One of the hardest parts for me when it comes to going to a new gym (or sometimes even a different class at my gym) is how others see me. Yes, I know that the clothes I wear aren’t important and I shouldn’t care. But I’m being honest, and I think about this.
And I’m not alone in this. I know that a lot of women worry about what they are wearing when they leave the house. The gym is no exception.
If you’ve ever watched a CrossFit competition or demonstration, you probably noticed incredibly fit athletes wearing, well, not a lot of clothing. The men hardly ever wear shirts and the women are frequently seen in very short shorts and sports bras. This can be incredibly intimidating for someone just starting out!
Before I started working out, I thought the skimpy wardrobe was a way of showing off their bodies – which everyone should be allowed to do – but I quickly learned that some of the clothing choices were pretty reasonable.
Who Wears Short Shorts? I Do.
I need to be honest with you here, my legs are really the only part of my body I’m happy to show off. You’re not going to find me without a shirt on in the gym. Probably ever. And that is ok! But will you find me in short shorts? I think you just might.
For Christmas this year I asked for a gift card to a popular CrossFit apparel company, IAB. I knew I would never spend money on their clothes unless it was a gift. So I bought two pairs of shorts and a tank top and hoped they looked as good as I imagined.
They arrived, I tried them on, and …. They fit! Even as I looked in the mirror expecting to be annoyed with my belly or the size of my thighs, I couldn’t see much to be critical about. They fit well, they moved with my body, and they looked cute. And while I’m still a little hesitant to wear them everywhere, you’ll for sure see me in the gym wearing them.
In fact, you may have already. My go-to gym outfit is a comfy cotton t-shirt and a pair of stretchy shorts from Target. But as I gain confidence in my body, I get a little more adventurous with my clothing choices. That may mean a slimmer cut tank top or one with an open back. It may also mean a pair of “booty shorts.”
At one point in my early CrossFit days, I ripped a pair of running shorts while squatting. They just couldn’t stretch the way my legs needed to do to lift heavy. It was quite embarrassing. Now I make sure to wear shorter, more flexible shorts when we are going to be doing squats.
Sports Bras Aren’t Just Cute
Another area that concerns women when they begin working out is supportive sports bras. Yes, I know, not really a sexy topic, but one worth a few words. With all of the ads we see for top quality, great fitting bras, we know it’s important to have them. But it’s even more important to have them for the gym.
I have tried many brands and have recently settled on a few favorites. I wear them at different times for different things. You know, if we’re going to be doing a lot of jumping rope or running, I’ll wear something with more support than if the day consists of heaving lifting.
My current favorites come from the same place I buy all my bras: AdoreMe. Their bras are affordable, adorable, and they come with matching panties. They’re supportive and they make me feel good. I wear them outside the gym quite a bit as well. (I actually wore one to the beach – made me feel way less frumpy than in a bathing suit top.)
The clothes may not make the man – or woman in this case – but they certainly have an impact on your confidence level. Which has an impact on your performance level.
You don’t need booty shorts to do CrossFit. You need regular gym clothes, a good sports bra, and the mindset to try anything. What do you wear to the gym? Show me in the comments!