By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS
Studies show that choosing the best type of workout gear actually helps us improve our mental state by increasing our confidence which, in turn, improves performance in the gym. This is referred to as “enclothed cognition.” By definition, enclothed cognition captures the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes. So what does this mean for us? If we look good, we feel good, and we perform “good.” However, our gym clothes that make us look and feel so great also need to hold up in the gym, and with the constant rubbing of bars and dumbbells, it’s important we get the best bang for our buck. With these things in mind, does Lululemon make the best gym clothes for weightlifting?
When it comes to Lululemon workout leggings, there is a great variety of options to choose from. This is true, whether you’re in the gym lifting weights, or in the gym for a yoga class. Varieties include the Lululemon Align Pants, the Lululemon Speed Up Tight, and more. These are among the extraordinary range of styles and fabrics that work well for all types of exercise.
In this review, we will dive deep into the different types of fabric Lululemon uses to create their workout leggings so you can find the best workout leggings that fit your personal needs.
The most popular leggings Lululemon sells are the Wunder Under Legging. They have created many versions, but the simplicity of this original legging hugs the body just right. Furthermore, it creates a flattering shape and smoothing out the beautiful bumps on our legs that make us women. Lululemon makes the original Wunder Unders with their trademarked fabric combination, named Luon. The designed them to be soft, like your favorite over-washed, cotton t-shirt. They are sweat-wicking so they absorb sweat and dry quickly, and breathable (which is very important for us women). Additionally, they have four-way stretch so you don’t feel restricted when moving.
These sound like the perfect legging to make us feel and look good. According to enclothed cognition, they make us perform better too. But for just $88, are these really among the best gym clothes?
The quick answer? No. These would not be the choice for you if your choice of exercise involves dumbbells and barbells. The Luon fabric is designed for low-impact exercise—specifically hot yoga.
Wunder Under does come in a different type of fabric called Luxtreme. This fabric feels more spandex-y, and has a smooth, cool feel. They are a bit more restrictive than Luon, but Lululemon designed them in this way for a reason. Specifically, they give you more security during your fast, powerful movements in the rack or during CrossFit.
The Wunder Under Luxtreme is a great bang for the buck. Lululemon designed them to smooth imperfections, keep you tucked, and withstand your most demanding workout sessions.
The second pair of Lululemon leggings I personally love and had to review, are the Fast and Free Tight II in the Nulux fabric. They come in slightly higher than the Wunder Under at $128. Nulux is a rendition of their Nulu fabric which they designed to have a “second-skin” feeling. They first used this fabric for the Align Pant. Nulux will handle more impact than the Nulu fabric and wicks more sweat than Nulu, too.
They designed the Fast and Free Tight with the long distance runner in mind, however, I have found them a staple in all areas: weight lifting, spin, and HIIT workouts like F45 or CrossFit. I consider them among the best gym clothes for these types of activities. But, I must admit, I wouldn’t wear them on my hip thrusting day as the wear and tear around your pelvic region from the heavy and rough barbell may be too much for these leggings as they are thin from Lululemon’s effort to keep the “barely there” feeling.
These are an “every sweat-session” type of pant. They are smooth, have light coverage, but don’t wear them on hip thrust or glute bridge days if you use a loaded barbell.
Last, but certainly not least, is the In Movement Tight in the fabric Everlux. If you are an avid Lulu-lover, you’ll understand the comparison when I say these are the updated version of the Speed it Up Tight. They are a hardcore trainer favorite because they are compressive and supportive without being too tight. Furthermore, they hug your body in all the right places as you move. So, there is no slipping or constantly pulling up your leggings. Lululemon made them with Everlux fabric. This is the most breathable, sweat-wicking fabric that this company has ever designed.
At $98, these are durable, cool, and shaping so you can guarantee you’re walking into the gym confident and ready to perform at your peak ability on your sweatiest of leg days.
Some people prefer to be covered in sweat after they work out. For them, the sweat-inducing HigherDOSE infrared sauna blanket would be a worthy investment. For the rest of us, sweat-wicking is a huge benefit for a productive workout, and Lululemon makes some of the best gym clothes. They even have other options if tights aren’t your thing—try a pair of Lululemon shorts for women.
They are an investment, and it may seem like they are just too good to be true. But, I’m here to tell you the investment is worth it. They are the holy grail of leggings with over twenty-two years of research, redesign, and development of our most beloved legging.
When you look good, you feel good, and that’s a reason to invest in.