Must Have Gym Accessories

Must Have Gym Accessories

When you go to a public gym, you’ll want to have a bag packed with the essentials. A lot of items aren’t necessary but can be nice to have, while other products sound great but are just a waste of money.

We’ve outlined our own “must haves” based on real day-to-day experiences in the gym.


Always bring a towel to wipe down the machines. If the gym provides towels for this purpose, you may still want a separate towel to wipe your face and hands.

To take it one step further, you may want to bring antiseptic wipes to clean the machines. Gyms and health clubs are a breeding ground for infectious diseases like MRSA and staph infections, and the equipment isn’t always cleaned as regularly or thoroughly as we might like.

Stay-Put Headphones

Let’s face it: most people enjoy a little personal music at the gym. The problem is that most headphones are either earbuds that constantly slip out (especially when you get your sweat on) or gigantic headband styles that get in the way.

Luckily, there are several brands and models of headphones that are developed specifically for athletes. These will typically start around $30. They’re worth the investment if you don’t want to be distracted by your headphones constantly falling out or wearing uncomfortably.


If you’re going to use a locker at the gym, you’ll need a lock. Most gyms don’t provide one for you.

Post-Workout Snack

Don’t be tempted to down a huge or unhealthy meal right after a workout simply because it’s convenient. Bring a snack with you to help replenish your body. You can bring a protein shake, a piece of fruit, and/or a nutritionally balanced energy bar.

Water Bottle

A reusable water canister will save you a lot of money over buying bottled water. You can refill it at home or at the gym, and some can even be used as a shaker for properly mixing protein powder.

Good Shoes

The shoes you need may depend on what you are planning to do at the gym. If you’re weightlifting only, you don’t want running shoes with a thick cushion at the heel. This will prevent you from really driving through your heel to lift.

Of course, if you plan to do some running, you’ll want good, thick socks and shock-absorbent shoes. You can still safely lift in them, but it may be worth investing in a pair of flat-soled shoes like Converse Chuck Taylors for the days you dedicate to weight training.


The reviews are mixed on the need for gloves at the gym. Some bodybuilders think they inhibit your grip and restrict your ability to get proper form with your wrists. However, if you’re lifting lighter weights like dumbbells that have a textured metal grip, gloves may help prevent abrasions to the palms of your hands.

A Logbook

This one is often overlooked, but a durable notebook or journal is an excellent way to track and chart your progress on weight increments, increased reps, etc.

There are also apps for mobile devices that can serve as a logbook. However you do it, make sure you’re diligent about your tracking. It’s one of the best ways to measure your improvement and plan safely for more intense workouts.

Measuring Tapes or Calipers

To get a better idea of your progress, you want a repertoire of tools. You can track in a logbook how many reps of a weight you do or how much you weigh with a conventional scale. But a measuring tape or body caliper will tell you additional information on your body fat percentage and your waist, arm and leg measurements.

Flip Flops

If you plan to use the gym showers, always bring flip flops. You can’t, of course, wear your nice athletic shoes in the shower, but you don’t want to go barefoot where you can catch athlete’s foot, toenail fungi and other not-so-nice problems.

Of course, you don’t need to use the gym’s shower if you’re close to home, but you should always shower as soon as possible after working out in a public gym to prevent any skin problems.


Don’t rely on water alone to rinse off in the showers. You’re not just showering to get rid of sweat. You’re also reducing the risk of rashes and other health issues. For that reason, you also don’t want to use communal bars of soap that may be harboring bacteria and fungi.

Change of Clothes

Even if you don’t use the gym shower, it’s a good idea to bring an extra pair of shorts, a t-shirt and clean underwear. It’s never fun to be forced to sit in sweaty, smelly clothes because you didn’t have time to run home like you thought you would.

Gym Bag

Where are you going to keep all this stuff? A good gym bag doesn’t have to be really fancy or expensive. Just make sure the bag isn’t made out of a cloth material that absorbs and hold moisture, which will cause odor issues. Stick with tarp or plastic-like materials that can be easily cleaned and aired out.



Hi, I'm Zayn. I am a personal trainer and blogger living in Miami, Florida. Welcome to my blog! Zaynez follows my life and my interests in sports, fitness and healthy living.

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