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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

I started my gym journey in my senior year of high school. Having never been an athlete or involved in the gym world, I went into it with zero knowledge and zero help. All I knew is that I wanted to grow some biceps and stop being called ‘skinny mini’ everywhere I went. During my gym journey, one thing I realized is how important it is to have a stocked gym bag. Nowadays, I’m prepared for anything and for anyone in the same position as I was, here are my top essentials:

Hair Ties

Obviously. All my long-haired girlies need to keep at least two hair ties or clips in their bags at all times. Nothing is worse than your hair tie snapping and not having a backup. I’ve also had plenty of girls come up to me and ask if I had one, so I always keep extras just for that purpose. Some women do workout with their hair down (and they look amazing doing it) but my thick and oil-prone hair type is not conducive with that. Without a hair tie, I’m pretty much lost in the gym.

Feminine Products

Another somewhat obvious one, but I naively thought I wouldn’t need them at first. I think I assumed I would always be prepared for shark week to start before I left for the gym and therefore wouldn’t need to bring any tampons with me. Unfortunately, my period likes to play games and will absolutely strike mid-lift. Free bleeding in the gym isn’t quite my style, so I keep a couple products store in my bag in case I need one, or if someone else needs one.

Designated Gym Water

This might be my ADHD talking but I have a bad habit of forgetting to grab my water bottle when I go to the gym. I get a lot of my daily water intake at the gym (because I forget to drink it throughout the day), which means having water there is crucial for me. Plus, hitting a nasty leg day without cold water is miserable. To solve this, I got myself a water cup to have at home, and I just leave my Hydroflask in my gym bag.


I live for that pre-workout itch. My Legion Arctic Blast pre stays in my bag so I’m always thoroughly caffeinated during my lifting sessions. Since I prefer dry scooping, I like to keep it in my bag and dry scoop in my car before I go into the gym. If you like mixing your pre, it might be easier to keep it at home, though.


People who workout without their own music terrify me. Personally, I always keep my headphones in my bag so I don’t lose them. I did invest in some nice Bose QuietComfort 45s, which means I don’t have to use my broken Airpods anymore. However, I do keep the Airpods in my bag as a backup in case my headphones die or one of my gym buddies forgets their headphones.

Lifting Equipment

Another staple is, without a doubt, my lifting straps and barbell pad. Once I discovered how glorious RDLs are with lifting straps, I was hooked. I bought the pink GymReapers straps and they live in my bag since I don’t use them anywhere else. I also got the pink GymReapers barbell pad for hip thrusting. The pads that the gym has tend to be broken and icky and will sometimes randomly disappear, so I felt like getting my own would do me good. It does take up a lot of space in my bag but it’s worth it to have my own pad.

Hygiene Products

Deodorant, perfume, hand sanitizer, some makeup. I’m a very on-the-go person and I feel like I’m always going from place to place so I like having these things in my bag. I have extra travel size versions of perfume and deodorant just for the gym. Typically I do go home and shower right after the gym, but on the off chance I need to run an errand or something else, I like to be prepared with these items.

Without a fully stocked gym bag, I would probably cry. Keeping all of these essentials with me ensures I’m prepared for any event that might occur. It also stops me from feeling scatterbrained since I know I have everything I need and it’s always ready to go. For me, making sure everything stays in the bag and doesn’t leave is key to me not forgetting to bring them. My gym backpack is hanging on by a thread at this point but it’s essentially my gym security blanket. If you haven’t already stocked your gym bag, do yourself a favor and go get it done!

Riley is a second-year advertising major. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and the world of business, as well as public speaking. In her free time, she can be found at the local race track, volunteering at her church, and watching horror movies.