When you head out for an awesome workout, it's a good idea to have your gym bag packed ahead of time.  This will save you the hassle of trying to cram a bunch of stuff in a bag at the last minute.  It helps to know you have everything in one place instead of getting to the gym and realizing you forgot soemthing important.  It also serves to protect against any excuses you may come up with while your jamming the stuff in.  To get you started, here are a few staple items that are handy to have in the bag:

1.WATER!  Of course it's the number one thing you should have!  Sip at leasst 2-4 oz every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.  Remember also to drink plenty of water both before and after your workout.

2. Spare clothes.  It is a wonderful notion to change after working your butt off.  This is especially true during winter months.  Leaving the gym soaking wet to go out into freezing temperatures is a great way to get muscle cramps, not to mention pneumonia.

3.A towel.  This is particularly useful during a hardcore cardio session. It enables you to wipe your hands and get a better grip on your weights.  Furthermore, it helps in not sliding off the weight bench when lying to do abdominal or chest work.

4. A snack.  You never know when hunger will strike.  A brilliant idea is to have a little something in your bag to pick you up after a particularly overzealous workout.  Potassium-rich foods are the best as they help replenish lost electrolytes and keep muscle cramps away.  Be mindful of healthy options.  Read your ingredients before picking up that meal bar.

5. A change of shoes.  Shoes that are designated your "gym shoes" will last you longer because they only see the inside of they gym.  In addition you are only using them part-time for about an hour or so each day.  It's also great for the gym itself by keeping it cleaner and  damage-free.