The success of your workout is affected by several things; your level of motivation, your diet, the atmosphere of the gym in which you train, how well you slept the night before, and your mental state.
However, another influencing factor you should also consider is your gym clothing. The bodybuilding clothes you wear can make or break your workout. Choosing your gym clothes wisely can enhance your gym and workout performance in several different ways…
1. Technical materials: Not so long ago, the material of choice for most exercise clothing was cotton. Cotton is natural and breathable but soaks up water like a sponge and can be very clingy and restrictive when wet. In short, cotton can leave you feeling uncomfortable and make exercising much less enjoyable than it could be.
Modern technical materials are breathable which helps to keep you cool and wick sweat away from your skin to keep dry. They are also form-fitting and stretchy so they will not restrict your movements. Being comfortable means you are free to concentrate on your workout and will not be distracted by ill-fitting, sodden, heavy cotton gym wear.
2. Compression wear: Snug-fitting compression wear provides support and may allow you to exercise harder and/or longer than normal. By absorbing and preventing unwanted muscle movement in the form of vibrations, compression wear can reduce fatigue and speed up the recovery process.
Compression wear also stimulates nerve endings which can help increase muscle activation – something called Hilton’s law.
Whether you are lifting weights or doing cardio, compression wear will boost workout performance.
3. Enhanced focus and motivation: Seeing your muscles working can enhance focus and motivation. Ill-fitting t-shirts and shorts keep your muscles covered. Instead, wear a stringer vest on upper body days and gym shorts on lower body days so you can see your muscles in action and also take pride in your ever-improving appearance.
Being able to see your muscles as they work also enhances that all important mind-muscle link which will help you to get the most from your workouts.
4. Improved confidence: Looking good usually leads to feeling good and if you feel good, you are much more likely to feel energised for your workout. Workout clothes are designed to be flattering as well as functional. Feeling confident will often lead to a better workout simply because you have more of a “can do” attitude. You are unlikely to feel happy and confident if your gym clothing is unflattering or ill-fitting.
5. Temperature control: Being too hot or too cold can impede workout performance. Modern workout wear is designed to be worn in layers which makes it much easier to keep your body at a comfortable temperature for exercise. For example, you could wear a zipped hoodie on colder days which can easily be removed as you heat up.
Exercise is tough enough without adding cold or heat into the equation! Wear a base, middle, and outer layer and then remove layers as you get warmer. Gym clothing is thin and light which makes layering a cinch!
6. Functionality: Exercise clothing is made for the gym. The fabrics and designs have been specifically created to ensure that workout wear enhances every aspect of your workout. Simply put, gym clothing is designed to make your workout as comfortable and productive as possible. It is the right tool for the job!
While you COULD exercise in regular clothes, your clothing may end up working against you rather than with you. In contrast, wearing clothing specifically designed for the gym will enhance and not detract from your workout performance.
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