How to get ready for the gym

I hope that this doesn’t sound like I’m trying to share something basic like how to breath or blink because other people claimed to have invented those activities and I’d have to pay them a royalty. But there is a certain amount of forethought that goes into getting ready to hit the gym, shower there, and then go to work or wherever your zany life takes you. Here are the basics:

Why Shower at the gym?
First of all, if you are going to work, the answer is obvious. If you are running errands, it is not a good idea for your nether regions to be sitting in a human sauna for more than 30 minutes. Don’t ask me how I know this, but I know. Plus, you are being kind to your fellow human beings by showering after a sweat-fest.

First things first! You need your water for the workout and something healthy to eat after. I typically whip up a protein shake first thing in the morning and stick it in the freezer for 20+ minutes while I’m getting ready and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee. I’ll also pack some nibbles, like fruit or nuts or carrots - in case my mouth wants some exercise too. I carry all of it in a cooler bag like the black & white one below in the background.

    IMG_6671  IMG_6673 

You can find cute cooler bags from Koko and other brands. I bought this one in Canada and it’s called D-fusion and I can’t find it online anywhere! I include a little ice pack like the one on the right.


GYM CARD & other essentials: 
You’ll need to pack your gym card, ID (because everyone needs to know who you are these days), a credit card if you want (I want! What if they are having a sale on gym clothes!) some cash, keys, and of course the cell phone because otherwise it would need to be detached surgically from a hand. All of these items go in the cooler bag. My purse that is devoid of any value sits happily in the trunk of my car (so as not to attract thieves…I do live in a ‘big city’). Valuables come with me inside the gym.


There is a slight method to the madness here: You’ll want to pack your clothes so that they don’t wrinkle (you can also bring them on a hanger if you want/need.) I find that if I roll my clothes into a sausage shape, they don’t get wrinkly. Then I dream of sausages.
I always have two plastic bags with me: one for my (dirty) shoes, and one for my (clean) clothes:


Dirty shoes into one bag:

IMG_6658  IMG_6660

Roll the clean clothes around the shoes, into a nice little sausage shape and put all of it into the other plastic bag. These bags need to be plastic because they will later live out their life’s dream of housing your sweaty gym clothes and wet towels.
IMG_6661   IMG_6664IMG_6665IMG_6666IMG_6667  

So you’ll be walking out the door with your purse (because you’ll need it after the gym**), your cooler bag, and either one or two plastic bags, depending upon whether or not your gym has towels. If not, you need to bring your own: a big one (for showering) or two (if you have long hair and want a ‘hair towel’) and a smaller ‘sweat towel.’

**By the way, I’m not being sexist. Men can and do carry Murses or MANbags. I married one. Please stop laughing.


But you’re wondering about your gym bag aren’t you? Don’t worry! That lives in the trunk of your car! No need to carry it in and out of your house!


Now, since you probably need some recovery time from the exertion of just getting ready for the gym, I’ll let you recuperate and I’ll be back next week with a post on what you need to do to get ready at the gym (including what lives in your gym bag.) You can ask my good friend, Janetha: there’s more to it than meets the eye. You can read all about our workouts and gym adventure last week on her blog.

Q: Do you shower at the gym? Do you have any tips that I should include in next week’s post? Do you know any men who carry MANbags? (I like to emphasize the MAN in MANbags)

PS Thank you, Janetha for pimping Windows Live Writer to me again, even after I didn’t listen to you the first time! This post would have taken a few millenia to write with Blogger In Draft, but thanks to you and WLW, I got it done in no time flat! <3

Finally, Janetha went in for a diagnostic medical procedure this morning and I just found out that she has had some complications. Please keep good thoughts for her and if you are the praying type, please feel free.

Edited to add: Just heard from Janetha's Mom and she's fine, but it seems she just had some benign discomfort. Whew.


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

You certainly are a pro at getting ready for the gym! I do find that it takes some real planning to get it "right." My hubby is always forgetting his gym shoes when he plans to go right after work (even though I put another pair in the trunk of his car; somehow they find their way out way too often, too...).

I used to work out at the gym a lot more and used to shower there a lot. These days I almost always shower at home. One of the reasons is that the water is often really, really cold, and cold showers are just no fun...

I've been thinking of Janetha since she had to go back to the hospital. Hope she'll feel better soon.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

I have a MAC and have tried using WLW with special software to try to get it to interface with my MAC (very tricky little process right there) and with all the interfacing and steps, I never really got it going easily...but glad you did. Anything to make it all faster!

And the bag. CUTE! When I cloth diapered Skylar, I had those type of zipper-lined plastic bags that I bought on Esty. Good idea to use them for the gym stuff.

lindsay said...

yes, janetha and her live writer skills save the day! so much faster, isn't it?!
I shower at the gym because
a) I work there in the mornings and it saves me time
b) i am cheap and i use their water
c) i am really cheap and use their shampoo, razors, lotion, etc.
d) you get my point.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List said...

Janetha's the one who told ME about Live Writer too! What a lifesaver!! And what a sweet, Janetha!
The roll-up sausage thing - genius! You kind of sound like a anal planner - I like that.

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) said...

Andrea: Thanks for reminding me about SNEAKERS in the car! I always keep a spare there also.

Averie: LOVE diaper bags- I had always wished that someone would design an 'it' cooler bag the way they design 'it' diaper bags!

Lindsay: There will be WEEKS where I won't have showered at my house :-)

List Lindsay: Anal: ask Janetha about my 'schedule' when she visited :-D

Amanda said...

LOL! Nether regions in a sauna. Fantastic. Our gym is in our apartment complex so the shower thing is a non-issue. But eventually, I'd like to go to a bigger gym.

Andy has a man bag that he brings to work. It's cute. ha.

Glad Janetha is doing okay!

Ameena said...

I wake up, throw on some clothes, wash my face, and go downstairs to the gym - all in 5 minutes time. It's so convenient that I really have no excuse! And the shower issues is not a problem for me either.

I'm really glad Janetha is okay!

littlemissgymrat said...

I'd love to shower after working out but my workout times are always between classes.. :( but I make the effort to not sit next to others in lectures that follow after a workout. And anti-perspirants? Best friend.

Great post!

Eden said...

Testing! because every time I post it gets deleted so I'm just checking before I leave a novel comment...

Eden said...

Yay, it worked! I did have to press "submit" three times but horray!

Ok, well luckily, my gym has towels and plastic bags so I'm beyond thankful my gym bag is fairly light. I ALWAYS shower at the gym. Sometimes I wash my hair, and if thats the case I bring my own little conditioner (cause I actually love the shampoo they provide). I always bring flip flops and generally "light" clothes so I don't have to schlep a lot of stuff.
I never bring food. I have so much food in the car! haha! But my car IS always stocked with some refueling foods that I'll munch on when I'm done. KIND bars or crackers. I also got these jerkey sticks from whole foods recently which are ok but a waste of six bucks.

Ok, I need to go away...this is getting long. Horray for easier blogging! Maybe you can teach me? I hope this means more posts from you!

PS, I LOLZed and the linkage
PSS yay to Jbean being ok!

teabagginit said...

i am so ocd when it comes to my gym bag - i've finally perfected packing it for efficiency & space maximization (i'm such a dork!)
my tips are to carry plastic grocery bags (the ones that hold the loose produce) to put wet/sweaty clothes & towels in and to keep shampoo/soap in travel-sized containers.

Anonymous said...

I have never been to a gym and the thought of showering there conjures up images of me showering at my dorm in college - I had to wear flip flops and it was awful. But if I did go to a gym, I would want this bag:

and if I did yoga, I would want this one:

Yeah, I am not choicy or anything....;)

And ++++happy faces on Janetha - nothing a few probiotics can't fix (and maybe checking some food intolerances!)


Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) said...

Amanda & Ameena- oh how easy to have your gym in your building!

Amanda- if I knew about Andy's manbag, I could have brought it up so as to have our husbands bond over that :-)

Littlemissgymrat- in that case, at least try to 'ahem' clean yourself a bit and make sure you're not wet down there. You'll thank me one day

Eden: Nope on more frequent blogging, but my life will be made easier nonetheless.

Teabag: I knew you'd have a system in place :-)

Missy- yes I've seen those bags with the separate compartment for shoes. SMART!

Julie said...

i am never NEARLY as prepared as you are for the gym! i'm loving your dirty laundry bags haha because i usually just stick my wet towel and dirty clothes all in the bag i brought my clean clothes in. hmmm that makes me QUITE dirty. i also have a ghetto fab cooler not so pretty but totes does the job. ain't no shame in being a cooler queen right?

Ariz said...

I am a gym shower virgin, I have never ever shower in a gym, mostly because there was not a shower in some of the gyms that I was a member and then when there was a shower at the gym I saw some pretty disturbing situations in there so I rather shower at home. If I ever have to shower in a gym I will comeback to this post.
PS: my husband has a manpurse too, very useful for carrying wine.

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) said...

Julie- I am a sucker for a cute cooler bag <3

Ariz- I know a few men who carry/carried manpurses for the purpose of transporting wine. It must be an inherited trait :-)

janetha - meals and moves said...

i saw a new post in my reader and got excited then i realized it was the one i read from my phone already but didn't comment because i would rather gouge my eyes out.

anyway--you are THE gym guru! can't wait for the getting ready post!

you are so sweet with the end part :) love you!

Jenn (GH) said...

Love that bag!

As you know, I'm not a fan of gyms so I workout and shower at home BUT I love MANbags. My dad carries one and I think it's the coolest thing ever!!

Lindsey said...

Hey Deb, I tried to email you but I guess you didn't get it. Love this post but I am with Jen and can't go to a gym, but I wanted to let you know I was raving about you the last few day! Smoothies and protein muffins are rocking my world right now!

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning said...

I love this post!
And I HATE showering at the gym. I have to do it every Tuesday because I teach a super early morning spin class, and it's the only way I'll be on time to work. I have packing my bag down to a science and have managed to perfect my showering/getting ready routine at the gym to be done in 20 minutes (as long as there's not a line for the shower...ugh.)

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) said...

jantha <3

Jenn- I didn't know that MANbags run in your family too?

Lindsey- I did get an email- I replied. Try again if you didn't get it- I think it was a long one :-)

Lauren- thank you for reading and commenting. Oh, a shower line would be pretty awful. I know what you mean about getting it down to a science. If I don't foof or do any mascara, then I can be out in about 20-25. I always feel oddly accomplished, even as I carry 53 bags out of the gym with me :-?

Christina said...

Absolutely hysterical!! And so true! I never took a bag with my stuff into the shower though, that'll definitely help out. No clue why I didn't think of that lol.

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