T Nation

New to Public Gyms. Help Me Understand Dress Codes

I have always been a nerd/muscian/engineer/desk jockey now retired and I have discovered how much fun it is going to my local gym. I have noticed different guys wear very different cloths when working out.

Can you guys give me the 411 on the different looks.
What do you wear and why?

For example you got the string T’s, the black hoodies, the matching sweat pants and sweat shirts, the guys who is still wearing his street cloths. OK that one doesn’t really count I just though it was funny. The guys who dress alike seem to hangout together. Is it as simple as the outfits support the type of exersize or are there other aspects to these different styles of dress?

I seem to be most comfortable in cutoff sweat pants at the knee and Tee with no sleeves.

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If your jacked wear the stringer , if your very stronk wear the black hoodie and grow a beard. If your a gym rat wear the shirts with motivational quotes. If your an old man wear the street clothes.
If your Brad Castleberry then take your shirt off and pull those pants down.


If you wear this you will assert your dominance over the other people in the gym and they will be nervous to approach you. Only true alpha males can wear this outfit. If you want respect its your go-too apparel.


Be a gentleman in a room full of oafs. Go with tuxedo and top hat and class that shit right up. The guys will be in awe, the girls will be lining up, you will be blown over by the gust caused by a collective of panties simultaneously dropping


I used to wear leggings and compressions till I got married and now my wife won’t let me. Now I wear looser shorts, but want shorter - maybe like mid quad.

I like to wear short sleeved t-shirts and don’t go sleeveless often unless I’m doing OHP or deadlift because I don’t want the bar or bench to slip around. I wear my A7 or Roizo shirts at commercial gyms.

I like to rock Junk headbands because I sweat so much, and long socks if I’m deadlifting.

There’s nothing to it. It’s no different than clothing worn in public. Some people dress for functionality. Some people dress for attention. Some are new to the scene and bought everything they could find at Gym Shark.

Dress the way you want…within reason. Wear shoes and if you’re going to wear shorty shorts then don’t do bench press or anything else that requires you to lie down and spread your legs.


I wear knee length shorts. Unless it’s leg day I wear a tank so I can see pumps and my muscles work. On leg day I wear a non-compression Under Armour short sleeve T so that I’m less distracted by my massive arms and can focus on working my quads, hams and calves.

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By that logic you should be wearing a speedo on leg day so you can see the veins in your quads popping.


“Hey can I work in with you” “Uhhhh I’m done here, it’s all yours” Everytime

Don’t lie. You’d spot him for weighted hip thrusts.

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Easy solution. Divorce ur wife.

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If I can ever get the veins in my legs to show I’ll probably get short shorts like Breon Ansley.

I have a grab-n-go drawer filled with t shirts, a couple tanks, basketball shorts, and socks. First thing I grab is what I wear. I will admit, though, that on leg day I usually shuffle through and grab the one pair of shorter shorts that I have. Pumped up quads are sweet.

Thanks guys I though there might be something a little bit more to it.
Dress in what makes you feel the most comfortable. Which is what I’ve been doing since I started.

So I got another question for you guys that go to public gyms.
What is it with the really old guys walking around the dressing/locker room buck neked like they are home with no one around.
Do they not know no one wants to look at their saggy ass junk?

Competition t-shirts (free) or stuff from the $6 section at Walmart and athletic shorts.

Because it’s cheap.


Dont worry about clothes, what you need to get a grip on is the change rooms.

Towel goes over your shoulder, never around your waist.
Stay naked as long as possible
If naked and a bench is within walking distance, then one foot must go on the bench, lunge forward for full points.
Hot air dryer works equally well.for hands and balls


Then use the money you saved and buy stuff for a home gym so you don’t have to deal with the others :wink:

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:laughing: :laughing:

That’s just an old guy thing. They don’t give a damn.


I can’t wait until i get to the “don’t give damn” point in my life…

Typically I ignore these folks, but some of the most interesting things can be learned by talking to the gray beards at the gym.