Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: What Do You Do When You’re Working Out?

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By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

Do you carry while you exercise? How should a person do so? It’s a common enough question some people have, and if you start looking at some forums and so on, people ask a lot about carrying a gun while jogging or at the gym and so on.

It’s a good question. What does a person do?

Let’s start with the gym.

Here’s what I do: I place my pistol (and holster, which it stays in) in a bag and securely store it in a locker.

Frankly, I’m there to put in work. I don’t want to think about the gun being there, and I definitely don’t want anything cluttering up my waist if I’m doing anything involving a hip hinge. Since my weight lifting regimen (I started training again recently) is entirely heavy compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc) that makes carrying while I exercise desperately impractical. The only lift in which a holster and belt wouldn’t be at least partially obtrusive during is the shoulder press.

It’s not such a big deal on a treadmill, but having a gun on your hip on a bike or rower – same issue.

If you do likewise, make sure the locker is secured. A combination lock or padlock can be easily acquired and there you go.

Me needing to use the gun while working out is such a remote possibility that it would be stupid for me to keep it on me. I’m trying to get these gains, not worry myself into an early grave about whether my gun’s on me at all times.

If you’re going to have to worry about anything while at a gym, it’s going to be going from the gym to your car in the parking lot. Since I have my pistol and holster and street clothes in my gym bag, I just change into my normal duds, put on my holster like normal and I’m set.

I would also proffer that there are plenty of improvised weapons available in a gym; nobody is getting up from being hit with a 10 kilo kettlebell.

If you had to keep it on you, a fanny pack or a belly band is a decent compromise, but that’s up to you. You can also securely store the pistol in a backpack or gym bag that you keep right next to you (never leave it unattended, of course) as well.

It’s all up to you. It’s your life, your training, and you need to choose what’s best for you. For me, I’d rather lock it up, not worry and start shifting some iron.

Ah, but what about jogging or running? Or, for that matter, bicycling?

Some could opine that you can just run or bike away from danger, but that might not be possible if blindsided by an attacker or – in some areas – a wild animal. The odd jogger has been attacked by a cougar and so on and so forth.

One option is to carry with a belly band holster of some sort. You want to find one with the utmost of retention, and carry the smallest, lightest pistol possible. This would be a good use for a light, subcompact .380 or 9mm handgun for all the obvious reasons.

Some are basically a Spandex girdle with some pouches sewn onto them for a gun, with a thumb strap. Others are basically a Velcro-fastened belt that you wear inside your pants or shorts, that you use with a typical IWB holster. The latter form are quite secure, provided you use it with a quality holster with adequate retention.

Another possible solution is to use an ankle holster, though it might not be the most appropriate choice. Again, choose the lightest pistol possible or else injury may be your lot. Additionally, many ankle holsters lack enough support for running as opposed to just walking. Adequate retention is crucial. Again, probably not the best choice but it could be done.

Another good option is, again, to use a fanny pack. Yes, the 90s are calling and want their stuff back, but they work. Also, I think they’re poised for a comeback and frankly, they’re quite useful. Opt for a concealed carry model that includes a holster in its compartments.

Another option is to wear a light jacket or sweater, with a pistol and pocket holster in an enclosed pocket. It has to be zippered, or else there’s a good chance it will drop out.

A shoulder holster is another potential solution, but you need to choose your shoulder holster carefully. First, you need a jacket of some sort – unless you want your gun flapping around for everyone to see – but a light track jacket with a roomy fit isn’t too hard to come by. Make sure to select a shoulder holster that anchors to a belt, and then wear a belt of some sort. Active retention is a must as well. You’ll also need to adjust it so your arms are as free as possible.

Or you can run on a treadmill and not worry about it. Again, this is all up to the individual, so you need to make the best choice for you and what you do. So long as you carry safely.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit