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Are Sweatpants Good for Working Out?

Sweatpants can be good workout clothes if you want to warm up muscles faster, get your body temperature up, and sweat more. As opposed to tights and shorts, sweatpants don’t lead heat away from the skin.

Sweatpants are usually made out of 100% cotton or a cotton and polyester blend.

Cotton is used to make warm clothes because of its property to retain heat. This can be a good idea for those cold winter days, but what about while exercising?

When you work out, your body temperature rises and heat is released through the skin. If you are wearing clothes made from cotton while working out, chances are that heat will not be able to leave your body and you will get sweaty, and ultimately wet.

Is that a good thing? Depends on your goals.

If you want to warm up your muscles and prevent injuries, then yes, sweatpants can be a good choice for your workouts.

But there is a downside. Your body is trying to cool down naturally through perspiration, and interrupting that process by retaining too much heat can cause overheating and discomfort.

Let’s see how we can use sweatpants to our advantage.

sweatpants for working out

What are the Benefits of Working Out in Sweatpants?

Sweatpants will help you warm up your muscles faster which can prevent injuries. They will also retain more heat and make you sweat more.


Before working out, you should always dedicate 5 to 10 minutes for a good, full-body warmup. Here are some of the warm up exercises I recommend:

  • Arms swings
  • Light jogging
  • Push-ups
  • Yoga stuff/stretching
  • Rowing

When you start heating up, the heart beats faster. Faster beating means the heart is pumping more blood into your veins, organs, and muscles. 

This blood flow and circulation will increase your body temperature. The heat generated also releases oxygen from hemoglobin (red blood cells) and your blood becomes a better enabler for your muscles.

Warming up is the most important step you can take to prevent pulling a muscle. Gradually pumping oxygenated blood will make them more flexible. And as we know, flexible muscle means lower chances of tearing.

A trick used by sport players:

Athletes use hoodies and sweatpants to warm up quickly.

This is a well-known trick in the sports industry and among professional bodybuilders.

Not only does it get your blood pumping and protects muscles from injuries, but it also keeps them warm for longer.

You might notice some athletes using this trick to stay warm during breaks and time-outs. Warm muscles perform better.

Retaining the heat with cotton clothes means you will boost your blood flow and reduce cooling for an optimal and safe workout. 

Just make sure, you don’t make your sweatpants wet. This will eventually make you cold, which defeats the purpose of working out in cotton.

Now that you are all warmed up in your sweatpants, what comes next?

Sweating vs. Burning Fat: Does wearing Sweatpants help you Burn Fat Faster?

Wearing sweatpants will make you sweat more, but not necessarily lose more fat.

Aren’t you losing fat while sweating? Well, no.

It’s a common misconception that sweating means you are burning fat. 

Sweating is a sign that your body is hot and tries to cool down. This process uses energy and calories, and that’s a good sign that you are properly working out and burning fat.

But sweating means you are losing water, and even though you might be lighter after the workout that water will be replaced with the first meal or drink.

To be sure you are burning fat, getting sweaty in clothes is not enough.

Burning fat

Cardiovascular aerobic exercise is the way to go if you want to burn fat. It’s all a game of energy expenditure—spending more than you take in.

Swimming, riding a bike, walking, and running are all good ways to up your calorie expenditure and if you don’t eat more than you use, you’ll lose weight.

If you aim to lose fat in a certain area, like the stomach, then the more aerobic exercise you do the more belly fat you will lose.

Although, you can’t burn fat specifically on the stomach – it goes from the entire body simultaneously.

One thing is for sure; a warm pair of sweatpants will make you sweat – but it won’t speed up your fat burn.

What are the Benefits of Sweating?

Sweating releases toxins from your body and cools it down naturally.

The natural process of moisture evaporating from your skin costs energy. That energy is taken from your skin, which means the temperature of it declines.

Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature, by letting out excess heat and keeping your vital organs cool. Sweating can also be beneficial for:

  • Detoxification – toxins, waste products, and alcohol are excreted through sweat;
  • Elimination of salt – sweat contains salt that can accumulate in the body and cause kidney stones to form;
  • Increased circulation – better blood flow to all vital organs, muscles, and skin.

What if you don’t want to sweat but still want to lose weight or exercise?

Can you Exercise without Sweating?

Yes. A good workout can be achieved without too much sweating. Weightlifting with longer pauses between sets usually doesn’t make you sweat much.

Here are some examples:

  • Weightlifting – if you make sure to have 1-2 minutes of pauses between your sets, you shouldn’t sweat much.
  • Use lighter weights – Lifting heavy weights will demand more energy, and with that more sweat. Opt for a minimum weight and multiple repetitions.
  • Slow down – If you can keep your pulse low, you probably won’t sweat much. Slow down your movements and transition to stay dry.

What is the Best Thing to Wear while Working out?

Workout clothes should be light, breathable, and comfortable. Shorts, tights, sweatpants and sleeveless tops are popular for most sports.

Depending on the activity and the level of movement needed, you can choose from a variety of workout clothes available today.

Always consider how comfortable you are going to feel in the clothes while running, jumping, sweating, and feeling tired.

Thinks to consider:

  • Materials: Workout clothes are usually made from synthetic fibers that allow the sweat to evaporate quickly and speed up the process of cooling off your body.
  • Fit: Workout clothes should fit well and be easy to move in. Determine what level of tightness you need for the sport – tights or sweatpants, e.g.?
  • Season: Depending on the weather conditions, choose the appropriate wardrobe. Something shorter and lighter for the summer, layered for winter and cold weather, and protective for rain and wind season.

Workout clothes for men:

  1. Top – Pick a breathable and flexible shirt, with or without sleeves. If you want to show off your muscles, wear a tank. The important thing to remember when choosing is the range of motion and not feeling restricted by clothes while working out.
  2. Bottom – For lighter wear choose shorts, but be careful with the length. Too long and it will restrict movement, too short and it will be revealing while using certain equipment. For longer options joggers or track pants may be just the thing you need.

Workout clothes for women:

  1. Top – Choose a light and comfortable top, preferably made from materials that lead the sweat away from your skin. Always add supportive sport-bra to ensure easy workout.
  2. Bottom – Depending on the activity you wish to perform, choose between shorts or longer bottoms. Shorts are a good way to stay cool in warm temperatures, but they can show too much skin. If you are not comfortable with that there are always longer options available like yoga pants or track pants.

Now that you have the optimal workout clothes, what about wearing sweatpants outside your home—in public? Is it cool?

Is it OK to Wear Sweatpants in Public?

Depending on your style and preferences, it can be acceptable to wear sweatpants in public.

Sweatpants evolved a lot since they first appeared and now you can get more fashionable and representable styles.

They are a staple piece of the wardrobe of every tall guy and girl, because of the comfortable fit and easy-going look.

But wearing sweatpants to dinners, meetings or work is still a bit sloppy because some events require a bit more formal and collected appearance.

If you want tips on how to look good as a skinny guy, I’ve written some tips on that here.

For everyday workouts, lounging around the house, and watching Netflix, there is nothing more comfortable than a good pair of sweatpants.

For the workout, they’ll work as well, but consider the sport and the amount of sweating you are planning to do.

Tights and non-cotton sports apparel might be a better option in most cases.


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