6 Items That Should be in Every Gym Bag

1)      Towel – Self explanatory. You need a towel to wipe up sweat, yours and other peoples.
2)      Gym Chalk – Corporate globo-gyms don’t provide chalk for their members. They discourage it because it’s a pain to clean up. Well that’s their problem. Chalk is great because it helps you grip heavy ass weights. Chalk removes the moisture from the hands and turns you into a lifting machine. Get some chalk!
3)      FAT GRIPZ – Fat Gripz are awesome. They turn an average barbell into a mean-as-nails thick bar. They are phenomenal for developing forearms and grip-strengths.
4)      Ab Wheel – I know this seems like a useless piece of advertising but ab wheels work. They have been around forever, long before the infomercials. Some gyms have them and some don’t, they’re only a few bucks so I keep one in my bag for ab day. After 3 sets of 10-20 your abs will be on fire. Check ‘em out!
5)      Lifting Straps – I’m not a huge fan of lifting straps but there are times when they are useful so I keep them around. Lifting straps wrap around the bar and your hand giving you help to grip the bar. I mainly use these when I do heavy barbell shrugs – I rarely use them for anything else but I like having them in my tool belt.
6)      Reverse Osmosis Filtered Bottled Water – You need water. What’s important about bringing your own water, especially filtered, is the fact that water fountain water has all kinds of fluoride and other heavy chemicals. It’s basically poison. I remember vividly the last time I ever took a sip of water from a water fountain – there were two fountains side by side, I was taking a sip at the tall fountain and the cleaning lady came up to the short one and sprayed whatever her chemical cleaner was over the spout of the small fountain, right where people drink from. I immediately spit out the water in my mouth and never took a sip again from a fountain. It was only later I found out about the extremely harsh effects of drinking fluoridated water.
Shoes and/or deadlift slippers – Shoe choice isn’t very important when your doing silly little “stability” work on a bosu ball but it is important once you start lifting like a man. For squats and deadlifts and things of that nature you want a shoe with as little sole as possible. You want to be very close to the ground. Shoes that are good for this are converse Chuck Taylors, deadlift slippers, or any flat soled shoe. I lift in a pair of boat shoes but that’s my preference. I keep a pair of Deadlift Slippers (yeah, I said slippers) in my gym bag and I use them pretty frequently. Deadlift Slippers are just like ballerina slippers, they’re basically socks with a rubber grip on the bottom for support. Nothing else can get you as close to the ground without being barefoot. If you can swing it I suggest lifting deadlift and squats barefoot. Vibrams Five Fingers can also be an excellent choice, though I have never usem them personally.
Notebook – It is an excellent idea to log all of your workouts so you can see your strength increases and where you are stalling. If you log all your workouts you can see your progress from week to week, month to month, and year to year!


  1. Victor,
    I use Feiyue martial art shoes for sparring and lifting. They are cheap around $15. They are a very light canvas shoe with a minimal rubber sole. They provide great traction.
  2. I would add to this list: gloves. Gloves will prevent blisters on the hands, and can replace chalk. Also, Merrell barefoot running shoes work great for gym use.
    • Gloves effectivly increase the size of the bar. They DON’T prevent blisters. Look at youtube and see what the guys moving serious iron are doing. (no gloves)
  3. Victor.. when you are using fat gripz, do you lift the same weight on a given exercise as before or is it too hard with the gripz and you have to do less weight to start? Thanks…