What’s In My Gym Bag

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

After lunch yesterday, I got ready to go to the gym. I put on my workout gear and then packed up my gym bag because I planned to take a shower at the gym before my doctor’s appointment. While I was packing, I thought it might be fun to show you guys what’s in my gym bag.



Here’s what’s in my gym bag:


  1. Lug Life Cartwheel Overnight/Gym Bag: This is the best gym (and overnight) bag ever. It has a zillion pockets and compartments to keep everything organized and separated (i.e. dirty, sweaty clothes or wet flip flops separate from your clean clothes/magazines/gadgets).
  2. Flip flops for the shower: I bought these flip flops at Target many years ago, but they’re still the best shower shoes I’ve ever owned. The bottoms are grooved, so they don’t get slippery on wet floors.
  3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub: Best face wash ever. After the gym, I use it on my face and body in the shower to prevent breakouts.
  4. BIC Band and extra hair elastics: I can’t stand to have my hair on my face when I exercise, so I packed an extra BIC Band and elastics just in case I ever forget. I’m a weirdo and would probably skip a workout if I didn’t have something to hold my hair back.
  5. My favorite treadmill workout ever: I cut this 45-minute treadmill workout out of a magazine and laminated it 5+ years ago, and I’ve probably done it close to 100 times, but I still love it!
  6. BlueBud X Bluetooth Headphones: These things are the bomb and so great for gym workouts!
  7. Small towel: I used to pack a regular size bath towel in my gym bag, but it always took up so much room, so I downsized to a smaller towel. I just bring my clothes into the shower stall and use the small towel to dry off before I get dressed.
  8. Combination lock: I need to make sure my things are safe while I work out, so I lock ”˜em up! I type the combination in a note on my iPhone, which I always have on me when I work out, just in case I ever forget it.
  9. Makeup bag with mini products: Inside my gym makeup bag is all sorts of sample-size products from shopping at Sephora and other department stores or when I stay in hotels, such as travel-size shampoo and conditioner. Full-size items take up a lot of space, so I like to pack the mini versions.
  10. Water bottle: Gotta stay hydrated during my workout!
  11. Reebok RealFlex Fusion TR: In the winter, I wear boots to the gym and then change into sneakers, so I don’t track a “winter-y mix” all over the place. The Reebok RealFlex Fusion TR are great for pretty much every workout at the gym, so they’re my go-to sneaker.
  12. Magazines: On the elliptical or stairclimber, I love to read magazines for entertainment.

Workout #1

At the gym, my workout was split into two parts: tabata + elliptical.

The tabata workout was from the fitmixer bootcamp. I did each exercise (pictured below) for 20 seconds and then rested for 10 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. I did this for 4 rounds, which was a total of 10 minutes, and it was tough! I was good and sweaty by the end. I substituted the calf raises for Burpees because my calves get plenty of exercise already.

fitmixer tabata

After the 10-minute tabata, I hit the elliptical for 15 minutes and read the February issue of Fitness Magazine. Inside was an article with Annemarie McKay, who took up CrossFit in her 70s. Remember when I worked out with her at Reebok? It was so cool to see her sporting her guns in a national magazine! It just goes to show you anyone can do CrossFit!

Annemarie Kay CrossFit

Workout #2

After the gym, I stopped by Target (Trip #1 of “Unnecessary Trips to Target Since My Gym Is Right Next Door”), went to my doctor’s appointment, and then took Murphy for a walk. When Mal got home, we started to talk about the day’s CrossFit workout. I totally wasn’t planning to do it since I had already worked out, but the more we talked, the more fun it sounded and chippers are my favorite kind of workout, so I figured what the heck and went with him. I was also feeling kind of bummed about my performance the day before, so I felt like I needed a good workout to redeem myself””for personal reasons, of course. (Comparison is the thief of joy.) I just knew I hadn’t done my best, so I wanted to go out there and crush a WOD. (I know the CrossFitters know what I’m talking about!) Plus, I tend to have more energy in the evening, so I was ready to plow through that chipper!

Met Con

For time:
60 KB Swings
50 Ring Push-ups
40 K2E
30 Burpee Box Jumps
20 Calorie Row
10 Wall Climbs
Rx: (53/35) (75/55) (24/20)
L3: (45/30) (65/45) (24/20), push-ups with feet elevated on a MB
L2: (35/25) (55/35) (20/15), regular plank push-up
L1: (30/20) (45/25) (20/15), knee push-ups
Scaling for Wallclimbs (for athletes that cannot touch belly to wall):
*wall handstands (10 reps, 5 second hold at the top), OR
*2 minute plank hold on the elbows

Here is my recap of the WOD:

  • 60 KB Swings: I used the prescribed weight for the Kettlebell Swings (35 pounds) and managed to do them unbroken. I told myself if I got to 45 without resting, I wasn’t going to stop. I almost lost my grip on the last 3-5 reps, but I managed to finish without dropping the kettlebell. Yay!
  • 50 Ring Push-ups: 50 Ring Push-ups weren’t going to happen for me, so I did regular plank push-ups. I had wanted to do push-ups with my feet elevated on a 20” box, but as soon as I finished the kettlebell swings, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, so I opted for regular push-ups, which I broke into sets of 10 and then 5.
  • 40 K2E: I can’t do Knees to-Elbows, so I did Kipping Knee Raises, which were still pretty tough. I broke them into reps of 10 and made it through them pretty quickly. (I really need to get K2E down. They’re so frickin’ hard!)
  • 30 Burpee Box Jumps: The Burpees Box Jumps were, of course, brutal, especially after the push-ups. My arms were exhausted! I love Burpees and Box Jumps, so I gutted through them and didn’t stop once.
  • 20 Calorie Row: I used the calorie row as active recovery, but it was still exhausting. My lungs burned so bad!
  • 10 Wall Climbs: The Wall Climbs were easily the hardest part of the workout for me. My arms were completely smoked. I did one at a time and rested for a good 10-15 seconds between each one. When I had only 3 more to go, Mal came over and cheered me on, which motivated me to get through the last few as fast quickly as I could. I just wanted to be done!

It was a killer WOD, and I loved it! I finished in 14:28. Today and probably tomorrow are definitely rest days!


After CrossFit, I chugged down a protein shake made with Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 in Cookies & Cream flavor.

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For dinner, I had an Italian “hot plate” made with spaghetti squash, ground beef, green bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms, topped with grated Parmesan. It was so good, I ended up going back for seconds.

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Question of the Day

What items are always in your gym bag?

What time of day do you tend to have more energy/perform better at your workouts?



  1. I think it’s funny you asked that question because when I started reading this post I literally thought, AFTER LUNCH she went to the gym? How can ANYONE work out AFTER LUNCH?!?! (I get the WORST afternoon slump… every day I seriously just draaaaaaaaaaag between lunch and about 4PM, it’s awful.)

    I’m so weird about workout times. In the morning, my brain is pumped and ready but my body is sluggish and stiff. In the evening, my brain in pooped but my body is all warmed up and ready to go. I work out in the evenings mostly, but on the weekend I like to start the day off right.

  2. In my gym bag: protein powder, shaker bottle, ear buds, phone for pandora..I usually dont shower at the gym so thats pretty much all 🙂 What a day, two workouts. I almost did 2 workouts yesterday, but I could barely walk so I decided not to. Cookies n cream is my favorite protein flavor 🙂

  3. I love posts like this! I can’t decide if it’s because I love products/bags or if im just nosey 😉

    I always have a million bobby pins and hair ties on me at all times, as well as never going anywhere without extra socks. I seem to always lose ’em when I need them for Pure Barre.

  4. Just reading your post makes me feel healthy, yet exhausted from a great workout. Now I’m really looking forward to hitting the gym when I get home this afternoon. If my gym was next to a Target, I’d be at Target every day. Unfortunately, my gym is next to a Burger King and the burgers smell delicious from the parking lot. It takes a lot of strength for me to get in my car and drive straight home, but who doesn’t love a challenge? Kudos to you for making it through a second workout with Mal. Your endurance is inspiring and I enjoyed your idea for carrying a smaller towel and travel size shampoo and conditioners from hotel rooms. My only issue is I have naturally curly hair that needs some sort of smoothing balm to even look remotely decent after a shower and it doesn’t come in travel size. Instead of a magazine, I always bring a good book and plan to spend at least 20 minutes on a bike pre or post workout reading. It is a minimal work out but I find it a great time to relax and fit a little me time into my day before I have to go home and cook dinner.

  5. I’ve never showered at my gym before, so I don’t have as much in my bag. I always have a few workouts that I’ve written down, a lock, a small sweat towel, an armband for my iphone and headphones. When I head to gym I also toss in my water bottle and if it’s snowing then I add my tennis shoes.

  6. My favorite time to work out is around noon- my breakfast has digested enough so I don’t feel weighed down yet still provides me with energy to power through my workout!

  7. I’m with you on the extra hair ties! I also have deodorant, shampoo and Playtex sport wipes (I often have a lead a run from the store where I work and there is no shower 🙁

  8. I’m a weirdo and just throw my lock, ear buds, lifting gloves, and head band in my purse (It helps that I don’t shower at the gym). I just always NEED to have my purse with me, and I don’t see a reason to take 2 bags…so the purse does double duty.

  9. Silly question-do you use anything to time your tabata or do you count in your head? I always think I won’t work as hard if I’m counting and I know when it will end or will have trouble coordinating the movement while counting seconds instead of reps. Silly, I know.

  10. I need to make that Italian hot plate! I’m always wanting to try recipes with spaghetti squash and that one looks absolutely delish.

    My gym bag pretty much has all the same things! I feel like I always forget something like headphones. Having a list definitely helps 🙂

  11. While I think I’m more energetic in the afternoon and evenings, when I work I typically have to do mornings since when I finish is so unpredictable. When I’m running it’s not an issue, but for anything tabata style it’s definitely harder to push myself earlier in the day!

  12. That bag looks awesome! Do you have an affiliation with the company? (Meaning do you have a discount code set up with them like you do other companies?) 🙂

    1. @Tera: I sell them through OpenSky, but they’re sold out right now. They were offering them for $95, but they’re a little cheaper on Amazon (linked in this post). OpenSky said they’re getting more bags soon, so I’ll ask them if we can do a deal! 🙂

  13. My body really varies in summer and winter. During summer I am more of a morning energy workout kind of person. And during winter Im more of a afterwork 7pm workout kind of person. My gym bag is always the same every morning except days I have yoga which I throw in my sandles and yoga mat.
    -towel (also a mini)
    -workout notebook (where I keep all my workouts written down)
    -hair tie and band
    -Rebook RealFlex Fusion TR in purple and orange 😀
    -clothes (compression shorts, shirt, sports bra)
    -Headphones and Iphone arm band
    -neutrogena face wipes
    -And sweat shirt and pants for on the way home burrr!
    All inside a free victorias secret bag I got for christmas! 😀

    I wish I could read things on a stair machine or eleptical I always feel like Im going to fall on my face or trip over myself I dont know how you do it.

  14. Love that gym bag!

    Question about your proteins – how do you decide what protein powder to buy? I feel like between Target and GNC and all the stores that sell it, there are SO many options. What should I be looking for?
    And do you and Mal use the same ones? My boyfriend drinks them too so any tips there would be great!

    1. @Jessica: I pretty much go by taste. I want to drink something that tastes good! I also look at protein and calories, but grams of protein is more important. I typically try to get 25+ grams in a protein shake after a workout. Mal and I use the same protein powder, but he uses more of it in his protein shakes than I do.

  15. Isn’t the joy of going to Target to make unnecessary trips to look at all the neat stuff (AND then see what’s on sale?)??
    *guilty as charged. I also do the same at TJ Maxx 🙂

  16. I always work out in the morning, as early as possible. On strength training days I do my workout as soon as I wake up (before I know what I’m doing) and on running days lie to eat breakfast, wait a couple hours, and then hit the pavement. I like to get my workout in early so I can feel the benefits throughout my day, and I’m also less likely to blow it off.

  17. Comparison is the thief of Joy! I share that quote when I teach pilates, cycle, and one on one personal training. I remind them that we all have gifts. Use and be thankful for what our body will allow us to do.

    Have to remind myself of that when I’m at my box and these strong beautiful women are busting out pull-ups and lifting amazing weight. However, I did my first pull-up without a band the other day and it felt great!

  18. I work out on my lunch break from noon to 1. My CrossFit gym is a five minute walk from my office, so it works out perfectly. Sometimes I feel sort of blaaah during the morning, but I love that I come back to work with lots of energy. Perfect example: I just fired off five emails in the past 15 minutes, and this morning I could barely put a sentence together.

  19. I 100% agree with you on needing to have your hair tied back. I would definitely skip a workout if I didn’t have one!

    I’m a strange bird, I can pretty much psych myself to workout at any time. I vary it, morning sessions, quick lunch runs and after work. Of course I get in a mood some times and don’t feel like it at all or am beat but usually if I think about the workout I’m good to go.

  20. I tend to have the best workouts around 3 or 4 pm…but thats also my least favorite time of day so I have to talk myself into it everrrry time. But I always go 🙂

    My gym bag has a little bit of everything…always extra shower stuff and a few extra pairs of socks/underwear. Nothing worse than getting to the gym and realize those essentials are left at home!

  21. I workout in the early morning or evening. Actually-I teach at those times–so my workouts are then. Heh.

    I always have water, rubber bands, iPods, windscreens (for the mic), extra batteries (for the mic), my whey protein+milk combo in a bottle, a magazine or book, my wallet, phone. I MUST tie my hair back too! I think it’s nuts when people have their hair down?!?

  22. Wow, that is a well-gym bag! Mine, not so much…small towel, chapstick, iPod Nano, swim goggles, hair bands and my latest magazine. I tend not to use our locker room and just head home to clean up. If I don’t get my workout in before noon, chances are it’s not happening. My preference is early morning before the kids are up, it’s the only time of day that truly belongs to me 🙂

  23. I used to LIVE out of my gym bag a few years ago. I always had dry shampoo, mini deodorant, scented lotion, loofah, shampoo & shower gel. If I had work right after I’d bring a little make up with me!

    I’m with you: I can’t stand to have hair in my face when I workout. It’s definitely caused a premature ending to a run for me.

  24. I love that gym bag. It’s the perfect size. I travel light so my bag just has a change of clothes and undergarments and a towel when I remember it. I’ve had to dry off with paper towels more times then I care to admit. My gym supplies shampoo and conditioner, so I don’t need to pack them.

  25. I don’t have a gym bag… But everywhere I go I pack snacks! I get hangry real quick and know its not fun for anyone… So I’m always prepared. 🙂 I bet you slept very well last night after 2 workouts!

  26. In the summer I like to workout early before it reaches 200*. In the winter I like to workout in the mid morning or after work when it’s a little warmer.

    Oh gosh, even the simplest questions I make complicated. What I put in my bag depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing. What I always have in there are gym clothes, hair ties, head bands, and shoes (plus a sweatshirt if its chilly outside). If I’m doing something during the mid-morning on a week day then I have a mini towel for a shower and some wipes with me (working gets in the way of my workouts :(). If I’m headed to the regular gym, I am sure to pack my arm band, ipod and headphones. If I’m headed to CF, I just need my basics.

    Sheesh. I really did make it complicated. o_O But I totally agree with the hair being in the way thing. I really did skip a workout for that very reason (no hair tie!). Many years ago. Never will happen again.

  27. Must. Have. Hair. Ties. I cannot comprehend people who run races or work out without pulling the hair back.

    I usually don’t use a gym bag, as I go right from home to CrossFit or running. I work out after I get home from the city at night, but used to work out in the morning. I don’t see a real difference in energy level from morning to night, other than my alarm clock is the enemy….haha!

  28. hello CNC! i looovvee your blog – i can’t stop making and eating your homemade paleo english muffins! anyways, how do you make your spaghetti squash? mine always comes out soggy and mushy and yours always looks so separated and appealling like real pasta! any tips would be appreciated – thanks!

    ps murphy is the best damn pug in the world 🙂

  29. My gym bag is pretty standard: extra headphones, extra socks/sports bra, sneakers, ipod (it’s there as a backup but I always end up using my iphone instead), conditioner and shampoo because I hate the kind the gym provides, and lifting gloves! I was also thinking I should start throwing some granola bars or snacks in there for days I get to gym after work and am suddenly ravenous. 🙂

  30. I always have to work out in the morning, or else it just is NOT going to happen. By the time I get home I’m either too excited to hang out with my husband/friends or too cranky from work and want to retreat with a glass of wine and The Bachelor (probably should not be admitted in public).

    I love hearing about what people have in their bags! Great idea.

  31. I don’t belong to a gym anymore but when I did I always had travel-sized shower stuff and magazines were a must on the elliptical to not watch the time. I always have way more energy in the late afternoon/evening to workout so thats when I run and do CrossFit. If I attempt to wakeup early to exercise before work I feel sluggish and never get in a good enough workout.

  32. I love that you did a ‘what’s in my gym bag!’ I was thinking about doing something similar and then I realized the only thing in my gym bag is a yoga mat. Not exactly great for a blog post!

    xx Kait

  33. I can’t stand when I only have one hair stretchy because my hair gets loose. Not having one at all is a major deal breaker. I carry the same in my gym bag, but I also keep a cami in there. I wear it when I am drying my hair and putting my makeup on. I always get so hot after drying my hair and getting ready post workout. It seems to help!

  34. If there is any way you could make that treadmill workout into a pin-able image for pinterest, i would be eternally grateful!

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