Once upon a time, people didn’t care what the hell they wore to the gym. You’d recall sweaty dudes at the weights rack in raggedy T-shirts that could well also be their pyjamas. With knee-length shorts. Or worse, shorts with waistbands that were (one could only hope) still elastic, and whose only functionality were two gaping pockets.

Compression wear is but one of the many things in the fitness world that has sparked divided opinions the world over. The form-fitting gear can bring to mind Spiderman’s spandex, and will hug the most unflattering of curves, but it can also make a considerable difference in your regime. Which is why we’ve sussed out the best compression wear brands to take note of now.

The type of compression garment you buy is highly dependent on the type of workout you’re invested in. Besides body suits for the whole body, there are targeted pieces for calves, forearms, biceps and other parts of the body to combat soreness and tightness. In other words, if only your biceps are bothering you, save the money and skip the body suit.

These body suits are meant to be tight as the compression helps increase circulation and blood flow during the workout, making your time at the gym more effective. Of course, you don’t want them to be excessively tight till they cut off your blood circulation — you don’t want to be turning blue at TRX.

Here are some skin-tight options to get started with.