Gym Bag Essentials for Every Woman

By , Cassey Ho, YouTube Fitness Guru
For those of you avid gym-goers out there, you know how important it is to keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go! If you are anything like me, you also like to stay stylish, even while getting sweaty, which is why I designed my oGorgeous brand of bags, so that I can have a gym bag that is as pretty as a purse! I make sure to pack my bag full of the essentials so that I'm always ready for a workout, wherever I am. Let me share some of my gym bag must haves:

Fitness Gloves
These really come in handy when you're lifting weights and want to avoid getting calluses. They're also great as you're developing grip strength.

Reusable Water Bottles
I cannot urge you enough to always have water on hand wherever you are, but especially when exercising. Staying hydrated allows you to train longer and harder. Plus it keeps your skin looking youthful. 

Hair Ties
For all of us longhaired ladies (and some gents), you know it’s basically impossible to work out with your hair flying in your face. I keep multiple hair ties in my bag (and on my wrist) just in case I lose or break one, which always seems to happen! I love the ones with no metal attachment that come in natural colors like black, brown and blonde.

iPod/MP3 Player
Music is the best energy booster when it comes to working out! Good music = a great workout! It doesn’t matter who you are or what type of tunes you like, turn up the volume and let your ears enjoy! I like to use an arm band and tangle free ear buds, so I don’t have to worry about injuring my iPod during my sessions.

Fitness Magazines
I always have a few magazines in my bag for instant inspiration! There's always a new routine to learn, a new recipe to look forward to after my workout, or a set of before and after pictures that makes me feel like anything is possible! I enjoy Fitness, SHAPE, SELF and Oxygen magazines.

Extra Clothes
I always keep an extra tank top and an extra pair of socks for emergencies. In a jiffy, a shirt can act as a towel and every so often socks can rub your feet the wrong way (or you realize you left them at home), so a replacement comes in handy.

Healthy Snacks
I am always ravenous after a tough workout session, so to avoid eating anything I find in my path (think convenience foods that are salty, processed and oily), I pack my bag with fruit, protein powder or a baggie of almonds. This keeps me satisfied until I can get home and down a real home cooked meal!

Most gyms have a "no bag" policy on the fitness floor, so you have to put your gear in a locker. I never want to leave all of my goodies unprotected, so a lock is a must-have for your bag. These locks come in four fun colors!

What do you carry in your bag? Do you keep it light or stuffed like me? Let me know in the comments below!
About the Author:
Cassey Ho, who is certified in Pilates and group fitness instruction, is also the creator of the POP Pilates DVD, designer of oGorgeous gym bags, and founder of, which was named the Best Healthy Living Blog of 2012 by Fitness magazine. Cassey is a "Top Online Fitness Influencer" with more than 44 million video views to date and more than 540,000 subscribers on her YouTube channels Blogilates and BlogilatesTV.

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EO4WELLNESS 2/14/2018
Fan of Blogilates!! Anyone else want to join in?

The team link is on my SP page "team" listings
FB17CAT 1/31/2018
I carry lysol wipes to clean before and after my workout. My gym used to provide them, and everyone was disciplined to use them, but when ownership changed, no wipe so no one cleans the equipment (except staff 2 daily).
DJ4HEALTH 9/27/2017
Good to know Report
I don't even have a gym back. Report
EVILCECIL 6/11/2017
Good things to have. Report
I have a gym bag which is really a big off brand tote I got for 5.00 I keep my lock, extra long tee, hair band, new mp4, (old mp3 I don't work out w/o my music), lip balm for chapped lips, gloves and over sized pants for going home, for belly dance, another bag with hip skirt, veil, finger cymbals, long skirt for after, ballet slippers, hustle and ball room, a dance skirt, professional dance heels (2 pair) and a mumu to put on after; I keep a flat of water and a stack of hand towels in the car. For Zumba I just grab a towel and water and an extra tee and pull it off until after class. Yes, my car is an suv and it looks like I have 10 kids, but I'm single. Report
"...designer of oGorgeous gym bags,..." ;) I find the less I bring with me, the less I have to forget and go back for, and the less I have to fiddle with instead of doing my workout it's an hour tops, if I can't make it an hour without new socks I have a big problem. Report
I go to Anytime Fitness and there are no lockers, just shelves for keys and hangers for coats. Hmmm. Not the safest, right? I just bring my water to the gym and change at work before I leave. I use machines so don't have gloves. However, I think my body has become used to the machine work out as I am not sore ever. Report
I am always interested in what fellow gym-rats have in their bags! I have some of the things above- padlock, extra clothes, hairband to keep bangs out of my eyes, and my mp3 player which I am miserable without. I have loads of plastic bags for sweaty clothes, a cheat sheet of interval programs, my phone which I can use for music in cast my mp3 player malfunctions, and a microfiber towel. Report
I just started at the Y today, and I am still figuring out everything I need / want to carry. It has been YEARS since I last went, and have to start over. Report
My gym has tanning so I put in my eye goggles. I put perfume in my bag for after I work out, I feel refreshed with melon. And baby powder for if I chafe in my workout pants on the treadmill. Hey I am fat, I chafe. Of course iphone with playlists. A workout towel for when I am dripping sweat on the treadmill, hey I am fat I sweat! And my water bottle I got at the 99 cent store. Report
I keep a pair of wrist handles in my bag for when I'm working heavy back exercises and my grip gives out before my back muscles. Report
I catch the bus, and I go late at night, so I DO NOT want to go home all sweaty and stinky. Towel, toiletries, rubber flip-flops, and a complete change of clothes go in my bag. I use travel space bags and pack 3-4 of them ahead of time. I have just started going to the gym, and I am loving it. Report
I would also add, pack your gym bag the night before so you don't forget something or better yet keep an extra gym bag packed in your trunk. I have two's of essentials like gloves and a mat (one for home, one for the trunk). I also always keep an extra set of panties and bra in my gym bag in case I forget to pack them. Report
The CamelBak Eddy water bottles are great. I have four of them, all in different colors. They last forever. Report
I love Cassey Ho! She is always so enthusiastic and positive and her videos are so much fun! If you haven't checked her out, you need to because you are definately missing out! Report
Items that currently live in my gym bag? Lock, mesh bag of toiletries (added a handle to a small mesh laundry bag, perfect for taking shampoo/soap to the gym shower!), swim cap/goggles, yoga blocks, yoga strap, and non-slip yoga gloves (they have a plastic-of-some-sort patch on the sweaty hands aren't going anywhere! they're awesome.), hair ties, and deodorant. Report
I am going to get my gym bag re-stocked! Seems like when I go to the gym I've forgotten SOMETHING.

And if I can look like the author . . . it's WORTH the effort! LOL Report
Casey has some imaginative workout videos too. Her current one is a Great Gatsby cardio routine. Lots of "Jazz Hands!" Report
Wow...just looked at her line of gym bags! Pricey! Too pricey for me! But pretty! Report
Fun blog - I never thought about fitness gloves and so far I haven't developed any roughness on my hands, but I do think about those weights slipping when I don't have a spotter with me. Gonna get me some.

In my gym bag right now:

Swim cap
rubber flip flops
Extra clothes (sports bra included)
ear phones
my Other watch, daggon it! I've been looking for it forever
$1.78 in change
Weight Watchers points calculator
gym membership card

But crumbs. that gym bag, while still serviceable, is beginning to look ratty. I think a new one is on my wish list.
I love Cassey! She has definitely been on of my main inspirations since I've started my fitness journey. Those bags are adorable, but I usually just carry my phone, headphones, and my water bottle. Report
I hope you have a towel and some deodorant in the bag as well... Report
What the heck are you going to do with protein powder at the gym? Report
I only care a bag when I go to aerobics classes. I don't like to have alot of stuff. Report
Definitely seconded on the gloves... I love lifting weights, but I don't love calluses and blisters! I've also found having them with me comes in handy in unusual ways. An impromptu outside boot camp became painful if you had to do pushups on pavement, but the gloves protected my palms! Report
Definitely seconded on the gloves... I love lifting weights, but I don't love calluses and blisters! I've also found having them with me comes in handy in unusual ways. An impromptu outside boot camp became painful if you had to do pushups on pavement, but the gloves protected my palms! Report
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