There is a secret some of your fellow gym goers are hiding from us all. Something they jealously keep in those nylon or canvas carry-alls, like a dragon on a pile of gold.
Why else would they blast fiery words at us when we ask them to let them out of their sight for the duration of their workout?
Here are two almost actual scenarios from Viva Gym:
“What what WHAT?! Well I’m taking my membership elsewhere to a land where gym bags and their owners can frolic at will! Good day sir. I said good day!” says Brenda (not her real name), leaving our lovely floor staff holding back tears at the thought of her departure.
“I was going to join your gym but I heard something shocking about you, bru. No gym bags on the floor ay? Never in my life. Never in my life.” These are the approximate words of Anton (also not his real name) on social media, which spoilt the day of one of our happy social media goblins Abraham (nope, not his real name either).
Here is the M Night Shayamalan-style twist though, Vivettes and Vivarinos.
Read the fine print and pretty much NO GYM ALLOWS GYM BAGS ON THE FLOOR.
1. Avoidance of bodily harm
Firstly, the safety of all members has to be of primary concern. Yes, we love you, and we also love not having lawsuits when during peak hours, someone has to goose step over a bag big enough for a weekend away and hooks a foot and goes face first into the free weights.
2. Safety of contents
You know the saying “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink?” Well you can provide ample opportunity for safe stowage of valuables and put signs up to draw attention to these lockers, but you can’t make a member lock their goodies in one. We love the community vibe of the gym, and are all about sharing your equipment, but sharing your iPhone indefinitely with a sticky-fingered stranger is probably more sharing than any of us would like.
If you don’t lock your bag away, we have more of a risk of you holding us accountable when you leave it on the floor and your wallet goes a-walking when you’re off doing a super-set on the dipping machine. While we take every measure we can to ensure that doesn’t happen, providing you with lockers is one of those measures.
3. Space during peak times
People don’t come to gym, then they all come to gym at once. It is the way of things. We need that floor space for members rather than member’s stuff. Sorry not sorry.
What reasons could you have for objection?
Some of the following are ones we made up, others are ones that people actually gave us for not wanting to put their bags away. Can you guess which are which?
1. Your gym bag is actually alive
Does she suffer from separation anxiety? Does she pine to be close your sweet, sweet calves, even during your workout? If left unattended in the locker, will she inflate with Hulk-style rage and smash her way into a locker room of unsuspecting, half-dressed men or women?
2. You’re hiding a pug in there
Ok, gym bags with separation anxiety. That’s ridiculous. Haha. Can’t fool you there. But your little doggo, that one makes sense. Everyone knows what happens to dogs in hot cars, so a dog in a hot gym bag must be the only other option.
3. You can’t listen to music without a gym bag nearby
There are no other inventions like arm straps or pockets. The only possible way to listen to music over earphones at the gym is with a super-long earphone cord; long enough that you can do free weights standing up with your cellphone in your gym bag at your feet.
It’s the only way.
4. You’re transporting organs
And you’re worried someone might steal your stash of kidneys. But your workout couldn’t wait.
5. You need house keys, car keys, water bottle, phone, towel, second pair of shoes, second shirt in case you get sweat stains, Nutribullet, deodorant, portable hand fan, extra weight plates to hit the fractions in between, your book, protein shake, dry shampoo, wet shampoo, emotional support teddy bear, your blankie, a 6 pack of kombucha and a tupperware of kale at arm’s reach at all times.
You just do, ok.
We’re not even going to tell you the right answer, but we’re going to propose some:
Solutions for the gym bag brouhaha.
Just like the last bit, some are real suggestions, others are not. We’ll leave it up to you to decide, but please pick one.
1. Mini bags
Certain gyms may make an exception for the toy breeds of gym bag, like arm pouches, moon bags, small sling bags etc as long as they’re well-trained and can sit quietly and out of sight under equipment. How do you know they’re edging on too big? If the bag is very visibly showing up under the sweat towel draped over it – and we’re talking hand towel size, not a bath sheet – it’s probably too big. If other people can spot it, it’s still a theft risk.
2. Hand bags
If Taylor Swift can use one for a gym bag it must be good, right? Plus, they’re nice and compact and easy to tuck away. Probably a bit of a target though to have your Louis Vuitton chilling there while you do the super circuit. Maybe refer to the “lock away your valuables” bit of this article.
3. Bum bags
Or “moon bags” as they were called in South Africa. Or fanny packs in the US of A.
You might think they’re pretty naff but they hold your music playing device and also save lives, like so:
4. Zip towels
You can get gym towels with little zippy pockets for keys and sometimes even phones, and you can – wait for it – carry other things like your water bottle in your hand and tuck it under the bench or place it in the holders on the cardio machines as necessary. Genius.
Here’s a relatively inexpensive towel one from Sportsman’s Warehouse, but there are plenty others available at sports stores near you. Or sew a pouch into your own towel for even less?
No. Really? No.
6. A manservant named Nobby
It worked for this guy. But not for anyone else. Maybe don’t.
What is your take on this hot and bothersome issue? Is it even an issue?