My Exercise Kit

I just managed to stagger back up to my apartment after a rockin’ session with my trainer.  I’m going to make food (and take a picture!) and then I’ll be back to tell you all about it…

Before I get into what I lug (and don’t lug) with me to the gym, here’s a picture of my post-workout snack!

Frozen fruits, your destiny awaits!

Half a banana, handful of blueberries, handful plus of strawberries, and the last sad bit of mango in my freezer. I juice the orange (and usually get about a third a cup of juice out of it) and then use a little bit of soy milk to make it a little smoother.  Into the food processor with all of it and voila!

Smoothie + pumpkin seed granola = My favorite post-workout snack

I’ll follow this up with a couple glasses of water, and I’m usually ready for lunch (today:  brown rice, roasted acorn squash, and applesauce) in an hour or so.  Strength training days really rev up my appetite!

Which brings me to the purpose of this post:  the contents of my gym bag.

My gear.

  1. Water bottle – obviously the most important thing on here. Hydration is your friend, especially when you’re producing approximately 15,000 gallons of sweat in the gym.
  2. Sweatshirt – I like to keep this on while I warm up. I get a little hot on the treadmill and then shuck it before beginning my strength circuit.
  3. Leg warmers – Because I’m from the 80s. I usually keep these on while I’m warming up. My calf muscles tend to run extremely tight, and then helps get them as warm and loose as possible before I start torturing them.
  4. List of exercises and goals – So I can go over them before I work out and make notes afterward (Note:  totally rocked the tricep curls!  time to up the weight! Note:  keep losing balance when doing lunges – ask trainer for help.)
  5. Air pump – I have no idea what other exercisers do on the balance balls, but I usually have to blow them all up before my workouts. Every day.
  6. Not pictured, but still present:  a pen (for the note-taking), a heart rate monitor, and my keys.

My most important piece of gear:  my shoes.  I will write a love letter to these shoes soon, and share it with you here.

Merrell's Barefoot Pace Glove (and my absurd socks)

And here’s what I DO NOT bring with me to the gym:

  1. My phone – I could put it on silent, but I love having the physical distance from it. My hour in the gym is all about being physical, and removing myself from my electronic bubble.
  2. Headphones, mp3 player, etc. – I know a lot of people like listening to music while they work out, but for me, a big part of exercising is getting in touch with my body. For me, that means really paying attention to form, posture, balance, breathing, and heart rate. I can’t do that if I’m fussing with headphones, worried about catching cords on things, watching the battery life to make sure it’s going to stay charged, or trying to find songs or playlists.  I only use my ipod when I want to zone out. During workout time, I want to zone in.
  3. Food – I see a lot of people with nutrition bars or breakfast bars in the gym, and I know with how hungry I am right after, I would devour that and still come home and have my smoothie and granola. I find it more beneficial to eat once my body has cooled down and I’m in a better frame of mind to evaluate my actual needs.

So tell me…what’s in your gym bag? Is there anything you specifically leave at home or in the car? And what’s your favorite snack for after you exercise? I’m always looking for variations!




  1. First off, love the socks, has Matthew seen them? 🙂

    re: music, I don’t know what it’s like at the new Park District gym, but the WD one had obnoxious music playing — so I put my own iPod on to have something decent to listen to. Otherwise, though, I would happily work out in silence.

    I just take my hoodie, keys, mat (for classes) and water bottle. Phone stays in the car. I eat right after my Saturday AM class, but not otherwise — I can’t imagine noshing on a granola bar while on a bike or lifting weights, I think it would mess my stomach up.

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty lucky that this gym doesn’t play any music. There are TVs on, but those are pretty easily ignored.

      And I don’t know what these guys (it’s usually guys) are thinking, eating power bars while they lift weights. Seems like a recipe for an unhappy stomach!

  2. Oh, and my favorite Saturday AM post-workout breakfast is a whole-wheat English muffin and over-medium egg sandwich. Fiber, protein. I know it may not be as healthy as a flaxseed, fruit and soy smoothie, but it hits the spot 🙂 (And I have fruit, too.)

  3. I love those shoes too! I bought the exact same ones after your recommendation. My gym bag includes more stuff because I go to the park and meditate before I work out. So I have my meditation mantra, an apple, chap stick, tissues (I always get dry lips and a runny nose in the morning), my cell phone, headphones, headband and hair tie. I try to pack it up and lay out my clothes the night before. Otherwise I wake up in the morning and wander around my apartment for a half hour before I actually go to the gym.

  4. Tiffany-Nicole · · Reply

    Awesome!!!!! This sounds like a guide I can follow!!

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