Many things have been said about women feeling pressure to comply with unrealistic expectations of what their bodies should look like. With the help of the Kardashians, to name a few, women can feel a growing burden on what size their ‘booty’ is or whether or not their waist is pinned in like something out of a Barbie doll box.
But, what about us men?
Yes, us! We grew up playing with Action Man, Hee-Man and Superman. These guys are the epitome of unrealistic body goals, with a tiny waist and unproportioned chest and shoulders. These expectations can often be carried into the health and fitness arena where bigger is better. This idea amongst many men affects their decision making, which gym to go to, what exercises to do and even whether or not I can get away with wearing this gym vest!
However, if your goal is to be happy, healthy and to strive for good overall wellbeing then seriously, it's ok to wear a gym vest! Your fitness journey is unique, it’s yours, you may feel like you’re doing the same as everyone else, but your goal has been set by you (if you haven’t set one then set it now!).
Big-up the Gym
Big is not always beautiful, with your newly acquired gym goal you are now working towards a potentially different goal to that muscle-bound guy grunting in the corner throwing weights around like an angry gorilla. So, do you really want to look like that meat-head? Or is it better just to be comfortable in whatever you choose to wear such as that super-comfy vest which doesn’t show your sweat marks?
Due to complex reasons (Instagram, YouTube, you know the sort) going to the gym has changed forever, it’s a social and dating arena, not just a place to burn some calories. As a result, what you wear to the gym has also changed forever, what you wear is not just for performance and trying to have the best session you can have, it’s all about the yoga pants, the racer tee, the joggers, the air cushioned trainers and yes, the trademark vest!
Let’s get this straight, wearing a gym vest is sensible, it’s a no-brainer, they are perfect for workouts, being sleeveless they are great for a range of motion, movement and perspiration. This simple garment can be your ally on your heavy workout days or during a face paced circuit. Trust me; if you have just completed a lung-busting HIIT session you’re wishing you had a vest on right now if nothing else!
However, before you put ‘any old’ vest into your online basket next to your post-workout protein, there are certain aspects you need to know to help make your vest decision your best decision.
Thankfully we don’t all look the same, and even if we share similar fitness goals our journey getting there will be different due to our unique body types. Looking your best in a vest will boil down to the body type ‘ya mamma gave ya’! With this in mind, you need to choose a vest that emphasises your attributes and hides those that are less flattering.
Vests are not complicated, but, for example, a vest with block colours, horizontal stripes or lines can make even Mo Farah look like he is going through a bulking phase! So choose what you want to show and what to hide.
A tight top has been a firm favourite for many across Britain’s gyms. However, they are only swallowing the muscle, or lack of it as you try and work out, making it very restricting and stifling. Even Superman’s tight blue suit looks rather uncomfortable if you ask me; although I bet he trains in a vest to get to his size.
Too tight is too much, yet too loose is not a good fit, quite literally. Pick a vest that hugs your body fits nicely and allows the full range of movements. Don’t forget your working out to look good naked (mostly), not to get tangled up in all the gym equipment!
Manscaping, yes I just said it, may need to go hand in hand with your choice of vest. As I stated, earlier the gym is no longer just a gym. This is a potential pick up point and place to meet others and ‘network’ if that’s what kids are calling it these days.
So in that regard, it may be worth keeping grooming schedule in check, same for you ladies! By definition, vests show off more skin than other gym gear, so basic grooming rules should be followed, yes even in your local gym.
Trimming body hair is a sensitive area, see what I did there? I agree, it’s not for everyone, and it is most certainly down to personal preference. Just follow the rule that if a body part is going to be shown to a new audience due to your vest of choice, that you are happy with it.
The title of this article says it all, seriously it's okay to wear a gym vest guys. And I mean it, choosing to hit the gym and work towards some health and fitness goals is great. Your overall health and wellbeing will certainly thank you for it, and you never know you may even enjoy the journey!
If you’re hitting the gym regularly, up to three or four times a week, smashing your personal records and feeling better for it, then a gym vest (or two) will be with you every step of the way. At the end of the day, YDY, You Do You! Yes, I made that up, get it trending people!
Express yourself, mix up your gym vests, wear thick or thin straps, show some back, show some front, show whatever and focus on what you set out to achieve, a better, healthier body. The best gym vest you own will be the one you feel comfortable in, put it on and get to work!