Summer is coming although it might not arrive on schedule! However, the weather IS starting to warm up – albeit slowly. The trouble with this time of year is that we get warm days when it really feels like winter has gone and then cold, wet days, where it seems like summer will never arrive. Just as you think it’s time to put away your coats and dig out your t-shirts, temperatures drop dramatically.

This can make is tough to decide what to wear to the gym.

Choose workout wear that is too light and you’ll take an age to warm up – if you warm up at all! But wear workout clothes that are too thick or heavy and you’ll soon overheat, melting in a pool of sweat.

Being too hot or too cold can severely reduce workout performance. So if it’s too warm for jackets and not quite time for vests, how should you dress for the gym? The answer is in layers.

Layers make temperature control as easy as one, two, three. Or should that be base, middle, and outer? Each layer can be removed as you warm up although most gyms will probably prefer you keep your base layer on! You can then replace layers as necessary when you cool off and head home from the gym.


Base layer: The layering system starts with your base layer. The base layer is usually snug but not tight and is what you’ll end up wearing if you get warm enough to take off your mid and other layers. Compression wear is an excellent choice of base layer as it not only keeps you comfortably warm, it also enhances performance and may even reduce fatigue. Not all training requires compression gear which i s when you can rock your gym vest or gym tshirt. 

RIPT Classic Mens Stringer Vest - As featured in the Rebates Summer Gift Guide

Mid layer: The mid layer should be something you feel comfortable exercising in – at least until you feel warm enough to remove it. Good options include sleeveless hoodies, pullover long sleeve hoodies or a zip-up hoodie – the hood being especially useful on colder days to prevent heat loss.  Long leg workout pants are also a must on colder days.

USN Tech Training Hoodie

Outer layer: Rain and wind can make your journey to and from the gym far less enjoyable so a wind and waterproof lightweight jacket is a useful addition to your workout wardrobe. Because they pack down small, lightweight jackets can easily be stowed away in your gym bag if you don’t need it and fit neatly into your gym locker. As an added benefit, you can wear your lightweight jacket for outdoor cardio sessions if the weather is damp or windy.

Pursue Fitness Essential Windrunner

Dressing in layers means you can easily control your temperature to stay cool and comfortable. Wearing one thin layer means you will probably feel cold and one thick later means you are more likely to overheat. Exercise is hard enough without having being too cold or too hot as well!

The layering system is very versatile and can easily by modified as weather changes – more layers on colder days and fewer layers as summer gets closer. In fact, layering is the perfect solution for controlling your temperature whatever the weather!