You’re excited to get into the gym to try your new workout or maybe you just developed a marathon training program and you plan to crush it on some local running trails. It’s a beautiful day, everyone seems happy, and you feel great. What could possibly ruin your workout? The one thing you might not put much though into: your choice of exercise clothes.
The average workout lasts around an hour, but it’s going to feel a whole lot longer if you are wearing uncomfortable fitness apparel. Your exercise clothes should support you during your toughest workouts, not turn it in a torture session. Let’s take a look at the five most important things to look for when buying workout clothes.
1. Does It Fit?
Seems obvious, right? And yet, many of us buy workout clothes that we believe will fit once we achieve our goals of weight loss or muscle building. When you’re buying workout clothes, make sure you buy pants and shirts that fit you right now in this moment. This will ensure that clothing isn’t too tight and that it won’t restrict movement. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about loose clothing getting in the way of your exercises. (Trust us, you don’t want to catch a dumbbell or cable bar on a loose t-shirt.)
Want to wear something that will fit now and in the future, regardless if your goal is muscle or weight loss? We suggest compression clothing. Guys, go with a nice compression shirt and joggers. Ladies, we suggest quality leggings with a crop top.
Speaking of joggers: Think you can only wear joggers inside of the gym? Think again! Check out our article on the best times to wear joggers.
2. Is It Tough Enough for Your Workout?
Let’s face it: The clothes you’ll need for a 40-minute walk on a treadmill and the outfit you need to wear during high-impact sports training such as football or soccer is radically different. Then why is it we see so many people wearing fitness apparel that doesn’t match their workout?
When buying workout clothes, consider the types of workouts you get into. Are you casually strolling outside or on an elliptical at a moderate intensity? A workout t-shirt and shorts might be perfect for you. Are you completing next-level high intensity interval training workouts that leave you exhausted and covered in sweat? You better invest in a material blend shirt that wicks away sweat.
It’s essential to match your fitness apparel to your workouts; otherwise, you’ll end up investing in new clothes sooner than you had hoped.
3. Does It Hold or Wick Away Sweat?
Speaking of those sweat-inducing workouts: Can anyone honestly say they enjoy that icky feeling of a sweat-covered shirt completely sticking to their back and then being pressed against the car seat on the way home? Gross.
Does your current fitness apparel wardrobe hold on tightly to sweat or toss it away? Aside from aesthetics, it’s important to buy workout clothes that get rid of sweat for sanitary reasons. Sweat-soaked clothing can hold bacteria, and that bacteria is going to cause serious odor. If you have a cotton t-shirt that’s been through countless CrossFit classes, there’s a good chance it carries a smell you can’t seem to get rid of now (are we right?).
Material blends are the best at wicking away sweat. Go for a durable workout shirt made with polyester and rayon for the best quality.
4. Does it Allow for Complete ROM?
The last thing you want to do is restrict your range of motion during a workout or sports-training session. Complete range of motion is essential for better results. It’s an important factor for the health and strength of your joints and connective tissue. Most importantly, it also helps you avoid injury. If your workout clothes are so tight that you can’t move your arms of legs, you need to size up.
This is where loose workout clothing might come in handy; however, it should be so loose that you can see from one end of the shirt and out the other side. Showing off is one thing, but wearing clothing that’s barely on is another. We suggest a loose compression shirt. It’s form fitting while allowing for complete range of motion.
Sure, compression clothing doesn’t restrict movement, but it actually encourages blood flow, making it a smart choice for fitness apparel for every type of workout. That’s not the only benefit of compression clothing. Click here to read our article on compression clothing and other fitness trends that are proven to work.
5. Is It Comfortable?
Finally, as you’re trying on different workout clothes, ask yourself the most important question: Is this comfortable?
Continuing with a few of the ideas above, your workout clothes should fit you appropriately. That means nothing should be pinched or hanging out. Wearing compression clothing is not the same as buying a t-shirt or crop top that is too tight or revealing too much.
What’s more, comfortable fitness apparel should allow for complete range of motion, as discussed in number four. Arm circles, kicks, and squats should never be an issue when wearing new workout clothing.
Not sure if you should be wearing comfy or compression clothing during your workouts? We have the answer: Check out our article on when to wear compression or comfortable fitness apparel.
What Do You Look for When Buying Workout Clothes?
Do you immediately seek out comfort over practicality? Do you hate the feeling of a wet shirt sticking to your body so you immediately opt for wick away material? Let us know in the comments below!