I saw an advert the other day for this season’s ‘essential workout gear’.
It made me laugh at first and then it began to disturb me. It popped up in my social media feed again and again, presumably because of my internet browsing history. I ended up looking at this advert many times and, as I did, I found it less and less funny.
The whole concept of 'essential' workout gear that needs to be updated seasonally is a foolish one to buy into.
A new vest that’s basically like the one you have already, but in a different shade of sky-blue-pink, isn’t essential.
It might be very nice and it might give you lots of pleasure to wear it – we all like a change of outfit and nobody’s suggesting we walk around in Orwellian boiler suits – but it isn’t essential.
It’s great to see fitness apparel being marketed to women, whose love of and participation in sport is hugely underrepresented.
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However, peddling the concept of the necessity to change your sportswear every three months isn’t healthy.
Synonyms for essential are: vital, indispensable, important and necessary. A new pair of shorts usually isn’t any of those things.
This season’s 'essential' workout gear is whatever allows you to do your workout safely, keeps you cool or warm enough, and prevents you from being arrested (there are few places in the world where it’s legal to be naked in public).
Over and above that, if you are more blessed with the dollars and the inclination, whatever you feel like buying, then please go ahead and have fun!
I like a snazzy new gym outfit as much as the next person. As well as liking my outfits to match in the gym, I’m also that woman going out for coffee in one of those ‘sport-luxe’ wrappy-top things. That’s me. I like those. They make me feel fancy and cosy at the same time.
That Active Wear song on Youtube? That’s me. I would genuinely be put off by being told any of these clothes were a ‘must-have’ though, because I hate fibbing, even in so-called post-truth 2017.
I’m not sure what the solution could be. Would marketing work if sportswear manufacturers just said, “Here are some nice things we think would be good to wear when you work out, they’re largely superfluous to needs, but they’re quite enjoyable to wear, so you can buy them from us if you want.’ Would that work as a slogan? Maybe not!
The bottom line is: it doesn’t matter what you wear to work out. Just forget about it. Wear whatever you like or whatever you need to, it’s all the same to us at Ultimate Performance.
What does matter an awful lot is what you do in those clothes. You can train smart and effectively and make fantastic progress in your old, worn-out sweatpants and your old t-shirt that’s one step away from being turned into rags for polishing the car.
What does matter is sourcing the best knowledge you can and obtaining advice and coaching from the best trainers available to you.
What does matter is that you’re actually active in your active wear, at least some of the time!
So, on the next occasion that you’re being gaslighted into buying new sweat gear that you don’t really need, think about all the other things you could be using that money for, think about your health, think about your gym and other life goals and make those results happen.
If you want to invest in yourself and getting in the best shape of your life, see what our Ultimate Performance Personal Training Plans can do for you.