Does Looking Good Mean Better Workouts?

Fitness Fashion

Why would kids save up their school allowance or take menial paid jobs to buy a pair of signature basketball shoes for $200 when they can buy a non-signature brand for less than half the price?

Recently, Under Armour released basketball superstar Stephen Curry’s MVP basketball shoes which were sold out before the official release date. The cost of the shoes? $500.

While you may not shoot the 3-ball like Steph Curry with his shoes on your feet, there is something about wearing the right apparel which makes people perform better in their workouts.

Enclothed Cognition

According to researchers Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, their 2012 study showed that people undergo mental and behavioral changes when they wear certain clothing.

They called the process “Enclothed Cognition”.

Results of the study showed that people who wore pre-determined or specified clothing performed better than those who did not when they did the physical challenges.

Adam theorises that people tend to associate symbols or meanings with particular items of clothing.

In the same way that a kid wearing Curry’s shoes may feel more confident playing basketball, a person wearing fitness clothes will be more inclined to exercise.

In ways, wearing apparel endorsed by sporting superstars gives a person a feeling of empowerment; sort of like being one with their favourite athlete.

Consumers also tend to associate signature brands with quality.

If you get two dri-fit shirts made of the exact same material but one has the signature of tennis superstar Roger Federer, chances are the signature brand will sell out faster than the other shirt even if it is twice the price.

For the consumer, the premium price represents his investment in a health and fitness program which means it should pay dividends.

Look Good, Train Harder?

Then you have trainers who view certain clothes like a uniform. It keeps them more attuned with their workouts perhaps because they associate it with a productive training session.

So you often find people in your gym wearing specific clothing for leg day, back day, chest day or cardio.

It is also unavoidable for some people to use fashion as a motivational tool in their workouts.

There is an inverse relationship between the level of fitness and the amount of skin shown in a workout get up.

The more in-shape a person gets, the less articles of clothing he or she has on.

The bottom-line is exercise should be a fun, worthwhile activity.

If wearing certain types of clothes or brands will enhance performance, go ahead and wear them. Fitness isn’t just about looking good. It is also about feeling good.