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  • Writer's pictureNate Johnson

What Should You Wear in the Gym?

You should dress to be safe, strong, and comfortable.

Wear pants and a shirt/top that are comfortable while also allowing your body to move freely. Your clothes should NOT hinder movement in any way.

You also shouldn’t wear clothing so loose that it can get caught on the equipment!

Your pants/shirt are definitely important when dressing for the gym.


The most important thing to talk about when dressing to be safe and strong is what shoes to wear!

To start, we should wear close-toed shoes. Flip flops and sandals are absolutely out of the question. On day 1, I don’t care what clients wear as long as they’re tennis shoes! But after a month or two, and especially once clients are doing Barbell Squats and Deadlifts…they need a good pair of lifting shoes.

When it comes to lifting shoes, you have 2 options.

Option #1: Get a shoe specifically deigned for lifters like the shoes from NOBULL. Or you can buy an Olympic Lifting Shoe.

Option #2: Get a flat shoe with no support. My personal favorite is the Converse! But anything like a converse with a flat sole will do.

Both Options 1 and 2 will keep you safe and strong.

The problem with wearing Tennis Shoes for the long-haul is they’re designed for maximum support. They’re a little squishy! This is great if you’re on your feet all day. But doing squats in a tennis shoe is like squatting on a bed. Your feet feel comfy but by gaining comfort you’re losing stability. And that’s not good!

We want our feet to be as stable as possible when doing Squats, Deadlifts, or any other leg exercise.

Why? We want to be stable so we don’t fall over! Fortunately this (almost) never happens in the gym.

In a more practical sense, when we are even slightly unstable we leak energy. When we’re lifting we want 100% of our energy pouring into stabilizing the weight, and lifting the weight. Anything that adds unnecessary demands to the body (like unstable shoes) has to go.

When starting out, “leaking” some energy in the form of unstable shoes isn’t a big deal. You aren’t lifting enough weight to even be concerned about it. But as you get stronger, your shoes can make the difference between you completing or not completing your prescribed reps for the day.

So when you're searching for the perfect workout attire, choose pants and shirt that are comfortable and don't restrict movement. And hey, why not make sure it's cute too??

But don't spend all your time on your pants and shirt. The majority of your focus should be on choosing the right shoe that makes you feel safe, stable, and strong!

Do you want to learn more about my 12 Week Beginner Strength Training Program?

Click here and fill out the form!

I'll contact you within 24 hours to schedule a zero-pressure phone call to discuss your goals and the details of the program!

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