Confession — I’m a gym derelict. The sanctum of sweat is, to me, nothing more than a promise made to an errant vertebra in a moment of anguish. Ergo, high-fiving homies and trading washboard-ab hacks isn’t quite my jam. While said revelry occurs, I typically force-shift focus from weeping hamstrings to my sweet spot i.e. people watching. This oasis of adrenalin is fertile with the most vibrant flora and fauna. Desmond Morris, it’s a pity you missed chronicling this tribe of rippling muscle mass and energizer bunnies in their natural habitat.
This is where it’s all going down. Stocks are being analysed as passionately as the gluteus maximus. Talent is being scouted, JVs clinched, startup concepts pitched and VCs wooed. Bears and bulls lock horns, while bunnies hip-hop and pump. And statuesque stallions trot around, leaving a steaming trail of success. The erstwhile meat market has morphed into the meet market, and every manner of networking is in play. Maybe all that free-flowing, honestto-goodness sweat cues a certain vulnerability, a sense of trust amongst the tribe, channelled brilliantly by the astute. The question is, are you ready with your best game?
Lace up, grab your backpack of ambition and hit the floor, where sweat is the universal leveller. Before you start squatting, tank up on the two non-negotiables: attitude and accoutrements.
Slip into the athleisure state of mind, casual and form enhancing, but not over-testosteroned. This mindset must allow for a certain permeability, between leisure and work, personal and professional, active wear and work wear, BMI and P&L…you get the drift. The whole world is your stage, as the bard said — anything could happen anywhere. Embrace the ambiguity. The ensemble, however, cannot remain ambiguous, or your planking prowess will mean nothing. Add some snap to your stacks – I’m talking performance gear that enhances more than just your heart rate. Luxury labels have sweetened the pot with statement workout collections. Ditto with the high street labels.
UPPER BODY WEAR
Let’s face it, not every man’s anatomy can pull off the singlet or vest. Compression Tees define, contour and stretch to accommodate whatever your move of the minute is — spinning or schmoozing. A lightweight hoodie pre and post workout lends a slash of swag. A deodorant is meant to ambush offensive bacteria. Cologne? Buddy, there is a distinction between a barbell and a bar that serves belles.
LOWER BODY WEAR
Leggings and running tights — same rule as the vest. Wide pass, unless you’re running a marathon in Minsk. Lined shorts or sweat pants always work. Slim sweat pants are currently steaming up runways and cardio rooms alike. Fabrics with sweat-wicking and water- repellant properties, like polyamide, are a 10/10 on form, function and aesthetics. Drop crotches, pirate pantaloons and spandex skins are a death wish.
Retros, crossovers, orthopaedic enhancers, even fancy-ass luxury kicks — the options are staggering. The tricky part is the socks. Current faves are the absorbent, odour resistant, invisible peds that work as foot-sleeves under the sports shoe. Ankle length works too. Save the knee-high for when you’re in China, or on a football pitch. And if you’re considering the sockless approach, just grab a gun and shoot yourself before someone else does. TECH WEAR Ralph Lauren’s PoloTech Tee measures your respiration, heart rate, muscle performance and calorie burn. Otherwise, there’s the trusty FitBit. Discreet, sleek, efficient and relentless, it’s everything you want in a personal trainer.
Think of this little accessory as a firewall that keeps out weird viruses from hacking into your personal space. You’ll want ergonomic, wireless, invisible, Bluetooth buds with a long battery life. Waterproof is a happy bonus — they will take you from warm up to the steam room, dabbing like Pogba. This completes your flash sesh on athletic aesthetics. Sweat forth and prosper, lads.