Whether you’re a committed gym rat or you show up begrudgingly every so often, you’re going to need the right gear to get the best workout possible. If you’re dressed properly, that can motivate you to stick with a regimen and see the most results from your efforts. But what exactly do you need and what can you live without the next time you go to get some much-needed exercise? We’re here to make it easier to shop for the basics and you don’t need to spend a ton of cash either. So ditch the ginja ninja shirt and step up your style with these exercise wardrobe essentials.
A High-Performance T-shirt
You don’t want just any cotton T-shirt, go for something made of lightweight moisture-wicking materials that will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable no matter how intense your workout gets. You will sweat, but you don’t want your shirt to absorb it all and hang off of you soggy and smelly.
A Pullover Hoodie
Zippered ones are fine too, but get something that will keep you warm and snug before and after your routine. Fleece is a good choice but blends work well too, just be sure you don’t get one that’s too baggy and poorly fitting.
Depending on the type of workout you’re going after, you’ll need a good pair of shorts that are flexible, lightweight, but won’t show off too much skin while you’re getting those gains. Ultra-light mesh shorts with nylon are a good choice but try on a few different pairs to see what feels best.
Most guys neglect this important garment, but you shouldn’t. Socks are worn to keep you from getting blisters and merino wool socks will keep your feet cool and odor-free no matter if you’re running, cross-training, or doing pretty much any strenuous exercises indoors or out.
Track pants or sweatpants is your call, just be sure not to buy anything that’s too baggy or wide. The extra cloth could snag on some of the gym equipment or get caught in moving parts. That can lead to injury or, at the very least, your pants getting pulled down in front of everyone.
One thing to remember is that one pair of sneakers does not fit all possible workout routines. Certain activities call for certain types of support for your foot and without it you can be facing back pain, heel and arch discomfort, or ankle pain. So consider what you plan to do when you’re exercising and buy the right type of shoe for that activity.
The Fitness Tracker
Fitbit, Garmin, Nike, everyone seems to have one now and you’ll want one to keep track of your heart rate, the number of steps you’ve taken, even the amount of calories you’ve burned. Some of these trackers even track your sleep patterns and help you rest more effectively in between workouts.