the joy of strength training


June 2nd, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Gym wardrobe malfunctions

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When kit goes wrong

Ever had an embarrassing ‘wardrobe malfunction’ while at the gym? Or tried to shield your eyes because you’ve just seen one and it’s putting you off your workout? Here are my top gym wardrobe malfunctions and how to fix them!

Malfunction #1: Trousers splitting while squatting. Very difficult to hide, this one. The incident is usually accompanied by a loud tearing noise.

Fix: Wear lycra or something roomy. And make sure you have nice pants on.

Blue scoop tee from Pure Lime on

Anti muffin-top device

Malfunction #2: Excessive cleavage on view. You have to watch this one, ladies. Everything might seem fine when you are standing up straight, but what about when you deadlift or do press ups?

Fix: Do the ‘bend over’ check when you buy sports bras and wear high necks. Unless you want to show the cleavage off, in which case don’t complain that guys stare at you.

Malfunction #3: Men wearing too short shorts.  Guys, running shorts are for running, not doing crunches. We can see everything! And it’s not pleasant.

Fix: Avoid very short running shorts, especially with a split up the side, if you are going to be lying on the gym floor doing core work.

Malfunction #4: Leaving sweaty marks on equipment. Leave that for the hardcore bodybuilding gyms, the rest of us don’t want to be lying in your sweat.

Fix: Wear something that covers your shoulders and back.

Malfunction #5: Barbell slides down back when squatting. This is due to the surface (skin or material) being slippery. This is scary and potentially dangerous – you don’t want to squat with a bar that is sliding down your back!

Fix: Wear a cotton t-shirt and/or cover your shoulders with chalk.

Malfunction #6: Unnecessary wearing of compression clothing. You look like a tit.

Fix: You don’t need to wear a compression top to do your bicep curls. Save it for the post-rugby game recovery.

Malfunction #7: Muffin top. When your love handles bulge out over the top of your trousers.

Fix: Avoid hipsters and wear longer tops. There’s no rule that says you have to wear crop tops in the gym. There are some nice long tank tops around that look pretty and cover up the bulgy bits.

Malfunction #8: Developing running sores on your shins from deadlifting.

Fix: Cover your legs. Wear long socks (e.g. football socks) or leggings. Tracksuit pants can also be worn but can snag or slow down the bar.

Malfunction #9: Training in jeans or any other casual trousers. This says ‘I don’t care about working out, I’m only here to do my arms’.  No-one will take you seriously.

Fix: Get some decent kit. Have a look at

Got any wardrobe malfunctions you would like to share?

Win £50 worth of kit!

Men's fitness clothingThe folks at think you guys deserve some new gym gear so they have donated a £50 voucher to be won by a lucky reader.

To be in with a chance of winning, just name one of the brands that stocks. Click here to enter.

Closing date: midnight on 28 June 2011. One entry per email address. No purchase necessary. This competition is open to all as ships worldwide. The delivery costs are included in the £50. Cheapest destinations are the UK, US or Canada. European countries and elsewhere vary but you can check at Your contact details will not be used for any purpose other than the administration of this competition, nor passed to any third party.

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  • 1

    That was funny. As far as leaving sweat on the equipment just wipe it down. A gym is meant for working hard and when you work hard you sweat! This is just common sense.

    Also, guys, don’t borrow your sister’s yoga capris. Notice I didn’t say girlfriend because it is assumed that if you are wearing them you don’t have a girlfriend.

    boo on June 2nd, 2011
  • 2

    @ boo: agree with you about the sweat. It’s those Gold’s Gym stringy tank tops I was thinking about though. I find in any given gym there’s always one dude wearing one.

    gubernatrix on June 2nd, 2011
  • 3

    Nothing wrong with Malfunction #2 imo :p

    Alex B on June 2nd, 2011
  • 4

    This one is awesome:

    Malfunction #9: Training in jeans or any other casual trousers. This says ‘I don’t care about working out, I’m only here to do my arms’. No-one will take you seriously.

    Yes. Or people who wear street shoes. Or no socks. Okay that’s just my pet peeve. I could never not wear socks at the gym.

    boo on June 2nd, 2011
  • 5

    This one makes me glad that I’m a cellar-dwellar!

    Justin_P on June 8th, 2011
  • 6

    Oh, and I’ve had two noteworthy malfunctions, one funny and the other extremely painful:

    1. I still haven’t figured out how I do this but I somehow manage to pull my shirt over my head while clean and pressing my sandbag. So, I either tuck it in or get rid of it.

    2. I was wearing a pair of gloves while doing some 5-finger pushups on a diamond-plate metal surface. The glove slipped and hyper-extended my left thumb. It’s still not 100%.

    Justin_P on June 8th, 2011
  • 7

    Ouchy Justin! Hope fatherhood is fun 🙂

    gubernatrix on June 14th, 2011
  • 8

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  • 9

    It is, Sally! My son is already showing signs of extreme strength and power!

    1. During birth, his heart rate never dropped below 120 bpm.

    2. He already flips himself over at two weeks old!

    3. I held one of his feet when he was lying down in the fetal position and he pushed his entire body backwards while straightening his leg!

    In other words, he’s already earned his, “Powerhouse” deadlift onesie that I bought him!

    Justin_P on June 22nd, 2011
  • 10

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  • 11

    OK, I admit to #2 sometimes, but high t-s look lame on me, honestly, and they give me a suffocation feeling. I’ll try to get better and look for little V-necks (as we speak) 🙂

    Lieke on July 20th, 2011
  • 12

    I admit to malfunction #3 many years back. As a runner and starting out working out more at the gym I just wore my running shorts; unfortunately the split style. There were female runners also attending the gym with split shorts also. I never gave it much thought.

    Randy on October 16th, 2017


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