Should I Wear a Tank Top to the Gym? The Detailed Answer for Guys


Do you ever worry what your workout clothes say about you?

If so, then this article is for you. Specifically, we’re going to explore the controversial issue of the tank top at the gym, and whether or not you should be wearing it as you work out.


Let’s get into it!

If you’re looking for more comfortable clothing to wear at the gym, then you should absolutely wear one to the gym! A tank top will keep the air flowing even when you’re on the verge of overheating, and show off your guns!

Listen, we get it. 

At times, the gym can seem like a high-pressure environment where the guys are massive and the girls are super fit too, and that can seem intimidating.

Plus, if you have any kind of social anxiety, you might just be mortified at the thought of bearing flesh and exposing the entirety of your arms and shoulders.

It’s completely understandable to feel that way.

But let’s focus on you for a minute. How do you feel when you work out at the gym?

We’re willing to bet you work up a sweat in no time and you’re constantly peeling your t-shirt off your chest and underarms in disgust.

It’s through this lens that wearing a tank top seems like such a brilliant idea.

If you think only about your needs and forget about everybody else for a moment, why wouldn’t you want to wear something that will help you feel cooler as you pump iron?

To us, it’s a no-brainer, but we’ll provide both sides to the argument in this guide so you can make an informed decision.

The Upsides

At this point, it’s no secret that we’re big fans of the tank top and wearing one to the gym, but don’t just take it from us.

Here are some of the commonly acknowledged upsides of wearing a tank top for your workouts:

Stay Cool

Arguably the number one reason to wear a tank top in the gym is to stay cool.

This is of course a highly practical reason to wear one, and if you’ve never moved about in a tank top before you should give it a go.

While you might see a lot of guys wearing tank tops on the streets and assume they’re doing it to show off (it’s very possible) they might just feel more comfortable in them. On a hot day it’s nice to wear as few layers as possible, and get a more even tan – if that’s something you’re interested in.

In the gym of course it’s purely functional, you get hot so you want to stay cool for as long as possible.

Expand Range of Motion

An often overlooked benefit of tank tops is their ability to expand your range of motion.

When you put one on for the first time, it feels as if your arms are suddenly free. No longer are they captive to tight sleeves that limit the mobility of your shoulders.

If you wear baggy tops to the gym, you’re doing yourself a real disservice. First you will have more fabric in the way, and second your arms will look small no matter how big you are.

If you wear tight tops, you will look fantastic, but you will also cut off some mobility in your shoulders and could even rip them during overhead presses.

That’s why the tank top for many is the only choice when the lifting gets heavy.

Access Beast Mode

Ok so this one is more anecdotal than scientific, but there’s something to be said for working out in a tank top and feeling incredibly motivated.

When you wear a t-shirt, you can’t see the huge muscles in your shoulders work hard as you heave a pair of dumbbells overhead.

You won’t be able to fully appreciate the mechanics of the movements you do, and the beauty of it all. Maybe we’re getting a little carried away here but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

The Downsides

Yes, there are also several downsides to wearing a tank top to the gym, which are as follows;

Warming Up

While many people will balk at the mere suggestion of warming up before a workout, it’s important.

So if you rock up for your workout in a tank top, you have to be careful.


Well, because whether you go on the coldest day of the year or during a heatwave the air conditioning will likely be on full blast and you’re going to need to move around to get warm.

You’ll Sweat Everywhere

Literally everywhere.

If you wear a tank top, you’ll gain an appreciation for how much of your sweat is soaked up by your t-shirt.

That means more time cleaning up the machines, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for feeling more comfortable right?

People Might Think You’re a Poser

Not that this should bother you if you’re wearing one for practical reasons, but there is a chance that strolling around in a tank top will have others thinking you’re a poser.

Unfortunately, tank tops have a reputation as the go-to clothing item for douchebags and muscleheads who love themselves a little too much.

Though, unless you’re flexing in the mirror every ten seconds and making suspiciously loud groans as you move the weights, you’ll be fine.

What’s it going to be?

Now that you’ve seen both sides of the argument, are you leaning more towards wearing a tank top to the gym or sticking to the sweat-soaked t-shirt?

We’ve talked a big game in this guide, but the reality is that it’s a highly subjective issue.

There are a lot of people out there who would love nothing more than to wear a tank top regularly, but they lack the confidence to do so. 

Believe it or not, working out and getting the body of your dreams doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a sense of self-confidence.

As such, it makes sense if you’re apprehensive about wearing a tank top out and about in public places like the gym.

If you want to see what it feels like though, wear it underneath your clothes on the way to the gym and then change when you get there. That way you’ll only have to wear it within the walls of your gym.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tank Tops

Are tank tops good for working out?

Tank tops can be a top choice when it comes to working out.

When you wear a tank top, you allow for much greater airflow for your underarms and as a result you will feel a lot more comfortable.

Especially if you always workout at a 10, and sweat profusely, you’ll probably really appreciate the convenience and cooling benefits of wearing a tank top.

What should you not wear to the gym?

There are some things you should simply never wear to the gym – not due to fashion faux pas, but due to impracticality and discomfort.

The number one no-no when it comes to gym attire is jewelry, it’s cumbersome and can get in the way of your workout. Plus, why do you want to drip sweat onto your fancy new watch or cover your chain in it?

You also want to steer clear of clothes that are either too tight or too baggy, since both will cause you problems you don’t want to deal with in the gym.

When should I wear a tank top?

While there are no strict rules when it comes to wearing tank tops, you should generally reserve them for summer and warmer days.

Having said that, they can also be layered on the colder days if you need an extra thin layer of warmth.

You can wear tank tops to the gym, too, as they’re a great way to work out comfortably and have the added bonus of showing off your guns.

A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle

If you’re worried about what people will think if you rock up to the gym in a tank top, don’t be!

Many guys and girls love getting a sweat on in a tank top, and it’s actually a lot more comfortable than working out in a t-shirt.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Article by:

Energetic Lifestyle Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Energetic Lifestyle Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

Table of Contents


Ready To Start Your Quest?

Now it’s your turn to step up, get lean and live a more energetic lifestyle.

To help you get started, we created a free video training that will give you all the tools and tactics you will need to get started even if you don’t have any prior experience.

Click the button below to join the training and we’ll show you our model for lasting energy.

Scroll to Top