Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Gym Essentials

A successful workout for me involves several ducks aligning perfectly into a row that culminates with me eventually leaving the gym a bit sweatier - and a bit more self-satisfied and smug. (If you ever see me walking home from the gym, you will notice my swagger... and you will also notice that I am singing/rapping along audibly to whatever is playing in my headphones, with a pompousness that wasn't present on my walk TO the gym.)

Here's my step-by-step prep for heading to the gym, as well as what essentials I grab to bring with me in my gym bag:

Before I'm ready to head out the door, I start with some of Proactiv's Oil Free Moisturizer on my face. This is an oil-free, very lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that I like to throw on before the gym because it's so light and absorbs almost instantly. I don't want to leave my face dry, but don't want to wear my thicker Aveeno daily moisturizer. This one is perfect.

Proactiv Oil Free Moisturizer

Tom's Long-Lasting Deodorant in a wild lavender scent. I guess I don't need to say much about this - it's just deodorant. I use Tom's because it isn't an antiperspirant, and it's aluminum-free. Ladies, if you are still using an antiperspirant with aluminum, you should probably read a thing or two about that before you continue to do so.

.  tom's long lasting deodorant in wild lavender  .

Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara. I like this mascara because it's easy to remove, which is important to me when I'm just putting it on to go to the gym. Maybelline's The Rocket is my daily mascara, but it's so difficult to remove (even though it isn't waterproof) that it's not worth it for me to put it on before I go to the gym, just to wrestle with it an hour and a half later when I'm back at home and about to jump in the shower. Putting on a full face of makeup isn't me, in general, so it's especially not "me" when it comes to going to the gym. (Some girls go to the gym with their bronzer and eyeliner on, and honestly I don't give much of a crap if that's your style, but it's not mine!) But I do think that putting on a little swipe of mascara before heading out to the gym gives me boost of girl power. (Did I just type that? Good lord.)

Full action Extreme Effect Mascara from Sephora
.  sephora full action extreme effect mascara  .

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm in Quenched. Getting dry lips while you're working out is the worst. THE WORST. I've raved about Baby Lips before, so I'll spare you too many details here. Suffice to say this balm keeps my lips moisturized - dare I say "quenched"?? - without adding any color. Basically the perfect "don't have to look in a mirror to apply" lip balm. This goes into my jacket pocket as I'm on my way out the door!

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm in Quenched
.  maybelline baby lips in quenched  .

Stud earrings. I discovered about 6 months ago that something about wearing a pair of simple but sparkly earrings makes me feel better about life while I'm working out. Seeing my little studs catch the light while I'm doing a shoulder press makes me feel a bit prettier at the gym. (Almost distracts from my bright red face and sweat-dripping brow.) Certainly, no one at the gym gives a crap if I'm wearing earrings or not, but it makes a pleasant difference to me. AND IT'S ALL ABOUT ME, after all.

Simple sparkly stud earrings

My gym locker lock/key. Now I know what you're thinking: "Bail, your locker lock is probably the most boring thing you could write about." And you're right. So I won't write about it. You can just deduce from the context of the rest of this blog that it comes with me to the gym. I won't even show it to you again in a picture. If you're really interested, you can scroll back up and notice it smack in the center of the first picture in this blog. My, I've managed to write a lot about this lock that I vowed not to write about, haven't I? Let's move on.

iPod Nano 8GB. I cannot workout without music. I JUST CAN'T. So my iPod Nano is an absoluuuuuute gym essential. This little guy was a birthday present from my mom back in November 2008. I know this because she had the back of it personalized with my name and the message Happy Birthday 2008. She bought me a newer iPod Touch 16GB for my 2012 birthday - which I use the crap out of - but when it comes to my workout music, the itty bitty Nano still just makes more sense for me to bring to the gym. Plus, I already had the arm-strap/fitness case to fit my Nano, as you can see...

Charcoal iPod Nano 8GB 2008 model, with black DLO Fitness Case and arm strap

DLO Action Jacket for iPod Nano. And this is the fitness case I use! I've had this for a few years now and have always liked it. The velcro is still SUPER sticky after all these years and the arm strap hasn't lost any elasticity. The case has a belt clip so you can remove the iPod part from the strap part and clip it right onto your clothing or bra strap. Sometimes I have to remove the iPod from my arm strap to avoid getting free weights caught in the dangling headphone cord, and it's handy that I can just quickly unclip the iPod from the arm strap and re-clip it right onto my bra strap.

Charcoal iPod Nano 8GB 2008 model, with DLO Fitness Case and arm strap
.  ipod nano 8gb (newest models here) / arm band (similar)  .

Two pairs of sneakers - one pair for walking to the gym, and one pair for my actual workouts. My "to the gym" sneakers are my Nike Alvord 8 running shoes. I've had these since 2010 and they were my gym sneakers until last spring when I replaced them with my Nike In-Season TR2 cross-trainers. The Alvords are still in fine condition for walking around and running errands - perfect for taking me to the gym while my cross-trainers stay safe and clean in my gym bag. The TR2s were featured in my 2013 Favorites blog, so feel free to read more about them there.

Nike Alvord 8 in grey and pink, bright pink MEC backpack, black and silver Nike In-Season TR2
.   nike alvord / mec daypack / nike in-season tr2  .

Finally, the bag I take to the gym with me is that freaking fabulous bright pink backpack from MEC that you can see above. I love this daypack; it's cute, useful, and super lightweight. It's got a chest strap with a clip as well as a little zipped pocket on the inside, which is where I tuck my phone/locker lock/gym card.

Often I try to leave my wallet/debit card at home when I go to the gym, to avoid those spur-of-the-moment trips into London Drugs that often get me into trouble. There are way too many cool stores between my apartment and the gym... sometimes it's best to avoid temptation all together!

What are all of your essentials when it comes to heading to the gym?

Do you bring a water bottle or a sweat towel with you?

If you want some workout ideas, you can read my last "Workouts of the Week" blog here.


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  1. I don't have gym day essentials because I don't go to the gym. This should probably change. But if I DID go to the gym, I'd definitely need some beats and a good chapstick. I'm pretty sure my deoderant has an antiperspirant in it: I sweat like a pig on the hottest day of the year. I'm afraid to google it. Maybe you can give it to me lightly?

  2. I´ve never gone to the gym in my life! Maybe because I prefer brisk walking and I walk here a lot but if ever I enroll in the gym, a deodorant is a must and those cute earrrings too for that extra sparkle aside from my sweat. ;)

    1. I love walking - I try to go for a nice walk everyday! :)

  3. for me. its just my bottle of water, my shoes and my phone + earphones and i'm ready to go!

    1. Nice! What's your favorite kind of music to listen to you while you're working out?

  4. I am definitely all about the aluminum free deodorant. How do you feel the Tom's works? Lavender is a nice scent. I use geodeo right now in the scent island from Whole Foods. It smells divine, however I feel like it disappears quickly and I need to reapply 2 hrs in.

  5. My gym essentials are music, spare tank top, towel, water, energy bars, and of course a good body odor solution. I take my gymming seriously because I have too much of a good time there. I have to admit, I am a gymholic!

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