Gym Essentials For Men

Whether you are heading to your favourite class or hitting the gym to get your sweat on, you need your gym bag to be packed with the essentials for a stress-free workout. Exercise has many benefits, from improving mood and boosting energy, so having the right gym essentials can keep you motivated to keep up with keeping fit.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re checking your bag and realised you’ve left something behind? We’ve been there.

From moisture-wicking t-shirts to the right headphones pumping music to keep you motivated, every item plays its part to keep you on track to reach your goals.

Gym Essentials For Men

Need to level up your gym essentials? Read on to reach peak performance in peak style.

Shorts

gym essentials shorts

When it comes to gym shorts, it’s all about fit, breathability and function. It’s not about wearing the shorts from yesteryear that look worn out and tattered. Gym culture has undoubtedly taken off, and you want to be choosy about what you wear during the sweaty workout sessions.

For material choices, you want breathable fabrics. Think mesh, polyester, and those moisture-wicking materials that make sweat evaporate like you’re a human air conditioner. 

Do you go with long shorts or short shorts? The truth is, it depends on your workout and how much leg you want to show off. If you’re hitting leg day, shorter cuts can provide a better range of motion. Basketball-style longer shorts work for general workouts. The key is finding a length that offers freedom of movement without turning into a parachute or hot pants.

Pockets can be convenient for holding your phone. However, during specific workouts like running or intense cardio, items can bounce around, causing a distraction. Some brands offer built-in liner pockets or zip pockets, so you can secure your essentials without doing a juggling act.

Look for shorts with built-in liners; they help reduce sweating and chafing and provide coverage and support.

When it comes to the style of the shorts, it’s all about personal preference. The Black and Greys are the standard go-to colours. However, brighter and bolder colours work too, and look the part in a summer outfit too.

Your shorts are more than just fabric; they’re your best friend for every leg press, burpee, sprint, and squat.

T-Shirt

gym essentials t-shirt

With T-Shirts, look for a material with moisture-wicking properties. Think polyester, poly blends, or specialised athletic fabrics that pull the sweat away from your body and help it evaporate quickly.  

Make sure the fit is right, too. Anything too tight may restrict movement.  Go for a fit that gives you room to move but shows off the silhouette of your frame, making it look good. An athletic fit will also aid in moisture-wicking and can even reduce friction during your workouts. 

A bonus will be a T-shirt with mesh panels or specific zones designed for breathability. They’ll often be located in high-sweat areas like the back and underarms. 

Opt for a solid-colour tee, blacks, greys and reds are always a safe bet. Brighter colours are good options, too.

Socks

gym essentials socks

Let’s start with the material. Think moisture-wicking materials like polyester or blends that incorporate merino wool for both moisture control and odour resistance. The goal here is to keep your feet dry and prevent that swamp-foot feeling that makes every step feel like a slog.

Cushioning and support are another consideration. Depending on your needs, you may appreciate some extra cushioning in the heel and ball of the foot for those heavy lift days. 

Ankle-length or no-show socks are great for keeping a low profile and are less likely to trap heat. Go for a moisture-wicking sock to keep the feet dry.  Crew-length socks are another option and can be suitable for high-impact activities or outdoor workouts. Not to forget compression socks, which extend up to the calf and can help with blood circulation, a consideration for more intense sports. 

Socks with mesh zones allow air to flow, keeping your feet cool and reducing sweat buildup. 

Socks play a key part in your gym essentials kit bag, the last thing you want to endure are blisters when your focus is in your workout.

Footwear

gym essentials shoes

Your footwear is the foundation of your workout.  Are you looking for general-purpose gym shoes or more specialised ones?  Well, it all depends on what your goals are when it comes to your gym routine. 

General-purpose gym shoes are great for a range of exercise activities 

When it comes to materials, look for breathable fabrics like mesh or lightweight synthetic materials. 

The midsole and sole of the shoes are essential. For those cardio exercises, look for a shoe with cushioning to help absorb the impact. They should be flexible enough to allow the foot to move naturally but not too flexible, which compromises support. If you are more of a weight lifter, you’ll want a shoe that really provides stability and support.

Most brands offer models with varying levels of support, so understand your foot type to find the best match.

With all the above being said, you’ll want a shoe that looks good too. With most brands offering different colour ways and variations, you can find a stylish gym shoe that will complement the rest of your gym outfit. 

Headphones

gym essentials headphones

Whether you’re powerlifting to rap or doing yoga flows to ambient tunes, the right pair of headphones can transform your session from basic to outstanding. 

Do you go for over-ear headphones or in-ear headphones? Over-the-ear or on-ear headphones will provide superb sound quality but can be a bit on the bulkier spectrum of headphones sizes.   

In-ear or earbud-style headphones have good sound quality and even provide noise-cancelling settings. They’re lightweight, secure, and often sweat and water-resistant. You’ll also find they usually come with different-sized ear tips for a comfortable fit.

Many wireless headphones offer at least 4 hours of playtime.  Along with the noise-cancelling settings, you’ll want to ensure the headphone offers an ambient setting to allow some external noise, especially if you’re running outside or need to be aware of your surroundings.

Lastly, your headphones need to withstand sweat and drops as they will inevitably be knocked around at times.

Deodorant

gym essentials deodorant

It’s a given that if you’re a gym-goer, deodorant is a must-have if you’re a courteous gym-goer. However, not all deodorants are created equal.

Things to consider: a deodorant pretty much works by only combatting the odour, while a deodorant looks to reduce or stop sweating. Either way, you want to be smelling your best in the gym.

Your choice of deodorant is personal and influenced by your skin type, activity level, and personal preferences. It’s a great way to show care for yourself and consideration for others. Go ahead, swipe, roll, or spray with confidence.

Water Bottle

gym essentials water bottle

Water is the unsung hero for your gym session.  Whilst you get your workout on, your body needs to replace lost fluids. This is where your water bottle is essential. 

There are different types of water bottles to consider. Plastic bottles are lightweight and a choice for many gym-goers. However, the trend may be moving towards plastic-free alternatives. 

Stainless steel bottles are durable, and many keep drinks insulated to maintain the temperature just how you like it.

Another consideration is finding the right size and features for a water bottle. Most gyms have water refill stations, so choose the size bottle for your needs. Also, look for a bottle that is easy to clean.

Some bottles have built-in straws, others have wide mouth openings and others have narrow ones.

Make sure the water bottle fits your needs, and you stay hydrated.

Gym Bag

gym essentials bag

A good gym bag not only keeps your kit organised but can also represent your sense of style. 

From holding your earbuds in a secure place to keeping deodorant separate from your socks, a gym bag should have some compartments.

Look for a durable, weather-proof gym bag that can withstand the elements and keep your gym gear in good order. 

With different types of gym bags available, it’s important to find one that’s right for your needs. The backpack is a popular option as it can be used for cycling or walking to the gym. The holdall is a great option too, as it can double up as a weekend away bag.

Material wise, look for durability with materials such as polyester and ideally water resistant.

Finally, opt for a bag that suits your style and easily carries your gym essentials.

FAQ’s

Do I really need specialised gym shoes?

The right gym shoes provide the necessary support and cushioning, especially during high-impact workouts. They can also prevent injuries and ensure you’re getting the most out of your training. Plus, they can be a stylish addition to your gym attire!

Are moisture-wicking shirts that much better than a regular cotton tee for the gym?

While cotton tees are breathable, moisture-wicking shirts are designed to draw sweat away from the body, helping you stay dry and comfortable. They also tend to be more durable and less likely to retain odours compared to cotton.

How often should I wash my gym gear?

Ideally, after every workout. Sweat and bacteria can build up, leading to odours and potential skin issues. Regular washing also maintains the integrity of the tech fabrics.

By: Stephen Antonio