There are many ways to maximize the efficiency of your workouts. Some people do that by putting in more hours at the gym or performing difficult exercises.
While that is the best way to go, there are some smaller factors that can actually help you accomplish your fitness goals a lot faster.
Curious to know what they are? We certainly can’t talk about all of them. But there’s one factor that plays a significant role in influencing your time at the gym – your workout clothes.
That’s right, small details like what you are wearing to the gym can make a lot of difference.
Now that you are armed with this knowledge, just try and observe the kind of gym wear that other fitness-oriented people prefer. More often than not, you will see at least one person working out in sweatpants.
Sweatpants are one of the most popular clothing items in the athleisure category. They are comfortable, fashionable, and quite cost-effective. But are they also effective?
Let’s find out if wearing sweatpants to the gym is a good idea.
Are Sweatpants Good for Working Out?
Yes, sweatpants can be good for working out if comfort and flexibility are your prime requirements. Moreover, they are also better suited for people who exercise in colder gyms or other places that might require warm fabrics.
However, there are many caveats when it comes to working out in sweatpants. The biggest drawback is that they are very thick and heavy, with little to no breathing or moisture-wicking capabilities.
So, unless you are working out in cold conditions, you are likely to sweat a lot. For beginners and slightly experienced gym-goers, working out with a relatively warmer body temperature might prove to be too exerting, which might affect their performance negatively.
Because of these features, sweatpants are mostly suitable for weightlifting and other forms of exercise that do not require a lot of movement. Jumping or running around in these heavy bottoms will likely cause you to tire yourself out faster.
As such, whether or not wearing sweatpants to the gym is good or not will depend on your specific requirements. If you work out in cold climates and love some flexibility and comfort in your lower body, they will work excellently for you.
But if your workout regime is too intense, sweatpants might be a tad too heavy and warm for you to be able to perform well.
Can You Wear Sweatpants to the Gym?
Yes, wearing sweatpants to the gym can be beneficial, as they are very comfortable, provide a good amount of warmth, and are made with stretchable fabrics that don’t restrict your range of motion.
In most gyms, you are likely to face no objections to exercising while wearing a pair of sweatpants, even if you are deadlifting. So, generally, sweatpants will adhere to the general dress codes of most fitness centers in the United States.
However, there might be exceptions. Some high-end establishments might discourage the use of sweatpants as workout clothes as they might look too “inappropriate” or “informal”, thereby damaging their reputation.
But from a fitness standpoint, you can absolutely wear sweatpants to the gym as long as you are comfortable in them. If you feel that they aren’t too warm, thick, or heavy for you, they can serve as decent and cost-effective gym wear.
Why Do People Wear Sweatpants to the Gym? 4 Benefits
Despite the huge debate on whether or not sweatpants are good as workout clothes, you are still likely to see a lot of them at the gym.
They became especially popular ever since the pandemic hit, shifting people to adopt activewear for casual purposes as well. Between February and April 2020, sellouts on sweatpants increased by a whopping 79% among U.S. retailers.
That just goes to show how popular this particular garment is in the fitness industry. So, what makes sweats so special? Let’s find out.
Sweats are Flexible
Unlike other types of activewear clothing, sweatpants follow a more loosely-fitted and taper-down design. While they are fastened comfortably around your waistline, your thighs, knees, and ankles are relatively uncompressed.
As such, you enjoy a greater degree of flexibility in your lower-body when you are wearing a pair of sweats.
This could be advantageous during certain weightlifting exercises like squats, deadlifts, and other compound movements where lower mobility is key.
Sweats Provide Maximum Comfort
Your time at the gym could be grueling. While having a fit body is a reward in itself, working out hard at the gym can be taxing at times.
As such, finding small rewards for oneself cannot hurt.
One such reward is wearing comfortable clothing while working out. Not only will it make the workouts a little less difficult, but it might also improve other aspects of your performance by allowing maximum stretchability and keeping you at ease mentally.
Sweats Provide Additional Warmth
This could either be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on where you are coming from.
Many people who work out in colder areas especially prefer wearing sweatpants to the gym because they provide an additional layer of warmth.
These clothing items are made of thick and warm materials like cotton, polyester, or fleece. So, sweatpants are excellent if you want to keep your body warm while working out.
Nowadays, some lighter sweatpants are also available that might feel comfortable and not too warm in normal temperatures as well.
Sweatpants Help Lose Water Weight
Looking to lose a significant amount of weight on short notice? Wear sweatpants while working out!
You will be glad to know that there is a very scientifically-proven link between sweating and weight loss.
When you exercise while wearing sweatpants, you are likely to sweat a lot. That’s because the warmer garment will increase your body temperature. In response to perspiration, the body will sweat out water through the pores on your skin to cool down and maintain your core body temperature.
As your body releases more and more water, you are likely to see a large decrease in your weight on the scale after a hot and sweaty session at the gym.
But make no mistake – losing water weight is temporary. It is a good tactic for when you have to lose weight rapidly for an event or competition. But sweating does not burn calories. So, you shouldn’t expect any permanent results.
Why Shouldn’t I Wear Sweatpants to the Gym? 4 Drawbacks
Sweatpants are actively being used by fitness enthusiasts while training. However, they come with their own limitations when it comes to actual performance.
Limited Breathability and Moisture-Wicking
While most activewear bottoms are made with breathable and permeable fabrics, sweatpants aren’t. That’s because they were designed to combat cold and generate more sweat through workouts.
Unfortunately, limited breathability might be really uncomfortable, especially because sweatpants have no moisture-wicking properties either. So, your legs will likely be drenched in sweat after a short duration of working out.
Not Suitable for High-Intensity Training
Sweatpants tend to be heavier and warmer than most activewear clothing items. That might not necessarily be a good thing, as it will make high-intensity workouts even more difficult.
High-intensity training, especially ones that require a lot of movement, like CrossFit training, will be difficult with sweatpants as they will weigh down the wearer and also make them feel too hot and suffocated after a while.
Prone to Wear and Tear
Sweatpants are not as durable as other types of clothing items in the athleisure category. While they are comfortable and stretchable, they are prone to accumulating signs of damage and stress after a while.
As such, they are definitely not meant to last long as gym clothes.
Lack of Support
Sweatpants are not designed to offer the same kind of functional support features as other specialized workout apparel.
They do not offer consistent compression like tights or leggings, for example. Moreover, other activities like running, jumping, or high-impact movements require some additional support to reduce muscle fatigue. Sweatpants are not designed to offer this kind of support, making them highly limited in their functionality.
Is it Weird to Wear Sweatpants to the Gym?
No, it is not weird to wear sweatpants at the gym. In fact, it is one of the most popular workout clothes.
Despite the limited support and functional features, a lot of people wear sweatpants while exercising because of the added comfort and warmth.
So, while sweatpants might be a little inappropriate for wearing in some public places, the gym isn’t one of them.
Sweatpants come with their own sets of advantages and shortcomings. While they are affordable, comfortable, and versatile, they also do not have the support features required to perform intense exercises.
Nevertheless, if you know when to wear them, sweatpants can prove to be an excellent choice of workout apparel.