Build a Better Gym Bag and the Workouts Will Come

Mastering the art of the grind isn’t just about getting up early and staying up late. It’s also about being efficient with your time and energy and making space for non-work priorities too (#restday). Step one: Streamline your shit. And by “shit,” we mean your physical stuff.

Whether it’s embracing a minimalist wardrobe to make getting ready for work easier, organizing your desk so you can actually find what you need quickly or learning how to pack your bag so you can fit five activities into one day without running home, making sense of your stuff is going to help you stay motivated and on task as you move through the day—and ultimately help you get more done. Today, in the spirit of sticking with New Year’s resolutions, we’re walking you through how to build a better gym bag.

Building a workout bag that has everything you need and nothing you don’t—and doesn’t detract from but actually adds to your style—is key. Not only will this make your gym time shorter and more efficient, but a well-stocked bag can also be the push you need to get there in the first place. If forgetting your sneakers is the ultimate hall pass, bringing the best ones you own is motivation to go, right?

Here, some essentials to consider as you build your version of the ultimate sweat-session bag.

bose soundsport wireless headphones

Wireless Headphones

Wired headphones prevent you from moving between machines and activities with efficiency in the gym, and untangling them is always a pain. Upgrade to a wireless pair and watch as your shoulders relax and your stride widens during your workout.

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herschel coast duffle
Mr. Porter

A Cooler Gym Bag [[Currently sold out]]

The best gym bag is one that won’t brick your style but can stand up to the wear, tear and moisture of multiple workouts per week. We’re fans of Herschel’s Coast duffle, which is made from water-resistant, durable tarpaulin but comes in cool colors and patterns so it doesn’t look like a pure utility play.

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le labo hinoki travel set
Mr. Porter

Treat Yourself Grooming Products

If you’re planning to shower more than three nights or mornings at the gym, it’s worth making the experience feel like home. That means packing a wash bag with good-quality grooming supplies and other medicine-cabinet provisions like Q-tips and clippers.

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pool slides

Proper Pool Slides [[Currently sold out]]

Do not underestimate the power of some post-workout quiet time in the steam room. Pack a pair pool slides in your bag so you can indulge in the amenities and maintain good hygiene simultaneously. Now that’s what we call streamlined.  

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jcrew socks
J. Crew

Anti-Gym Socks

If pro athletes can have fun with their performance wear (we see you, NBA guys), you certainly can too. Don’t take the workout uniform so seriously, don’t buy everything in black and gray, and you just might find that going to the gym feels a little bit less like punishment.

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heineken 100 side zip sweatshirt
Union Los Angeles

The Heavy Hoodie

Whether it’s your security blanket while warming up or your post-workout reward, nothing feels better or looks cooler than a hoodie. We like this one from Union because of the traffic-stopping color and side zip, which allows you to take it off without flashing your entire Spin class your still-under-construction abs. 

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adidas nite jogger core black 2

Fresh Kicks

We know maintaining that new-new is important when it comes to sneakers, but don’t deprive your workout style because of it. In fact, being able to wear a pair of dope, in-demand sneakers—like Adidas’s about-to-drop Nite Jogger in black and neon—just might give you that push you need to go to the gym. If you don’t do it for your health, do it for the Instagrams.

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1610542 1

Post-Workout Headwear

You rallied, you lifted, you showered, now out into the freezing-cold air with a full heart—and a wet head. Pack a bright knit beanie in your bag to protect your immunity and your style and you’ll be walking on air as you head home or off to work.

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Hydro Flask

A Chug-Friendly Water Bottle

Drinking a ton of water every day is not fun and never will be, no matter what your gym rat friend says. At least make it easier on yourself by buying a water bottle that’s easy to clean (and chug from) and has a convenient handle that makes dragging it everywhere less daunting. 

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flight go clean gym bag

Nylon Pouches

Protect your bag (and the rest of your stuff) from gym-goer stink by keeping nylon pouches on hand for your sweaty, wet clothes. When you forget to unload your bag before passing out that night, you’ll be very glad you contained the swamp into one washable area. 

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