What keeps you motivated to exercise? For me, starting off on the right foot plays a major role. Those few minutes at home before heading off to gym are spent throwing on my favourite workout wear to get me feeling pumped.
I know it’s not about how you look when it comes to keeping fit – that’s not what this is about. Good gym wear is about feeling comfortable, enhancing your performance and shedding any feelings of sloppiness that comes from wearing slouchy, uninspiring clothes.
From my own experience, here are few things to look for in gym wear:
Go for comfort: find your style of comfort, whether that is comfort in a cut or comfort in colour. Choose styles that flatter your body type, so that you’re not focusing on how your bum looks but instead on how much depth you’re gaining during a squat. Know your colour scheme. If you’re scared of colour, don’t jump straight on the neon bandwagon. Jumping onto trends too quickly, without entire confidence, can highlight any discomfort. If you’re experiencing any doubts, stick to colours that compliment your skintone, or just go for basic black, white or grey. And if the neon trend intrigues you, try it out with a bright pair of kicks first. They make you go fast. No, really.
Consider its suitability: think about the purpose of this item. Will you be predominately running? Kicking high? Executing elaborate yoga poses?
When you’re buying fitness attire, ask yourself -
“will this item of clothing hold up, enhance performance, and, ultimately, suit?”
My exercise regime is varied; however, I train in Muay Thai more than anything else. With all the high kicking and cardio intensive training, I need movability. For my top half, my Nike racerback tank is perfect for body twisting and punching – I don’t ever have to readjust my sleeves. Down below is my focus, as it’s where all the wear and tear happens. Nike’s Two-In-One shorts (the Adidas equivalent is shown in these images) have proven suitability through my first two months of training in side kicks and diagonal kicks. With the built-in compression shorts, I felt at ease flashing my modestly-concealed crotch at my opponent as I aimed for their higher regions with my leg. Plus, the gusseted sides allow plenty of give ensuring that there is no tearing from the sudden extension of my leg. If I had of chosen longer, standard shorts I would have restricted my kicks or worse, experienced embarrassing tears. Tights are good for flexibility, but I found myself frequently pulling the crotch down to avoid the ole’ camel toe. They’re best kept for kick less activities.
Keep it fitted but not tight: there’s nothing worse than pulling at your ill-fitted shirt between every third kettlebell rep as the excess fabric gathers around your moist armpits. Choose slim fit cuts that hug or skim over (not suffocate!) areas that experience a bit of friction during a workout. I find racerback tanks best. The fitted design allows a greater range of arm motion, eliminating any uncomfortable resistance and the need to readjust sleeves.
Opt for breathable fabrics: Nike and Adidas use fabrics that claim “dry comfort” and “climate control” properties. Blame it on the placebo effect of good marketing, but I swear these are the real deal. When I’m donning my ticked or punchy logoed Adidas pieces, there’s a noticeable reduction in sweaty-mc-sweat-sweat. From my understanding, it’s something to do with the “moisture wicking” properties laboring away by pulling the sweat from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable as you werkit.
By going for comfortable, suitable and well-fitted pieces that use breathable fabrics you enhance your performance and encourage an effective workout. And, if you feel good as you head to the gym, you’re going to feel motivated. Time.