Gym reopening: the essential gym gear you'll need for your return to the church of iron

Planning on returning to the gym once they reopen? This is the essential gym gear you'll need

gym reopening essential gym gear
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gyms are reopening in the UK on the 12 April 2021: rejoice! Before you get too excited, you might want to make sure you have the right gym gear ready for your next gym session, the first one in probably a year. There are some items you were always supposed to carry with you, even before the pandemic, but never did – a.k.a. a towel – which will be almost essential going forward.

And there are new items you might want to include in your gym bag, just in case, such as a workout mask and some gym gloves, so you can minimise direct contact with the air and gym equipment. As well as all this, you want to wear gym clothing that covers a bit more skin: tank and crop tops need no apply, for the time being anyway. Here are a few recommendations from us for a safer gym workout.

Essential gym gear

Lululemon All Hours Duffel

(Image credit: Lululemon)

Lululemon All Hours Duffel

• Buy it for £148 directly from Lululemon

This 33-litre duffel bag is just the right size for a quick sesh' in the gym. The All Hours Duffel features an external water bottle pocket, internal organisation compartments and even a laptop sleeve, in case you're planning on hitting a gym right after work.

Under Armour TriBase Reign 3

(Image credit: Under Armour)

Under Armour TriBase Reign 3

• Buy it for £105 directly from Under Armour

We loved the Under Armour TriBase Reign 2 and the third iteration of the shoes is even better. The TriBase Reign 3 features an engineered mesh upper, external heel counter for added stability, full-length Micro G foam midsole, the namesake UA TriBase sole construction. 

MP Men's Full Coverage Lifting Gloves

(Image credit: MyProtien)

MP Men's Full Coverage Lifting Gloves

• Buy it for £18 directly from MyProtein

These full length gym gloves will not only prevent you from having to touch dirty gym equipment but also feature added wrist support and extra padding for comfort. They are not awfully expensive either.

UA SPORTSMASK

(Image credit: Under Armour)

UA SPORTSMASK Face Mask

• Buy it for £26 directly from Under Armour

From our UA Sportsmask review: "If you must wear a mask when working out, wear the UA SPORTSMASK as it is at least somewhat suitable for more strenuous activity. Regular face masks sit too close to the face and are also not too breathable, but the UA SPORTSMASK has a few features to make working out in face mask more bearable." If you want to wear a face mask for workouts, get the UA Sportsmask. Easy as that.

Nabaiji Microfibre Towel

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Nabaiji Microfibre Towel

• Buy it for £4.99 from Decathlon

A good sized microfibre towel from Decathlon. It's also pretty cheap and comes in a variety of colours so there is really no reason why you shouldn't take one with you to the gym.

Polar Verity Sense

(Image credit: Polar)

Polar Verity Sense Heart Rate Monitor

• Buy it for £79.50 directly from Polar

As great as multisport watches are, they are really not ideal for tracking gym workouts. The Polar Verity Sense is a fantastically versatile, feature-rich and well-priced heart rate monitoring strap – even though the companion app is not the most user friendly. Especially if you are do kettlebell training. 

Rockay Water Bottle

(Image credit: Rockay)

Rockay Water Bottle

• Buy it for £23 directly from Rockay

You are probably better off steering clear away from the communal water fountains in gyms for the time being. And if you don't want your drinking water to be lukewarm by the end of the session, you might want to get an insulated gym water bottle, such as the Rockay Water Bottle. It has a 500ml capacity that can keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.

Adidas PrimeBlue Training T-Shirt

(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas PrimeBlue Training T-Shirt

• Buy it for £28 directly from Adidas

This Adidas PrimeBlue Training T-Shirt is made with recycled content as part of Adidas' ambition to end plastic waste. This might be enough to convince you but as well as being environmentally friendly, this T-shirt also looks good, all the while covering a little more skin than a tank top. Yes, please.

Theragun Mini

(Image credit: Therabody)

Theragun Mini

• Buy it for £175 directly from Theragun

The Theragun Mini is a super portable massage gun that's perfect for post-workout tension relief. The adapted QX35 motor is quiet and powerful enough to ease up a stiff neck or a sore calf.  Battery life of 150 minutes and a charge time of 80 minutes.

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's very own fitness and nutrition writer. In his free time, he swims, runs, cycles and tries various resistance training workouts so he can ramble about them to people who aren't really interested in fitness.