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Jake Gets Jacked: Comfort always tops style when you're working out

Like most guys I know, picking out what to wear before a workout is as easy for me as pairing the tee that best shows off every muscular ripple of my upper body with a matching set of shorts and socks.

Kidding aside, I’m actually pretty lazy in how I present myself around the gym. It feels the most natural to me to go wearing whatever old, worn clothes look and smell the most fresh, with hair disheveled and face unshaven until I get myself together with the post-workout shower.  

Judging by the wide variety of student athletes I see around Ping who look like they assembled their outfits at the nearest Goodwill, I’m not alone in adhering to this weight room philosophy.

But this isn’t the case for everyone. What I’ve observed since starting this project is a growing abundance of women in shiny, new neon pink tank tops or men with impeccably comfortable-looking silk sweatpants.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t ventured to a workout in new clothing and felt great about it. The added confidence boost you get when you’re in a new set of duds is always a plus, especially if you’re already feeling self-conscious about the prospect of being in a room with a bunch of people much more physically fit than yourself.

Getting a “good workout,” though — one where you seriously push yourself to the point of discomfort — means that you’re going to sweat a whole lot, which isn’t going to play nice with the new threads as they’re worn over and over.

While there are a lot of things that you could think about as you get ready to lift more than what you weigh with only your legs, I’ve found the most productive thoughts revolve less around looks, fashion or any other material possessions and more around listening to how an exercise is making the body feel.

That being said, some cheap, easy accessories exist to make an afternoon in the gym more enjoyable. For those with longer hair, or a head that seems to ferociously perspire, a headband can help to sop up some of the mess and keep sweat from getting into/burning your eyes.

Similarly, don’t forget to bring a towel. It’ll help you stay dry, and you’ll seem a lot more attractive to that cutie on the treadmill when he or she sees you being courteous and wiping away that pool of sweat you just formed on the floor mats.

But don’t think you need to run to the store to grab these suggestions if they aren’t already lying around. Whatever stance you take when it comes to fitness fashion, it shouldn’t matter what you’re wearing as long as you actually get your butt to the gym on a consistent basis.

Jake is a junior studying journalism and a stringer for The Post. Offer him workout tips at

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