Gym Wear: The Unwritten Rules

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Photograph: Nike Running Club

Among others, two of the most common New Year’s resolutions made each year are ‘to get fit’ and ‘lose weight’. So, now a month into 2014, I predict that there has more than likely been an increase in the number of students signing up for gym memberships this term. On top of the membership costs is the expense of proper gym attire, something that can prove to be a minefield of disasters for many, so here are a few pointers on what to avoid.

‘Fashion’ Trainers

This isn’t even a case of style; wearing ‘fashion’ trainers to lift weights in is dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, ‘fashion’ trainers are perfectly acceptable outside the gym but in the weights room they are a no-go – New Balance trainers and Converses being the biggest offenders. There is a reason why proper running shoes are expensive and that’s because of the science that goes into designing them so that they offer the correct support for your feet and thus, enhance your performance in the gym. If you are going to choose any piece of gym wear to invest in, invest in proper trainers, your body will thank you later.

Hats

I didn’t even realise this was a problem until I asked a few of my male housemates, but apparently there’s an increasing phenomenon of males wearing hats in the gym. Personally, I think it is unnecessary to wear a hat indoors at all, so for someone to wear one whilst on a treadmill or cross trainer the image seems even more bizarre. As far as I’m aware, it doesn’t rain in the gym, so next time why not leave the snapbacks and beanies at home where they belong.

Shirts On!

When you’re in the gym, despite whether you have a little beer belly or are even rocking a six pack, always wear a shirt. If you must take selfies of your biceps do it when you get home, other people use the gym to work out not to admire you; and no, a tight, strappy, racer back vest does not count as a proper top.

Jogger Bottoms, Leggings, Shorts?

You know the sort, the type you pull on after a long day of lectures or when your only plan for the night is to demolish a large Domino’s pizza. They are the comfiest pair of bottoms you own, usually three sizes too big, perfect for lounging in, but within doors is where these bad boys stay. Witnessing someone try to work out in these is painful. What was once a comfortable cosy pair of joggers turns into an inferno that starts at the ankle and gradually consumes the wearer causing them to sweat profusely.

On the other hand, tight cotton leggings can also cause a multitude of problems. In contrast to baggy joggers, these are often so tight that they just reveal far too much, cotton isn’t made to stretch so simply understand that yes, the whole gym does have a clear view of your underwear.

Men face a similar problem when it comes to shorts though – how short is too short? Your best bet is to buy a pair that falls just above the knee, that way when you’re jumping, lunging and running you can be sure everything stays put and hidden!

Whatever you opt for, try and stick to breathable materials that will not only stretch with your body but also help you keep your cool whilst you work up a sweat.