You feel like a Rockstar. You have the discipline, you have the routine, and you are successfully getting yourself to the gym on a regular basis. Perhaps it is the first time in a long time that you’ve been at it, or it’s the first time you’ve ever gotten into it. Whatever the case, there is an undeniable element of super-person willpower—if it were easy everyone would do it, right?
Working out is a hobby you want to keep, so anything you do to help make it happen is a plus. You wouldn’t think it, but what you wear has a huge impact on your success during every workout. And your successful workouts form the routine.
What makes workout clothing “right” or “wrong,” “good” or “bad?” Isn’t the important thing that you’re working out?
There are two different ways your workout clothes can get in the way of your exercise. First, there’s the reality that a lot of us actually wear stuff that directly inhibits our workout. Here are the signs that you might be undermining your performance with what you wear:
- Your routine at the gym requires you to jump around a lot, and your bra or cami isn’t cutting it. This is important for runners, especially. If you are uncomfortable on the treadmill or doing your burpies in that HIIT class, you need to invest a little more in the support that gets through your workout as comfortably as possible.
- Sweat is a bigger problem than it should be. If you’re the sweaty type, or just like to do lots of cardio, be sure you have workout clothes that slick off sweat and are designed not to stick. Sure, it’s satisfying to get your sweat on, but there is no reason it should distract you from your workout.
- Your clothes are so tight that you’re uncomfortable. Even if your goal is weight-loss, if your workout clothes don’t fit right, you are just making yourself miserable. You will be stuck hiking stuff up or down during workouts, and you’ll feel self-conscious at the gym. The idea of squeezing into those tight shorts will actually serve as a disincentive to get out the door.
- Even if your clothes fit right, you still don’t have full mobility. Be mindful of the fit and fabric of every item you work into your gym wardrobe. If you’re wearing long sleeves or have clothes with uncomfortable seams or unforgiving fabric, you will not be able to perform your at your best.
- You’re taking too many selfies. Even though it’s a sign of some enviable self-esteem, the selfie thing really is something that affects performance. If you’re decked out in your hot pants and your cleavage-y cami, and you are taking more pictures in the mirror than you are doing crunches, tone it down so you can get your job done. Bragging that you were at the gym for two hours only counts if you were working out.
Okay, so we’ve covered some signs that your workout clothes are getting in the way of your workout. But how about the workout clothes that are “wrong” because…well, they invite some creepy and unwanted attention? Here are some signs that you have a “distraction-based” problem with your workout wardrobe.
- You never have a machine to yourself. If you always have a line waiting for the machine you want, or notice weird patters of the same person (or people) doing exercises near you one set after another, they might be checking you out. Working out can look kind of sexy already, so if your clothes show you off, this type of attention can become uncomfortably common.
- Creepy dudes attend your group classes for short periods. If you like to take the classes at your gym, but typically the ones where it’s mostly girls, watch out if an unlikely-looking guy suddenly joins. It could be you, or anyone else…but if you are honest with yourself and you know that your clothes make you easy to sexualize, think about toning it down.
- The other girls in your group class don’t like you. Obviously, this can happen for a million reasons. And really, it might be your imagination. But if you dress to impress and the other girls in your class are short with you or avoid contact, you clothes might be making them uncomfortable.
This clothing thing isn’t a totally superficial deal. Working out is inherently physical, so what you wear will have a direct impact on your performance.
If you’re rocking the scene and looking a little too good for your workouts, ask yourself if you want the attention. Really, you’re at the gym to work out. If you want to look sexy and get some eyes on you, you can do it just about anywhere else.
Workout clothes are a lot more important than people realize in keeping with a successful exercise routine. Buy yourself the garments you need to be successful!