Having trained people for more than a decade now, I’ve borne witness to some awesome fashion faux pas in the gym. Usually when an individual rushes out the door for work in the morning and forgets to pack their gym bag. SO, a brief checklist of what not to wear when arriving for your TEAM Warrior Within training experience:
- Shoes: yes, we’ll start big, and bring up the topic of shoes. When I worked at my last gym in Chicago, we were lucky enough to be located right next to a Super Target, so if one of my darling bozos forgot shoes, they could always run next door and grab a cheap pair for the day. Not so lucky nowadays at the Colosseum Gym, where there are no retail stores nearby. SO, if you forget your shoes, guess what? You are left with the options of:
- Borrowing the owner’s Chuck Taylors (if you’re a male, approximately size 10)
- Training barefoot and/or in socks (because who doesn’t like stubbing their raw toes on metal objects laying all over the place?)
- My favorite, training in flip flops (going for that “I’m here to dominate, but do so in a casual fashion” vibe).
For what it’s worth, I had some amazingly good workouts wearing my man Uggs this past winter, so it can be done.
- Underwear: this one is dedicated more to the ladies out there, particularly those of you who enjoy training in fairly short-and-loose shorts (like soccer shorts), or perhaps wearing sheer tights. You have to rock some underwear with these, ladies! I can appreciate the random vag flash as much as the next guy, but, in the gym setting, when we’re trying to focus and generate intensity and give it our all, exposed labia just tend to distract. So while I can appreciate the comfort of the commando lifestyle, you gotta’ at least throw on some undies on some days.
- Jeans: I train a certain amount of clients who have more of a blue-collar job or dress code, and many times have they showed up for a training session wearing blue jeans. Which would be great, if it wasn’t leg day. Ever try squatting in blue jeans? No? Don’t bother. Basically a recipe for tearing the ass out of your pants. Ditch the jeans, and throw a spare pair of sweats in your backseat.
- Hair Tie: might seem trivial, but please do not be that long-locked woman in the gym tossing her hair to-and-fro while trying to get in a decent workout. Yes, it’s sexy. But it’s also obnoxious. Try laying back with a set of heavy dumbbells when your hair is falling in your face, covering your eyes, or getting stuck under your body. Variations on this theme include:
- The clip: if you are holding your hair back with a large obnoxious clip, you are not going to be able to lay down flat on a bench. And when you have to redo your hair for every single set of the workout, it’s liable to piss your trainer off.
- The hat: while not directly hair-related, many of my female clients will wear a baseball cap when they train to keep their hair out of their face. Problem is, when you lay back and try to do any exercises behind the head, you will knock the stupid hat off over and over and over again. It’s a nuisance. Ditch it.
- The fro: can be cool, provided it’s not acting as a funnel to drip sweat directly into your eyes. Don’t let fashion hold back your gainz. Slick that shit back, at least for the hour.
- Boy shorts: this one doesn’t really impede performance, so much as it just makes everybody’s skin crawl. If you are a male, and you feel compelled to wear shorts to the gym that sit a good 12-15” above your knee cap—stop, get back in your car, and go home. I’m pretty sure the police have already registered you on the sexual predator website, and now you’re just cluttering up our gym. Unless you have huge flaring quads with veins crisscrossing up and down them, and are tan, and have shaved—trust me, nobody wants to see your pasty hairy legs that make you look like you’re walking along on stilts. Have some class, cover them shits up.
- Cleavage tops: for the record, I’m totally fine with cleavage tops. Just be prepared for every single person in the gym to stare at you, jaws agape, and don’t act “surprised” when they do so. Your breasts might be awesome, but your self-righteousness while displaying those breasts, is hurting our brains.
Technically, this is a partial list. I could go on and on with the wide and wonderful world of inappropriate gym wear. But I’ll cap it there. Point being, put a little bit of thought into this. If you’re going to make the time to live a healthy lifestyle, it only makes sense to dress appropriately—exposed lady bits and man legs notwithstanding.
-David A. Johnston