Locker Room Fundamentals

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The post-workout essentials you need in your gym bag STAT!

It used to be described as a woman’s deal. Men were too busy being men, to care about their appearance. But then research was done, and proved, that boys and men everywhere, actually cared about their appearance. Recent studies have even shown that how men feel about their weight and appearance, is correlated to how they perceive the quality of their lives. This directly impacts how satisfied with their lives they are, overall.

So, the world started to see a massive boom in the male cosmetics industry, fashion gave them a menswear week, and more menfolk are hitting the gym than they were back in 2003. Consequently, putting in the hours in the gym (hopefully remembering your leg days too), is starting to give you the physique you desire. But that’s only half the physical appearance journey. The second and crucial part of this road trip to success lies within your gym bag.

We’re not talking about the protein shake, sneakers or weights you haul around. This is about the grooming essentials you need to be taking to the gym. That’s because, whatever happens after your workout, matters just as much as how much you bench (with proper form). Whether you’re going out on a date, heading back to the office or making your way back home to relax, you should always look and smell your best. Never let yourself or those around you associate you exercising with a head-to-toe affliction on the eyes or the olfactory system. Here’s the cheat sheet for what you’ll need to ace this.

The Bag Itself

Having a practical and aesthetically pleasing bag that is designated for your gym purposes, can help you prep for your sessions with ease. It will be in charge of ferrying your clothes, equipment and grooming tools to and from the gym. Your best bet is to get a bag with compartments that can easily separate your sweaty socks from your bathing towel. Lean towards classier bags such as those from Sandstorm or Rift valley leather, as opposed to the draw string plastic bag you used, whilst you were a boy. Your more sensitive bits and bobs should be placed within a waterproof, durable travel bag. Consider placing all your liquids within a separate waterproof bag as well to avoid product spills that stain your clothes.

The Laundry Bag

This is for your sweat stained, gym germ riddled clothes after your workout. That way you can further compartmentalise the insides of your bag and keep what needs to remain clean, that way. We also recommend a specific bag for your shoes too.

The Sports Stick

We assume you came to the gym having already worn some, thank you very much. But after your all-out sweat session, you’re going to need some reinforcements. Sure you’ll hop into the shower and cool yourself with a cold water cleaning, but that won’t be enough to sop up the sweat for the rest of the day. Remember, you’re looking for an effective, hard-working antiperspirant so that with just one swipe you’ve gotten the freshness in your underarms without traces of the chalky deposit.

The Multitasker

The great thing about the men’s grooming industry is that they generate two-in-one products. Unlike your female counterparts that have overly specific and precise merchandise, you can literally find products that serve two or more functions. It could be a body wash or gel that acts just like a full body cleanser, a combined shampoo and conditioner, or a face cleanser that is also a scrub and mask. The only catch is that you have to do your homework to find a combination product that compliments your face and skin needs. Your overall appearance will be forever grateful for it.

The Face Wipes

After all that strain and sweating, your face is going to need some extra TLC. Show it some extraordinary attention with some specifically formulated face wipes that are soothing, yet effective for your face’s requirements. And they also work as a backup. We advocate for thorough showers after a strenuous workout, but we also understand that it may not always be possible. You can salvage this situation, and save face with those around you, by using some of these face wipes to cool off and remove some of the residue.

The Powder

Throwing in a light scented variant can help mop up any moisture once you’ve dried off. Take for example, your feet. Lightly powdering them before slipping on your socks can help fight back odour and sweat throughout the day. But most importantly, dusting off your man parts will not only keep things dry down there, it will help prevent any itching or chaffing that comes when moisture is allowed to linger.

The Scent

It goes without saying that you need your signature fragrance on top that suits your style. However, experts recommend colognes with a menthol note in it. This is because menthol has a cooling effect to it that rouses the skin.

The Lotion

No ashy-looking skin allowed, thank you. Your skin gets dehydrated after your weight training session, or if you had a particularly hot shower. So, it is in your best interest to slather on some lotion from head to toe. You don’t have to lug around the large body oil bottle. However, downsizing does not mean skimping on the quality. There are numerous companies out there that provide travel-size versions.

The Styler

Your hair needs some care too. There are too many hair types out there to boil this down to specifics, but whatever you use to keep your hair and beard moisturized, soft and supple, -product and comb wise – carry a travel-sized version of this as well.

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