Does Workout Apparel Impact your Performance?
If you have spent a decent amount of time in a gym setting you know that there is a wide array of of gym outfit “styles”. You have the minimalist (sports bra and shorts or tank top and shorts). You have the grab and go (t-shirt and first pair of shorts they found). You have the retro (parachute pants and old school gym apparel or simply a t-shirt with the sleeves tore off). Lastly you have trendy (a person with the latest fitness gear including wearable technology, shoes and simply the best top and bottom money can buy). You will also find many people who are a mixture of these four styles. None of these people are wrong!
Does what you wear impact your performance?
I would argue that yes it does. If you go to the gym wearing something too tight or too loose, too short or too long or perhaps even too old. It may impact how you feel at the gym.
You should wear what makes you the most comfortable at the gym and without worrying about what other members of the fitness center think. If you wear something you feel comfortable in you are more likely to enjoy your workout and not be self-conscious the entire time. Now if you do want to show off your hard earned body; by all means do it! Confidence is contagious!
What type of gym outfit will be the most conducive to keeping the sweat away and keeping you comfortable, free from odor and moving on to your next set?
I have found that cotton is the way to go for up top and shorts of any kind really do the job for the downstairs. Pants seem to always cause extra sweating as well as certain types of leggings or capris. Some of these thoughts will depend on your area and the time of year. I have found that most gyms despite great air conditioning systems will be humid in the summer which will cause sweat to come quickly and the other side of the coin is high ceilings in the winter will cause the gym to be colder than perhaps you are expecting so it is always best to be prepared for these circumstances.
Without diving too far into the rabbit hole I will leave you with a few tips to keep you looking and feeling your best at the gym. Just remember the best workout is the one you do, the best workout apparel is the outfit which makes you feel good, and the best nutrition plan is the one you can stick to!
- Buy clothing which makes you feel like a million bucks.
- Revealing outfits will attract additional attention; keep this in mind.
- If you are unsure of appropriate footwear ask someone at the gym or go to a running or fitness shoe store and find out what works best for your situation.
- If you are new to the gym I would go try different types of apparel on and find out which brand or brands work best for your body type before buying a bunch of the same brand. (I enjoy Ironville, Warfit, Flag Nor Fail, 1st Phorm & Under armour for clothing & Nike Metcons, Under Armour, ON & Inov-8 for shoes).
- If you are choosing a “wearable technology” to go with your outfit make sure it is optimized for what you are trying to achieve. Heart rate monitor chest straps are great for most activities but Fitbit and even the Apple Watch will fall short during strength training activities.
- Stay hydrated and bring a towel if you sweat a lot.
- If you struggle with body odor I would suggest a shower before and after the gym. There is no shame in this.
- Go to the gym and have fun while remembering everyone is there for the same reason; to improve their life!
Onward and upward always!