It’s T shirt Time!
The gym T shirt is the father of all men's fitness fashion, designed to wick sweat, allow your skin to breathe, flatter your physique and help you smash your workout.
So next time that huge dude who always takes his top off because he “got too hot” decides to train so close you can count his chest hairs, you can tell him that what he needs is a better gym T shirt.
Looking for a sleeveless t-shirt?
Functional Qualities to Look for in a Good Gym T shirt
The aim of your gym shirt should always be to enhance your training, it should never hold you back or get in the way, in order to get the most out of your tee, look for these features.
Technical fabrics should be lightweight, they should not weigh you down when dry or once you start to sweat. They should be closely fitted to not create a drag, when cycling for example and they don’t want to be too bulky.
In warm conditions, sportswear should allow the wearer to stay cool; while in cold situations, sportswear should help the wearer to stay warm.
Breathable materials help aid thermoregulation and prevent rashes.
Moisture Wicking / Dry Wicking
Moisture wicking materials move perspiration away from the body to the fabrics outer surface where it can evaporate. These fabrics typically are soft, lightweight, and stretchy. Moisture-wicking means that the fabric is absorbent, which can leave a barrier of wet fabric on your skin. Dry wicking is the newest variation of moisture wicking. It is a smart two tier fabric that breaks the surface tension of sweat and propels it through the hydrophobic layer into a natural wicking outer layer like cotton, where it is assisted by evaporative cooling leaving your skin absolutely dry. Besides the fact that your body can perform better, it will prevent odors because a bacteria microclimate cannot grow on dry skin.
Flatlock seams are where the two pieces of fabric join side to side without having any extra fabric sticking up from the seam on the inside, these provide a smooth fit which provides irritation free wear without any chafing.
For training in low lighting conditions to ensure safety in performance. Sundried’s Dom Tee LINK contains reflective strips for added visibility.
Gym T shirt Materials
The fabrics you select for your gym T shirt should support the qualities above, but different materials will support a different focus for your training.
|Cotton||Whilst cotton may survive low - moderate intensity exercise, once you crank the anti up, cotton no longer becomes soft on the skin but soggy and can leave an athlete soaked after a heavy workout.|
|Polyester||Polyester is the most popular choice because it is breathable, lightweight and dries quickly. It can however become frustratingly static.|
|Nylon||Nylon has similar features to polyester. It is both lightweight and strong. Nylon does not absorb much moisture, it is also fast-drying and easy to maintain.|
|Spandex||Spandex has the ability to stretch up to 500 percent of its original size and then recover its original shape. This material is also lightweight, making it ideal for fitness wear. One common form of spandex that is often seen in fitness wear is Lycra, which is a synthetic elastic fabric. Lycra is comfortable and breathable as well as quick-drying and resistant to bacteria, ultraviolet rays, and chlorine. This fabric also eliminates static cling and pilling.|
Men's Gym T shirt Sizing
Even the best technical gym tee can’t do it’s job if it doesn’t fit.
T Shirt Sizing Guide
Different brands will offer different measurements for sizing their t-shirts. A medium in a UK sports brand may be similar to a small size in a US brand. Or visa versa. The main thing is to know exactly what you want from your t-shirt. If you are after a fitted t-shirt, find a brand that offers one for your shape.
Buying a T Shirt, Sizing Guide Tips. Ask yourself these questions
- See if the product description use terms like ‘fitted’, ‘slim fit’ or loose fit.
- Read up on t-shirt materials. All fabrics hang differently when worn
- Know what fit you are after
- Understand the neckline
- Know what sleeve length you would like to wear
- Know how fitted you would like the sleeves
- Are you after technical qualities from your t-shirt
It may seem like a lot to ask yourself for just “buying a t-shirt”, but think of how many t-shirts you get through in a year. When you are buying them online you can not feel and touch the fabrics. You don’t want to be buying them and sending them back to find the perfect fit and you probably do not want to compromise.
Gym T shirt Tips
Follow these tips to keep your gym T shirt tip top:
Avoid slogan T shirts like the plague.
If you take your workout seriously, why wouldn’t you take your top seriously?
The worst I’ve seen read “cheat on your girlfriend, not on your work out”. No. Just no. Not only are these kind of slogan T shirts frankly awful, they’re usually made of cotton which for high intensity workouts, will soak up sweat and that can lead to smelling. Nice. If your T shirts a joke, who’s going to take your training seriously, invest in a performance gym tee and show you’re serious about success.
Make sure it fits.
Whilst your T- shirt might fit perfectly as you bicep curl, as soon as you lie horizontally for a bench press if you're flashing your snail trail or worse still your beer belly, your top’s too short. Opt for a T shirt you can raise your hand above your head in without revealing any skin around your waistline. It saves you embarrassment and sweaty skin-bench contact.
Lose the static
Many performance t shirts are made with polyester, for its sweat wicking and lightweight materials, however polyester is very prone to static. Very dry air also increases your chances of a static cling. So combine a polyester t shirt and an air conditioned gym and I’m willing to bet you’re going to experience static sooner or later. To get rid of static touch any piece of grounded metal to transfer the charge, and no, abs of steel don’t count.
Keep it clean
The very nature of a gym T shirt means it's going to get sweaty and whilst the best t shirts will wick away sweat, they are not self cleaning. You need to put that T shirt through the wash, leave it to fester in your gym bag after a workout and bacteria can spread, as well as a stench. Wash your T shirt after every session to keep it feeling fresh and never re-wear a sweaty top.
Keep cotton for low intensity
Cotton soaks up moisture and will leave you with generous sweat patches, yes you will be sweating, but let’s not advertise quite how much to everyone around you.
What you wear in the gym says something about your training, so make sure it say’s your ready to get out there and do things differently.