5 Things You Should NEVER Wear to Work Out

by Matt Weik

If you’re working out, you’re already ahead of the game compared to many of the people around you. And while I’d like everyone to exercise without anything impeding their current motivation, I can’t help but facepalm every time I see people wearing one or multiple of the five things I have listed below that you should never wear to work out. Not only are some of these things dangerous to wear when you are exercising but they also make you look like a complete tool.

1. Sunglasses

The first thing you should never wear to work out is a pair of sunglasses. The ONLY reason you should ever wear sunglasses for a workout would be if you are doing something active outside. Otherwise, if you’re in the gym (inside) and wearing sunglasses, you’re going to be labeled as “the tool” of the gym.

There’s really no reason to even wear sunglasses into the gym, to be honest. It’s a 30-second walk to the door – you can make it in the sun for 30-seconds with your head down without your eyeballs frying. Not only that but tossing your sunglasses (assuming they are somewhat expensive) into a crammed locker spells disaster. It’s also not uncommon to have people break into lockers and steal other’s possessions. Do yourself a favor and just keep your shades in your car.

2. Jeans

Another item you should never wear to work out are jeans. I get it, some people live in their jeans but the fact is, they’re restrictive. Unless you were wearing the baggiest pair of jeans on the market, doing a squat will probably tear the rear-end right out of them. You want to wear actual workout/athletic pants, sweatpants, joggers, shorts, whatever – but leave the jeans at home.

You can just as easily be a fashion statement with athleisure apparel versus wearing jeans to the gym. You want to be able to have a full range of motion and mobility and not have the tight fibers of your jeans restrict you from performing an exercise correctly and with proper form.

3. Sandals

It should go without saying but the gym isn’t exactly a safe-haven where injuries can’t happen. Dumbbells fall or are dropped by lifters, plates fall, and not to mention all of the moving parts on the cardio equipment. If you like your feet and want to keep all of your toes, skip the sandals for a pair of running shoes, cross-training shoes, or actual lifting shoes. Sandals are not safe and something you should never wear to work out.

Not only that, but no one wants to see your funky feet. While there could be some oddballs there who have foot-fetishes, for the other 99.9% of the people, they don’t want to see your jacked up toes and foot fungus.

4. Jewelry

As mentioned earlier, the gym is not a place off-limits from freak accidents and injuries. Watches, bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings should be removed prior to stepping on the gym floor. Listen, Mr. T, during my time as a personal trainer working out of gyms, I’ve seen my fair share of accidents that resulted in a trip to the hospital strictly due to jewelry. For that reason, it’s not recommended and definitely belongs on this list of things you should never wear to work out.

Now you might be wondering how all of that’s possible but it is. Let’s say you are wearing your wedding ring and you slam your finger between two plates and your finger blows up like a balloon. What do you think is going to happen with that ring on there? Yup, it’s going to cut off the circulation to that finger by swelling up and having the ring constricting the finger itself. Medical personnel will need to cut the wedding band off of you to save your finger. And being that a wedding band/ring is something very special, getting it cut off is probably not on your list of things you want to experience. Nor is losing jewelry because you forgot to remove it prior to your workout.

Also, I’ve seen businessmen who wear high-end watches have their bracelet on their Rolex watch snap and plummet to the floor. When doing movements such as the bench, the position of your wrist can apply pressure downward on your watch and it can be enough to snap the pins in the bracelet or band, causing it to break. Not exactly something you’d want to experience with a $10,000+ Rolex watch sitting on your wrist.

5. Work Clothes

Last, but certainly not least are work clothes. I totally understand you want to get it in when you can and if that means hitting the gym before work, during your lunch break, or immediately after work, that’s what you need to do. However, this ties back in with #2 and even #3. Your work clothes are probably not as forgiving as actual workout apparel. I’ve seen people working out in dress pants and an undershirt (while wearing Louis Vuitton loafers – can you imagine sweat dripping on them?). I’ve seen nurses working out in scrubs and Crocs. I’ve even seen people wearing jeans with a polo shirt. Heck, I’ve even seen overalls in the gym.

Please, please, please. Work clothes are something you should never wear to exercise. Do you really want someone’s bodily fluid on your nice clothing? The gym is a Petri dish for bacteria, germs, and puddles of sweat. Do you really want to take a seat on a piece of equipment in your $300+ suit pants only to stand up and notice it looks like you had an accident because you sat in someone else’s sweat? Probably not. Keep a gym bag in your car and in it put a change of clothes to change into once you get to the gym.