blame you if you’re not!) Put your Pre-Workout in an empty shaker and add the water before you go to the gym, or once you arrive. Another option is a trusty ZipLoc bag. Add a single serving of your Pre-Workout and add to the water from there and enjoy! 

Personal Gym Gear

What this entails will be dependent on the individual and your goals, but having the tools of your craft on hand will be crucial. Gym gear, such as bands, lifting belt, chalk, roller, trigger-point ball and straps are some examples to get you started. Basically, these are personal items, which only you’d want to use and should be essential gym bag gear.

10 workout essentials - Personal Workout Gear
10 workout essentials - Heart Rate Monitor

Heart-Rate Monitor

Using a heart-rate monitor can make every workout more effective, especially if the goal is fat loss. Or if you want to build up endurance. This will allow you to train harder and smarter! This is important for safety, in avoiding going beyond the safety parameters for your workout. As well as success, as to gauge your progress. If you’re not going above your resting heart rate, you will know you’re not working hard enough. Having a heart rate monitor will help you to adjust your workout to ensure results are in your favour.


Sometimes tuning the world out is just what you need to remain focused. Not to mention the right playlist can really pump you up and get you going! Plus, you won’t get stuck listening to whatever the gym is playing. Or engaging in conversations with people you don’t want to talk to (we all know those gym chatter-boxes). That’s why a good pair of headphones should be part of your gym bag essentials!

10 workout essentials - Headphones
10 workout essentials - Post-Workout Nutrition

Post-Workout Nutrition

A proper ratio of quick-digesting carbs and protein to refuel your muscles and promote anabolic activity is optimal after a workout. Our muscles don’t build while we are in the gym, but when we are resting, recovering, and eating!

I like to have a scoop of DIESEL New Zealand Whey Isolate to get protein into my system right away. DIESEL is super easy to digest (it’s lactose-free and made with natural flavours and sweeteners). Plus, DIESEL contains only whey protein sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised New Zealand cows!


Think you don’t have time to get your workout or cardio session in? Bring your toiletries with you to the gym to ensure you have no excuses to miss out. Here’s a quick list you can add your gym bag: Dry shampoo, travel-size soaps, deodorant, hairstyling appliances and products, hair brush, make-up and remover wipes, shower shoes, towel, face cloth, hair elastics, and hand sanitizer.

10 workout essentials - Toiletries
10 Workout Essentials - Notepad & Pen

Notebook & Pen

These two simple items, along with a pre-panned workout program are arguably the biggest must-haves on the gym floor. What is the science behind muscular hypertrophy? Progressive overload! Tracking your workouts (reps, weights) and coming up with a scheme to gage if you are progressively overloading your muscles while following a well-thought out workout routine could be the key that will break your plateau.

Wrapping It Up

So, now you know what to pack in your gym bag. Use this of “10 Workout Essentials for your Gym Bag!” as a check-list, or inspiration when building your own. Jot it down, make sure you got everything, and get packing, so you can crush those workouts – no excuses!