What is a pump cover? Here's everything you need to know
Product & Style

What is a pump cover? Here's everything you need to know

clock-circular-outlinePosted 28 Nov 2022

Pump covers - they're the latest fitness trend to sweep over our social media feeds. Open TikTok and you'll no doubt see someone at the gym taking off a baggy layer to reveal their pumped muscles after their first set.

Donned as one of the latest fashion crazes currently dominating the online fitness world, it's time to explore the trend in more detail. But first, let’s take a quick look at why fitness trends - like pump covers - become popular.

We’ve seen trends come and go like no tomorrow thanks to the instantaneous nature of social media. As soon as you catch one trend, so has everyone else on the platform, which can be great for community, but hard to keep up with when there’s something new going viral every day.

You’ve probably noticed the many fitness trends on social media, and they usually speak to shifts in societal norms and lifestyle changes. For instance, the resurgence in Pilates can be linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, where we had to adapt to spending a lot more time at home and were focusing more on accessible exercise and wellness, both of which Pilates embodies.

While that can be the case for a lot of fitness movements, some fitness trends are strictly about the ‘fits; think back to the tie-dye days, the bum scrunch on leggings, and even your joggers being tucked into a pair of crew socks.

And, whilst crew socks aren't going anywhere anytime soon, there is a new kid on the block...

Gym Pump Covers

What Is A Pump Cover?

Not as complicated as you might think; a pump cover is a term that has been around for a while in the weightlifting community and refers to an oversized sweater, t-shirt, or hoodie that you throw on for the gym that, you guessed it, hides your pump*.

*Muscle Pump - a temporary phenomenon occurring as a result of exercises like weightlifting, where your muscles look larger than usual due to a surge of fluids like blood or lactic acid to your muscles.

Gym pump covers are typically worn over stringers, vests, or sports bras during your warm-up and first set. Once you've built up a slight pump, it's finally time to de-layer. Now, there’s definitely an element of dramatics here as #FitnessTok has revealed, but there's more to it than just showing off your gains and feeling confident to do so.

When you warm up in a hoodie or sweater, your body will generate more heat, your muscles will warm up, and you’ll begin to sweat more. Sweating gets your blood flowing and boosts your vascularity, which can give the appearance of a bigger muscle pump.

As your temperature rises, so will your heart rate, meaning starting your session getting hot under your pump cover can be a good idea if you're looking to burn more calories throughout your session. Just make sure to hydrate and take your pump cover off if you do begin to get too hot, as heat exhaustion can hinder your health and performance.

Best Pump Covers For The Gym

When we’re talking gym pump covers, we’re talking oversized, comfy, and versatile. Baggy pieces that will see us through gym sessions, rest days, running errands, and everything in between. Explore a roundup of the best oversized hoodies, sweaters, and tees for your perfect pump cover.

Best Oversized Gym Hoodies

When you're running late for your gym class and have to rush out the door, there’s nothing easier than throwing on an oversized gym hoodie as your pump cover. Once you’re at the gym and begin warming up, you’ll get a good sweat on in your oversized hoodie, especially in one of our heavy fabric designs, as seen in the Power Collection.

We love the look of a dropped shoulder featured on the Power Zip Hoodie, which is designed with the lifters physique in mind for the ultimate flattery of your hard work.

Not to mention that cozy vibes are immaculate in a baggy fit, so you might also choose to pair your hoodie with a loose-fitting pair of joggers for the ultimate full-body pump cover look.

Best Oversized Sweaters For The Gym

Oversized sweaters are another pump cover go-to, as much like the hoodie, they’re going to get you warm, fast. Whilst the hoodie gives us the casual sporty athleisure vibe we’re always seeking, oversized sweaters can be easily dressed up and down for a different look. Meaning you can wear it as your pump cover for leg day one hour, then dress it up for a lunch meeting the next.

One of our favorites is the Training Oversized Sweatshirt which features a fleece lining for ultimate comfort. This sweater is super oversized, making it the perfect throw-on for traveling to and from the gym or for an off-duty rest day look.

Best Oversized Gym Shirts

An oversized t-shirt is another essential gym pump cover, especially for those who live in warmer climates or don’t like to get too sweaty during their warmup. It’s a universally comfortable option that can be kept on throughout your workout or layered over another piece, ready to take off once you’re pumped.

Not only this, the oversized tee is a classic piece considered uniform for the bodybuilder, especially t-shirts like the Rag Top, which is a nod to old-school bodybuilding clothes.

A baggy tee is an ideal pump cover, especially on leg days, as they usually fall over the glutes and can be taken off to reveal a serious pump. We also love how they can be tucked and tied in a multitude of ways.

Our Thoughts On Pump Covers

As always, we want you to feel the most comfortable in whatever you may decide to wear in the gym. Whether you’re in a full baggy fit, joggers and a sports bra, tank and shorts, leggings, and a long sleeve top, your workout ‘fits should feel good to you and help you perform your best.

So if that’s an oversized piece you like to wear as a pump cover to the gym, then hop on the trend, as long as you are doing it for yourself. Remember that clothing should boost your confidence, not take away from it.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match from the men's and women's sections; if it’s oversized anyway, you can choose the style you like, size up or down, and you’re set to go.


Want some more ideas for styling oversized gym looks? Check out our article on 5 ways to style oversized t-shirts.

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