What to Wear When Working Out

You’ve finally found the motivation to kick-start your new workout routine and signed up to the 8fit app or decided to hit the gym to try a new class or two — but then creeps the inevitable and mind-boggling question as you pack your gym bag — what to wear?!

Rest assured, you’re not the first and most certainly not the last to scratch their head in activewear despair. Workout apparel has come a long way from the humble sweatpants or revealing 70’s marathon shorts — today it’s a multibillion-dollar industry with an overwhelming amount of brands and apparel options that it can be confusing to know what we do and don’t need really. Before you go maxing your credit card out, we’ve got some useful guidelines that will help you make an informed decision when choosing the best workout clothing for you.

Comfort is key

It might be nice to rock the latest Lululemon line but no matter how stylish it may be or how good you might look in it, if you’re uncomfortable and pulling and adjusting here and there while exercising, it will compromise the quality of your workout, adding a motivational hurdle to your routine.  It’s important to feel comfortable so you can move with ease.

workout clothes

Best workout clothing essentials

We know it’s hard, but try not to be lured by the latest activewear marketing campaign trending online or fitness influencers promoting their newest workout gear. When in doubt, keep it simple. Inexpensive workout clothing that you can move freely in will do the trick.

Here are a couple of pointers to look out for when selecting yoga, running, or gym workout clothes:

1. Shoes

The right pair of sneakers is imperative for most workouts. You want to look for shoes that fit well, support your feet, and reduce impact mainly when you run and jump. If however, if you’re doing yoga or pilates, we advise you go barefoot as wearing shoes will limit your mobility and constrict your ankles and calves (Note: If it’s cold then throw on a pair of grippy socks.)

Trainer’s tip
If you don’t have any existing injuries, try squatting barefoot. The added ankle and calf range of movement will help you maintain better posture and sit even deeper.
workout clothes

2. Sports bras

Finding a well-fitted regular bra is hard enough, let alone trying to find one that will keep the gals supported and safe while working out. When shopping for a sports bra make sure you choose one designed for high impact sport, this is doubly important for women with bigger busts. Training without a sports bra can be quite uncomfortable, especially when doing exercises that involve running or jumping.

3. Leggings, sweatpants or shorts?

The best workout clothing, in this case, is dependent on mood and weather. The priority is that you can move without restriction and feel good while you’re at it. One thing to be aware of is the type of material you choose, especially if you expect to sweat loads. But more on that later.

workout clothes

4. Tank top or t-shirt?

Both are fine, and just like the bottoms you choose to work out in, the best workout clothes for women or men is all about preference, weather, and comfort. We’re all guilty of grabbing that old oversized, grey t-shirt we got for free that one time to work out in, but sometimes choosing an exercise top designed for sport will let your skin breathe a bit more. Plus, working out in clothes that make you feel great, will also boost your self-esteem while exercising — looking good, feeling great. If you don’t have a sports top, then any standard t-shirt or vest is fine.

Trainer’s tip
Layering always comes in handy, especially if you work out outdoors. This way you can take off what you need to when you need to and pop them back on after you’ve cooled down.

Keep in mind…

  • If you’re dripping in jewelry (or even if it’s just a necklace and some ear studs), make sure to take off your gems before working out, as they can get caught in equipment and cause injury.
  • If you have long hair, it’s advisable to tie it up in a bun or ponytail, so it doesn’t get in the way or get caught in any gym equipment. Keeping your hair off your neck will also help you stay cool.
  • Although light and affordable, cotton-based workout clothing will hold and absorb sweat and moisture, making your clothes feel like they weigh you down by the end of a sweat-drenched workout. If you have a little more wiggle room in your monthly budget, then why not invest in workout apparel made with moisture wicking material. These synthetic fibers ensure that the sweat and moisture are drawn to the outside of the garment, leaving you feeling more comfortable and dry — well, dryer — in most cases. 😉
Trainer’s tip
If you want to invest in good quality apparel without blowing your budget, then you can find inexpensive workout clothes by most well-known sporting brands on sale or at outlet malls.

Now that we’ve covered the basics when it comes to what to wear when working out, why not throw on some of your best workout clothing, lace up your sneakers, sign up to 8fit (if you haven’t already), and get a HIIT workout done today! Remember you are only one workout away from reaching your goals and feeling great.