When it comes to working out at home, you want to ensure you are treating it just like a gym workout. Training at home is for the disciplined, dedicated and determined. Once you get into the swing of things, you will most likely never go back to the gym.
This was definitely the case with me. Once I had the taste of home exercise, there was, literally, no going back for me. I wasn’t always the disciplinarian I am today. However, training at home quickly lead to great gains, both mentally and physically. Not only did I save money, but I was able to invest that money into home equipment. Knowing that I was the only one using that equipment and that I wouldn’t have to queue for machines, gave me so much piece of mind.
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The Gym Rat Race
When you go to the gym, you would be lying to yourself if you said you “didn’t want to look good”. Matching your training top to your trainers is a given, right! As well as a haven for muscle building hot heads, the gym is a fashion catwalk. Men and women spending considerable time in the changing room to ensure they look the part when they step into the gym rat race.
Even the gym changing rooms cater for this beauty contest mentality. You have your hair dryers, straighteners, make up counters…real luxurious facilities. Before you leave the changing room, you take one last look in the mirror, to double check that the tag has been removed from your new garments. Once you step out, the next part is the swagger from the changing room. I can see many of you with your mouths wide open shouting, “oh my God, that happens in my gym!”.
Then you hit the gym floor and naturally, people turn their heads and look at you (this is where you pretend that you are not noticing the looks). At this point you don’t care whether the looks are of a positive or negative nature. The fact that you are getting attention means that the carefully laid out plan is working.
You have one more look in the gym mirror, dust yourself down, inch towards the warm up area, and then realise that you have forgotten your phone in your locker. What do you do now? You need your phone, as without it your world would end! How will you spend most of your workout posting selfies on Instagram! So without hesitation, you gallop to the changing room, get your phone and then proceed to the gym. This time the look you get from people is based on confusion.
Now it’s time to start your workout. You look at the time and realise an hour has gone, from the time you entered the changing room, to the present moment. You have only 30 mins left before your parking runs out. So you rush through your workout.
If this sounds like your routine, ask yourself “am I getting the results I would be getting if I just concentrated on my workout, or trained at home”. This is a major reason that I started exercising at home. The competition mentality at the gyms I used to go to was getting ridiculous. The amount of time that I would spend waiting for a machine, just because someone was posing and flexing, meant that a carefully planned 30 minute workout would end up taking 2 hours.
However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to look good when I used to go to the gym, but this is for a different reason than you might think. I wanted to look good for my own self-confidence. It wasn’t to please others. I found that dressing in comfortable and stylish (but practical) clothing, not only enhanced my workouts but gave me a better all round experience. This also meant that my mentality was extremely positive, hence even better gains.
Wearing the right outfit became an integral part of my workout for the right reasons. It has always been about comfort and practicality, when it comes to exercise apparel. From the cooling t-shirt to the cushioned trainers, I always workout in style.
This is why working out at home was the best choice I ever made. Not having to constantly think about how I looked in front of others improved my mental state, which in turn led to superior physical gains. My phone stays on the side (unless I need the timer), I have rocky playing on You Tube, which motivates me to work harder and I am dressed in my stylish workout apparel, feeling like I can climb all 8,848 metres of Mount Everest!
Choosing the Right Apparel – The Warm Up
As aforementioned, for me, choosing the right apparel is almost as important as the workout itself. This may sound strange to some of you but I need to feel comfortable and supported in my training apparel.
I have had a few injuries in the past and I am definitely one to learn from experiences. This is why my warm up is THE most important part of my regime.
I have to ensure my body is warm and thoroughly prepared for the training session. My warm up apparel usually includes The Under Armour compression top, and this would be worn under a short sleeve t-shirt. The lower half will be comprised of UA Heatgear leggings and shorts worn on top. My footwear comprises of UA Hovr Infinite 2 running shoes.
If I am undertaking a plyometrics workout, then I will switch my footwear to Reebok Cross-Fit trainers, as they support the arches. Sometimes I will switch the footwear at the end of a session. For example, if I was partaking in a weights’ session, with a cardio circuit at the end, I would wear different footwear for the cardio session. This is why home training is so great, as I wouldn’t change footwear in the gym. I also wear Adidas Climacool t-shirts and shorts, as they are very comfortable.
This apparel has served me well. It helps to encourage my body’s blood supply to circulate effectively, which in turn leads to a rise in body temperature. This is when I know my body is ready for the training session. Obviously, this gear is right for me but it could differ for others.
Choosing the Right Apparel – The Session
My warm up consists of dynamic stretching, activating the major muscle groups and ensuring my core and stabilising muscles are ready for action. Once they are prepped, I can get into the main training session. The training gear I usually wear gets me warm, so how does it fare in the main bulk of the program.
My sessions can range from an intense plyometrics workout, to a heavy weights’ session (using kettlebells). This means my workout gear has to be tough, durable and flexible. The UA and Adidas gear that I wear ticks all these boxes.
When I am into the bulk of the session, I will take off the heatgear, if I am feeling too warm and sometimes quickly change into a vest. This is only when I am extremely warm. I always have a vest at hand, so I can change in between sets. I hate wasting time when I train, as intensity is everything.
The garments that I wear provide great support when I am lifting or jumping. The fibres in the cloth are made to move with your body, which makes for a great workout. They are also designed to soak up the sweat (sweat-wicking) so that you do not feel uncomfortable and sticky whilst training.
It Doesn’t have to Break the Bank
When we talk about stylish workout apparel, the mind automatically starts to display pound signs (and lots of them!). However, this does not have to be the case. Yes, some workout gear can be very expensive and you would be forgiven if you wanted to steer well clear of that. I mean, some of it is ludicrously priced.
However, you can pick up absolute bargains through sales and careful research.
There are times when I have splashed out a bit extra on quality gear but I have never regretted it, as it has lasted for years. There is obvious wear and tear but the general condition of the garment remains excellent. On the flip side, I have purchased training gear at very low prices and they have lasted, but not as long.
You don’t have to break the bank, but if you are serious about training, you must ensure that you invest in quality gear, that will last you. Following this mindset will lead to even greater training sessions.
It’s the Little Things
Overall, I think it is extremely important to feel good, in all aspects, when training. The better and more confident you feel, the better your training sessions. The better and more intense your training sessions, the better your results. Workout apparel may seem like a small factor but, coming from a man with a lot of experience, it is not.
In this case “you are what you wear”. I used to think that exercise apparel was a gimmick to make money, however over the years, my thought process has definitely evolved. I have experimented with many types of workout apparel and the type that stands out for me are the sweat-wicking fabrics. These fabrics “wick” away moisture from your body which keeps you feeling cool and dry. Less sweat also means fewer bacteria, which means no more foul smelling workout clothes!
In a nutshell, if you haven’t already, you should seriously consider investing in the right kind of workout apparel. You will gain so much from this. Your workouts will be more comfortable, your range of motion will improve considerably and your apparel will last a lot longer.
I hope that my article has given you some insight into workout apparel, and how it is possible and necessary to workout in style from the comfort of your own home. Go forth and train with confidence and class.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any questions and/or comments, please leave them in the box below. I will definitely get back to you. Stay safe and Keep well.