Lifting Shorts vs Regular Shorts
tasc Performance

Lifting Shorts vs Regular Shorts

Lifting is a beloved workout, and more people than ever are heading to the gym to pump some iron on a regular basis. In fact, weightlifting is more popular in the U.S. than running, cycling, swimming, yoga, and traditional ball sports, surpassed only by walking in terms of popular forms of exercise.

Whether you’re looking to build some bulk, tone your muscles, or simply get in better shape overall, lifting is an enjoyable and challenging exercise that’s easy to start but hard to master.

Regardless of your experience or level, ensuring you have the right equipment (and know how to use it) is essential. One of the places you have the most control in this regard is your clothes. Choosing effective, breathable workout attire is a great way to elevate your weightlifting with ease.

Today, Tasc Performance is here to help you do just that by helping you pick the right shorts to wear when weightlifting. We’re going to break down the key qualities of lifting shorts and how to choose the perfect pair in this comprehensive guide.

What Are Lifting Shorts?

Baggy athletic shorts and tighter running shorts are the most common gym attire, and they certainly can do a job when it comes to lifting. However, there are specific qualities you should be looking for when it comes to weightlifting and bodybuilding that may not be present in every pair of gym shorts. 

In other words, your favorite pair of shorts or those versatile chino shorts you wear everywhere may actually be holding you back from your best lifting performance. Even those basic gym shorts you’ve been using forever may be keeping your peak out of reach. So, what are the best shorts for your deadlifts and squats?

What Features Make Weightlifting Shorts Unique?

So what are the actual features that separate lifting shorts from gym shorts and casual shorts?

Moisture-Wicking Materials

First on the list is moisture-wicking, a term you’ve likely heard if you workout regularly and have the gear to prove it. Sometimes called sweat-wicking or quick-drying, this quality is all about drawing sweat from your skin and drying off quickly.

Essentially, moisture-wicking materials attract moisture off your skin and then send it through micro-tubes in the fabric to the surface of your training shorts. There the moisture is then released to evaporate into the air.

Take note that moisture-wicking isn’t the same as moisture-absorbing. Cotton is notoriously excellent at absorbing moisture but terrible at drying off. It will hold your sweat throughout a workout, which is why you rarely see anyone in the gym in cotton shorts. It just isn’t comfortable.

While moisture-wicking is very much a comfort feature in men’s shorts, it is also important for performance. Staying dry is a key part of letting your body thermoregulate, the biological process by which we keep a proper body temperature. Whether you’re lounging at home or working out your quads and hamstrings at the gym, thermoregulation is key.

Since cotton is so poor at moisture-wicking, most athletic attire turns to synthetic materials. Polyester, nylon, and others may be able to wick moisture better than cotton, but they also trap odors over time and have serious sustainability issues. 

Thankfully, we have better alternatives today. Top of the list is bamboo, a natural fiber native to humid, rainy environments. Bamboo is the fastest-growing tree in the world by a massive margin, and its ability to process moisture translates into its arsenal when turned from tree to fabric.

Zip Pockets for Your Essentials

In addition, lifting shorts should include zippered pockets to keep all of your gear safe. Ideally, you’ll find a phone pocket and a few extra side pockets on your shorts to hold your keys, earbuds, and anything else you don’t want to leave behind. 

Resistance To Odors

Have you ever finished a load of laundry only to find your CrossFit clothes don’t seem quite as fresh as you hoped? You try better detergent, dryer sheets, and more, but the stench doesn’t seem to go away. You start thinking it might be time to skip the HIIT for something that doesn’t make your sports shorts stink. 

We’re here to confirm that you aren’t going crazy. It’s an unfortunate fact that some of the most common workout clothing materials are, ironically, predisposed to trapping odors over time. Even after multiple washes, these odors hang out for the long term, especially if you’re performing intense exercises like barbell deadlifts or sprints.

Cotton and synthetic materials like polyester, spandex, or lycra are the biggest offenders. Synthetics are especially notorious for attracting and trapping bacteria (and the stench that comes with it), largely due to the fabrics’ chemical treatments.

Unless you like body odor and don’t workout within a mile of another soul, it’s probably best to seek sweat shorts that can actually stay fresh over time. To do that, look for better materials: bamboo, beechwood, or certain modal blends.

Flexible, Stretchy Materials

Range of motion is a crucial aspect of lifting. Few things can hold you back from a great performance like clothes that don’t let you move how you need to. To ensure you’re unhindered, choose materials and construction that offer plenty of flex and stretch. Without enough flexibility and range of motion, you’ll find yourself chafing and sweating more.

Four-way stretch is best, as seen in our Carrollton Fitness Shorts, helping you to take up any posture needed for even the most unusual lifting routines, or stretches before and after.

Regular shorts rarely possess the kind of stretch you’ll need for lifting workouts. Anything less than gym shorts is just about guaranteed to hold you back when it comes to lifting, but even amongst workout shorts, you should look for top-quality elastane-boosted stretch to optimize your exercise.

Durable Design

Unless you’re planning to quit the gym after a month like many new-years-resolutioners, you should look for lifting shorts that will last you a long time. Durable designs and materials provide the best value for money and also support the environment. The less waste and fast fashion the world participates in, the better.

Eco-Friendly Fabric

What’s the point in being comfortable if we’re harming the future of our planet to get there? Sustainable fashion is an important part of everything we do here at Tasc Performance, and it can elevate your wardrobe, too.

Unsustainable traditional cotton and highly pollutive, chemically-treated synthetic materials are unfortunately all too common in modern gym clothes. By being intentional about what materials you choose, you can help protect our planet. Look for organic cotton, recycled synthetics, and natural fibers like bamboo as eco-friendly alternatives. 

How Do You Choose a Pair of Lifting Shorts?

So, we’ve got the key qualities covered. Let’s talk about choosing the best lifting shorts for your needs.

Find Your Size

It’s absolutely essential to choose lifting shorts that fit you properly. Failure to do so can have big negative impacts on your performance abilities, particularly when it comes to range of movement. 

We all know the importance of technique and posture when it comes to proper lifting, both for performance and injury prevention. Shorts that are too tight or too big can hinder your movement or lead to awkward transitions between postures.

Check the Inseam Length

Inseam length is often overlooked in the search for the right size. Size and fit aren’t just about small, medium, and large. The inseam length can dictate how much range of movement you have. 

There is no one-size-fits-all perfect length. Depending on your build and body type, certain inseams may work better for you. Some lifters prefer our 5-inch inseam Recess Tech Short, while others prefer longer pairs at 7 or 9-inch inseam. The best way to learn what inseam is ideal is to simply try them out.

Find a Color That Matches Your Style

Are you a bold eye-catcher at the gym, or do you prefer a more reserved, quiet vibe? If unwanted attention could affect your focus and performance, stick to neutral, dark colors. If you like a bit of pressure and audience, consider brighter and bolder colors for your lifting shorts. Whatever makes you the most comfortable is what you should go with!

Stock Up With Multiple Pairs

Consistency is key when it comes to lifting. Assuming you're hitting the gym multiple times a week, you’ll need a fresh pair of lifting shorts for each occasion. Stocking up on multiple pairs of lifting shorts before checkout is the best way to be totally prepared. 

Plus, high-quality lifting shorts are great for other activities besides weightlifting, including other workouts or leisure time around the house.

Lifting Shorts That Rise Above the Rest

Elevate your weightlifting from top to bottom with our Tasc gym & training collections for men and women. With innovative modern materials, sustainable production, luxurious comfort, and top-quality performance, any style you choose from us is perched to take your lifts to the next level.


Sports and exercise among Americans | The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Thermoregulation - An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Research reveals why it’s hard to get the smell out of polyester | University of Alberta

Back to Tasc Life