What do you wear when you train? Some people would scoff at that question, as if putting any thought into it makes you less hardcore. There are those who pride themselves on being as “bummy” as possible—old, stained generic sweats that wouldn’t look out of place at your local homeless shelter. A real man doesn’t need any special clothing to train hard!
While that may technically be true, plenty of so-called real men and bodybuilding greats have found that certain apparel choices actually have a positive effect on their performance in the gym. Think back to the Golden Eagle, Tom Platz, who to this day has yet to be eclipsed in terms of lower-body development. On leg day he ritualistically donned tight yellow or red sweatpants, as they gave him a psychological boost for feats in the squat rack that would kill most men.
Six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates was known to have certain shirts and pants that he wore on chest day, back day, etc. Superstition? Not exactly. Each outfit was selected for comfort and ease of movement in specific exercises. And if you’ve seen any of Ronnie Coleman’s DVDs, you know he has a unique style. A lot of what he wears would look good only on a man of such monstrous proportions, plus few of us could get away with the loud colors, stripes and tights that Ronnie is partial to without being ridiculed.
Personally, I like to dress well in the gym, as I consider it more like my office than a place to exercise. I take my workouts very seriously, so I prefer to look sharp when training. And I’m far from the only one. It’s common these days to see serious trainers decked out in the height of gym fashion—because it’s another way of taking pride in their bodies. Why would you work so hard to have an exceptional physique and not showcase it in stylish fitness gear? I know I feel more confident when I’m dressed well. Most people do. So why limit that to your workplace or a nightclub?
You don’t need to spend a ton of money or go to great lengths to be the best-dressed person at your gym. Simply putting a little consideration into what you wear can make a big difference. When you look good, you hold your head higher, and that confidence is a powerful part of doing your best in any endeavor.