14 Gym Bag Essentials

Fitbie editors and top trainers share the gym gear that makes squeezing in a workout effortless

February 6, 2013
gym: SmartShake protein picture
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SmartShake
SmartShake

Trainer: Jay Cardiello

Why he likes it: Consuming carbs and protein within 30 minutes of a workout is imperative to replenishing glycogen stores and maximizing recovery and strength gains, says Cardiello. (Related: Find out the Secrets Your Gym is Hiding From You) SmartShake makes this easy with two separate compartments for protein powder and supplements.

Info: $11; amazon.com

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Courtesy of REI
Surefoot Foot Rubz

Trainers: The Nutrition Twins

Why they like it: This 2-inch ball won't let cramps keep you out of the gym. "If we have a trouble spot this can help loosen it," says the Nutrition Twins. "It also helps get the blood flowing and wakes up the body so you're ready to exercise." With 172 pressure points, you can even vary the amount of tension applied to tight muscles.

Info: $6; rei.com

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Courtesy of Arbonne
Arbonne FC5 Skin Conditioning Oil

Trainer: Melissa Paris

Why she likes it: This botanical skincare line is made without parabens and petroleum-based conditioners allowing it to penetrate without leaving a greasy film. "I use it to rub on my elbows," says Paris. "Especially if I am doing a lot of planks."

Info: $14; arbonne.com

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gym: dirty clothes Lorna Jane Classic Wash Bag
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Lorna Jane
Lorna Jane Classic Wash Bag

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: This bag works overtime. On the way to the gym, it keeps our dirty shoes separate from our clean clothes. Afterwards, we toss our sweaty garments inside. On laundry day, it acts as a garment bag, helping delicate items, like sports bras, survive the spin cycle.

Info: $9; us.lornajane.com

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gym: Nike+ SportWatch GPS picture
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Nike
Nike+ SportWatch GPS

Trainer: Steve Ettinger

Why he likes it: "Besides looking cool, this watch has a huge display, which makes it really easy to see while working out," says Ettinger.  "And you hit the watch face to turn on the backlight, which is way easier than fumbling for a button on the side during high intensity workouts."

Info: $149; nike.com

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Courtesy of Towelmate
Towelmate Fitness Towel with Germ Shield

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: Germs will never make their way to your face again--at least by way of your towel. The 100 percent cotton terry cloth features a "gym" side and "skin" so you'll never wipe your body with the same side as the machine. It also has a hidden zippered pocket for valuable electronics. In a word, it's genius.

Info: $25; towelmate.com

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gym: Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo picture
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Serge Normant
Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo

Trainer: Amanda Russell

Why she likes it: When you don't have time to wash and dry your hair, this spray keeps it looking and feeling fresh. "It's a little pricier than drugstore brands, but it is by far the best smelling, best texture-enhancer ever," says Russell. "I even use it on clean hair."

Info: $15; sephora.com

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gym: blister pads picture
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Help I Have a Blister
Help I Have a Blister

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: This little case is easy to find in our bags without taking up a lot of room. Plus, the bandages are made of hydrocolloid--a rubbery material used in hospitals to dress burns--which protects blisters better than a plain old Band-Aid.

Info: $4; helpremedies.com

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Courtesy of e. l. f.
e.l.f. Studio Lotion Wipes

Trainer: Jessica Matthews

Why she likes it: There's no chance of spilling lotion inside your bag because the cream is in the wipes. "Plus, they work and smell great," says Matthews. Added bonus: They're not tested on animals.

Info: $3; eyeslipsface.com

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gym: Bag Balm salve picture
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Bag Balm
Bag Balm

Trainer: Denise Austin

Why she like it: Dry gym air is no match for this super-thick salve. Although it was originally developed to sooth cows' udders and horses' hooves, it's now heralded as a cure-all for any type of chapped skin--on animals and humans like. "It's the best way to keep my lips moisturized throughout my workout, "says Austin.

Info: $4; amazon.com

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gym: Camelbak Podium Bottle water picture
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Camelbak
Camelbak Podium Bottle

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: The locking mechanism on this 24-ounce bottle's water valve saves us from inadvertently drenching our clothes when we throw it into our gym bag post workout.

Info: $10; camelbak.com

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gym: Goody Double Wear Floating Beaded Elastics picture
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Goody
Goody Double Wear Floating Beaded Elastics

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: Because these trendy hair ties double as accessories, we're less likely to forget an elastic. Just slide a few "bracelets" onto your wrist in the morning and then transfer them to your hair when you're ready to workout. Surprisingly, the little beads do not snag.

Info: $5; target.com

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gym: tracking Nike+ FuelBand picture
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Nike
Nike+ FuelBand

Trainer: Lacey Stone

Why she likes it: "When you wear the FuelBand there are literally no excuses," says Stone. "It helps you track the amount of calories you burn with every step."

Info: $149; nike.com

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Courtesy of Soap.com
Nivea for Men Active3

Editors' Pick

Why we like it: This three-in-one body wash, shampoo, and shave gel lets men tackle post-workout showers with greater ease--and less mess.

Info: $5; soap.com

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