Sweat it out: Rec approved fashion

The Fashionista’s how-to on dressing for fitness classes

by Micaela Resh

With New Year’s resolutions still in full swing (hopefully), everyone is flocking to the gym. Newcomers and experts alike are trying new fitness classes this semester.

Whether you’re practicing peaceful meditation in yoga, or dancing it out in Zumba, different classes incorporate different moves that call for the appropriate gear and clothing. From shoes to apparel to hairstyles, it’s important to dress correctly to get the most out of a workout.

Last year, students stirred debate over the University of Minnesota Recreation Center’s dress code. Formerly, the gym prohibited tops that revealed shoulders or sides for both men and women.

After feedback from the Minnesota Student Association, the rec center had a change in policy this semester, now allowing all shirts and tank tops that fully cover the torso.

Breathe easy; it’s now acceptable to show off those newly toned shoulders.

With a little help from the experts, here are a few tips on what to wear the next time you sweat it out at the gym.


Tone it up at Yoga Sculpt

Yoga Sculpt is a strength-infused yoga class. As the most strenuous yoga class offered at the rec center, Yoga Sculpt combines strength training with traditional yoga poses to reach mind and body relaxation while toning. Free weights add an extra challenge to squats, lunges and bicep curls.

Kinesiology senior Alyssa Melco is a Yoga Sculpt instructor, and she knows the ins and outs of her class and the moves involved.

“Push up and bicep series are pretty typical for most classes. There is cardio like squat jumps and high knees,” Melco said.

 To keep up with the class, dress in normal yoga attire.

“I think it’s nice to have tank tops because they are free moving and you can move around more easily for mountain climbers and burpees without having extra fabric in the way. As for footwear, you don’t need socks or shoes, it’s a barefoot class,” Melco said.

First timers, there’s no need to distress about attending your first class.

“Don’t be afraid to try new things; there is a lot of new stuff on our calendar this year. If you don’t like one aspect of working out, there are so many other options to try. Also, bringing friends makes it less intimidating, and committing to a class with a friend will keep you accountable,” Melco said.


Get your heart rate up with HITT

HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a cardio and conditioning class that involves work-to-rest rations and a variety of exercises to raise your heart rate and deliver a killer workout.

Sammi Nachtigal, a recreation, park and leisure studies senior, is a fitness instructor and a regular at the gym. With that, she knows the perfect way to style your hair to stay flawless during even the most grueling workout.

“You want to get your hair out of your face. I usually braid mine or put it in a tight bun. Even a pony tail will end up flicking you in the face and distract you from the workout,” Nachtigal said.

Starting a new workout regimen is the perfect excuse for picking up a new outfit. The retail market is packet with fitness apparel, providing options for every budget and style.

“On the budget end of a college student, Target makes just as good of clothing as other brands,” Nachtigal said. ”As for more lux fashion, Under Armor is my go-to.”


Strengthen at TRX Suspension

TRX Suspension is a strength and cardio class utilizing total body resistance exercise. It focuses on strengthening the core and total body.

Each move relies mainly on each individual’s body weight rather than separate free weights.

Dance junior Alexandra Eady is a TRX Suspension instructor who has all the tips on how to dress.

“Wear clothes that won’t get caught in the straps like fitted pants, shorts and T-shirts,” Eady said.

When deciding which brand to invest in, there are a couple of options.             

“I’m getting really into Athleta right now, and Lulu is always great. Athleta has a lot of cute leggings and jackets right now,” Eady said. “It’s great to wear layers so that you can regulate body heat when working out. I wear a top with a light jacket to take off and tie around my waist when I get warm. And [I] love Nike tennis shoes; I have so many pairs in different colors.”