I’ve come a long way in my workout attire since the old days. Initially I had very little startup capital so things were intensely low-tech in the Parrot household. Ratty old t-shirts and shorts from the thrift shop did the trick easily. But since I perspire quite heavily, I would often strip down to my Fruit of the Looms when doing P90X or Insanity. Thankfully nobody came downstairs to interrupt my workout…or if they did, the sudden horror insured it didn’t happen twice.
However, these days I have tried to up my style game. Much of that has to do with getting older and trying not to look like an uncircumcised Philistine who hasn’t got his act together. Instead of generic shoes to work I wear leather boots. Shirts are now fitted and I’m more aware of quality in clothing. The same goes for fitness attire. While much of it is simply window dressing, there are some great products out there that every guy needs in their arsenal.
The science is a bit uncertain, but word on the street is compression clothing helps increase blood flow, thus improving performance and speeding recovery. It certainly has the attention of many major athletes, although more often than not those folks will wear what the sponsor tells them to. For me it has the wonderful ability to regulate skin temperature. Benefits aside, compression clothing does make one feel like a badass. It’s almost like a superhero side effect.
Be informed before running out and getting compression clothing. Form fit is good. Too snug is not what you want as you’re looking for slight compression…not cutting off circulation. If it’s so tight you’re moving like RoboCop, back it off a size or two.
Baselayer Training Shorts
The first time I saw these they were on Shaun T. I wasn’t sure if he forgot to put his gym shorts on, was hitting on me, or if they really had a benefit. So I got a pair of Nike Training Shorts and since then I don’t know how I ever survived without them.
Ladies, please cover your ears for a moment while the men talk candidly. Ok fellas, you know that flopping marble-sack between our legs that bashes against the thighs at least a hundred times during a HIIT workout? Well, those nutcracker days are over as a sweet pair of training shorts will have the boys cradled into their own loving position. Sticking our hands down our pants to adjust the anatomy a dozen times during a workout is now a thing of the past. If I may say, safe spaces are for lowlife weakling scumbags who are unworthy of the gene-pool. But safe-spaces for the balls are a basic human right we can all join hands and agree on.
There is one thing I should mention. Get at least two pairs and have a regular laundry schedule. Due to the closeness to the body, there is a tendency to get a little crotch-sweaty. No need to give people any ideas for catchy nicknames.
I’d likely be that last guy you’d ever find in a cross-fit gym, as I tend to like my spine where it currently is. But just because us old bulls can’t keep up with the young bucks doesn’t mean we cannot take advantage of the latest in fitness attire. Indeed, cross-fit pants find the sweet spot and allow us men of distinction to break away from yesterdays baggy sweat-pants.
CrossFit pants tend to be slimmer fitting and made of more breathable materials than traditional sweat-pants. Unlike skin tight joggers, they also have the added benefit of not making the legs look like they were shrink-wrapped in leather. Honestly, some of you older guys in the skin-tight Lycra need to look in a freaking mirror. Once you’ve accepted that you look like a quail, grab a set of CrossFit joggers. The neighborhood will thank you.
Merino-Wool Athletic Socks
Most of us have lived with cotton socks since Mom forced us at gunpoint to get on the damn school-bus. Their counterpart, wool socks, were also once bulky and made from whatever unfortunate sheep that got between the clippers and Dad’s bootleg whiskey. But thanks to sobriety and modern tech, wool socks have come a long way.
Merino wool athletic socks are like slipping on angel feathers. The merino wool is a softer material than the scruffy generic sheep-wool bush-socks, which is why it has to be combined with other materials. Not only is it comfortable, but it also has anti-bacterial properties. They have a fantastic way of repelling sweat which is perfect for the task at hand. Be sure to get a decent material composition of merino wool/cotton/spandex. Pure wool socks, while great for hunting whitetail in northern Canada, would feel highly uncomfortable during an intense workout.