Dress and Train Like an IFBB Pro

Learning From the Best

Trying to follow the paths of your bodybuilding idols is not easy. They’ve built a career around sculpting themselves into shapes that are as close to perfection as possible. Not only do these weightlifting masters have the know-how on physique; being in the public eye, they’ve learnt how to overcome the struggles of dressing well when you’re massive. By the time they’ve had their pre-workout snacks and tied their laces, they’re dressed in a way that sparks confidence, and are set to attack the weights like only they know how. So, what gear provides this polished look during training? And how do their sessions take them past a regular bodybuilding workout?

Inside an IFBB Pro’s Wardrobe

Though you may not yet have the muscle or physique of the bodybuilding greats; by learning what they wear when they tussle with iron, you can soon look the part. There are a few key areas to consider when buying new workout clothing; you’ll want to gravitate towards items that not only look good but are comfortable and durable for exercise.

The Top Half: You have ample choice when it comes to upper-body garments. The good-old T-shirt will look fine—if it fits well. A good balance is to have it slightly fitted around the shoulders and chest, but a touch looser below. If you favour more material, you could opt for a long-sleeve T-shirt. They look stylish on a powerful physique and are hugely versatile; you can wear them both in and away from the gym. Perhaps you train outdoors or in cold conditions; in which case a hoodie or training jacket is ideal.

Ali Raza IFBB Pro

If all this sounds too restrictive for lifting weights, you may be the person who prefers to go sleeveless. You have some choices here, from tank tops, ribbed vests and stringer vests. They all show off your arms nicely, though the stringer vest reveals more of your shoulders and pecs.

The Bottom Half: When it comes to dressing those legs, you have a few options to go with. If you prefer to cover up, choose track pants or joggers. There are a variety of looks and comfort levels. Tighter garments will flaunt your leg muscles but restrict movement. Perhaps consider joggers that have a tapered fit; they give a strong, athletic appearance and are flexible.

For those who enjoy fresh air to their legs—or don’t mind showing muscle—a pair of shorts is the answer. A loose-fitting pair that’s just above knee height allows complete freedom of movement, whatever the workout. You could opt for a fitted pair that are even shorter and highlight your quads; or mesh shorts, which are hugely breathable and designed for punishing sessions.

When selecting footwear, you’ll want to go with a quality pair of trainers that offer excellent grip and support when explosive sets are called for. Something with a solid heel but flexible sole makes a super combo.

Outside the Gym

Dressing like a bodybuilder doesn’t stop when you exit the gym. Putting on heaps of bulk means you’ll need to know how to carry it in everyday settings. Finding the right apparel when you’re a giant is not always straightforward, and you’ll need a few handy tips to look on point.

Ali Raza IFBB Pro

Minimise Layers – It may be tempting to pile on thick jumpers when the biting cold weather arrives, but this will only add unwanted size to your body. The physique you’ve toiled over will not show. Instead, try opting for thinner layers that still display your muscular figure.

Use Neutral Colours – Wearing a selection of dazzling colours when you’re already huge can be quite intimidating for others. Stay approachable by choosing neutral colour combinations for your clothing—there are still plenty to pick from.

Use Stylish Tailored Shirts – When it comes to clothes for bodybuilders, it helps to make friends with a tailor. One item you must get right is the shirt. A quality button-down shirt can be worn for any occasion, formal or casual. Luckily, Tailored Titans make it remarkably easy to find them in styles and colours that you’ll fall for; whether it’s the formal white of ‘The Dragon’ or suave, statement-making from ‘The Wolf’. The wide selection will fit you perfectly and is the go-to choice of IFBB Pros like Dennis James, Hide Yamagishi and Miloš Šarčev.

Dennis James IFBB Pro

Training With an Edge

Looking the part is one thing but working your body like an IFBB master is a different ball game. The pros are aesthetic experts who build powerful physiques that look spot on from any viewpoint. Here are a few ideas to move you forward:

  • Proportion and Symmetry Matter – Ensuring that you’re building muscle evenly throughout the body is key. Having massive shoulders and a huge chest, when your legs look like they’d blow over in a breeze, is not the guise of a bodybuilder. You also don’t want your left arm to be of different size to the right. Adding unilateral exercises to each workout means you work each side individually, keeping things balanced.
  • Vary Your Workout – Not only should you change up the exercises from time to time, but also adjust the reps and weight. Try starting with a heavy first set of low reps; then as you progress through each set, reduce the load and increase the reps. This will shock the body.
  • Stay Conditioned – Being in top shape is crucial for muscle definition. Keep the fat levels down, even while bulking, by including cardio in your workout. Also, make training more intense with shorter rest periods.
  • Diet Will Be Decisive – You can follow all the correct training tips out there, but they’d get you nowhere if your diet isn’t up to scratch. Consume high amounts of quality protein to repair and build muscles. Don’t forget the importance of healthy carbs and fats—they are just as important.

Live the Bodybuilder Life

Becoming just like your heavyweight role model doesn’t happen overnight. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to dress like them—if you choose your kit carefully. Looking and feeling the part is the first step in developing the mindset of a winner. Make sure you’re on that stage when the hard work begins.

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