It’s not so much as does it look big, more of a “Can I see your pants through it?” If the answer ever is yes, then wear a longer shirt, better still; change!
When I first started going to the gym, I bought “sweat pants”, none of this marl grey, elasticated at the bottom – but nevertheless, *shudder* tracksuit bottoms. (anyone that has known me for a while knows how much I loathe sports gear, or sports gear worn as day-to-day gear, wearing this stuff made me feel dirty – I shit you not) However, needs must & I couldn’t go to the gym wearing jeans & an All Saints Top! Well, I could have but no. Just. No.
Yeah, so your average supermarket tracksuit bottoms, usually found with the hoodies & things, a sports bra as well as a baggy shirt with a pocket for my phone. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to then fail & have to sell it all on eBay because the guilt of looking at all the tiny spandex items was slowly destroying my soul.
Then there was my shoes. Oooh, my shoes. I’ve already mentioned my loathing for all things sport related? Yes? Good. My shoes were Reebok Easytone – they were a birthday present a few years previous from my husband (remember, up until 6 months ago I was quite, quite lazy) I thought they’d be fine, they look the part, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?
Yeah, they probably do but they were very, very wrong! Initially, cardio, resistance machines etc & these were fine; it was once I started lifting that they became a problem – the soles are set to be off balance; in theory you correct your posture & they’re supposed to help tone your legs. whatever. I liked em, which is why I got them. More on footwear later.
That was all to begin with, however I do now have a penchant for gym gear. The first thing I replaced was the bra, I didn’t need massive support as I wasn’t running, so didn’t require anything above a medium impact. The vests I wore had racer backs, so it made sense to get a racer back bra too – I have wired gym bras as well as non…..stick with non. Even if you think you need them, you really, really don’t want a piece of metal digging in to your ribs whilst lifting some heavy shit. If you’re unsure of your size, there’s a fantastic Subreddit that can help you! Everyone will be different though, this is just what’s worked for me.
Now, 6 months in my gym gear comprises of the following:
New Balance Minimus 3090 V3 Trainers
1 Pair Compression Gear Leggings*
1 Pair Altura Night Vision Leggings*
1 Pair Base Layer leggings – For when cycling required 2 pairs!
1 MuddyFox Cycling Skort*
2 Pairs Adidas Climalite Leggings – these were invaluable cycling in the winter!
3 pairs of Gym Leggings
5 Gym Vests
2 Baggy Cropped Gym Shirts
2 zipped top/hoodie things
A small arsenal of trainer socks
The stuff highlighted in bold is stuff for gym & cycling – the stuff with stars next to it is solely for cycling. Have you seen cycling leggings? They have their own seat! No one wants to see that in the gym!
I didn’t buy it all at once either! After changing bras I looked at vests, moreso the ones with”wicking” – this is the ability to move sweat away from the body more quickly. I was still at baggy pants stage though; it was only once my bottoms started to become an indecency risk that I ventured in to gym leggings. I own sports brand ones as well as “TK Maxx’s Finest” and the TK Maxx ones outshine the branded ones – one day doing leg presses, I could see my thigh tattoo as clearly as I can through 80 denier tights, so they’re relegated to upper body days only now!
I don’t wear all of it regularly, I have clear favourites – something a few months ago I’d have laughed at!
I also own water resistant headphones as well recently upgrading my wearable to a FitBit Surge – they’re not for everyone but I’ve had a wearable for the past er, year (ish) and was waiting for the perfect combination of my needs in a watch, the Surge has all of that. It’s still VERY early days with it though, so no more about it for now.
So, based on my limited knowledge/experience of gym stuffs here are my pointers:
- Don’t buy expensive – unless they’re a specific item that you *know* you’re going to use; my Altura leggings for example cost me the same as about 10 pairs of non gym leggings, but they’re made specifically for cycling & you can tell when you’re wearing them.
- Don’t buy a lot! Especially in the early days of gym going; I’ve lost about 14″ overall & I’ve thrown away some of my earlier gear because it got too big
- Don’t be put off by it looking really small on the hanger – this stuff stretches, it’s designed to “hug” (That doesn’t mean you buy a small because, in a few months you will be that size, but then you wear it now)
- Get the right shoes! Digging through your clothes & finding a pair of Nike Air Max from your school days might be ok to begin with, but you’ll need decent footwear – and it can all depend on what you’re doing in the gym as to what is right footwear & what isn’t. (A little example – running shoes are not designed for squatting – there’s too much squish in the soles)
- Clothes should fit, not be baggy everywhere – you need to be able to move freely & long flowly gear may be good for a Sunday stroll, it is not good for training. If you want to wear something loose, layer it.
- NO GLOVES! Grip strength will not improve with gloves, just no. If you’re gonna go heavy with weights, there’s wrist wraps & things, but no gloves. My gloves are now relegated to my cycling.
- Wicking!! I cannot stress this enough, guys & gals! Wicking is your friend – Also labelled as Moisture wicking on garments, but its the same stuff
- No matter what you’re wearing, keep going. You’re doing great! But seriously, you’ll do a lot better with the right gear!
First gym session next to most recent gym session.
As a side note, ladies; take the jewellery off, tie your hair back, & remove the make-up