First of all you need proper gym bag. This can’t be plastic bag or backpack as it is not big enough and everything is mixed up together, it really isn’t hygienic plus you will be frustrated when you will search your equipment in that small bag. You don’t need to buy top edge quality leather bag, just regular dedicated sport bag will be ok. You can buy them for as low as 20 dollars and you will have separate compartments for all your crap.
Clothes – It actually doesn’t matter what you were as long as you feel good in them. Just a tip, if you don’t have sport clothes be sure that you have cotton shirt if you will have some kind of synthetic mixture you will sweat as a pig. But for sure I would recommend you to invest in one or two sport/compression shirts as they are designed to wicks sweat & dries really fast so you will feel and perform better.
Shoes – It is nice to have shoes that are dedicated to your training (powerlifting, running, cycling,…) but don’t let this be a turn off from your training. Especially when you are aiming to try yourself in new sport. You don’t need whole new gear to try if this is for you or not. Any king of sneakers will be fine, as long as they are clean. With time you will buy dedicated sneakers as you will feel and train better in them plus on the long run they will prevent you from getting stupid injuries (sprain ankle, knee pain,…).
Towels – I recommend that you always have two towels in your bag. The first will be for wiping the gym equipment before and after you use one and the other for a shower.
Headphones – We all need to be in our own workout vibe, needless to say that we all have own preference of music so that’s where that headphones turns handy. There are tons of headphones on the market, you just need to find right one for you (in ear, on ear, over the ear) that are gym friendly (sweat-proof) and the best part is that most of them are now wireless and they will not break your piggy bank.
Water Bottle – hydration is really important as our body is made up from approximately 80% water so it is important that we replace the water that we sweated out. It doesn’t matter what king of bottle it is as long as it holds the water. I would still recommend that you find dedicated bottle that’s spill proof, leak proof (so it doesn’t spill all over your gym bag) and most importantly – look for bottles that are labelled as BPA free (plastic that’s safe from toxic chemicals).
Grip Gloves – in the past and some still have this opinion, that you are “pussy” if you trained with gloves but I would say that you are stupid if you don’t train with them. Gloves are more hygienic if you train in public gym, you don’t leave your sweat on the bars so they don’t corrode plus I don’t understand why would your partner need to tolerate your rough and bilious hands. Find gloves that are designed specifically for gym and have sweat-proof and anti-slip features.
Elastic resistance bands for worm up and stretching – there are resistance bands all lengths and hardness. I have one small – light which I use for warm up and two hardest for training. They don’t use much space and are not expensive so for me they are must have. You can use them for whole training as they can be used for every muscle or you can include them in supper sets, plus you can train everywhere with them (outside, on vacation,…).
And remember, it will not get easier, you will get stronger and fit!