Gym bag essentials

Gym bag essentials

I enjoy sneaking a peek into other bloggers’ purses, so I thought it would be fun to post about what lies inside the depths of my “purse” (AKA gym bag).

I carry my gym bag with me everywhere. I go to the gym almost every single day (even if I’m not training myself, I usually have a client) and I like knowing my bag is packed and ready to go every morning. Plus it is easier carrying my food in a big bag than trying to fit it into a pretty purse – if I am holding the latter on my arm, it must be a special occasion!

gym bag

For this reason, I rarely unpack my gym bag. The last thing I want is to show up at a big training session – or worse, a competition – and realise I have left something behind. The following items are always inside my gym bag, without fail:


Lifting Belt
I couldn’t make it through squat or deadlift day without my lifting belt! I sometimes use my belt for barbell pressing, but usually only during heavy squats and deadlifts (above 80 per cent of my one rep max).

Again, there is no way I could deadlift without chalk! I have pulled 120kg without chalk or straps, but any kind of rep work is impossible without a good grip on the bar. I use chalk for farmers holds and carries as well as barbell rows and sometimes log pressing. My chalk bag has exploded a few too many times, which means everything else in my gym bag is usually covered in suspicious white powder.


Wrist Wraps
I recently lost my wrist supports and have been dealing with horrible wrist bruises from the log banging against them – they attract a lot of funny looks! When I first started pressing two to three times per week, my wrists were actually too weak to support the volume. If I forgot my wraps, I could not press without them. They definitely make me stronger during any kind of pressing movement.

Knee Sleeves
These are something I’ve only recently started wearing, and again only when I am lifting above 80 per cent of my one rep max or when my knees are feeling a bit creaky. They do a good job of keeping my knees warm (something which is very important given my past injuries!) and also supporting my knees when I’m coming out of the hole.

Lifting Straps
The vast majority of deadlift events in strongman competitions allow the use of straps, and you generally always want to utilise any tool which will make things easier – especially considering your competition will be. Unfortunately, I hate training with straps and think they give me more problems than they are worth, but I try to use them more often in the lead up to a competition.


Training Notebook
Since the first day I stepped foot in a gym, I have recorded all of my workouts in various training notebooks. They are invaluable tools for planning out my workouts in advance, sticking to my training cycles, and looking back to see how far I’ve come. This holographic kitty notebook is definitely the coolest training notebook I’ve ever had!

Make-Up Bag
I’m not one to apply make-up specifically for the gym, so this is more to save the remnants of a once made-up face after I start sweating. Now that my skin has finally started improving, I only wear a tinted moisturiser and mascara.


Anyone who knows me knows that I am addicted to Vaseline lip balm! It seems like I go through one of these tubs every other week. At any moment throughout the day, it’s pretty much a guarantee that I will have lip balm on.

My hands are pretty messed up due to all the grip training I do so I often rub a little Vaseline on to my callouses throughout the day too.


Emergency Snacks
I always keep some yoghurt-covered raisins in my bag (they are one of my favourite competition snacks, and a great pick-me-up right before a training session), as well as a bag of nuts. I am usually pretty good at planning my meals in advance so I don’t need to snack, but there is the odd occasion where I do need an extra something-something before a heavy workout.

Water Bottle
I don’t drink protein shakes anymore, but I sometimes have a Pepsi Max when I’m training for extra energy (shhh!). The rest of the time it’s plain old water. During competitions I do struggle to drink my normal amount of water as I tend to want to nervously pee all the time, so I have lots of Vitamin Waters and coconut waters.

If I am training on my own or preparing for a max attempt lift, I love having some music to pump me up! And I pretty much always keep my headphones in during a competition to keep myself focused.

Because I train in close proximity with a number of people, I have to have my breath smelling minty fresh!

What are your gym bag essentials?

Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Vaseline Australia. As always, opinions are honest and my own.

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