gym bag essentials

Tuesday Tips: Gym Bag Essentials

Gym Bag Essentials

Don’t let a badly organised (or non-existent!) gym bag prevent you from making a training session.  Below is a list of Louise‘s gym bag essentials for women:

Gym Clothes

While I wear a variety of t-shirts and vests that are not specifically ‘sportswear’, my leggings and sports bras are ALWAYS fit for purpose.  It’s so important to have the right support for your chest – for comfort but also your health.

While there will be leggings out there that you could wear for training, I tend to stick to ones that are specified for training.  By picking leggings that sit high on the waist, you will feel a lot more comfortable when exercising, whether that’s squatting or doing yoga.  You won’t be constantly pulling at them or wondering if your underwear is showing because they will fit you properly.  Also, do a “squat and bend over” test in good lighting – can your underwear be seen through the fabric?  If it can, maybe you need to make better underwear choices or maybe the fabric is just too thin.

Louise Cochrane Fitness - Gym Clothes

Gym clothes get put through their paces not only when your training – through all your movements and stretching – but also in the wash.  Spending a little more on leggings and sports bras usually means that they hold their stitching and stretchiness/fit longer than the ‘fashion’ versions.  The initial extra cost will probably save you money longer term and you’ll be wearing better fitting garments for longer.

Although the above tips are useful, the main thing is your comfort when exercising!  If you feel more comfortable in black, wear it.  If you love bright colours, wear them.  Whether you feel better training in baggy clothes or a crop top and shorts, wear what makes you feel good!



Of all my gym bag ‘essentials’, this is probably the main one.  You should absolutely be having water with you when training, no arguments.


Training Plan

If you just turn up at the gym without a written training plan, the likelihood is that you will just use whatever equipment is free or what you feel like doing.  While once in a while this might result in a good workout in which you work hard, I can almost guarantee that most of the time you will slack off and you won’t actually be working towards your goals despite your best intentions.

By keeping notes on your training (exercise, the numbers of sets, the number of reps, weight used), you’re not trying to keep all of this in your head.  With a set plan in place you can just get to work and you know what weight you should be selecting based on how you got on last time you were in the gym.  Every time you train you are aiming to improve your body and/or fitness/strength, right?  In order for this to happen, you need to constantly push your boundaries/weights/reps which is where a training plan comes in.

Louise Cochrane Fitness - Training Plan

If you need help with this gym bag essential, feel free to speak to one of our friendly coaches on the gym floor or get in touch.



Ok, so this is maybe just an essential for me!  I’m lucky in that because I train (and work!) at The Club Gym, the music is good – especially in the evenings when our DJ is playing! If the music at your gym is rubbish, bring your own earphones and listen to something that gets you motivated to get your sweat on.  Whether that’s Deftones or…ahem…Rhianna.

If you’re running or jumping a lot, or just have tiny ears like me that no earphone remains in, consider getting a pair that sits over your ear with a soft cable that doesn’t annoy you if you are lying on a bench.

Louise Cochrane Fitness - Music Earphones


Shower Stuff & Change of Clothes

If you’re not heading straight home after your training, you’re likely going to need to bring a change of clothes and your shower essentials (unless you’re one of our members – we’ve got you covered for shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryers and GHD straighteners).

If you know you’re terrible in the mornings and/or are prone to using every excuse in the book for not being organised enough to get to the gym, then pack your bag the night before.  This tip is used so often that I think people stop hearing it, but it is so simple!  Pick out the clothes you are going to change into (don’t forget things like socks or tights…) after the gym and get them packed ready to go.

To save space and weight in your bag, pick up miniatures of the shower products that you ordinarily use, or even get some of the posh stuff you wouldn’t normally buy the full size of.  Think of it as a little reward after a tough session.

Louise Cochrane Fitness - Shower Stuff

Don’t forget your make up if you’re wearing any.

Don’t forget your towel.


The Right Attitude

Just like absolutely everyone, I’ve had days where I really, really, really couldn’t be bothered training. I’ll say that I’m tired, or if I don’t go to the gym I’ll have time for X, Y and Z when in reality I’ll just sit on the sofa and watch something I’m not even interested in on the TV.

But I get changed into my gym gear, put my earphones on and start up my training playlist and tell myself that I’ll do a set or two and just see how I get on. And every time I just keep going and get my workout done. And feel good about me. And wonder why I was trying to talk myself out of training when I know it makes me feel good and keeps me moving towards my goals.

There will absolutely be days where you’d rather do anything else than workout, but if you give in to these thoughts every time you have them, you are self-sabotaging your progress.

Having a gym bag that’s ready to go will mean that you’re less likely to skip that weight training session or spin class.  When you packed your bag you were full of good intentions, so do yourself a favour and get yourself and your bag to the gym 🙂


How do you stay motivated to train? Do you have any tips for packing a gym bag?


~ Louise x