Saturday, August 06, 2005

Gym Etiquette: Appropriate Attire

Today I went to the gym to get a long, invigorating workout in. I took my iPod mini and my heart rate monitor and drove there early this afternoon. I got in and started doing a half hour on the elliptical, when much to my horror, an older gentlemen in way too-tight shorts got on the one to the right. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, so I stared straight ahead and tried to be in denial for the rest of the workout. The things I saw in the next two hours both made me sad, and horrified me. Based on this, I have some suggestions for appropriate attire at the gym.

1. No one looks good in shorts that give them a wedgie. This fellow next to me was approximately 65 years old, and his shorts were pulled up to his rib cage. This allowed full view of the family jewels and his butt cheeks. Ay carumba! Save it for the wife at home, okay? Wear a bigger size, and have them start at your belly button.

2. Spandex is a privilege, not a right. David Lee Roth said it best when he commented that it's a lot easier to buy the spandex then do the f'ing sit ups. Please do not wear spandex if you are over a body weight percentage of 25%. It isn't attractive, and it scares small children. I sympathize that it feels comfortable, but there are looser, nylon based shorts or full sweats that will do the same thing.

Note to guys in spandex: I can see your unit and your balls. Is that what you are hoping for? I hate to tell you, but I am not impressed, and more then a little sickened. Once again, looser would probably allow your privates to breathe easier and certainly looks more attractive.

3. Exercise bras are just that- bras. Unless you have a totally fit body, you need to wear a tank or shirt over your exercise bra. Your bra is designed to hold your chest in, and if not the right size, cuts in at the sides of your ribs and your back. This creates an illusion of more fat then you might have, and looks bad. Also, if you are pairing spandex and an exercise bra, you are pushing your middle to look bigger. Not a winning proposition.

4. Size matters. In your clothes, that is. Even if you are wearing more appropriate clothes, if they are too tight it looks unflattering. I know that gaining weight sucks, and that is why you are here with me, but go to Target or Wal-Mart and buy some bigger clothes. They are reasonably priced, and will feel better. I got a pair of shorts and a new exercise bra for under $20, and they looked fine. If your clothes are too tight, you will look fatter then you are!

5. Revealing Clothes do just that- Reveal. Even if you are super fit, and have a hot body, you are still getting sweaty like the rest of us. If you are wearing a tight tank and shorts, your sweat isn't soaked up and it goes all over. Bring a towel, or get one from the front desk to wipe your drips away. Even if you look great, if you douse us with sweat, we will run for cover.

6. Bikinis are for the beach or the pool. Don't wear a bikini top to work out in. It doesn't hold your boobs in, or flatter them for the most part. When you are bouncing around, it probably doesn't feel too good either. I hate to break it to you, if you are over a certain age or not fit, it really looks bad too.

7. Be age appropriate. As we get older, sometimes it is not as acceptable or flattering to wear certain outfits. I am 39, and I wear a tank or t-shirt over my exercise bra. I also wear loose fitting nylon shorts. I don't even consider wearing spandex. You shouldn't either. At a certain age, no matter how good a lady takes care of herself, she is going to get cellulite. It is a genetic nightmare we can't escape. Because of this, we may want to cover up more. Also, gentlemen of a certain age, please cover up more. As fellas get older, they get more hair in weird places, and it isn't super cool. Wear a tank or shirt that covers your torso, please. The gym has air conditioning for a reason.

On that note, all I ask is that you give some thought to what you wear before you go to a public place. Even if you are not planning to interact with anyone else, they can still see you. iPods can take away the noise, but not the vision. Get clothes that fit right, and are in the exercise section of the clothing store.

If you look better and feel better, it will enhance the gym experience for all of us. It will also keep me from having nightmares, which is much appreciated. I am still trying to brain erase the fella next to me's jewels from my already disturbed brain!


Britt Schramm said...

Heidi, you speak the truth. Nothing's worse that seeing people who are just so clueless that they think that they can pull off anything and look good.

Now I know that this is rough for some people to hear but if you are a man who is losing weight, please do yourself and wear a shirt. I don't want to see your man boobs giggling in my immediate vision while your flop sweat is spraying everyone around you in a 5-feet radius like you're a Batman sprinkler.

This conversation will lead me to my next blog post about a certain celebrity weight-loss show but I won't plug it here. Or did I just do that?

Heidi Meeley said...

I look forward to seeing your next blog, Britt. It's sure to be easier on the eyes then the guy at the gym!!