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.

Incidentally, if this has got you thinking about grabbing one for yourself, swing by the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

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