This started out as a post about workout shirts for men. It ended up as a post about clothes I’d actually workout in. But before that, a little motivation:
I’ve been trying to get in better shape since January. I made a promise to myself:
I’d have a six-pack by 30. This time it would be one I’d earn, not buy.
Some people want to get in shape for others*: you want to look good, find a mate, be more successful in your career, etc. Others want to do it for themselves*: you want to live longer, feel better, and think more positively about yourself.
Me? I wanted to do both. I’m already married, and as of tomorrow, I’ll have been that way for 6 years. So it’s not about finding someone, but there is definitely an element of wanting to be my best for her. She deserves it; for me to live longer and healthier, and if I end up more attractive, so much the better. But I also wanted to do this for myself. It’s about learning consistency. It’s about doing something that’s hard, but rewarding. It’s about doing something I’ve wanted to do forever while I still have the time to do it. I’m turning 30 next year, and while it’s not impossible to get in shape after 30, it’s only going to get harder for me. So now is the time. Early mornings, injury, discomfort; all of these things have tried to stop me so far this year, and in some case they have – for a moment. But they won’t stop me.
So this started as a post about workout shirts. I did the research, I found the best sweat-wicking items from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and others, and when I put it all together,
it looked great, and it was totally unrealistic.
As I was getting ready to process and post it, I just stopped. I realized something very important:
I didn’t actually own all of this stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a couple pairs of Nike shorts, some great sneakers from Nike and New Balance, and an original Under Armour shirt from 10 years ago when I rowed Crew that is still running strong, but
I didn’t wear each of those items every single time I worked out, and I sure as heck didn’t buy them all at once in some $300–500 “It’s time to get everything I’ll ever need to workout in” shopping spree.
So I decided to get out.
I jumped in my old 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and headed down to my local Target to put together a starter kit for you guys. Most people don’t need the high end, top-of-the-line gear.
You need clothes you won’t ruin if you sweat in them.
The Starter Kit
C9 by Champion:
Grand Total = $56.95 And the only thing you’re missing from the Nike set was a fancy zip pocket in the back of the shorts.
The hoodie if comfortable and will keep you warm from any summer breezes, especially after your sweaty from working out. The shirts are lightweight and sweat-wicking, and the shorts are a great length and have a supportive liner.
Shoes Are Everything
While I was looking around, I noticed that Champion has recently released a line of trainers. They look the part, and, at less than $30 they are easy on your wallet.
How do they compare to my Nike’s? They don’t.
Let me take a step back and say that unlike suits or shirts or jeans, shoes are very important to your health. They effect posture, spinal alignment, and leg health among other things. There has been a big movement towards “barefoot” style shoes precisely because what you wear on your feet affects so much of how you move.
I found that the Champions had almost no arch support, and a closer inspection of the materials convinced me that they were worth the low price, and would not last very long under regular use.
Instead check out these two offerings from Nike:
p>One other thing I’d just started to try? Compression socks improve recovery times if worn during exercise. Plus, these are from the U.S. World Cup team. USA! USA!
One More Thing
This was supposed to be a post about workout shirts, but instead this was a post about what it really takes to work out. Whether it’s for yourself or others, don’t just read this. Get out and get better.
- These may have existed for years, but this was the first time that I noticed them. ↩