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Experiences Wearing Masks in the Gym?

You guys who still train at gyms which require masks to be worn, how much do you think wearing a mask causes you to become more winded than usual … especially during legs ?

Thankfully no, my gym never required it

It is fortunate in my gym’s policy as the mask rule is:
"On Machine, Mask Off.
Off Machine, Mask On."

I cannot imagine doing my 3 minute leg presses wearing a mask, unless it was an oxygen mask.

I went to the climbing gym several times and had to wear a mask. It sucked, but it didn’t have much of a negative impact on performance. I’m sure it wouldn’t be anything more than annoying to me while lifting as well.

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Yes, it takes longer for me to catch my breath after squatting or deadlifting. Almost everything else isn’t noticeable.

I did a cardiac stress test with my mask on, which culminated in sprinting at an incline, so I dunno. And that’s with significant heart damage.

But I’m accustomed to wearing one of these:

While doing this:

So there is a fair bit of adaptation physically and psychologicaly that needs to take place to comfortably wear a mask and perform physical tasks.

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I’m sure most of the effects experienced are psychological. I read something that a cardiologist shared, where he actually tracked oxygen consumption and other variables you might consider while performing various physical activities wearing a mask and without, and there was no difference in performance.



My old gym was masks on unless you’re doing strenuous activity and able to socially distance. If you have spotter, masks for lifters and spotters unless you’re in the same household or dating or something.

My current gym is mask on at all times. I also lift at my friends garage in a mask because he’s not vaccinated yet. I’m doing 20 rep squats 2-3x a week and it sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. I only wear a cloth mask.

It was fine. Wearing a cloth mask I noticed zero difference in how quickly I got winded and this included a day doing sets of 20 on the leg press. The only thing that happened was my face got sweaty.

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Absolutely zero effect, other than psychological, like what @The_Mighty_Stu said. I had heard about the study he mentioned as well.

I’ve had to wear a mask 100% of the time since last August and have squatted, deadlifted, etc, without a problem. I also ran twice/week through the winter, often with a balaclava on, and it was no harder than the times I didn’t have to wear it (until it iced up. Breathing through ice is harder).

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Pulling grimace faces does tend to make them rise up… by about rep 8 my mask is rubbing against my eye balls!
Super annoying.

It depends on the mask. When I had a cheap batman mask which was a single layer of cloth (and probably useless) it was fine.

My triple-ply mask and surgical masks on the other hand, the ones the suck into your mouth and actually seal (lol) make it very hard to breathe.

It’s not difficult. I might gasp for air a little harder after a tough set, but that’s it. No real problem. Zero effect on any non super intense sets.

If you train so hard that a mask is untenable, how bout you chill the fuck out and train a little less intensely until this pandemic which shut down the world is mitigated in a few months. Reeks of narcissism and selfishness when folks put up a stink about gym rules mandating masks.


I don’t particularly mind it. Only reason I don’t really like wearing a mask is because I start mouth breathing, and it causes the mask to get really damp, to which I’ll start kind of chewing and licking it, especially if I’m being weird mid set, and do this weird like, oral fixation thing I do sometimes.

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Well, that took an unexpected turn… lol

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How so? By saying oral fixation? Lol

Well this is why mask wearing is here to stay. Most people seem to be okay with it.

It’s good that a mask is not required in my gym, I can’t imagine how a person in a mask feels during cardio training.

I recall my heavy squat days. I had to have a fan or AC blowing on me to keep the feeling of heat overtaking me. But I only needed it doing squats. I suppose it became a mental crutch, but it was real to me.

There is a difference between being compliant to a mask mandate and being okay with continuing to wear one forever.

At a certain point (no overloading in hospitals, low amount of infections), I don’t think a mandate could be defended. Even the Democratic governor in my state has said over and over that he is looking forward to lifting the mandate.

This is what my gut tells me, but I am not convinced on this matter. This anti mask idea seems so baked into a set of beliefs. Most of these beliefs I don’t think are right, but they do seem to come as a package deal (more often than not, the anti masker is: conservative, religious, skeptical of science, and less educated). Obviously, exceptions exist.

For example, I don’t think the anti-vaxxers are selfish assholes because they put other’s children at risk. I just think they are misinformed people (and also at least somewhat stupid to not be able to tell, but that is different than selfish). They are doing something selfish, but that isn’t their intent, so I wouldn’t call them selfish (until intent to be selfish is there).