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Wearing Jeans to the Gym: Fashion Faux Pas or Fitness Trend?

A person wearing jeans at the gym is one of the oddest sights. After all, flexible clothing like shorts gives you more mobility and features breathable fabric to deal with sweat. So, why is it that some people still choose jeans? 

More importantly, does wearing jeans to the gym give you more benefits? The answer is no, not really. 

Wearing jeans restricts your movement while working out. You’d also have to worry about safety because rivets or metal pieces on jeans could compromise the machines. Getting stuck is easy, and there are high risks of injuring yourself or another person. Lastly, some gyms ban the possibility of wearing jeans.

Wearing jeans to the gym may warrant a few stares, but jeans are unavoidable in some instances. In this article, I’ll address these scenarios and more.

Can You Wear Jeans to the Gym?

You can wear jeans to the gym as long as the dress code allows it. Some gyms don’t have issues with jeans, but others like Planet Fitness don’t allow them in the facilities. 

This rule exists because of many reasons, primarily due to safety. Still, you’ll find out quickly that jeans are not the most suitable type of pants for working out.

Jeans Restrict Movement

One issue with skinny jeans is that they restrict your movement while working out. This problem can go from mild awkwardness to potentially dangerous situations. You’ll do well with jeans during upper body day, but it won’t feel comfortable for leg day routines. 

Jeans are Heavy

Jeans are heavier than shorts or workout tights. It may be minimal, but that extra weight could put limitations on you.

Breathability Issues

When you start sweating, soaking the jeans in sweat will make them heavier but also nastier. If you intend to continue wearing the jeans to work or school, they will likely stink.

Why Some People Wear Jeans to the Gym?

People wear jeans to the gym for a few reasons, mostly because they have no other choice. Perhaps they forgot their gym attire at home or purely for convenience reasons. Here’s a list of circumstances in which people go with jeans.

Forgotten Gear

“Once I forgot my shorts and had to deadlift in the jeans I wore to the gym,” said one person about one occasion they wore jeans to the gym. 

Forgetting gym attire at home is a common issue that can happen to anyone, more so if you’re having a busy day. Luckily, this person had baggy jeans and didn’t face many limitations other than an awkward feeling while deadlifting.


“I regularly see guys ‘working out’ (if you can actually call it that) in business casual,” another person shared. Working out in jeans makes it easier to move on to another activity wearing the same clothes. 

However, if you sweat a lot, you may want to re-consider wearing the same jeans during the rest of your day.

Lack of Knowledge

Sometimes, someone wears jeans to the gym because they’re not aware of the dress code policy. No one would blame you if this issue happened to you. Each gym may have its own policy, making it confusing at first.

Intentional Decision

Finally, some people choose to wear street clothes to the gym intentionally. I do it on purpose because a good friend got me into it,” said another person that wears jeans. The idea is to make the gym a normalized part of your daily life and not a big deal. 

Wearing jeans would allow them to go to the gym for some workout on their way home. “The psychology behind it has definitely helped kept me on track, and I credit a lot of my progress to that mindset.”

Why Are Jeans Not Allowed in Some Gyms?

Some popular gyms like Planet Fitness don’t allow jeans during workout sessions. The reason is that jeans may feature metal pieces or rivets, which could be dangerous. Not only for the person working out but for the integrity of the equipment as well.

There are a few more reasons behind this prohibition, like the following.

  • “No jeans on the weight floor policy.” Jeans may be too tight and rigid. Imagine you’re doing squat routines, and the pants get too tight that you can’t lift properly. This situation would put you, other people, and the exercise equipment in danger.
  • Wearing jeans while working out at the gym could also damage the equipment. This type of pant may have buttons or rivets, which could tear the upholstery featured in benches and machines. 
  • Safety hazard. Jeans with loose pockets or items get stuck with ease. Imagine you walk past a heavy bench, and the jeans get caught on the equipment’s bar. This scenario would be dangerous for everyone nearby.

These are the reasons why gyms like Planet Fitness don’t allow jeans. Some may find it strange, but there’s a valid justification behind this prohibition. Still, Planet Fitness is no stranger to creating controversy due to unclear dress code policy.

What to Wear Instead?

There are many options of bottom wear more comfortable than jeans. Sports gear manufacturers focus on providing quality clothing that benefits both women and men, depending on their workout preferences. Find out what to wear to keep your lower area protected, comfy, and mobile.

What Should Women Wear?

Before choosing bottom wear, think about the workout routine you want to do. For cycling, wear shorts. Cropped leggings could work for yoga activities. If you’re doing general exercises or Pilates, stretch pants would be an ideal pick. 

Regardless of your preferred choice, pick bottom wear that is both durable and high-quality. It should withstand many washing cycles without giving up. Consider cotton, polyester, nylon, and polypropylene gear.

What Should Men Wear?

Comfortable shorts allow men to complete workout sessions by offering mobility. If your training involves rigorous exercises, workout pants made with mesh material would be ideal. 

These pants are flexible and provide decent breathability. Other options are compression shorts, which reduce fatigue and muscle soreness while improving blood flow. Lastly, men can also wear training tights to avoid friction issues that loose-fitting pants would cause. If you don’t have a lot of attire, just wearing sweatpants to the gym is also acceptable.

Finishing Words

Technically, you can wear jeans to the gym as long as the dress code allows it. Considering the downsides is also a must. Otherwise, you’d struggle a lot. As long as those conditions are in place, jeans can be another option for your gym clothes.

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me