When it comes to learning what to wear at the gym, being comfortable should be your main goal and being able to move around freely as you attempt to burn those calories during your workout should be your focus.

But of course we live in the world where style is important and let’s be honest, clothes are a way of expressing who we are and there is no better way to do that then with your gym clothes.

So if you are going to workout, you might as well workout in style. Some people also use the gym as a place to hook up and meet people.

As someone who goes to the gym frequent, I observe daily the types of outfits people wear at the gym. Some are all about style and some couldn’t care less if they just got out of bed.

Regardless if you are either of these types, making sure you are comfortable in your own skin is what is most important when it comes to your fitness goals.

Make Comfort A Priority

There is no worse feeling than trying to workout at the gym and feeling uncomfortable. Whether there are too many people on machines or just having no idea where to start.

Your mood becomes altered and the focus you need to get through a workout stops you from achieving your goals. So here are a few things you will need to make sure you get through your workout as smoothly as possible.



Through my many years of experience with going to the gym, this is one item you want to make sure you get right.

It is also an item where you can get a little creative and show your personality a bit. So don’t be afraid of a little color when trying to decide what to wear at the gym.

Making sure they are supportive, well cushioned and breathable are things to look for when looking for gym shoes.

Athletic shoes should be your only option so when I say make sure you are comfortable, I don’t mean wearing Sandals, boots, or dress shoes.

You may feel comfortable wearing these type of shoes during the day, but when it comes to the gym, these are a big no no. You are sure to stand out, but certainly not in a good way.


If you are going to go with shorts, make sure they are no longer than a few inches below the knees and no more than about an inch above the knees. You don’t want to be looking like you belong in a throwback nba game and not the gym.

If you are going to go the long pants, then make sure they are long enough to get to the ankles but not too baggy where you might trip over yourself on a treadmill. Make sure to leave the jeans at home also since you are working out at a gym and not a construction site. No disrespect to construction workers out there.


Your first thought may be to wear as few clothes as possible to stay cool, but there are benefits to covering up to stay warm. Wearing a long sleeve top helps improves circulation and also keeps your muscles, joints and ligaments loose making for a more effective workout and preventing tears, strain or any other injuries.

Just make sure to get something that is dry-fit to help absorb all the sweat you are sure to have drip from your body. If you think long-sleeves will be too much for your body to bear, then either go with a t-shirt or cut-off tee.

I would also advise against those shoe-string shirts that you tend to see bodybuilders wear, because unless you are a bodybuilder, those tops are never a good look.


When it comes to headgear, either a skull cap or beanie should do. Brimmed hats are pretty popular these days as well, but can be hard to clean so you should keep that in mind when deciding how to dress for the gym. 

Gym wear can get pretty funky real quick during the week so wearing something you could just throw in the washer would make cleaning much easier. Also one last thing, NO HEADBANDS please, don’t be that guy.


Now some guys may question your toughness when they see you with a pair of gloves while weight lifting, but as any guy who has a girlfriend knows, no girl wants a guy who’s hands feel like the grand canyon. I’m sure your girlfriend would appreciate your callous-free hands.

Also don’t worry about going too expensive on your first pair of gloves. Making sure the gloves are comfortable and have good grip during workouts is what is most important. As you gain more experience and have more of a feel with the weights, then you can decide to upgrade your gloves if necessary.

Get Your Playlist Ready


Getting ready for the gym would not be complete without good tunes to go with it. Making sure you have the right set of music equipment to go along with your workout is key to making sure you block all the distractions of the gym and focus on the task at hand.

Depending on if your workouts consist of just weight lifting or some type of circuit style training, having proper music equipment is important.

If you are a person who is into circuit style training, then I would recommend you get a pair of wireless headphone that curl around your ear making it hard to fall off while you are jumping around.

There is nothing more annoying than having your workout interrupted because you have to pick up your headphones every other minute.

If you are a person that just lifts weight, then regular headphones with the wire should do just fine. Also getting an armband that you can put your phone into while you workout is also helpful. Lastly, making sure your playlist is up to par to have you power through that workout is essential.

Making It Work

When it comes to deciding what to wear at the gym, safety comes first, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good while working out. Sometimes having new athletic gear to workout with puts you in that mindset of an athlete ready to compete.

Making sure you have proper attire so you can get through your workouts as safely as possible is what is most important. So don’t be afraid to get a little creative when it comes to your gym gear and make sure to always have that focus when working on your fitness goals.

So as always, please don’t be afraid to share below what are your favorite things to wear at the gym and describe how it makes you feel while working out.

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  1. Never been into head gear personally since it always bothers me to have something wrapped around my head. But the beads of sweat getting into my eyes are annoying. I’ve seen guys wear jeans and steel toe boots in the gym like they just came off from work. At least take the time to change if you’re gonna work out!

    1. Yea I have seen all types of unique attire worn at the gym. I guess you have to give credit for at least making the attempt to work on their health.

  2. This is very interesting article, as i used to go for gym in order for me to be fit and lose some weight,i have been searching for the appropriate clothes to wear when going to gym.Now i got the sufficient information either shoes,at the head and everything so thank you for the information.


  3. Nice article. I’m going to pass this on to my husband since he goes to the gym at least four times a week. I agree that gym wear can get pretty funky very quickly so choosing something you can throw into the wash is a good tip. Who say’s you shouldn’t look good at the gym. As long as you are comfortable and feel good when working out.

    1. Thanks Celeste! Other than safety, the only thing that matters is how you feel when working out. whatever gets you in the mood to accomplish your fitness goals, then go for it. Especially when motivation is hard for people, wearing new fitness gear can be a great motivator.

  4. Hello Ralph,
    As a gym goer myself, for me practicality is on top of my list. No doubt that I would want to look good but that come with a price. Nowadays, looking good in gym might sometimes burn a hole in your pocket. I wear what I can afford and of course meeting the gym requirement.
    Great article and would definitely upgrage my attire from time to time to look good.
    Who doesn’t want that ?
    Stay positive Ralph.

    1. Thanks Rehmiee! Trust me I know how expensive gym clothes can be these days so everyone should definitely take into account their financial situation when buying new gear. You will be amazed though how motivating new gear can be for some people when it comes to working out.

  5. What great timing! I am thinking about going back to the gym myself, and even went and bought new gym clothes today. However, my wife thinks that my shirts I got are to tight on me, but I think that they look good. Anyways, I also bought gloves, a gatorade water bottle, and shorts. Too much?

    1. The most important thing that matters is how you feel when you work out. All you really need is a water bottle, gloves and a nice pair of shorts so no I don’t think it’s too much. I’m sure once you start going home with the muscles popping, your wife won’t mind the tight shirts. You should be good to go Joe!

  6. Hello there, I totally agree with you bro, showing your personality with your gym gear is not bad at all as long it meets the criteria of a good gym gear. All listed gym gears are well laid out in terms of what and how they should be after all it still boils down to something one is comfortable with, gym wise and personality wise.

    Thank you so much for the tips.

    1. Thanks Nnamdi! Yes, nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but making sure the gear you are wearing is allowing you to be safe should be priority.

  7. Hey Ralph!

    I definitely agree that comfort is your main goal when dressing for the gym. As a side note, I’d emphasize safety too. Though, you’ve been mentioning it throughout the article, which is great.

    Personally, I’m not too finicky on what I or other people wear at the gym. My focus is trying to get my workout in and leaving as quickly as I can. But, I do understand that the gym is a great area to network and socialize. Hence the importance of dressing well. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    Love the article, and is definitely a great read for someone starting to go to the gym.

    More power to you.


    1. Hey Paulo! Same here. I’m usually the type to just get in the gym and get my workout done as quickly as possible. But nowadays, gyms are like a fashion show so just want to make sure to get those not familiar with the gym prepared on what’s to come. Thanks for the comment!

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