Why Are Oversized Tees So Popular in Fitness?

Why Are Oversized Tees So Popular in Fitness?

The day I wore my first oversized tee my life was changed forever.

Hi, my name is Max and I am a First step apparel athlete who thanks to my benefactor Brian am now a lifelong fan of the over sized tee.

Oversized tees have become increasingly popular in fitness in the last few years. This is due to the comfort, warmth, and influence of big names within the fitness industry wearing them. Top level strength athletes such as Chris Bumstead and many other influencers have taken to wearing oversized tees. This is especially true for those in fitness that enjoy anime.

Let's explore everything about oversized tees are for you if you should just wait for this trend to die.

My Experience

I was first introduced to the oversized tee by owner of First Step Apparel Brian Morehouse. First Step had just released its first oversized tee, the “Shonen Pump” tie dye tee.

Instantly I fell in love with the fit. I always wondered why lifters wore oversized tees but instantly when putting it on I felt cool.

The tee felt heavy and comfortable, I didn't feel restricted like other tees and I thought the way my belt pinched in the middle made me look huge.

This started a new trend for me. I instantly knew I needed to have more oversized tees.

Reasons Why Lifters Wear Oversized Tees


Oversized T-shirts provide a loose and relaxed fit, which can be more comfortable during intense workouts. The extra room allows for better airflow and freedom of movement.


Oversize Tees are often made from a heavier material to help keep body temperature high. However the loose fit also allows airflow under the shirt. While the primary purpose of wearing an oversized tee would be to keep warm, wearing a size up thinner Tee can be a great way to remain cool.


Many people appreciate the trendy and casual look of oversized T-shirts. They are versatile and can be worn both in and out of the gym, making them a fashionable choice for athleisure wear. (Some may not like this look but I personally think I look so cool wearing them)


Some individuals prefer oversized shirts for modesty reasons. They offer more coverage and can help individuals feel less exposed during workouts, especially in settings like the gym.


Oversized T-shirts don't restrict movement, making them ideal for a wide range of exercises, from weightlifting to yoga. This freedom of movement can be important for maintaining proper form and reducing risk of injury.


For those who may be self-conscious about their body shape or want to hide certain areas, oversized tees can provide a bit of camouflage til they build up more confidence.


Oversized T-shirts are great for layering. You can wear them over a tighter-fitting moisture-wicking shirt or sports bra, providing an extra layer of warmth in cooler weather or easily removing them as your workout intensifies.

Unisex Appeal:

Oversized T-shirts often have a unisex design, making them suitable for people of all genders and body types.

Weight Loss Goals:

Some individuals prefer to wear oversized clothing as they work towards their weight loss goals, as it allows them to feel more comfortable and less exposed in the gym.

What Does Science Say?

“Warm-up also appears to reduce the incidence and likelihood of sports-related musculoskeletal injuries.”

Warming-Up and Stretching for Improved Physical

Performance and Prevention of Sports-Related Injuries

In this study they found an impact of increasing body temperature to performance and reduced injury risk. The looked at three ways of increasing body temperature:

  • External- Pump covers would fall in this category.
  • General- This would be like warming up on a treadmill or doing dynamic warmups.
  • Specific- This would be like doing warm up sets of squats leading up to your working weight for the day.

Of these three they found specific warmups to have the greatest impact.

So what does this mean for oversized tees? They probably won't have a meaningful impact of reducing injury risk or performance although they may have a small impact.

This probably shouldn't be the primary reason for wearing oversized tees however if you think they look cool and you like the trend it could be a small extra benefit to wearing them.

Oversized Tees and Anime

So why are oversized tees so popular among anime watchers?

I'll be honest I don't really know. I would speculate it has something to do with oversized clothing being popular in Japanese fashion and therefore brands started making anime designs on the shirt.

If you're like me you appreciate this though cause you love anime and you love over sized tee shirts.

Should You Wear Oversized Tees?

Whether oversized tees are for you is highly individual.

Wear whatever makes you comfortable and brings you happiness in the gym. You don't need to dress to impress anyone except for yourself. Wear oversized tees, thigh tees, or even cosplay as long as it brings you Joy and makes you happy.


Hi, my name is Max Hall, I am a personal trainer, powerlifting coach and First Step Athlete. To work with me or find more of my work please follow me on Instagram.

Shellock, F.G., Prentice, W.E. Warming-Up and Stretching for Improved Physical Performance and Prevention of Sports-Related Injuries. Sports Medicine 2, 267–278 (1985). https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-198502040-00004

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