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Recently, Brad Cieslowski, a man from Detroit, was kicked out of his gym due to wearing revealing shorts around the pool and gym area. The man was wearing what he calls a “square-cut Speedo,” and judging by the picture presented in the news article, it did not leave much to the imagination.
Cieslowski told news reporters that he felt being kicked out of the gym was sexist. He said that women show “every nook and cranny” in their bathing suits and doesn’t understand what the problem is about wearing his revealing Speedo.
Comments on this news story range from “completely disgusting” to “good for him.” And it posed a question that I have often wondered about. What type of clothing is appropriate for the gym?
As students at Weber State University, we are able to use the fitness facilities that both the Ogden and Davis campuses provide free of charge.
As a frequent user of these facilities, I have, at times, noticed some questionable gymwear on my fellow Wildcats. Some of the clothing includes those “yoga” pants that the girls are sporting — I am not at all complaining (keep it up, ladies!) — or those shirts with the gaping holes for sleeves that the guys (and, more recently, girls) wear. WSU is made up of a generally conservative population, so what do the students think?
With the help of my classmate Tessa Diamond, we questioned some of the students at the Ogden campus fitness center to determine what they believe to be appropriate gym attire. We asked 12 males and 12 females five simple questions, and this is what we have concluded:
1. What is an appropriate length for shorts at the gym? Above the knee? Mid-thigh? Higher? Of the men interviewed, 78 percent said that mid-thigh or longer was appropriate, and 86 percent of women agreed.
2. Should sports bras be covered up? Of the men, 56 percent believed that they should. The women respondents were split at 50 percent.
3. Should men or women be more conscientious about their dress? Of the men, 57 percent said both sexes should. Of the female respondents, 83 percent said that women should.
4. Should guys be allowed to go shirtless at the gym? Of the men, 71 percent said they should not be allowed, and 43 percent of the women said that they should be allowed.
5. Have you ever felt uncomfortable at the gym because of somebody else’s attire? Of the men, 57 percent said they have felt uncomfortable, and 83 percent of the women say they have felt uncomfortable.
Of all the questions and responses gathered, I was surprised at how many said they have felt uncomfortable at the gym because of what somebody else was wearing. The gym is a place for an individual to come and get healthy. It is a place to release some stress and focus on the mind and body.
So how can Wildcats be more conscientious of others while working out at the gym? Treat everyone at the gym like a sheltered, sweet old grandma. If you feel uncomfortable wearing something around her, then switch into something different.
Based on my survey, it seems that both men and women should try to keep their shorts to mid-thigh and no higher.
Sports bras are a tricky thing. Some are more revealing than others. So where do you draw the line? From comments made by respondents, do not wear a bikini top that you wear on the beach. You are at the gym to work out, not flaunt your boobs. Again, think of your grandma.
Keep your shirts on. I understand when you are chilling out by the pool that going shirtless is awesome. But when you are climbing a hill on your stationary bike and your sweat is flying onto your neighbor, that is a problem. Wear a shirt. There are so many options of shirts out there — even some that feel like you are shirtless. Invest in them. Nobody wants your overspray.
So, Wildcats, the next time you are at the gym, think of Grandma and your fellow WSU students when selecting your apparel.