One Step at a Time: Workout wear

Fitness columnist Abbie Wenthe on looking hot while getting hot

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Let’s all take a moment to confess that yes, we do go to the rec to have fun and get a good workout, but we also go there to check out and swoon over the guy benching 200 pounds or the girl running on the treadmill.

Let’s face it - the rec is one of the ideal places to get that daily dose of eye candy.

Everyone always seems to look so good while working out, and it’s somewhat of a mystery to me. After working out, I personally look like I just got done slaying a dragon or something equally as horrendous. My hair is plastered to my forehead, and my face is a nice maraschino cherry-red. But hey, signs of a good workout right? After careful observation, I have concluded that the best way to counteract the workout look is to dress in clothes that make people do a double take, and not just because of my dripping sweat.

Jimmy Tatro is one of my favorite YouTube sensations, and every video he makes is full of college humor. He started with “Frat Life” and has since skyrocketed into one of the Internet’s most-watched sensations with videos released every Monday. He's like the male Jenna Marbles. One of his June videos, “Gym Etiquette,” hilariously details the various mistakes people make while at the gym along with his observations of typical gym behavior.

When he comments on gym apparel, he gets the recent trend for girls exactly right. “Girls, keep wearin’ all that neon shit,” he says. “Love what you’re doing.”

Take one look at Victoria’s Secret PINK clothing, and all that neon shit is everywhere. Baggy tanks, crop tops, V-necks, sports bras and shorts all scream from the racks in bright orange, pink, green and yellow. And since we all want to look like Adriana Lima, we can at least try to look like her when we work out.

Fast-forward to the rec, and the Jungle Gym looks like a Dayglow workout party. All the girls are wearing a neon top and black leggings with equally bright tennis shoes, or there are the daring ones who wear neon Nike shorts and a more neutral colored top. Either way, neon is dominating the gym, and according to Tatro, the guys love it. So girls, keep up the good work and wear that neon for looks and for the energy to keep powering through those tough workouts.

Now, guys. The basic basketball shorts and T-shirts have been working for years, and they still work. Fraternity and sorority philanthropy shirts are also commonly seen and those are great. What isn’t great, however, is when the sleeves are cut all the way down to the hem of the shirt. We all understand it’s necessary to check yourself out, er, watch the muscle contraction in the mirrors, to achieve that perfect form, but save those shirts for comparing muscles with the bros.

I have already established that a big part of going to the rec is for the eye candy, but the main reason is to get a workout. And a workout requires the proper footwear. Converse, Sperry’s, Vans and other skater shoes will do absolutely nothing for a workout except lead to injuries. Invest in a good pair of attractive tennis shoes. The better they look, the more they will be worn, which means more opportunities to get to the gym.

Overall, workout apparel is not the most important thing. If a workout of any sort is taking place, that’s great. Yoga pants, Nike shorts, bro tanks and baggy shirts allow for freedom of movement while exercising. So far, I’m loving what everyone’s doing, so keep up the good work - and the neon.

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