Friday, February 25, 2005

Gym Attire

I would have posted several times today, but blogger has been decidely unavailable to me. For some reason blogger and my server were not communicating. Such is life, noncommunication.

I thought I'd do a small commentary on gym attire. This is a touchy subject for some people, but there is a local aspect to dressing for the gym. Variances in Swedish gym-going clothes speak of the local personality. American gym clothes tend towards perfunctory with some flair depending on the city you are in.

The Preppy. Swedish gym attire is preppy, there is no other way to describe it. The gym denizens don 'outter wear' seen in most abercrombie or american eagle catelogs. Apparently they think this is appropriate. It is fun to see people in black, styling cargo trousers and a rugby or polo shirt. Everything matches, including foot apparel.

The Showy. Even if the swedes lean to preppy, you have the main contingent of men who wear tight fitting shirts to exaggerate already neatly sculpted body parts -- with a general focus on the upper body. This is done in either a tee, polo or tank. I've noticed that the different styles serve different, often pratical purposes. The tee and polo (short sleeve) serve for general work outs, usually chest and triceps, back and biceps. You can pull up the sleeves to watch the smaller muscle groups work when you move to the arms, so the shirt serves a decent function. Rugby and long sleeve tees are for leg work outs. This makes sense since you don't NEED to see the upper body. Tanks are most often worn when someone is doing an arm-specific workout or a chest work out. I think, in part, that tanks show more of the out-lying chest muscle groups. Anyways, it's all for show. Tanks are also popular with the tatoo bearers, generally.

The conservative. Work out pants and large tee. The interesting thing about this getup is that only beginners really wear it. I noticed this right off, since it is uncouthe for the otherwise fashion conscious swede.

The casual. Can you imagine lifting in flip flops? Oh, it is not as rare as you'd think. The very hardcore lifters ALWAYS have shoes, but you get the teen to twenty somethings that come in sandals and board shorts. We were never allowed in the states for fear of injury. Shoes provide a little more stability, mainly in the ankle, that reduces injury when standing etc. In truth, I think it comes from the tort system, but shoes in swede are optional. I can imagine it hurts, but then again I pull more weight than most of the people who come in casual dress.

It is interesting that I even noticed this. I noted some of the differences when I first got here, but didn't really think on it for a while. I started thinking about it today when two guys came in in sandals and tank tops like they were headed for the beach. I'm usually in my own world at the gym, but it all just gelled for me today.

Hope all is well


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