After a good workout, you need to take a shower and change, so you need to pack your gym bag accordingly. A lot of men believe that going to the gym requires much more than it actually does, and they pack their bag as if they’re going away for a weekend. The opposite is true too, but it’s rare: people go to the gym without a towel, water bottle, and spare socks. We’re here to help you pack your gym bag like a pro and always have essentials close by.

Your own towel

First things first: no matter what kind of workout you’re planning on doing, you are going to be sweating a lot, and this means that you have to make sure any equipment you use is clean afterward (and before). Your own towel is a must in any gym, and even though most gyms have towels you can rent, you should still have your own in your bag. You can also pick a towel that has a small hook so you can hook it to your shorts or hang it to the machine you’re using at the moment. Sharing other people’s towels isn’t a good idea either, so keep a clean one with you at all times.

Water bottle

While there are gyms that have their own water fountains all over the place for the convenience of their users, there are also gyms that don’t. Still, even if your gym doesn’t have a water fountain, there is probably going to be a counter where you can buy water, and that’s great. Still, you should have your own water bottle with you at all times. Not only does this reduce waste, but you will be saving money in the long run too. Pick bottles made of sturdy plastic or stainless steel as these can hold up to repeated uses and tumbling over the floor and the bag too.

Weight training essentials

If you’re into weight training, you need some extra gear. Gloves are optional as there are people who want to build calluses and others who don’t, so it’s up to you. Belt, on the other hand, is highly recommended by many, as it will help you avoid getting hurt. On deadlift days, you should wear full-length men compression socks, and they will help protect your shins from scraping. When doing some heavy lifting, you can protect your wrists with wrist straps as they will help you get a better grip.

Workout clothes

It’s important to remember that you don’t actually need special workout clothes in the beginning – it just has to be safe and comfortable. You can work out in your old clothes if you want to, but not everything is acceptable. This means no cotton tees as these take forever to dry, and no too-wide sweatpants as these can get caught in machines during workouts. Comfy shorts and tees with spandex are a good idea, and later on, you can invest in professional workout clothes if you want.

Must-have toiletries

After a sweaty session, you will want to freshen up quickly, so pack your toiletries. Hit the showers and use your shower gel and body wash, and if you have time, you can also wash your hair. If you have a big day ahead, you can carry your razor too so you can shave before you head to work. If you don’t have enough time for a shower, make sure you have a sanitizer and cleansing wet wipes so you can clean up after a workout.

Clean underwear

If you come to the gym in clean clothes and change into your workout clothes afterward, you can always wear the clothes you came in later. On the other hand, you will have to change your underwear, so a pair of clean briefs or boxers is a must-have, as well as clean socks. Imagine having the best day in the gym and sweating thoroughly, hopping into the shower, only to realize you forgot clean underwear. You won’t even have to consider going commando if you keep clean underwear in your gym bag.

To be honest, there are many different things that you might need for regular fitness that are going to help you level up your workouts. If you’re just starting out, there’s no need to pack a million different things, but if you’re working on a special kind of workout or following a particular program, you might want to keep a few extra things in your bag as well. Until then, we hope our guide will help you keep your gym bag in order.