When I started training I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on work out gear. Let’s face it – you sweat in it, almost rip it when squatting and everyone looks bad ‘working out’ – so why bother investing in a nice outfit, right? When I first started exercising I wore what looked like a pair of pyjamas. Baggy trousers and a baggy thick t-shirt was my regular gym attire and I wore something similar on my cardio running days. But after going to the gym for a few weeks I started to notice something…I was the only one that looked bad. Here I was thinking the gym was for sweaty, red faced people puffing and panting and most days I was confronted with boys wearing trendy tees and girls wearing tight trousers and low-cut tops.
Looking back I’m aware that, in reality, nobody would have been looking at me and judging my gym kit, but at the time (as I was new to the gym) I was convinced people were staring at me and thinking I didn’t belong in there. So shortly after I joined the gym I invested in some new kit – nothing fancy, just a few pairs of light-weight shorts and some t-shirts and vest tops. I did go for some branded items, Nike included, and I did invest a bit of cash in a new sports bra (worth it I might add!). But the reason I did this was not to look good at the gym. When you’re exercising there can be nothing more annoying than working out until you are blue in the face and looking over to see a girl checking her lipstick and hair in the mirror.
So what was the reason for investing in new kit? I thought it would improve my performance. Whilst new clothing can obviously make you feel good too, I thought wearing good kit would help me perform better both in the gym and during running sessions. When running in my old gear I would either overheat or spend most of the run trying to grab hold of the trousers that were working their way towards my ankles. I have since realised that poor elasticity in trousers whilst running is not a good combo.
I can honestly say that wearing new gym gear has improved my performance. I have been running slightly faster than before, which probably is due to wearing more light-weight clothing and I feel more comfortable during my indoor cardio sessions. It definitely gives you a boost of confidence too – I might not check my makeup in the gym mirror, but catching a glance of yourself sporting a good outfit can definitely be a confidence booster. And that is never a bad thing.