What gear should men keep in their gym bags?

black gym bag
Packed up and ready to go!

Ready to hit the gym and build some fitness? Not so fast. You've got to pack that gym bag first. A gym bag can be a simple duffle with one zipper or a top-of-the-line bag with compartments for everything from toiletries to a cell phone. It's all up to the man who's using it. Either way, some items you just can't do without. Beyond that, there are other niceties that will make your life easier as you transition from the gym to the outside world.

The must-haves?

  • Workout clothes -- A decent pair of socks and sneakers, a plain T-shirt and shorts will do. Synthetics or blends are good here, because cotton traps moisture and dries slowly. You don't want that bag to get "ripe" faster than need be.

  • Water bottle -- Your body loses a lot of water through sweat. Keep it hydrated with a bottle of water, or if you prefer, a sports beverage. Carry it with you or motivate yourself with the thought of returning to your gym bag at the end of the workout and retrieving some precious fluid.

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  • Sweat towel -- Remember, you're not the only person at the gym. Be courteous and wipe your sweat off the workout equipment after use. If others are less courteous (or just plain gross), a small cotton towel will help you set things right. If your gym already provides spray cleaner and paper towels, use that sweat rag to wipe your brow.

With the bare minimum covered, let's next look at additional gear for your gym bag.