Let’s face it, life can get pretty hectic sometimes. Between work, school, and family life; it can be hard finding time to train. Preparing in advance for anything always helps alleviate the chaos; the gym is no different. You can prepare for the gym by packing your gym bag the night before with the essentials that will help you maximize your training. What you carry in your gym bag is just important as any other aspect of your training regimen.
Let’s start with the bag you will pack everything in; a duffle bag is a much better choice than a small backpack. The reason for this is you always want to have room for your training gear, a change of clothes and the clothes you wore to the gym. It is better to get a bag that is bigger than you need, than to have bag that you can’t fit everything in.
It is a good idea to pack Gi and NoGi training gear in your bag. Always keep a couple Rash Guards, NoGi Shorts, a Gi, and a belt. Pack a pair of sandals for when you step off of the mat; this will help minimize the potential for skin rashes and infections. Throw in a hand towel too for your sweat because you will get sweaty!
A mouth guard is a good item to have in your bag; don’t skimp on this item. Be prepared to spend around $100 for a good quality mouth guard if you want to keep your pearly whites. Pack some athletic tape for any injuries you may have on your hands or feet. Pack a few first aid products in the bag just in case of scrapes or mat burns. A couple of items that you might not think of are nail clippers and eye drops. It is not uncommon to get a something in your eye during training, so eye drops will help keep your eyes from getting an infection. If you have long hair, packing several hair bands is essential as well.
Post training prep is just as important so always pack a protein bar or a banana in case you get hungry. Pack some sort of post workout drink like BCAA to help recover from the hard training session. Always make sure you have water to drink during your training as well just in case your gym doesn’t have a water fountain.
If your gym has a shower, it is a good idea to pack a bath towel and travel size toiletries for after training. A mesh laundry bag is beneficial to throw all your soaked clothes in as well. If you don’t have time to shower, pack wipes to wash your hands and face immediately after class.
Last but not least, you should have a notepad and a few pens to take notes over the class you just had. This has has helped many great athletes growth as a martial artist. It enables you to go back over the finer details while it is still fresh in your mind.