If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Sweat Pants, Cargo Shorts and Hawaiian Shirts

TAGS: work boots, white t-shirts, tracksters, sweat pants, hawaiin shirts, cargo shorts, trends, harry selkow

elitefts™ Sunday edition

Sweat Pants, Cargo Shorts and Hawaiian Shirts

Does anyone remember the Zubaz pant? They were those crazy baggie pajama bottoms that were worn in the late 80’s and early 90’s with those incredible “tiger stripes" of various color? To top it off correctly, you had to wear black or white Reebok shoes that had the strap around the top and a “ditty bag” around your waist.

Zubaz

I remember the guys coming into the gym with that on and then extending themselves by wearing the “wife beater.” The look was Randy, as in “The Macho Man, Randy Savage.”

Once in with the gym crowd, (mine was Gold’s Gym) you could WORKOUT, yes workout, with them at that specific time. The training became what is universal today in that same crowd (the names are the only things that changed).

  • Monday – International Chest and Bicep Day
  • Tuesday – Shoulders and Abs
  • Wednesday – Back and Biceps
  • Thursday – Cardio
  • Friday – Bi's and Tri’s.

You see, there wasn’t a need to squat or deadlift because those Zubaz protected you from having to do leg work.

Now, at about the same time, was another group of guys that trained. They trained hard and had a tough swag about them. They were fashion-conscience as well.

White T-Shirts

The uniform of choice was a pair of old shorts with work boots and yellow-stained white socks pulled UP to the knee. The t-shirt was just that, a white t-shirt that was also stained yellow and washed once per week, whether it needed it or not. Depending on the time of year, there might also be a “CAT Diesel Power” sweatshirt, which was obviously pretty cool, because I had one of those.

These guys trained not by body part, but by motion, which is what I incorporate today.

  • Monday – Heavy Squat. That’s it, nothing else…heavy was the keyword
  • Tuesday – Heavy Bench. Again, that it.
  • Wednesday – Come in to the gym to see “what’s goin’ on?”
  • Thursday – Heavy Deadlift, you got it, off the floor and manhole covers were organized in a huge circle around the floor, forming a make-shift barrier for the weak NOT to venture into.
  • Friday – Heavy Military Press and CURLS (Dude, it’s Friday…Everyone curls on Friday, "dontchaknow?")

Tracksters

Lastly, the third group that were fashion-wise were the “Tracksters.” They had everything that was made for running by PumaadidasnikereebokL.A.gear Inc. They also had a special shoe for the Stairmonster 4300 and a lifting shoe for leg pressing and leg extensions. They'd change over to a lightweight pair of shoes for lat pulldowns, and made sure they wiped down their sweat with the towel of the same company.

I haven’t even begun to describe the women of the era, that could take a novel in length to get that description explained!

The good ole’ days...a simpler time.

At about the same time, I decided that my time was better invested doing exercise, rather than fitting a stereotype in that particular gym. Anyone that knows me can tell by one look that I don’t look at myself much in a mirror. My hair is short to non-existent. I save a tremendous amount of money on shampoo. I have the same bottle since 1987.  I go through phases of facial hair and when I grow it out, it makes it real easy for my morning preparation. When I do slide a razor across my grill, it's done with the lights off and without making a sound, as I get up REAL early and I don’t want to wake my lovely bride.

I like the element of surprise in my own personal training. You know that one when you're moved by something? It might be a song or a phrase, or a sporting event that just “jacks you up” and motivates you beyond all get out. It's that moment I SEIZE to train. Screw Carpe Diem, when you can live Carpe Momentum. Well, if you're taking the time to go get “dolled up” ala the above descriptions of “uniform for the day at Gold’s” you might miss out on the opportunity for sheer "bad assness."

My Trend

This was the time that I made the "train in what you're wearing" (so as to seize the moment), popular amongst my closest friends.

I’ve forever and a few hours never (if I can get away with it) ever worn shoes. The trend today in those fancy “minimalist” shoes that are now popular in the Kool-aide drinking crowds is far more material than I like.  So it really doesn’t matter if I forget my shoes.  No excuse there, I don’t wear them.

I dress often in Hawaiian shirts. I have some of the UGLIEST ever made. I wear them with the thought that if I surround myself with the nasty, I HAVE to look better than I actually do. Sort of like putting on a few pounds, then hanging out with your really FAT friends so you look fine. I also think that some of my best lifting was done while being motivated by the splash of bold colors. You know, the fired-up through color psyche? The Sheriff in Arizona makes prisoners wear pink, because it calms their testosterone flow down. ME? I wear bright, bold colors for the opposite affect.

I'm also in cargo shorts, often. Why? They fit! They can be worn loosely around my thighs and belted up not to slip off my waist. I have plenty of pockets for stuff like beef jerky, chalk, nuts (my own and cashews), a water bottle, gum, cell phone (not that I ever answer it…shoot, I don’t know how to turn it on), half a rack of baby back ribs, keys to the gym, blender with a protein drink, t-bone steak, a bunch of 3x5 cards with individual’s programming on them…you get the idea. They also work like the old denim squat suit. I’ve been known to get a POP out of the bottom of my squat in those tougher-made cargo shorts.

elitefts™ Knockout Sweats

When the weather turns cold, and that’s 65 degrees for me, I break out my sweat pants...the old Rocky Balboa kind because I refuse to pay more than $12 for a pair. I have eight pairs for the days of the week that I might be in the gym and two pairs for each of my four chosen colors  gray, black, blue and red.

Again, nothing fancy about the clothes. I think it’s the person that makes the clothes. Everything fits loose and comfortably. I'm not, by any means, the largest contributor to the elitefts™ family. But, I refuse to purchase ANYTHING less than large (and that’s for my sweat and cargo pants).  If I started to lean towards, well…leaner, then I’d have to re-evaluate my training goals.

So, if I’m traveling and feel the urge to jump on a training session, I’ll be the guy wearing the Hawaiian shirt with the cargo pants and bare feet, asking to work in a set of squats and biceps.  Don’t worry, I won’t be long, I’ll even change your weights back.

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