Fitness around Europe, part 2: Gym essentials – what to bring to the gym?

Yesterday I wrote for the first time about  Fitness around Europe – what Fitness means in Finland, Germany, Sweden and United Kindom. Today we take a look at the gym essentials – what to bring with you to the gym. Feel free to have a little laugh.

Germany – don’t forget the towel. And well, if you are gonna shower, bring an other one. Namely, Germans are extremely serious about the gym hygiene. Cardio machines get a whole wash ( as one would give to her spinning bike) even after the 5 min workout. Paper and a strong washing liquid are provided.

The weight section is ruled by towels –  ‘Bitte mit Handtuch trainieren!’ (Please train with towel’ – which, of course, raised the question if barbells have been the very wrong choice all the time…). You are not allowed to even sit on a bench without covering it with a towel. And don’t even dream about letting your sweaty back to touch anything… The strict group control keeps everyone in checks, and the one who forgot the towel will most likely rush to buy one from a vending machine by the reception. Also, a notebook to document your workout is highly recommended. In Germany, it is always worth  measuring and documenting something that can be measured and documented.


Näyttökuva 2017-05-14 kello 23.13.34
A Twitter-user reports a fitness blogger who – based on the pictures on the blog – was training without a towel. McFit responded immediately and referred to the gym rules.


Swedengood looks. There is no lack of choice for the workout wear, as even all high-street non-workwear brands have started producing their fashionable activewear lines. But once in Sweden, please, don’t stop your gym preparation with selecting the clothes. Aim for a polished, beautiful, but not cheap or too stand-out look. Fake lashes are though essential, as they keep you looking amazing even when slightly sweaty. Hair should be clean and in a ponytail. You should look significantly better than 99% of Berliners at their workplace.

Finlandworn (out) gym gear. Never wear a head-to-toe brand new outfit. If you look too polished, you are not training seriously. Some wear and tear in the gym gear just show your long-term dedication to the sport. Bring your music and headphones. Either, you want to isolate yourself as every-single-person-does, or, the hard rock/heavy metal they always play at the gym is simply too depressing for you.

UKCoffee. Takeaway coffees seem to be extremely popular among the gym goers in the morning. Finish drinking it just seconds before the exercise, or finish during your warm up. Gym apparel-wise, if you are female, you might choose a sports top which is a size of a sports bra (not adopted by the writer). If you are male, you are very likely to wear a wife-beater tank top. Because it is so hot in here. If you are male, you are not limited to sweats and shorts – also leggings are a fairly popular choice among men. Also, mobile phone seems to be an absolute necessity to kill the time between the checks. Instagramming and taking pictures of yourself are both popular activities. Even better, if you have a friend to take the pictures of you.


Image Sweaty Betty

Next in Fitness around Europe – train like a local.