12 gym essentials for men

12 Gym Essentials For Men To Boost Your Workout in 2024

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    Nowadays, we always seem to be packing a bag for something. Whether it’s getting ready for work with your messenger bag or briefcase, filling up your weekend bag, organizing your hiking gear, or just gathering your daily essentials in a backpack, there’s often something we need to pack before leaving the house. And if you don’t have a gym at home, preparing for a workout is no different.

    Getting your gym bag ready might make you forget a thing or two, and that’s okay. Whether you’re rushing to the gym early in the morning or heading there after work, the key is to make packing a habit.

    To make this easier, keep these gym essentials in a specific spot at home. That way, when it’s time to go to the gym, you can just grab your bag and leave.

    gym bag essentials for men

    12 gym essentials for men

    To help you look your best, boost your confidence, and achieve optimal results from your workouts, we’ve compiled a detailed guide of 12 essential items every man should have in his gym bag.

    These essentials are designed to enhance your exercise routine, whether you’re into weightlifting, CrossFit, running, or other sports.

    Here’s a list of what men should take to the gym to guarantee a great workout, especially if you’re just starting out.

    1. Gym bag for men: Right style and size

    Before diving into what goes inside the bag, let’s talk about the bag itself. Choosing your bag is the first step. Look for one that’s durable, with plenty of compartments. Size matters too. It should be big enough to fit all your essentials but not too bulky.

    We recommend these 2 types of gym bags for men:

    red gray duffel bag and backpack for going to the gym

    Duffel bag:

    Duffel bags are not only spacious, but also easy to clean, and they are generally equipped with extra pockets to fit clean clothes, gym clothes, shoes, and personal or toiletry items you want for after your workout. Another bonus of a gym bag is that it will fit inside most gym lockers, allowing you to safely store your things while you work out.

    Generally, a medium-size gym duffel bag is a great option. A bag that’s approximately 20 inches long is large enough to cover all the bases yet can fit into your gym locker.


    If you are a guy who is more like a backpack, which is also a good option for men. We recommend 30 to 40 liters, which should easily hold a pair of sneakers, a change of clothes, a water bottle, a small toiletries kit, and some gym accessories such as gloves or wristbands

    Useful tip: Don’t forget the packing cube, really. Toss your sweaty clothes and shoes in here, and they won’t contaminate all the rest of your belongings.

    Footwear for success

    Don’t underestimate the importance of good trainers. They should provide support and cushioning. Socks also matter. Choose ones that wick away sweat to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

    2. Choosing the right footwear

    Selecting the perfect pair of shoes or sneakers is more important than you might think. While covering your feet might seem like the only requirement, the type of shoes you wear can greatly affect your exercise experience.

    men's sneaker for workout

    For runners or those who spend a lot of time on treadmills or tracks, running shoes are essential. These shoes are designed with a softer and more flexible mid-section but have firm support on the heel and toe to reduce foot pressure from repetitive movement.

    Wearing inappropriate shoes can lead to leg and knee pain or even conditions like plantar fasciitis, which could take over six months to heal.

    For activities like squats, deadlifts, or kettlebell swings, shoes with a hard heel and a supportive center wedge are crucial. They ensure your foot stays grounded, helping maintain proper form and balance during these exercises.

    3. Compression socks for muscle recovery

    Compression gear can improve circulation and muscle recovery.

    These socks promote full circulation in the legs and feet, reducing swelling and shortening recovery time. Runners wearing compression socks in the study were ready to resume training in just three days, unlike their counterparts.

    compression socks for working out & exercise

    Compression socks are categorized by their pressure levels, indicated in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). For runners or those engaged in intense workouts like CrossFit, socks rated at 15-20 mmHg offer optimal pressure for energizing and relieving legs and calves.

    For longer distances, such as half-marathons, socks with a pressure of 20-30 mmHg are suitable. However, anything above 30 mmHg is too intense for workouts and is generally reserved for medical use.

    By understanding the importance of the right footwear and the benefits of compression socks, you can significantly enhance your workout experience and recovery process.

    Men’s workout clothing essentials

    Your choice of workout clothing is crucial. Opt for a moisture-wicking t-shirt to keep you dry. Shorts should allow for the full range of movement.

    4. Gym tops: Shirts that keep you sweat-free

    Moisture Wicking Shirts for workout at the gym

    A great gym outfit starts with the right top. Choose t-shirts that wick away sweat to keep you dry and comfortable, even when your workout heats up.

    These tops are lightweight and breathable, helping air move freely so you stay cool. Moisture-wicking shirts are a top choice because they work so well to keep you dry and comfortable.

    5. Gym shorts: Comfortable and free-moving

    men's gym short for workout at the gym

    Picking the right gym shorts is crucial. They should be light and made from fabric that breathes well, so you don’t feel bogged down by sweat.

    Like the tops, many shorts are designed to pull sweat away from your body, keeping you dry as you move. If you’re really pushing your limits, shorts with compression liners are great for extra support and can help with muscle tiredness.

    Choose shorts that make you feel good and confident, ensuring they’re long enough for coverage but don’t restrict your movements.

    6. Change of clothes: Freshen up after your workout

    set of men's clean cloth for changing after workout

    Don’t forget to pack a fresh set of clothes for after your workout. There’s nothing like changing into clean clothes after pushing yourself hard.
    It’s not just about feeling good; it also helps prevent skin problems from staying in sweaty clothes. Include a comfy outfit in your gym bag, with fresh underwear and socks, to help you leave the gym feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
    This step is often missed but can make a big difference in your post-workout comfort.

    7. Workout gloves: Keep your hands safe and improve your hold

    putting on training workout gloves on hands for wrist protection

    Workout gloves are a must-have if you want to keep your hands free from blisters and improve how well you grip weights and other gym equipment.

    They help avoid slips and injuries, and some even support your wrists during exercises that might strain them. With many kinds to choose from, you can easily find gloves that are comfy and help you do better in your workouts.

    8. Smart water bottle: Hydration reminder

    H2O Reminder Smart Water Bottles

    It’s easy to forget to drink water during a workout, but staying hydrated is key to performing your best. A smart water bottle can make a big difference. It monitors how much you drink and reminds you to hydrate regularly, ensuring you’re well-hydrated throughout your gym session.

    A good size to aim for is between 26-32 ounces, allowing you enough water without frequent refills. By setting a daily hydration goal, you can easily track your water intake through the bottle or an accompanying app, guaranteeing you meet your hydration needs with every workout.

    9. Headphones: Make your workouts more intense

    headphone for listening to music while excersizing

    Good headphones can make a big difference in how motivated you feel and how long you can keep going. Listening to music can push you to work harder and enjoy your workouts more.

    Wireless or Bluetooth headphones are great because they don’t get in the way, and models that are sweat-resistant and fit well won’t fall out, no matter how active you are.

    10. Body spray: Smells nice after working out


    body spray for smelling fresh after sweating

    Carrying a body spray in your gym bag is important for smelling fresh after sweating. Find a spray that covers up odors and fights off germs, leaving you smelling clean without being too strong.

    It’s an easy way to feel refreshed and ready for whatever comes after your gym time.

    11. Towel: The most basic one in your gym bag


    towel is the basic items you need to pack in the gym bag

    A small, quick-drying towel is essential for staying sweat-free during your workout. It’s good for your cleanliness and helps keep the equipment clean for others too. Microfiber towels are perfect because they’re light, soak up a lot of moisture, and dry fast. Always bring one to ensure you’re comfy from start to finish. Don’t forget to bring shower gel if you need it.

    12. Post-workout protein shake: Recover faster

    the post-workout protein shake for recover faster after men workout

    Drinking a protein shake right after working out is crucial for helping your muscles heal and grow. Eating protein soon after exercising helps fix muscle damage and builds up strength. There are lots of protein types to pick from, whether you prefer whey, casein, or something plant-based. Mix it with water, or milk, or throw in some fruit for a tasty and healthy boost after your gym session.

    Conclusion: 12 essentials in every men’s gym bag

    Here are all these 12 things in your gym bag that will make sure you’re ready for any type of workout. From simple must-haves to things that help you feel better after exercising, each item is important for your exercise routine.

    Hey men, now all essential things are prepared, let’s find an uncrowded gym to exercise now.

    If you are going to the gym for the first time, this guide may help you know more: Going To The Gym For The First Time: What Should I Do And Know

    workout man at the gym


    We know that you may want to ask for some other gym essential-related questions, here are some of the common ones you might want to know, hope these will help you:

    How do I keep my gym bag from smelling?

    Use bag fresheners and keep your dirty clothes in a separate compartment or bag. Regularly clean your bag and air it out to prevent odor buildup.

    What is the most important item in a gym bag for beginners?

    While all items are important, good quality workout clothes and trainers are fundamental for a comfortable and effective workout.

    Can I workout without a fitness tracker?

    Yes. If you are a beginner to workout at the gym, we do not recommend you use the technique products, like fitness trackers. But a fitness tracker can provide valuable insights into your progress and health metrics.



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