What’s In Your Gym Bag?
The fitness essentials the MR PORTER Style Council keep in their holdalls
Why does sticking to a new-year fitness plan get that much harder in February? You’ve become a regular at Barry’s Bootcamp, you know the name of your personal trainer’s dog and you braved sub-zero temperatures on early morning runs twice a week. But while the year has lurched into its second month, you’re still stuck in first gear.
There are plenty of ways of renewing your enthusiasm. One of the best (albeit scientifically unproven) ways is by investing in the right kit. After all, get your workout wardrobe right and those abs will follow, as somebody never said.
Mr Johannes Huebl
Model and photographer
Model, photographer and street-style icon Mr Johannes Huebl began his career aged 17. He’s since featured in campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Dunhill. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Ms Olivia Palermo. As one half of Manhattan’s most fashionable power-couple, his sense of style is always under scrutiny and often under the lens… even at the gym.
I use a personal trainer three to four times a week and we mostly do full body workouts using elastic bands, cardio and lots of presses and push-ups. I’m currently working on my flexibility and strengthening my core muscles – it’s such an important part of the body and one that I neglected in my twenties and early thirties. I steer clear of weights as I don’t want to bulk up. As a model, it’s important that you stay a certain size.
I’m a member of Equinox gym, which is only a few blocks away, so I normally get dressed at home and only pack my shoes, toiletries, and a spare T-shirt. I like Gucci’s canvas backpack because it’s a good size; not too big, very light and easy to clean. It’s also quite versatile – I could wear it to the beach or use it as hand luggage when I travel.
I normally go for cotton T-shirts by James Perse and shorts by Soar Running, which are light and breathable and great if you’re doing cardio. The Nike sweatbands are great for wrist support and for wiping away any excess sweat, and the Nike sneakers are brilliant for balance.
The grooming products:
I’ve been using La Mer products for a few years. The consistency of this eye gel cream is really nice – quite smooth and light so it doesn’t feel too greasy. I spend a lot of time on planes for work, so it’s important to protect my skin.
I’m a big fan of IWC Schaffhausen watches because they’re resilient, but also quite discreet. This IWC Portugieser model is weatherproof and fitted with a rubber strap; you could wear it out at sea or on the beach. I only recently discovered foam rollers – they’re fantastic! Now that I’m 39, it’s important that I’m not stiff so it’s a great way of relieving tightness and encouraging blood flow.
Mr David Millar
Former professional cyclist, cofounder of Chpt.///
British cyclist Mr David Millar’s professional career started with a bang in 2000 when he claimed the yellow jersey in the first stage of his debut Tour de France. His strong sense of style soon earned him the nickname “Le Dandy” on the cycling circuit. Since retiring in 2014, the gold-medalist has partnered up with Italian brand Castelli to create Chpt.///, a premium clothing range for serious riders.
I don’t like doing too much cardio in the gym, just enough to warm up, then I do weights in a circuit training manner. I believe in quality over quantity – I don’t listen to music or speak to people, I just want to get it done. I’m normally in and out within an hour. I still like to cycle a few times a week as it’s a great way of working all of your muscles.
This Filson bag is a beautiful creation of such high quality that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. The holdall means you can just throw everything in without having to think about it. It’s also a bag that is smart enough to be carried beyond the gym, which is great because there’s nothing worse than going into town carrying a sports bag.
When cycling, a base layer should be worn in almost all conditions except extreme heat. The mesh cycling tank top by my own brand Chpt./// is feather light and will help maintain a streamlined silhouette. Our race-fit jersey is similarly crafted from a lightweight pale-blue shell and is almost half the weight of the traditional racing shirts I used to wear when competing. I was one of the first cyclists to use Fizik shoes. We spent four years developing them together and they’re currently used at the very highest level of professional cycling. I wear them with a pair of Chpt./// 1.51 socks – they have a foot-bed made from a ceramic thread, which increases strength and reduces heat build-up.
The grooming products:
When you are out in the elements for prolonged periods of time, your face and skin take a lot of flak. An SPF moisturizer by Malin + Goetz will protect you from the sun and make you look less beaten and bedraggled. I’ve been using Tom Ford Noir deodorant since it was first released.
This scratch-resistant Suunto stainless steel digital watch has a built-in digital compass and altimeter, which is useful when you’re cycling. Barton Perreira sunglasses are an essential if I’m training at the gym, too; they’re relatively dark places and when you leave it feels less like you’re falling out of a nightclub.
Mr Michael Chernow
Cofounder of The Meatball Shop
Mr Michael Chernow is cofounder of New York’s staple The Meatball Shop, which now has six locations across the city. Despite his day job, Mr Chernow is as sculpted as he is well inked, being both a keen runner and Muay Thai boxer. He is also presents US TV show Food Porn and recently launched a fitness drink called WellWell.
My schedule is totally nuts Monday to Friday, but I manage to get to the gym five-to-six days a week. I like to change my regime a lot, but mainly lift weights with regular intervals of Hiit training. I train in Thai kickboxing most weekends and run outside when the weather is nice.
Whether I’m travelling or going for a long-distance run, I need a bag that’s lightweight, durable and stylish. This Pop ’n’ Pack backpack by Master-Piece is strong and water-resistant, plus it’s easy to carry. I spend a lot of time in Soho in Manhattan, so style is important to me. Camouflage is one of those recurring menswear trends, which makes this is a great investment.
I look for items that are versatile enough and can be worn for different types of workouts. This Nike shirt is breathable, insulating and allows full body mobility, so can be worn outside or in. The Nike sock sneakers are lightweight, so great for working out. It doesn’t hurt to have a stylish watch like this El Primero Chronomaster by Zenith.
The grooming products:
I love listening to music when I’m working out, so I use a pair of Bowers & Wilkins in-ear headphones. They are a snug fit, which is great when I’m running, but are also noise-isolating, too, which helps me get into the zone.
Mr Tom Aikens
Chef and author
Mr Tom Aikens is one of the most storied chefs working in London today. During his time as head chef at the Pied à Terre, he became the youngest-ever British recipient of two Michelin stars. He currently runs four restaurants in London, as well as sites in Istanbul, Hong Kong and Dubai. He has also written three books, Cooking (2006), Fish (2008) and Easy (2011).
I try to exercise as often as I can. I do 30-40 minute stretches most mornings but also go to the gym three times a week, where I mix both mobility and core workouts, always followed by a 30-minute high-intensity cardio session. I use my personal trainer once a week who helps me build my strength using pull-ups, chin-ups, squats, press-ups and weight-training. Over the last few years, I’ve completed the Luc Alphand, La Marmotte and Etape du Tour cycling tournaments, but now that I have kids, it’s impossible to get time in the saddle.
I use Belstaff’s Tourmaster leather trimmed backback as it’s practical for me to cycle around London with. It’s been crafted from water-resistant nubuck leather, meaning it’s resilient enough to use in any conditions. It’s also easy to clean and big enough to hold all of my gym kit.
I need gym clothing that’s suitable for all of the different exercises that I do. 2XU Elite MCS compression tights are great to wear when you’re running/doing cardio as they help support muscles and aid circulation. I also like these Athletic Propulsion Lab sneakers as they are comfortable, but also flexible so allow for a natural range of motion.
The grooming products:
I’ve been using Ren Skincare’s V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream for years and I always get compliments on how young I look, so it must be working. I also love Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser as it smells great and lasts for weeks.
I always carry Nike’s textured foam roller as it’s great for stretching out tired muscles or appeasing aches and pains. I’ve started using Bodyism’s Clean And Lean Body Brilliance Supplement Shake. It’s packed with probiotics, so helps with digestion and contains anti-inflammatories such as aloe vera and turmeric, which can help your muscles heal after a tough session.
Mr Andreas Klingseisen
Cofounder of VOR and personal trainer
When I’m not personal training, I do 70-minute, full-body workouts using basic techniques that I find work best for me. These involve dips, pull-ups, push-ups, but also kettlebell basics, such as deadlifts, squats and swings. When I’m not doing these, I try to improve my mobility and endurance so will do some yoga or Hiit training.
I like leather holdalls, especially this one by Thomas Maier. Its classic design means it is good for a weekend away, as well as for the gym. It’s roomy, too, so will carry all of the training equipment I need for work.
Everything I wear has to feel light on my body and shouldn’t limit my motion. I like this John Elliot sweatshirt – I can wear it to work with jeans in the morning, but because of its relaxed fit, I can also train in it. It’s the same with these John Elliot jersey sweatpants. Nike is my go-to brand for workout sneakers, and this pair comes fitted with Flywire cables that guarantee a secure and stable fit.
The grooming products:
I prefer to use products that aren’t perfumed or packed with chemicals. Lavett & Chin’s Coconut Moisturizing Facial Mist uses only natural ingredients and is really hydrating. I have quite dry skin so Aesop’s Elemental Facial Barrier Cream containing shea butter provides full nourishment and hydration.
I like this Loewe billfold wallet as it’ll hold all my cards, but isn’t too bulky.