It’s been a long day at work. Your boss was a pain and the office intern messed up your lunch order. You are exhausted.
All you want to do is punch through a satisfying workout at the gym and head home for some well-deserved relaxation!
So, you grab your gym bag out of the trunk and head into the locker room to get ready to get your sweat on.
As you dress, you might give your clothes a quick sniff. Hmm… they seem passable, so you slip them on and head out into the main gym. You just put on dirty gym clothes and unfortunately, you’re not alone.
Now, here’s the big question…
Some of us pack a fresh set of gear each and every day. But, you may be surprised to learn that many of us workout in clothing that’s… well… less than clean… been used a bit too much… or smelling of “ode de gym.”
Who’s more guilty of this? Men or Women? Weightlifters or Yoga enthusiasts?
We decided to settle the matter once and for all. And the answers may surprise you!
We asked 1,015 gym-goers and got the definitive results on the grossest sex, smelliest athlete type, and worst age group when it comes to washing your gym clothes regularly.
31% of gym goers don’t wash their clothes between workouts. That’s approximately 1 out of every 3 people you see at the gym walking around in dirty clothes.
Well, we figured that out too!
Yup! You guessed it. Men are officially grosser than women when it comes to washing their gym clothes after each workout. Could this be why women live longer than men? Probably not.
Regardless of your sex, let’s be clear on one thing.
We found 1 in 3 men at the gym are probably wearing workout gear that has already seen sweat, been rolled around on the mats, or smacked up against other sweaty guys on the basketball court.
The bouquet of smells on that fabric must be exciting.
But women aren’t completely innocent. One out of four women are probably using a little extra deodorant and body mist to cover up the smells of their past workouts.
Okay, the guys are saying, “Well sure, but when we lift weights we don’t get near as sweaty as those cardio girls!”
To clear up this debate…
These particular results may be a bit surprising to you with Yoga and Sports Activities (being defined as activities like basketball and hand ball at a gym) leading the way in unwashed gym clothes being reworn again and again.
It turns out the yoga fanatics are actually the grossest group there is — with more wearing their clothes many times in between washes that other types of gym-goers.
Sure, they might not sweat quite as much doing their tree pose as a person pounding the treadmill, but we’d still appreciate a little more Tide love in their threads.
And it makes sense that the cardio and weightlifting crew – the groups that probably create buckets of sweat – are just a little less gross with only 29% and 30% respectively admitting to not washing their gear.
But what if we looked closer at some of these groups? Remember how we said we originally asked 1,015 gym-goers?
Well, if you walked into a gymnasium with all of our survey takers in there working out and sweating, the following numbers of people would be walking around in clothes that have been used for workouts MORE than four times!
If you put 1,000 people in a room, you’d find…
…4 weight lifters,
…5 group class goers,
…3 cardio addicts,
…4 yoga lovers, and
…5 gym-based athletes
… who haven’t washed their clothing in more than FOUR TRIPS to the gym.
Now, that’s a stinky scenario!
We also found some interesting factoids in regards to frequency of workouts…
We found that people who only head to the gym a few times a month are much less likely to wear dirty clothes to the gym. Only 20% of these occasional gym-goers wear dirty clothes as compared to 40% of the daily crowd.
Guess all of that time in between sessions gives them plenty of time to freshen up.
Surely that is going to play a bit of a roll in the results. After all, a young buck kid trying to gain muscle isn’t going to bother heading to the laundry mat as often as a middle-aged mother washing her kid’s soccer clothes every single night. Right?
It’s interesting to see that people in their late 40’s and 50’s tend to keep things much cleaner than the worst offenders – those in their mid-20’s to 30’s.
These results are surprising to all except the most ardent of the gym faithful. To avoid offending the nostrils of your neighbor at the gym, we recommend owning multiple pairs of gym clothes. Keep them in a convenient, dry, place so you can quickly grab them when you have the hankering for a weight lifting session, a craving for cardio, or a yearning for some yoga time. If we all start washing our gym clothes more often — who knows — gyms might start smelling better. Wouldn’t that make everyone happier?
We collected our survey data by using an online survey pool and screening participants for their geo-location and gym activity. Qualified respondents were defined as being older than the age of 18, living in the United States, and attending the gym at least once per month. This resulted in 1,015 qualified responses to our survey with a 3.08% margin of error.
Want to share these results with your readers, listeners, or viewers? You are welcome to share any of the images, graphics, data, and statistics from this research study for non-commercial purposes. All we require is that you simply provide attribution in the form of a link back to this page from your article or website to help others find our research should they want to read it for themselves.
Are you ready to start your own exercise routine at home? Then, check out our Best Buy Treadmill picks. Just remember to wash your clothes before you greet the delivery team!