Monday, August 23, 2004

Wear whatever you like
at the gym, within reason

Ask Dave

By Dave Patania
Enquirer contributor

Question: My wife yells at me about wearing jean shorts and work boots while lifting weights. She says that it is not appropriate exercise gear. I like the edgy, rugged look. What is your take?

Answer: When I first got into fitness, I probably would have agreed with her.

I have seen far too many exercise fashion misfits in my day - too much spandex, too little spandex, too-short cutoffs on men, 40-year-old men still wearing their high school workout shirts, a couple attempting to wear leather thongs along with fanny packs into my gym, and a woman from Germany who was running on the treadmill in a bikini and gym shoes with at least a 7-inch heel.

I used to think that all fitness participants should wear the standard style of cookie-cutter exercise gear sold at sporting goods stores.

However, in the greater scheme of life, the most important thing to remember is that you are doing great by being in the gym and getting that body moving toward many years of good health and vitality. If you are a consistent exerciser, feel comfortable wearing jean shorts with work boots, and the staff at your gym doesn't mind, then go for it. I encourage you to wear what you feel most comfortable in and to display your own style - just try to ask yourself if what you are wearing might make others uncomfortable or even grossed-out.

The ultimate scenario would be to compromise with your wife by taking the time to look through some fitness and bodybuilding magazines/catalogs for ideas. There are numerous options for workout apparel. There are even companies that specialize in apparel for more "edgy" and "rugged" exercisers like yourself; the materials are high-quality and durable.

Contact personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail:

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