Hands-On: lululemon License To Train Pants

All Photos: HiConsumption

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An exercise protocol consisting of extremely intensive but brief workouts followed by even shorter cooling periods, High-Intensity Interval Training (or “HIIT”) has always been about pushing one’s physical limits and exacting the performance and health benefits of traditional workouts in a condensed amount of time. Capable of being practiced from practically anywhere without requiring any gym equipment or hardware, HIIT sports a myriad of benefits, including the ability to target and burn more body fat than steady-state cardio in less than half the time, and helping practitioners maximize their Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption as well as their VO2 max — i.e. the amount of oxygen you can use amidst intensive, maximum exercise.

This highly optimized protocol requires its users to go all-out, pushing themselves to (and, at times, beyond) the physical limits of what they believed to be possible, and as such necessitates equally optimized, performance-focused gear, engineered specifically for High-Intensity Interval Training, cross-fit, and other high-level, high-intensity workouts. One shining example of a product range crafted specifically for these high-performance applications is lululemon’s cutting-edge License To Train Collection — a lineup that, now having spent time putting to the test, has quickly become our go-to apparel for high-intensity training.

Optimized Gear For Optimized Workouts

Why High-Intensity Interval Training Requires A Special Type Of Clothing

Though you can achieve the benefits of much longer cardio workouts in substantially less time, High-Intensity Interval Training does mean putting yourself through some pretty grueling pain and discomfort. As such, the last thing you want to contend with when working your way through your intervals is uncomfortable, ill-fitting clothing. Recognizing this reality, lululemon’s team created the License To Train lineup, optimizing nearly every key element of traditional training garments, addressing a slew of common issues faced by HIIT users, and ultimately allowing you to maximize your exercise potential.

Bringing the License To Train Collection to fruition began with sourcing the perfect material, needing to afford the performance and durability required for HIIT use, without adding extra weight or bulk. Unsatisfied with off-the-shelf options, lululemon opted to craft its own elastane-infused poly blend that’s highly resistant to wind, repels snow and water, and is heavily resistant to abrasions, while still remaining incredibly soft to the touch. The lion’s share of the polyester used in the construction is also sourced from recycled, post-consumer materials.

Superior Performance Through Apparel Design

How An Advance Construction & Series Of Tweaks Make For Better Pants

The License To Train Collection’s conduciveness to HIIT uses is owed to more than just its advanced construction, with the items that constitute the product range boasting a drove of other calculated elements that make them perfect for hardcore exercise. Take the License To Train Pants for instance, which, in addition to the rugged poly blend feature a full-length 29” cut with a traditional tapered fit that affords breathing room around the glutes and thighs before tapering to the adjustable, snap closure-secured hem. The pants are also equipped with secure zippered pockets, a rear locker loop for easy hanging for storage or drying, and a waistband drawcord that can be worn outside the pants, or on the inside for a more streamlined effect.

Quality high-performance workout pants are far too often something of an afterthought when shopping for workout gear, which is unfortunate considering how much you use your lower body for HIIT training. After spending far too much time doing HIIT workouts in sweats, track pants, and other budget workout bottoms, we can honestly say a high-end pair of HIIT-specific pants genuinely make an enormous difference in a user’s overall comfort and performance.

First-Hand Experience

Our Takeaways From Testing The License To Train Collection

HIIT workouts are draining and all-consuming, requiring users to muster up every last ounce of energy they can. While training with the lululemon License To Train Pants, we’d often quickly forget we were wearing them, not only because we could intensely focus on our workouts, but (more importantly) because the apparel eliminated any and all of the chafing, restricted motion, and riding-up that’s common with other competitors’ garments. And, as weird as it may sound, not being able to notice that they’re there is arguably the greatest compliment a HIIT-specific garment can receive. Also, as an added bonus, the License To Train Pants are also markedly more fashion-forward than your average exercise sweats.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to compare a set of high-performance workout pants with cheaper, more budget-friendly pairs, it can be difficult to grasp just how drastic the difference is between the two. And it’s abundantly clear that the team at lululemon behind the License To Train Pants (and the rest of the License To Train Collection) are abundantly aware of this reality from firsthand real-world experience, having designed these items from the ground-up with the express purpose of using them in hardcore workout applications. A state-of-the-art material and a few performance tweaks might not sound like a game-changer, though these subtle changes collectively make for a much better pair of training pants.

Purchasable Performance

The lululemon License To Train Pants & Collection

The hardwearing nature of the License To Train Pants, their precise fit, comfort, and unrestricted range of mobility also make them ideal for a variety of other active lifestyle uses such as hiking, trail running, backpacking, yoga, basketball, cycling, and jogging. Offered in solid black, coyote, OD green, dark gray, or light heathered gray, the lululemon License To Train Pant is available now, with pricing set at $128 — an exceedingly fair MSRP considering the quality of the pants and how long they’re designed to last. Starting from as low as $16, the License To Train Collection also includes 7” liner-less shorts, boxers, a training cap, wrist bands, 29” jogger pants, boxing wraps, and training gloves — all of which wonderfully lend themselves to HIIT applications and other hardcore protocols, disciplines, and workouts.

Purchase: $128