There are two main types of shorts used in exercise--compression shorts and running shorts. Compression shorts are skin-tight spandex clothes worn either alone or under an outer layer of exercise clothing that could include more loose running shorts. Most importantly, these provide support and keep the muscles warm to avoid cramping or straining. Also, they can help to prevent chaffing by providing a smooth layer between the thighs and loose shorts. Not all men need compression shorts when working out, but they can prove helpful, especially when you have a rigorous workout routine.
Although an everyday cotton T-shirt will suffice for most workouts, there are better options for more serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Like the jerseys worn by professional athletes, these shirts are often thin, porous, synthetic blends designed to let out the hot air your body generates while letting in the cooler air outside. Therefore, some exercise shirts are especially porous in sweaty areas such as underarms.
Exercise Pants and Sweatshirts
Mostly used for jogging outside, exercise pants and sweatshirts come in both cotton and polyester. While cotton jogging pants and sweatshirts were most commonly used in the past, polyester is the preferred choice today. Some exercise pants are conveniently removable at any time during your workout, thanks to zippers, snap ankles or tear-away pants.
The main thing you should look for in workout clothes is a good fabric that will breathe and fit well. You have the option to choose something natural, like cotton, or something synthetic, like polyester. Both cotton and synthetic fabrics have pros and cons. While cotton is cheap and great for daily activity, as well as satisfactory for most workout routines, it does not breathe as well as synthetic materials and tends to shrink when washed. Among the most commonly used synthetic materials in exercise are polyester, nylon and spandex, all of which are lightweight and breathable. However, blends of multiple fabrics, such as in a polyester/spandex workout shirt, often make the best fitness clothes.