Have you ever wondered why the best athletes in your gym, both pros and amateurs, wear those “fancy” workout clothes absolutely every single time they train? Is it just a marketing gimmick from their sponsors, or an Instagram catch? Not really.
The most avid gym-goers know that their clothes do play an essential role in their performance on several important levels. They are the athletic equivalent of the career phrase “dress for success”, and for those of you who need an added boost for your fitness goals, they might just be the perfect ingredient to improve your progress!
The motivation factor
What may start as a simple psychological trick can grow to become a true confidence builder in the long-run. Yes, what you wear does affect your mindset profoundly, as research has established long ago, and confirmed many times over. Just like you’re less likely to slouch and avert your eyes when you wear a pantsuit and put on an expensive perfume, your workout gear serves as your cue to stand tall and defeat your limitations.
On a different note, when you do put on form-fitting fitness clothes, they will both accentuate your most beautiful features, giving you an added pick-up of motivation, and they’ll point to the areas you’d gladly work on.
Too tight or too loose can be equally ineffective, as extra or the lack of fabric can get stuck in a machine, flip over your head and move around when you’re supposed to perform an exercise without interruptions or reveal more than you’d like in the moments you least expect.
When you wear clothes that are designed to be worn during training, they will remain where they are supposed to, give you enough room to stretch and perform various movements properly, prevent chafing, and they’ll not pinch or cause discomfort. Even more importantly for those who venture into weightlifting moves such as the deadlift or the squat, clothes of the right size and elasticity allow you to observe and correct your form when needed.
Injuries are not reserved for professional athletes, and we can learn so much from them when it comes to the art of proper prevention. If what you wear and use during training can prevent a hamstring tear or a severe muscle sprain, why not make it your goal to find the right set of clothes for your type of workout?
Lifting weights, running, cycling and similar activities put a lot of stress on your muscles, connective tissue and joints, so using compression clothing to reduce your risk of injuries is a go-to strategy for many gym-goers. Designed to speed up your warmup, provide better support to your muscles to reduce “wear and tear”, and keep your body temperature under control, these garments are a must-have for greater safety.
While the mental boost of your gear is often all you need to push through some of your plateaus and give your best, high-quality equipment also ensures that your body can truly perform under optimal training conditions.
Just like you’ve never seen a marathon runner in a pair of cutesy ballet shoes, or a wrestler in flip-flops, the success of your routine heavily depends on your outfit. Make sure you find the right running shoes with proper ankle support and shock-absorption, use gloves to reduce friction for moves such as pullups, and clothes made of materials that wick off sweat and keep your body dry.
Another solid reason for wearing form-fitting clothes that offer support during training is that their design also helps your body post-workout, during the recovery phase. To be more specific, it helps your body utilize oxygen more efficiently, it helps reduce swelling which is caused by inflammation, reduce lactic-acid buildup, and thus it reduces that awful soreness that comes the very next day.
That means that you can continue wearing your compression gear after your training and reap these rewards. And tomorrow, when you’re supposed to move gracefully in a pair of heels, you’ll be grateful for these wearable pain-killers that prevented excessive soreness!
About The Author
Samantha has a B.Sc. in Nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. She collects running shoes and is always training for the next 10k – she has so far run 4. You can find her on Twitter, and read more of her work at Ripped.me