What you wear to the gym is about much more than looking good. It’s also about safety, freedom of movement, and comfort, not to mention confidence. Let’s break down the 7 essential items that you should be taking to the gym.
Your workout t-shirt needs to be sturdy enough to cope with the range of movement that you’ll be putting your upper body through. It also needs to be breathable to prevent overheating. The ability to wick up moisture will prevent it from becoming soaked in sweat.
The shirt also needs to be form-fitting without being restrictive. The last thing you want is to get your t-shirt caught up between your hands and the bar when you’re doing barbell upright rows. So avoid long t-shirts that ride down to your hips.
Of course, you want your t-shirt to help accentuate your upper body. A form-fitting t-shirt will highlight wide shoulders and a narrow waist. It should cling to your body in strategic places like the deltoids and pecs in order to accentuate your muscles.
A good workout t-shirt will not lose its shape over time. Neither will it chafe against your skin when you perform exercises that pull a weight up your body such as the afore-mentioned barbell upright row.
Your feet can get a beating during your workout, especially if you spend a considerable amount of time on the treadmill. The right pair of socks can help prevent blisters, athlete’s foot, and other foot injuries.
Look for a pair of socks that are specifically created for the gym. They should feature sweat-wicking material and provide you with extra padding around the heel and toe. Ventilation panels will also allow your feet to breathe and reduce foot odor.
Gone are the days of being able to work out in bare feet, or your old tennis shoes. The importance of proper footwear in the gym is now widely acknowledged. The first thing you need is a pair of shoes that fit your feet.
If your shoes are too big, you risk tripping over on the gym floor. Shoes that are too tight will result in blisters and all of the distractions that come with them. Imagine trying to get a new PR on your squat when all you can think about is the painful blister on your big toe!
You need to match the grip on your shoes to the type of training that you will be doing. When you are performing heavy weight training, it is vital that you are firmly anchored to the floor. You need a firm, flat grip shoe that also provides you with a good level of ankle mobility when doing squats. Cushioning should be minimal without sacrificing your comfort level. The sole of the shoe should be dense to enable you to drive your foot into the floor when you push the weight.
If you are going to be doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, then you need a shoe with a firm grip to provide stability. These fitness shoes should have a decent amount of cushioning in order to absorb shock. They should also provide a good level of lateral support to support you when performing agility moves.
As the weather gets hotter, it makes sense to opt for a workout vest rather than a t-shirt. Vests free up your arms and shoulders in the gym. When you are working your shoulders, biceps, and triceps, it really helps to be able to watch the working muscle group in the mirror and a vest will allow you to do that.
Look for a gym vest that has the same qualities as we have already mentioned for a t-shirt. It should be moisture-wicking and form-fitting without being too tight. A good workout vest will also accentuate your shoulders and narrow your waist to help deliver that awesome V taper look.
Your gym bag needs to be big enough to carry your essential gym gear (change of clothes, towel, water bottle, workout gloves), without being too bulky and cumbersome. It should have zippable outer pockets to stash your quick access items such as your workout card and your car keys. The bag should also be waterproof.
A bag with padded shoulder straps will make it easy to carry the bag to and from the gym.
A good pair of workout gloves will improve the quality and comfort of your training session. In the COVID environment, gloves will also reduce your contact with gym equipment that could potentially carry the virus. Look for a pair of gloves that are fingerless so as to enhance your hold on the weight.
However, the length of the finger and thumb material should be long enough to prevent blisters when you are doing exercises such as dumbbell curls. The material should cover the thumb knuckle.
Gloves that are made from leather and that provide padding in the palm will provide you with the best durability and support. Make sure, too, that the gloves feature high quality velcro strapping to secure each glove. The last thing you want is for the gloves to constantly come apart during the workout.
Check off our essential six workout gear items and you will be setting yourself up for consistently great workouts. Then all you have to do is put in the sweat equity to get the results that your efforts deserve.