“What’s up with all the extra gear they’re wearing?” If you have ever seen people training, this thought has likely crossed your mind. While at a public place or at work, your appearance, and the way in which you present yourself is often a case of accepting the social standards that have arisen in modern times. No doubt, this same explanation holds true for people in the fitness space, but such an insignificant reason is not sufficient to keep the sales of training attire afloat. This begs the question as to what exactly gives this apparel the value it holds, and whether there are benefits beyond making you stand out at the gym. Here are just a few of those positives.

1. Protection

This one is a bit of a no brainer, but I will include it to start off rather general. Despite what you may think, the protection provided by your clothes is a lot more complex than just pieces of fabric you slip into, and that goes double for training gear. Depending on your location, you may need attire with insulation to keep yourself warm; this especially holds true if your planning on running or exercising outside. On the other side of the spectrum, areas with a tropical climate require open and breathable gear to combat the warm weather. In both cases, your skin is being shielded from overexposure to either the cold or the heat, which could easily dry your skin to the point of cracking or give you a heat stroke.

Yet another area of protection is in handling the trail through which you are moving. This one is better directed towards shoes, which are made to handle specific surfaces, whether it be slippery and fill with snow, or rough and paved with cement. Gyms especially can at times have a slippery floor from humidity, which pose a serious hazard to you. One bad fall can put you out of commission for weeks if not months, so investing in a pair of shoes with better traction or even clothes with more grip seems like a pretty small price to pay for the added benefit of avoiding injuries.

2. Mobility

If there is one reason to get a loose pair of shorts and a light shirt, the mobility you receive would rank near the top of the list. Whether running, jumping, or exercising in a stationary position, everything becomes a lot easier when you have a free range of motion. Imagine trying to train in clothing that is heavy and restrictive, like a pair of tight jeans and a shirt made of thick material. It would be a disaster, you would have to exert more force simply getting into position for the exercise, let alone carrying out the motion. Although that is an extreme example, the idea still holds merit, which is that fabric tailored for training tends to be the superior choice.

To connect it back to the previous point, you could just as easily hurt yourself from trying to stretch through your attire. The likely scenario is that you end up using an improper form with each movement, upping the chances for injury. You are also wasting a lot more energy, exhausting your body quicker and yet again making it more prone to damage.

3. Mentality

Now we are getting into the good stuff; your training apparel holds a massive influence over your state of mind. If you have ever noticed, simply putting on your gear can you make feel different, and this has been researched by experts who have labeled it as enclothed cognition. Like a superhero with their outfit, the simple act of putting on certain clothes (in this case for working out) can mentally prepare you for the session. Whether it has some symbolic meaning that notifies the brain, or if it simply makes you feel ready, there is no disputing the definite impact your attire has over your behavior.

Aside from improving mental acuity, your confidence also receives a boost. Unsurprisingly, when you feel good about training, that tends to put your performance a cut above what it would normally be. In this case, the gear you put on is what causes the shift in attitude, which then leads to a higher quality session where you not only perform at your best but also reap the gains. This enables greater productivity and provides an elevated mood where you enjoy yourself.

4. Performance

Enhanced performance is the culmination of receiving added protection, increased mobility, and a newfound mentality, all in one. The mental preparation puts you in the right frame of mind to keep going at it when it comes to developing your body. The mobility is your physical preparation, providing the freedom to do any movement you're capable of without restriction. The protection is the added layer that keeps you safe so that you can train without much worry of suffering injuries.

Modern training gear has also helped with increasing performance by adding to the exercise. To give an example in basketball, jump soles have been a widely debated topic on their necessity and impact when it comes to jumping higher. Now their use is a unique case since it forces the body to work harder by putting it in a disadvantaged position. We’ve already covered why this is a problem, but the upside in using these gears lies more so in the mentality one gets, as well as their extensive usage since they can be attached to any pair of sneakers. With all training gears and equipment, it is important to judge the item in question-based on what the positives are and their impact in comparison to the negatives.


Hopefully, this piece on athletic training gear sheds some light onto the benefits one receives that go beyond the superficial stuff.

Author's Bio: 

Ball Amazingly is a basketball blog that covers various topics on becoming a better basketball player, information regarding basketball and training, and content made to entertain.