Can your choice of gym wear actually affect performance?
It’s often overlooked how much your choice of clothing can affect your workout. We all spend plenty of time digging around for our favourite gym t-shirt, only to find it soaked in sweat at the bottom of our washing pile. Your choice of gym wear an actually alter your mood and affect your physical performance, here is why.
Give your confidence a boost
There’s no doubt the gym has become more of a socially pressured event. With the hundreds of fitness brands out there such as Lululemon, Gold’s Gym, Nike, and Adidas. The gym has now become more of a fashion event than ever before. With girls rushing out to buy the latest athleisure leggings from Lululemon and the men choosing the latest on-trend gym wear from online fitness shops like Anax Fitness. The competitiveness amongst gym buddy’s doesn’t stop at the bench press, it can continue into your choice of footwear, t-shirt, or tank top.
It can’t go unmentioned the confidence boost and feel good factor given by the new gym kit. When your motivation may be running low or your feeling uninspired after training the same routine for the 100th time in a row, a fresh new t-shirt can give you that feel-good factor and confidence to refocus. When you are surrounded by mirrors in the gym the feel-good factor, and confidence is usually exactly what you need.
Activewear manufacturers are fully aware of the feel good effect. Companies such as Nike, and Adidas spend countless millions on sponsoring top athletes and sporting professionals to have them seen publicly wearing their branded sportswear. Consumers idolise these athletes and get the physiological confidence boost and feel good factor when they are wearing a t-shirt that has been worn by their sporting hero. There is no doubt when an aspiring young footballer puts on the same football boots of Christano Ronaldo they will feel they have an edge on their opponents.
Choose the right fabric
Choosing the right fabric can have a significant impact on your performance. Polyester is the workhorse of fitness fabrics. It’s a synthetic fibre that has numerous properties that make this one of the best fabrics to workout in. We all know how uncomfortable and heavy a cotton t-shirt or sweatpants can become when soaked in sweat. Polyester is a non-absoripant fabric, meaning it won’t draw moisture from your body into the fibre, allowing for moisture to evaporate away through the fabric quickly, taking heat with it.
Polyester is also super lightweight and will make you feel free and mobile. Many fitness clothing companies utilise polyester throughout their clothing ranges due to it being extremely versatile and suitable for all seasons.
Most synthetic fibres offer the breathability and moisture-wicking benefits. If you are heading for a big sweat induced cardio session then its recommend you choose a fabric like polyester. Your core temperature will be better maintained allowing you to workout longer and harder. You will also feel far more comfortable as the workout progresses, keeping you in the gym and stepping closer to achieving your goals.
Try compression clothing
Compression clothing is a relatively new phenomenon. It has become a term used to describe a vast range of clothing items, usually a term used to describe any gym wear that is extremely tight-fitting. There has been numerous scientific studies on the physical benefits of wearing compression clothing. Although the evidence is not completely conclusive, scientific studies have suggested that there was a reduction in blood and lymphatic flow to the area under compression as well as improved recovery times.
Not all compression clothing is the same, it is graded on the level of tightness to ease blood flow. Compression wear also has similar moisture-wicking properties as polyester and its stretch allows for great mobility and range of motion for the wearer.
Some athletes just like the figure-hugging look of a compression t-shirt, tank top, or gym legging. Under Armour have capitalised on this, producing an on-trend range of compression gear for men and women using bold colours and prints. The Under Armour range is competitively priced and worn by professional sportsmen and women worldwide. Their recent teaming up with Dwayne Johnson has catapulted their success in the strength training sector.
Intimidate your opponent
If your actively involved in competitive sports, the physiological effect behind your choice of outfit may give you the edge in the competitive field. Your opponent’s perception of you can be manipulated through your choice of clothing. Extensive research has shown that sports teams choosing to wear a black coloured kit portray a more aggressive image that other colours. Although this sounds like it may have little effect on the outcome rugby game or combat sport. When you are battling it out at the highest level and athletes on both sides are operating at their absolute physical peak, a slight psychological edge may result in victory. This can be best seen in boxing matches, wear opponents may complete their ring walk wearing capes, hoods, and masks to inflict fear in their opponent.
Whether or not your looking for the possible placebo physiological effects of choosing the right fitness or gym clothes or you are actually looking for the measured performance effects of certain fabrics or compression wear. Your choice of clothing can greatly impact your performance and should be considered before any future activity.
With modern day manufacturing innovations and low cost production methods overseas, performance clothing is now affordable and accessible by everyone and should be included in your