Some people will turn up to the gym in an old pair of trainers, a pair of shorts and a novelty t-shirt their parents gave them as a ‘present’ from their most recent trip abroad. On the other hand, some people are always kitted out in some crazy sci-fi gym apparel.

They can’t both be right, so does the gym clothing you wear to the gym actually matter? There will always be arguments for and against, however let’s take a look at 3 reasons why what you choose to wear to the gym may determine the success of your workout.

Reason 1 – Fabric Matters

Unless you’re doing something wrong, when you’re at the gym you’ll be sweating. Preferably a lot. If you’re wearing a fabric that doesn’t help to wick away moisture (meaning to draw it away from your skin) then you’ll start to suffer from chafing and perhaps even a rash or two.

Traditionally, natural fabrics like cotton and wool will ‘breathe’ well although cotton in particular will absorb sweat making your clothing feel heavier. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester blends as well as wool combine the ability to wick away moisture with a breathable quality, making them ideal for gym clothing.

Reason 2 – Designed For Purpose

You wouldn’t wear a wetsuit while you bench press, right? How about a cycling helmet while you swim? Obviously these are extreme examples; however the underlying point remains the same. If you were doing a workout that involved a lot of jumping or even skipping, you wouldn’t wear anything baggy. The last thing you want is for your shorts to fall down and trip you up or worse yet, reveal to the world just how tight your underwear actually is.

It’s about more than health and safety too; it’s about your training environment. If you’re training in the summer then you want something that can use air to help your body to keep cool. If you’re working out in the winter then you’ll need something that can help to regulate your body temperature as you heat up and cool down.


Reason 3 – It’s All In Your Head

We’ve all had that feeling when you go to lift something and it feels heavier than usual. Sometimes it doesn’t even get off the ground. It might be due to nutrition or fatigue but more often than not it’s because you’re not fully focussed on the task at hand.

That’s where, surprisingly, bodybuilding clothing can make a difference. You’re not just putting on shorts and a t-shirt – you’re putting on a uniform. You’re changing from Clark Kent into Superman.

This helps you get your head into the right place but it’s not the whole story. Ultimately it comes down to two things – comfort and confidence. Comfortable clothing means one less distraction and knowing that you’re at the gym with a purpose will leave you brimming with confidence.

Let’s reflect. Do you have to wear gym clothing to workout? No, but being an athlete is about doing everything you can to draw out just a little more so you can really push yourself. If you ask me, it sounds like this more than fits the bill.

Cheers, Andrew

About the author: Andrew is a personal trainer who writes about fitness and nutrition on his website, Sometimes I Train