Nike Training and Vibram
There are three criteria I look for when selecting shoes for training. A flat sole without raised cushioning/heel is important for performing leg exercises. This is why you see a lot of serious powerlifters wearing Converse All Stars (as a bonus they look pretty cool as well). I also look for a shoe that is lightweight, flexible, and durable. Nike training shoes are my shoe of choice for training inside and outside the gym. I wear them for boot camp and playing sports (mainly tennis and basketball). They perform well and are good for lateral movements/agility exercises. These simple looking black shoes can also go with jeans which is nice.
You will also find me wearing Vibram "barefoot" shoes even though they look pretty silly and hideous. These shoes are great specifically for training - they provide a natural feel during squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Your foot and toes can move naturally. They are also good for walking and running short distances. I have a very basic, "classic" pair that doesn't have much cushioning at all that I wear for weight training. I have a second pair that is meant for cross-training, running and hiking.
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2. Performance Shorts
Nike Dri-Fit Training Shorts
Nike, again is my brand of choice when it comes to performance shorts. When shopping for training shorts I focus on three factors: lightness, breathability, and length (nothing that goes past the knees). These Nike shorts fit all the criteria and have been very durable as they have lasted several years..
Performance T-Shirts Lululemon Metal Vent Tech
When shopping for tshirts, the main criteria I look for are: lightness, breathability, and sweat-wicking capability. Lululemon Metal Vent Tech shirts fit these criteria and they also look good and are usually"V" tapered. The only problem is they usually do not fit quite as nicely if I am bulking up but they are perfect when I trim myself down. I own a couple of these shirts and they have lasted me years without falling apart or fading. This is a good thing because this brand tends to be on the more expensive side. These shirts are not available through Amazon. They are available here at Lululemon.
Graphic T-Shirts - Ames Bros.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. Ames Bros. are the brothers of bass player, Jeff Ament. They design concert posters and tshirts. Just like Pearl Jam, Ames Bros. pay attention closely to detail and produce items of the highest quality. I love their unique style and colours of tshirts. Their shirts are very soft cotton and have a slight tapered look. They are lightweight and durable. If you are going to train, might as well do it in style, right? For more, go to Ames Bros.
4. Long Sleeve Performance Shirts
Under Armour and Lululemon
When I am selecting long sleeve shirts I am looking for: comfort, light weight, and breathability. My favourite two brands in this category are Lululemon and Under Armour. I will wear my Lululemon long sleeve in early spring and early fall. It is a little heavier than the Under Armour and made of softer material. The exact style of this long sleeve is no longer available but check out their website for other options. I will wear my Under Armour when it is a little warmer or underneath sweaters during winter. Both of these performance long sleeve shirts are not flashy and go well with a pair of jeans. This is always an added bonus with fitness clothing.
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5. Hoodies/Hooded Sweaters
Calvin Klein and Lululemon
These two hooded sweatshirts are my favourites. They are great for training outdoors in the cold. They are comfortable, breathable, and durable. Lululemon has a heavier weight than the Calvin Klein. The Calvin Klein is a slimmer fit, giving the upper body a nice tapered appearance. I particularly like the style of the Lululemon but I cannot find this exact style anymore. You browse their hoodies at their website. I also cannot find the exact style of the Calvin Klein hooded but you can also search their website (Canada), (U.S.). Sometimes it is necessary to look on Amazon or eBay for older or rare styles. Both of these hoodies go well with a pair of jeans.
6. Gym/Jogging Pants
My favourite brand for jogging pants is Lululemon. They are the most comfortable, breathable, durable, and best-looking jogging pants around. You get what you pay for here. Go to Lululemon for their large selection of quality pants.
7. Compression Clothing
Nike Tank, and Under Armor Long Sleeve and Pants
My brand of choice for compression clothing is Under Armor. I believe they are the first company to produce them. I like wearing compression gear underneath tshirts, sweaters, and shorts when it gets cold. They keep you warm and just feel great when working out, like a nice warm hug. I am unsure of the science behind compression clothing and if they really help performance - they just feel really good. As a bonus, they are great for photo-ops for when you get into your best shape ever.
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Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A.(Kinesiology), P.T.S.