What To Wear To Gym (And NOT To Wear)



Firstly, let us discuss what NOT to wear when exercising before we get to the more important things. The first thing on the ‘not-to-wear-list’ is worn out sneakers (tekkies). Yes, they may be comfortable, but will not provide support in the right places. This rule does not apply to all stars used exclusively for deadlifting.


Secondly, try not to wear clothing that is made up of 100% cotton. Cotton sucks up sweat like a vacuum cleaner when you exercise, and nobody wants to be stuck with a damp, uncomfortable shirt while concentrating on getting fit. Too tight or too loose-fitting clothes will also hamper your gym experience. One of them will restrict your blood flow or chafe your body in uncomfortable places, and the other may get caught up in the machines you so meticulously wish to use.


Ladies: leave the make-up, deodorant and jewellery for áfter the exercise session. Gents, the same goes for using deodorant or cologne during a workout.


Newbies to gyms may not be aware that one important aspect before visiting the gym, is to look at the attire that will be worn during their fitness regime. Research plays a big role here. Do not do willy-nilly purchase something just because a friend wears it. If this is going to be a long-term commitment, you need the right clothes for it.

Clothed in the right attire will decrease chances of discomfort as well as impending injuries. Some gyms have certain dress codes, so it is best to find out what the dress code is for the gym you are planning on visiting. You can also check out what your fellow gym goers are wearing when you visit there for the first time. Wearing the proper gym attire is the first step in the right direction as it subconsciously boosts the self-confidence of the wearer. Admit it, you will feel more confident looking like you are serious about becoming slimmer or fitter, and remember, a gym is not the ramp of a fashion show, but you still need to look good. Look for appealing yet practical outfits. Comfort should count before looks.



The best clothing to wear when doing a workout are items made from materials that contain moisture-wicking fabric. For those that do not know, moisture-wicking fabrics contain tiny built-in capillaries that keep moisture away from your skin. The moisture excreted by skin while exercising is extracted by these capillaries and transported to the outer section of the fabric from where it evaporates


before building up and dampening the material.

When getting ready to dress for the gym, make sure you opt for lightweight clothing made with synthetic material, or sweatshirts made from breathable materials like nylon or polyester. Pants like sweatpants, gym shorts or tracksuit bottoms should be flexible enough to enable you to move freely without getting caught in exercise equipment. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable while building up a sweat.


Another important suggestion is to make sure that you wear the right type of clothing for the exercises you plan, and that the clothing does not hamper your routine. It is irritating having to continuously pull down a shirt that creeps up when you lift your arms, and believe me, other gym goers do not want to have a peak at your underwear while you are oblivious to it showing. When lifting your arms, your shirt should still cover the elastic section of your pants. That way you can be sure that nothing that should remain hidden will be exposed.

How many sets of gym clothing does a person need? This depends on how many times per week you want to work out, and how often you do laundry. If you visit the gym more than four times per week, it is suggested that you have five sets of gym outfits. This will ensure clean, odour free clothing for each trip. Obviously, if you start off by visiting a gym less frequently, you will need less gym clothes.

Your short cotton socks should be the right size; not too large and not too small. If they are too loose your shoes will swallow them while you exercise. If they are too tight, they will restrict blood flow. And in case you wondered, leggings instead of shorts should preferably be worn. This is not only for aesthetic reasons, but admittedly, it can be off-putting to watch someone waddling past while wearing shorts. There are stores that stock leggings that are especially designed for gym workouts, and these are usually durable, comfortable, and stretchy.


Picking the right shoes for your exercise is just as important as the clothing. For instance, if you are planning on participating in high-impact workouts like kickboxing or aerobics, your shoes need to be able to stabilize your body when needed. It is pointless sliding around on smooth-soled shoes when you need to perform swift-actioned movements. Sturdy soles, with a grip, are recommended here. Shoes that contain more stability and thicker cushions than normal day to day wear sneakers are recommended for long distance walking or strength training. Athletes, on the other hand, need different footwear altogether. Their shoes need to be able to withstand the constant pounding of their feet on different surfaces, and the correct soles play a big part here too. They should absorb some of the shock that is placed on the ankles when the body bears down with each stride. Cyclists will need shoes with perfect ankle support. Cross-trainers are all-purpose shoes that are the most common sold sneakers for use in a gym. They can be used by people who walk, do aerobics, or jog on a treadmill. Never visit a gym wearing slops or flip-flops except when you need to take a shower after your workout. These are a health hazard and can get stuck in gym equipment or cause you to trip. Falling flat on you face in front of other people can be quite embarrassing.


Underwear. Yes, you may say it is something that other gym goers will not see, but it is still an important accessory to your gym kit. Cotton is the ultimate choice in this department, especially for ladies. Any nylon type of underwear can result in uncomfortable infections that will hamper your exercise routine. You want to get healthy, not sick, so stick to cotton. Do not wear thongs either as these contribute largely to various infections in gym-going women. The constant chafing will also be very annoying, and for those ladies that want to avoid panty lines, it is advisable to wear no underwear instead of thongs.

Getting back to bra basics: do not go to gym wearing a regular bra. There are various bras on the market ideal for wearing when training or exercising. Padded sports bras are the best, and the most comfortable. Regular bras may cause damage to breast tissue or ligaments which increases the chances of developing sagging breasts as they do not have the proper support for an exercising female. Large-breasted ladies may have to put a few bras to the test before finding the right fit. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the correct support in this feminine area.


For the winter gym bunnies, I have a great tip: the ideal way to dress for gym in winter is to dress in a base layer under your normal gym clothes. This which will keep your body dry if it is made from silk, wool blends or polypropylene, which is a synthetic human-made material and it allows moisture to evaporate faster.

The longer you visit the gym, the more you will understand how important the right clothing is for specific exercises. If you change direction in a gym, for example starting off with yoga and moving on to do kickboxing, make sure that you have the right clothes to fit the exercise.

Going to the gym should be a fun experience, and although it will come with reasonable stiffness at different times in your workout, it will have a positive impact on your life in the long run.

Exercise is good for you. There is no denying this. But what most unfit people do not know is that not only does exercise boost energy levels, the releasing of endorphins while doing it makes people feel good. It also helps one to sleep better and is a good remedy for mild depression.

People that exercise regularly age well, and certain exercises help keep bones strong. Happy exercising!

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