We’ve all got our idiosyncrasies when it comes to hitting the gym. Some guys prefer to lift, others use machines and most will be happy to tell you all about it, but the question of fashion can be a little sensitive.
Plenty of gym-going males don the typical “T-shirt/mesh shorts" look, but there's a whole sub-genre of men's fashion devoted to athletic apparel. Some of it provides meaningful improvements to your workout, and most of it will help you look like you've got a clue — but is that the idea, or is it emasculating?
Photo: Sport Singapore
Other gym users are looking
Let's be honest: It's possible to get a decent workout without ever hitting the gym. However, the social element of seeing friends, and potentially getting a date, comes into play when you join and attend a gym.
Even if you say you don’t care, can it hurt to have your act together?
What not to wear
That’s not to say you’ve got to have the latest Nike Fitlab Flyknit Hyperzoom Dunkalicious moisture-wicking socks to show off. Brand-name athletic apparel is no big deal, but choose something that fits well. That means no skintight muscle shirts or Speedo-like shorts.
Choose a shirt with sleeves unless you absolutely can’t for the activity you’re doing.
A cotton tee with a little character from all those years of hard workouts, that fits well and not too tightly, is perfect unless you're hitting the cardio and need a wicking shirt. Just say no to skimpy sleeveless shirts like a cutoff “shell tee." If you sweat a lot, use the technical fabrics, so you don’t stink and won’t offend your fellow gym-goers.
As for accessories, it's OK to have a pair of headphones, but over-the-ear DJ-style ‘phones are impractical and just look dumb. Pick up a set of in-ear headphones — cheap ones work for most people, but if you’re an audiophile, pick up some high-fidelity earbuds that will give you motivation.
Photo: Sport Singapore
A word on sweatpants
You can wear sweatpants to the gym — but listen closely. The world of sweatpants runs the gamut from disgusting old pants you shouldn’t leave home in to classy-looking pants. Tapered sweats can be a good way to go, since they look sharp and won't catch on equipment, but don't use sweatpants if you're going to sweat through them, they'll become a smelly, bulky mess.
We shouldn't have to say this — wash your clothes. Smelling fresh is essential. Ladies actually notice scent more acutely than guys do. Also, it's not necessary to use a fragrance. You're there to work out — no one wants to have to know you used a machine because it's drenched in fragrance.
Already do all these things? Good job, you’re doing it right!
This article was contributed by Scott Huntington. Scott is a writer and blogger from Harrisburg, PA. He covers sports, cars, male lifestyle, and more. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington