Quality gear makes all the difference when you’re committing to a workout routine. Get a great start in 2017 with eBags and fitness coach Shannon Colavecchio.
You know that feeling you get when you’re sporting new fitness equipment or apparel? You feel strong, confident and ready to rock your workout. Turns out, there’s some science behind that mojo. The right gear or clothing can motivate you.
Scientists call this “enclothed cognition.” It’s a phenomenon fitness enthusiasts know well, and it certainly holds true for one of your most important gym accessories. Behold—the power of the gym bag. A new bag can keep you organized and push you toward your goals.
“You feel prepared. You’ve got all your stuff in the bag. It kind of ups the game,” says Shannon Colavecchio, a nationally recognized fitness blogger, brand ambassador and gym owner. The eBags experts know quality bags, and Shannon knows working out. Together, we created this guide to help you get to and from the gym with ease in 2017.
Gym bags come in a range of sizes, from the lightweight backpack to the oversize duffel. Think about your routine and choose a bag that will carry your essentials without unnecessary bulk.
MUST-HAVES: The Apera Performance Duffel has immense storage capacity and is designed for road warriors who are living and working out of their bags. You can store and easily access all of your fitness and workplace necessities.
If you’re carrying less, a smaller duffel like the Nike Brasilia 6 comes at an affordable price but still has important features including separate wet/dry storage.
SHANNON’S TIP: Keep these items in your bag to help you quickly return to the office after working out at lunchtime:
- Dry shampoo to freshen up hair
- Athletic wipes for a quick wipe-down that will suffice until shower time
- Small bag of touch-up makeup
- Healthy snack bar for on-the-go nutrition
A Place for Everything
Compartments are a must. Your routine will dictate which compartments are most important but consider separate areas for wet and dry clothes, shoes, toiletries, your phone, car keys, laptop, and tablet.
MUST-HAVES: We love the Lug Propeller Gym/Overnight Bag, which includes designated space for jewelry and cosmetic brushes, a slide-through compartment for a yoga mat or jacket and two exterior pockets ideal for water bottles or an umbrella. The Adidas Studio Duffel opens wide to easily pack all of your gear but has interior and exterior compartments aplenty to store your items.
SHANNON’S TIP: Avoid shuttling items between your home and your gym bag, which increases the likelihood that you’ll forget or lose something. Keep travel-size versions of everything (shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, etc.) in your bag. Also, create a second makeup bag that can “live” in your gym bag.
Add Some Swagger
Carry a little attitude into your workout with a burst of color or an eye-catching design.
MUST-HAVE: The Baggallini Step-To-It Duffel has every function you need in a gym bag and pops with bright exterior colors including Tangerine, Cobalt, Grass, and Magenta. The interior is designed with a complementary hue, creating a bag with personality plus.
SHANNON’S TIPS: When you meet a fitness goal, reward yourself with a new gym bag, outfit or pair of shoes. New gear complements the new you. A sassy gym bag can absolutely be a motivator.
Easy To Carry
Getting to the gym from the office, the after-school pick-up line and all places in between can be a hassle. The last thing your gym bag should do is make you uncomfortable. “It definitely needs to be easy to wear and carry as you come and go,” Shannon says.
MUST-HAVES: If you’re on the go, a hands-free backpack is a great option. We love the Apera Locker Pack, which is roomy, but sleek. And, as the name suggests, a clamshell pocket and ingenious interior structure make this pack function like a portable gym locker—no combination required.
Small details such as padded straps make a big difference when you’re carrying a gym bag, especially if it’s an everyday thing. The Under Armour Undeniable MD Duffel II comes with a cross-body strap designed for comfort.
SHANNON’S TIP: Prepare for the unexpected by keeping extra socks and undergarments in your gym bag. You never know when you might need them.
What About You?
Tell us what you look for in a great gym bag, and share your tips for maintaining a fitness routine in the comments section.
Shannon Colavecchio is an ACE and AFAA-certified Master Trainer for Indo-Row®, Shockwave® and Tabata Bootcamp. She leads certifications around the country and has presented for IDEA PT East, SCW Mania and NPE Mega. Shannon owns a fitness studio in North Florida and serves as an ambassador for fitness and wellness brands including Rykä. She served as a MyGroupFit national correspondent in its inaugural year and is a freelancer and expert source for publications including Women’s Running and Runner’s World. Her Girl Power Bootcamps, created to empower girls ages 6-11 through fitness and nutrition, have been featured on ESPN. As a nationally recognized fitness blogger ambassador with Fitfluential, Shannon has worked with brands including GNC and Quest Nutrition.
Rebeccah is a mountain girl turned beach bum who has explored beautiful destinations all of her life. She grew up hiking and mountain biking in the New River Gorge of West Virginia and now lives on Florida’s sun-kissed Gulf Coast. Her best days start on her family’s boat and end with oysters and cold beer at the local raw bar. She and her husband are focused on rearing the next generation of Lutz fishermen. (The first gift she bought her son, when he was still in the womb, was a lifejacket.) Rebeccah spent 15 years working in newsrooms and traveled the globe, reporting from places such as Meulaboh, Indonesia, and Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. Her international travel since then has been less dangerous, yet still an adventure — a 12-day cruise around the British Isles.