This post is all about busting the myth that you need to be coordinated to a tee, and looking model perfect to be able to go to the gym to workout. I’ve spent more than 10 years working in gyms and that myth is absolutely not true.
Myth Buster #1
Going into a gym, you may look around and see picture perfect outfits. It’s curated tops, bottoms and shoes, where everything matches just like on Instagram. This is what you’re thinking that everyone needs to wear.
Myth? If you look model perfect, it doesn’t actually matter what you do in the gym. It just matters how you look. Your hair needs to be styled. Makeup done just so. And of course, a matching outfit. If you’re going to sweat, you need to have a light glisten all over your body.
Busted! This picture-perfect curated life is incredibly fake. If you need to be done up to feel comfortable with yourself, fill your boots. Otherwise, roll out of bed, throw your hair up in a messy bun and just show up ready to workout.
Myth Buster #2
Another way to look super cool in the gym is to strike a pose. You need to look cool. It may not even be related to your outfit, it’s how you physically hold your body. As long as you look confident and look cool, then you’re good to fit in.
Myth? If someone is looking at you, you need to look like you’re supposed to be there. You can do this with jazz hands or in a super posed athletic stance. It’s all about looking like you belong.
Busted! Truthfully, most people in the gym are too busy worrying about what they look like, not what you look like. Regardless of your shape or size, you have every right to be there. Use good gym etiquette. Be respectful of others. Just do your thing.
Myth Buster #3
Looking back on athletic trends over the years, outfits have come a long way. It may be intimidating to be in the gym now, but could you imagine having to wear a one piece leotard like in the 70’s and 80’s? Lycra was all the rage for years.
I couldn’t imagine working out with a thong up my butt, that’s visible on the outside of my outfit. Those styles were tight, bright and flashy. Nothing says, “look at me” more than Lycra!
Or we could pull out trends from the 70’s with booty shorts and tiny tank tops. Wait, that’s come back in style now too. Maybe I can’t bash that style too much- or can I? It’s all about showing off your legs.
Myth? To get away from intimidating outfits is to go to the opposite extreme. Choose outfits that are baggy and bulky.
Busted! When you choose clothing that’s too big for you, it makes it look like you’re wearing a paper bag. Sometimes I think that wearing the bag would be a better option than dumpy, bulky clothes. Oversized outfits just make you look bigger. If you’re concerned about looking bigger, baggy shapeless clothes are going to make you look bigger than you are. Let’s land somewhere in the middle. You don’t have to choose extremes like tight and bright or matchy-matchy outfits and you don’t have to hide in oversized shapeless frocks. There’s an in-between zone that you can be happy with.
Most people are pretty happy going to the gym in a simple t-shirt or tank top and shorts. They don’t have to be incredibly special or a brand name. Just something that you’re comfortable in that give you a bit of shape, whatever your shape is. Whether you’re apple or pear shaped. Ruler thin or extra curvy and voluptuous. You’re shape is whatever it is.
Truthfully though, what’s more important that what you’re wearing is the fact that you’re going to the gym and you are moving your body. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. If you’re working out at home, you could work out naked if you really wanted to. There’s no one there to see you. (Please do not try this in public- you may get banned for life or end up in trouble with the law!)
Find an outfit that makes you comfortable in your own skin. Something that makes you feel good about yourself. Something that makes you more consistent and persistent in your exercise habits. Find something to wear that you love, put it on and go move your body.
Still feel intimidated in the gym? I can help! Book a free consultation to learn how health coaching might be the right fit for you. Email Shawna at to set up your free consultation.
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