When it comes to crushing your fitness goals, finding an outfit that fits the vibe of your routine is key. The right gear not only ensures you’re comfortable during your workout, but it can also make a difference in how you’re training, too. We talked to two expert trainers to get the details on everything from shoes to materials to ensure you’re making the most of your workouts.
There’s training, then there’s high-intensity interval training. Designed to work the entire body with vigorous bursts of exercise that keep the heart rate up, HIIT workouts focus heavily on endurance and tend to burn more calories in a shorter period of time compared to standard workouts. Most routines feature various exercises and movement, including running, rowing, and bodyweight exercises, which is why it’s important to have an outfit that works with you and not against you.
Hakeem Alaka, an instructor at Orangetheory Fitness, shares exactly what you’ll want to wear for this type of workout. “I’m a big Nike truther, but any brand of breathable tops and shorts designed to wick away sweat while allowing freedom of movement is what you want to look for,” he says. When it comes to footwear, you’ll want to specialize. “Aim for running shoes with soles that’ll provide comfort and substantial support for the jump movements we perform in class.” What shoes does the trainer himself wear? “I own two pairs of the Nike Flyknit running shoe and love to train in them.”
Mention spin class to the general public, and many will probably envision an effortless ride on a stationary bike. But those who have tried it know that couldn’t be further from reality. Spinning is a grueling workout that gets your heart pumping with strength-building moves designed to work your core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves (just to name a few). Light weights, resistance bands, and standing while pedaling are also all typical aspects of a spin class.
So what does one wear for a workout like this? We talked to Aaron Foster, founder of Chicago’s Cycle Therapy, who broke down the essentials for us. “When spinning, you don’t want anything that can get caught while pedaling the bike.” He suggests going for fitted pants with a tapered design. Just be careful not to go too tight, as you don’t want to restrict movement, either. “Indoor cycling can get really hot and sweaty, so a lightweight and breathable short-sleeve shirt is perfect,” Aaron says. He prefers tops made from synthetic materials such as lycra and polyester. “They catch the sweat without feeling heavy or weighing me down during class,” he says. And what’s Aaron’s must have accessory for working out? “I personally always wear hats to keep the sweat away from my eyes. For others it’s an option, but for me it’s mandatory.”