Let’s get physical: Lycra vs. Baggies


Photo by lululemon athletica

With the opening of the new campus gym, I’ve already whole-heartedly committed to signing up for a Gold or Platinum membership. No negotiations Hannah, exercise will definitely be one of my priorities this year to eradicate any looming love handles or a saggy derrière. Pilates, running or squatting; I’m ready.

But as any self-confessed fashionista will wonder and begin to plan; what to wear?

In my experience of joining other gyms it seems that members all take difference approaches to their treadmill attire, often falling loosely into three groups.

Firstly, there are those who favour the less flattering white, baggy old tourist t-shirts, collected from a distant memory trip to Bubba Gump, Florida or the Hard Rock Café, that definitely avoid shedding any light on the figure beneath. I find this group to be the most refreshingly honest of gym goers. They say, ‘I’m here to work out. So what? It’s not the catwalk! I’m here to sweat not pose, and I’m not bothered about looking pretty doing it.’

There are also the confident, lycra clad gym bunnies who suck themselves into impossibly tight apparel, showcasing every flex and stretch. These are the gym goers who I feel almost have more to prove. It’s as if being at the gym isn’t enough, that having the branded, professional sportswear is further hammering home the message of their commitment to their toned physiques. That even if one isn’t a weight-lifting worshipper, that by having the designer gear, it conveys the message that we are.

Lastly are those who choose to sport a half and half approach; not quite gym wear, not quite street ready. I love this group. It’s those who almost aren’t quite sold on the whole gym idea and maybe can be seen as the rebellious bunch? It’s the girls that wear full faces of makeup, fixed hair and tight leggings, and don’t care to break much of a sweat, maybe choosing to use the gym primarily as a social meeting place.

Whatever you decide to wear to workout this year, remember to be stylish, functional and comfy. There’s no point wearing too small clothing reminiscent of the days when you could fit into that smaller size.

And ladies, whether your shirt is tight or not- please invest in a stellar sports bra. It’s a pet peeve seeing women bouncing freely. Not only are you a distraction for innocent bystanders but it also puts pressure on your upper back, so I recommend heading to M&S, or any sports store to check out their collections. Furthermore, if your trainers are getting old and tattered, it could mean that your distribution of weight, support for foot and ankle and posture are all being compromised, so it might be time to invest in a new pair. The Runners Centre in Lancaster town centre might also be a worth while visit, though could lean towards the more pricey side, especially on a student budget. Lastly, it is both hygienic as well as socially courteous to carry a small towel to wipe apparatus free of sweat.

So let’s all go and enjoy our new gym, whatever we decide to wear. Remember there is 5% discount with a Purple Card for the first two weeks of term, so what are you waiting for?

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