Gym Rant: Fitness Fashion 101

We bet Jake Gyllenhaal is a "sentimental t-shirt guy."

For a place that’s covered in mirrors, there seem to be a lot of people who don’t know what they look like at the gym. How else can I explain the athletic wardrobe atrocities? I get it — the gym is not a fashion show. I’m there to sweat, not show off, but for the sake of my fellow gym goers, I do make sure that my exercise ensemble fits, covers the appropriate body parts, and doesn’t smell like it’s been in my hamper since high school. Unfortunately, some gym goers lack my consideration, making my workouts are both physically grueling and visually damaging. If your exercise garb falls into any of the following categories, it’s time for a serious workout wardrobe revise. I want my muscles to be sore, not my eyes:

The “Trying to Recapture the Glory Days” Athlete: This is for the 67 year old man at my gym who regularly works out in his high school wrestling singlet and knee socks. I applaud him for (sort of) maintaining his teenage weight, but his too short, too tight getup is more public man bod than I’m used to seeing off a European beach. Plus, there’s the nipple situation. General rule: Just because it still fits, doesn’t mean you should wear it.

The Shredded and Sweaty Yogi: My yoga studio is decided unsnooty, but some of my fellow students take their “come as you are” policy way too far. From booty-baring legging tears to overly “airy” shorts on men, I tend to get a lot more ass-ana in my classes than I signed up for. Don’t you realize how close our mats are, people? General rule: If you’re feeling a draft during downward dog, your fellow yogis aren’t feeling so zen.

The Sentimental T-Shirt Guy: At every gym, there’s a guy who’s only seems to have eyes for one t-shirt — the one you’re sure he isn’t washing between workouts. I’ll stereotype here and say it’s just men who do this, because I’ve never seen a woman commit the same offense. And let’s be real — men sweat and smell more than most women. But back to the T-shirt: The decades-old frat logo or long-forgotten concert souvenir gives it away, fellas: We know you don’t have 17 more of those lying around in your “clean” drawer. I know you’re wearing the same one. Every. Single. Day. I don’t know if your shirt has sentimental value, or you’re just too lazy to change your clothes, but either way, you stink. General rule: If your trainer is starting to avoid your calls, it’s not you — it’s the shirt.

Work out. Be healthy. But if you’re rocking one of the aforementioned looks, it’s time to check yourself. Toss the ratty tees, file away the high school uniform and relegate your favorite tee to a more infrequent rotation. Then, when you get on the elliptical next to someone else, they’ll finally stop cringing.

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