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Gym T Shirts

by Alexandra Parren

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Gym t-shirts are the foundation of any good gym wardrobe. We take a look at what to look for in the best gym t-shirts as well as explaining men's gym t-shirt sizing and functional qualities to look for in a gym top for men.

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Functional qualities to look for in the best gym t shirt

The aim of your gym t-shirt should always be to enhance your training; it should never hold you back or get in the way. If you're going to be spending good money on a specially designed gym t-shirt, it should perform to your highest expectations and feature most if not all of the below qualities:


Technical fabrics should be lightweight and should not weigh you down either when dry or once you start to sweat. They should be closely fitted so as not to create a drag when cycling, for example, and they shouldn't be too bulky. Look for premium materials, such as the recycled materials found in the Sundried men's activewear collection, which will always stay lightweight when you're training and are specifically designed for performance. 


You want your gym t-shirt to keep you warm when it's cold without making you too hot and sweaty when it's hot. A good gym t-shirt will feature thermoregulation technology which means it'll do just that. 

Moisture Wicking 

This should be a basic requirement of any men's fitness top. Moisture wicking materials move perspiration away from the body to the fabric's outer surface where it can evaporate away. These fabrics are typically 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 micro-climate 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. One of the latest innovations in men's gym wear is seamless gym clothing. These garments have no seams whatsoever meaning that you won't chafe during your workout and can be safe in the knowledge that you'll be comfortable no matter how tough your workout. 

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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.

Fabric Features
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 t-shirt can’t do its job if it doesn’t fit properly. See below for a comprehensive guide to men's gym top sizing and see where you fit in.

Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large
Chest 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47" 47-50"
Waist 28.75-31.25" 31.25-33.75" 33.75-36.25" 36.25-38.75" 38.75-41.25"
Hips 35.75-38.25" 38.25-40.75" 40.75-43.25" 43.25-45.75" 45.75-48.25"
Height 5'7"-5'9" 5'9"-5'11" 5'11"-6'1" 6'1"-6'3" 6'3"-6'5"


gym tops for men


T Shirt Sizing Guide


When buying a gym t-shirt, follow our Sizing Guide Tips. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the product description use terms like ‘fitted’, ‘slim fit’ or loose fit? Is this want you want from your gym top?
  • What material is the t-shirt made from?
  • What neckline do you prefer when training?
  • What sleeve length are you looking for?
  • Which technical qualities do you care about most when looking for your new gym top?

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 cannot feel and touch the fabrics. You don’t want to be buying them and sending them back to find the perfect fit and you definitely do not want to compromise on quality.

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Tips For Buying Men's Gym Tops

Follow these tips to ensure you don't have to keep buying new gym tops and that your investment counts.

Avoid slogan t-shirts

What might seem like a funny tagline when you buy it may soon become an embarrassment at the gym. You really don't want to be the guy in the gym whose gym t-shirt reads: “cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout”. Not only is it embarrassing, these t-shirts are usually cheap and do not feature any of the luxury technical qualities listed above.

Make sure it fits

When you're working out at the gym, you end up moving in every possible direction and you don't want to find that your t-shirt rides up when you raise your arms above your head for an overhead press or restricts blood flow to your arms when you do a bicep curl. Make sure it fits properly in all angles and directions and think about all the moves you'll be doing at the gym while wearing it before you buy. 

Keep it clean

If your gym t-shirt is of premium quality and features lots of technical innovations, chances are it may still feel dry and clean even after a super sweaty workout. However, don't be fooled, it will still contain bacteria and you should still wash it after every workout. 

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