Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


The Future of Workout Clothing
Posted By Scott Bird

Under Armour E39 Compression Shirt

Under Armour E39 Compression Shirt. Image via Wired Magazine.

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a number of unusual ideas in the ‘workout clothing‘ space; some of them a little more promising than others. To give you an idea, here are just a few of the things we’ve seen :

Under Armour E39 Compression Shirt

First up, an Under Armour shirt with several sensors built in (pictured above). Measuring things like heart rate, temperature and speed.

The MotivePro Suit

A suit that vibrates when a particular position is attained. Could be a great way of instantly checking your form.

The Squid

As with the Under Armour one, this is another sensor-enhanced workout shirt. In addition to recording things like heart rate and ambient temperature, The Squid measures how much effort one side of the body is putting in relative to the other. Nice one.

Stanford’s ‘Cooling Glove

On the recovery side of the equation, Stanford University’s ‘Cooling Glove is a fascinating idea. Always On recently had a great video showing this device in action.

Radiate Athletics

Recently we looked at the Radiate Athletics shirt on Kickstarter, which promises to change colour according to body temperature. Interesting idea.

Of course, added to the above are the various strength-assisting, compression and moisture wicking items that are seen in any number of gyms and competitions.

Where’s it All Going?

Now it’s time to peer into the future. No doubt we’ll see various combinations of the above ideas, as well as integration with those from other fields. New materials, more advanced sensors and so on.

Here are some of the things I’d love to see :

  • Information about your environment (such as the temperature of the air around you) automatically being fed to your clothing, and helping it to change accordingly. As an example, if you’re working out in a cold room, the clothing might help keep key areas warm.
  • Information about what you’re doing (the number of sets & reps, and the exercise you’re likely performing) being recorded, and compared to your goals. And where relevant, shared with people such as your Personal Trainer and medical professionals.
  • Ability to customise things like moisture wicking, strength assistance and compression. All of these things are going to be needed more on some days than others, depending upon your age, injuries and how you’re feeling generally.

Over to You.

Now it’s your turn. What sorts of things do you expect to see over the next year or two, and what would you like to see? Are you perfectly happy with the workout clothes you wear now, or are features like moisture wicking and automatic cooling things you would actually like to see become much more common?

Leave a note in the comments below. We’ll also be discussing this over on Google+ and in an upcoming Gymchat. Look forward to hearing your ideas.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter. A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.

And if you'd like to check out any of the stuff mentioned above (or in the comments), swing by Amazon. Huge assortment of fitness gear.


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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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