A few years ago if you were to ask me to describe my gym style I would say it was nonexistent.
Back then I didn’t really care what I wore to the gym because I figured I was there to train and not look good.
But my perspective on this has changed over the years as I’ve realized that you can still train hard AND look good. The two are not mutually exclusive.
And these days it’s never been easier to look good while you train with so many different retailers jumping on the activewear bandwagon.
The following are my 5 favourite activewear picks that will allow you to train hard in style:
Lightweight performance hoodie
I’m not a big fan of hoodies in general but for the gym I think they are a solid option. The key, however, is finding something that isn’t too bulky or too flashy with a bunch of obnoxious branding or logos.
My pick, surprisingly, is the Gap’s Brushed Tech Jersey Zip Hoodie:
This hoodie is thin and lightweight which is perfect for the transitional fall season where the mornings and evenings are a bit cooler but not so cold that you need to bundle up.
This is a great piece to wear to and from the gym as a sort of warm up/cool down hoodie. Gap also has the same hoodie without the zip but I like the full zip options as it’s that much easier to put on and take off.
The other good thing about this hoodie is the fit. It’s nice and slim (but not too tight) for an athletic build. My recommendation is to size down. I scooped up a medium not too long ago and I’m 6’0″ and 180-185lbs. It fits incredibly well and does a nice job of showing off my chest and shoulders.
There are also a lot of colours to choose from but I’m partial to the navy and the green.
Cotton t-shirts may be fine for every day casual wear but they just won’t cut for the gym. Once they are soaked in sweat they become heavy and uncomfortable not to mention taking nearly forever to dry.
Instead, opt for a dri-fit t-shirt to train in. My recommendation is Under Armour’s Tech Short Sleeve T-shirt:
I’ve got a bunch of these that I wear to the gym and I love them. Super light weight, comfortable, and they do a pretty good job of wicking away the sweat keeping you cool and dry.
Much like the Gap tech hoodie, you definitely want to size down with these as well. I wear a medium which fits very well and I’m 6’0″ and 180-185lbs.
Some of you may be put off by the branding but really don’t mind it in this case as it’s fairly with just a small logo on the left breast and small logo on the back of the neck.
Another solid option I’ve come across recently is J.Crew’s Cooling Workout T-Shirt made by New Balance:
What I particularly like about this shirt is the cut. It’s got a scalloped hem at the bottom of the shirt but only on the back. It fits slim through the body and the sleeves are the perfect length. I also like the subtle design features you see on the sleeves. This is definitely a shirt that could pull double duty in the gym and as a piece of athleisure or urban activewear. Plenty of colours to choose from as well.
Joggers have taken the fashion world by storm over the past few years. To be honest, I was never really a big fan of them until I actually tried a pair on. I thought they would look goofy on my more muscular build but I was wrong.
While I still prefer to train in a pair of shorts for most of the year, I find joggers to be a good alternative during the winter season when I want to smash some hill sprints but it’s freezing cold outside. I find a nice pair of joggers not only keep my legs warm but they are also easy to run in.
I own an awesome pair of black Addidas joggers very similar to these guys:
I believe mine are a previous season’s version and I’ve been very happy with them. They are a nice slim fit and are made using their climbacool fabric which enhances breathability. I’ve noticed this actually reduces their stink factor considerably. A regular pair of cotton sweats will reek after just one workout in them while these guys can be worn a few times before you will need to throw them in the wash.
One thing I like about my version of the joggers is that the Adidas logo you see on the left hip/thigh is in black (aka murdered out). A subtle difference
A good pair of shorts to train in is a must. It’s a bonus if they actually look good too.
I find these to be cumbersome when doing exercises as like walking db lunges or hill sprints. The bagginess creates just too much drag almost as if I’m running with a parachute.
Instead, what you want to opt for are a nice pair of training shorts. These are cut differently than basketball shorts and running shorts.
I find Nike makes the best training shorts out there and these Nike Dry 9″ Training Shorts are my favourite:
They are the perfect length, very breathable, and they don’t have that weird lining on the inside that you usually get with running shorts. Perfect to wear in the gym or when you’re training outside.
Getting the right training shoes for the gym is critical and we’ve discussed several options before in a previous article.
I’ve gone through about 5 pairs of these shoes over the years and I love them. They are my favourite all around training shoe. Lightweight, durable, and with a minimalist sole these shoes are good both inside and outside of the gym.
If really you don’t want to shell out for extra for a pair of running shoes AND a pair of Olympic lifting shoes (to do deadlifts, squats etc. in) then I highly recommend going with these guys. They are a great all around training shoe.
However, I should mention that if you’re NOT used to wearing minimalist shoes it does take a certain amount of time for your feet to adjust. When I first started wearing these shoes it took my feet about a week or so to make the adjustment so be aware of that.
There’s no reason to look like a slouch while training hard in the gym. Many companies have come out with fashionable activewear lines that don’t require you to sacrifice performance in order to look good. There’s no excuse for a lackluster gym wardrobe anymore.
Here’s to looking sharp!