Do You Even Lift? What Your Gym Bag Needs If You Do

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

Whether you’re new to the game or already have a game plan, checklists just make life easier. Print this one out, and use it for your inaugural gym visit or after a laundry day to make sure you have everything that you need to get your workout on.


Have proper workout clothes

Workout clothes have to cover all bases. Above all they should be comfortable, and make you as inconspicuous or conspicuous as you need. There’s a lot of gym clothes variety, which can range from a classic 100 percent cotton Champion Sweatsuit to sweat wicking, quick drying/fashionable synthetics. Here are the basics to have in your gym bag.

  • Tee/tank: standard base layer
  • Long sleeve layer: just in case it’s cold or to speed up your warm-up
  • Sweats/shorts: just because you have to wear pants
  • Athletic sneakers: comfortable patches of cloud underneath your soles

The bare minimum supplements you need

  • Water: it’s not a supplement but it’s here because you need it. If you are taking supplements, then you really need it.
  • BCAA’s: pre/intra/post workout, BCAA’s help with energy levels during intense workouts and are the foundation of building lean muscle mass.
  • Post workout protein shake: this is optional, but if you don’t have a meal waiting for you after your workout, this will help with recovery and maintenance of the hard work you just put in.


  • Headphones
  • A small towel: in case your gym doesn’t provide, or you have to run out in a hurry
  • Gloves: also optional, but if you love your soft hands, or you don’t want direct skin-to-skin contact with gym equipment, invest in a good pair.


These accessories are for your “go hard, bar moving, going for or already a part of the 1000 lbs club” lifters. If you don’t fit that category, fake it till you make it! Get a few of these things to motivate yourself to lift some heavy ass weights!

  • Knee wraps/sleeves
  • Lifting straps
  • Lifting belt