Home » Lululemon License to Train Short Review | Best Lululemon Short for Lifting?

Lululemon License to Train Short Review | Best Lululemon Short for Lifting?

The Lululemon License to Train Short is marketed as one of Lululemon’s go-to shorts for lifting and strength training. This short features an abrasion-resistant construction which is a design feature used to increase this short’s durability in the context of lifting and CrossFit. As someone who competes in strength sports, I was intrigued by this short’s construction.

I was most curious to see if the Lululemon License to Train Short could withstand friction from barbell knurling when deadlifting and doing clean & jerks. Over the course of my testing, the License to Train Short has held its ground and it’s been a strong performer in the gym and for daily wear. Despite liking this short as a whole, there are a couple of cons to note about this pair of shorts.

In the Lululemon License to Train Short review, I’m going to cover a variety of topics to help you decide if this short is worth the investment and if they match the context of your training needs.

On the market for new workout shorts? Make sure you check out my 10 Best Men’s Workout Shorts round-up to be matched with the perfect shorts for the context of your training needs.

Who Should Invest In the Lululemon License to Train Short?

The Lululemon License to Train Short is by far the best lifting-focused short that Lululemon makes. For context, I’ve blown out the liner on two pairs of the Pace Breaker Short during barbell back squats, but in the License to Train Short I don’t have this worry because this short is designed for this style of training.

I think if you’re a Lululemon fan and your primary modes of training are barbell work and recreational lifting, then the License to Train Short is worth looking into. This short features an abrasion-resistant shell and it has a nice amount of mobility so they never feel limiting or too tight when hitting deep hip flexion.

In addition, this short features deep zip pockets so they work well when training outdoors or going on hikes. Plus, the waistband drawcord can be turned internally and externally and the posterior look for holding shirts is also a nice subtle touch for certain training contexts.

Lululemon License to Train Short

$88

4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Barbell Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Long Distance Runs

 

Lululemon License to Train Short Pros

Over the course of my testing and training, I’ve found multiple things to like about the Lululemon License to Train Short.

  1. Good Lululemon Short for Lifting
  2. Deeper Pockets Are a Good Thing
  3. Drawcord Can Be Turned Externally and Internally
  4. Posterior Loop for Shirts Is a Nice Add-On

The first pro with the License to Train Short is that I think they’re a good Lululemon short option for anyone that loves to lift. If your primary mode of training is with barbells or tackling general strength and hypertrophy work, then I think you’ll enjoy this short. As a whole, they’re pretty durable and the shell does a good job at resisting breakdown caused by knurling on barbells.

Lululemon License to Train Short For lifters

I also like that mobility in this short, and more specifically, the mobility in the linerless option. The lined option is also good, but some may find the liner to run a little long. The linerless option moves well and if you’re hitting deep squats, then I don’t think you’ll need to worry about the shorts ripping or ever limiting your range of motion.

The second thing to like about the License to Train Short is the pocket system Lululemon uses on them. These shorts have two deep left and right pockets on the front and a phone pocket on the right side of the posterior. I personally like and prefer having deeper pockets for storing my phone, keys, and wallet on occasions when I wear these more casually.

Lululemon License to Train Short Pockets

I know deeper pockets aren’t for everyone, but in the context of training especially if you’re carrying your phone or other valuables, I think it’s often better to have more pocket than less especially when using these outdoors for things like hikes and workouts. The back pocket is also nice because it’s actually big enough for a phone whereas a lot of short pockets don’t account for larger phones.

The final thing to like about the License to Train Short is that they allow you to shift the drawcord externally or internally. I like this a lot because for casual wear I’ll often keep the drawcord facing out, then for training, I’ll have the drawcord facing in to prevent the cord from getting snagged on things or loosening during things like burpees.

Lululemon License to Train Short Drawcord

The last aspect to like is the posterior loop on the back of the short under the waistband. For my friends like myself who like to train outdoors regularly in the summer, this loop is nice for shirt security. You can easily put your shirt through this loop versus sticking it into your waistband or having to carry it. It makes this process a little easier when you can’t store your shirt by yourself while training.

Lululemon License to Train Short Cons

While I enjoy training and using my License to Train Short, there are a couple of cons to note and acknowledge about this short.

  1. Not the Most Cost-Efficient
  2. Can Pill At Times With Cardio-Focused Training

The first drawback to the Lululelmon License to Train Short is their price point. At a price of $88 USD, this pair of shorts is far from cost-efficient and I think the price will be a turnoff for a variety of lifters and athletes. If you’re on the market for more slightly budget-friendly training Lululemon shorts, then I’d suggest checking out the Lululemon Pace Breaker Short.

Additionally, I do wish there was a price difference between the License to Train Linerless and Lined short. It’s always interesting that Lululemon keeps their linerless and lined shorts at the same price despite them being different with different amounts of material. For example, it would be cool if they brought the price down slightly for the linerless short.

Lululemon License to Train Short Linerless

Another potential drawback to the License to Train Short is that they can pill around the inside of the thighs during long-distance runs and long-duration cardio-focused training if you have meatier legs. Since the material on these shorts is slightly more abrasion resistant I think they can snag at times and pill a little bit in certain contexts.

More specifically, I think this will happen more often for anyone with thicker legs who are using these for cardio as that will cause a lot of friction on the material which could result in a little pilling. I haven’t experienced any issues on this front yet, however, I primarily use these shorts for lifting and opt for more running-focused shorts when tackling cardio workouts.

Lululemon License to Train Short or strength training

I’d also suggest following Lululemon’s washing instructions to avoid pilling and early breakdown of these shorts. I personally always wash my training shorts on the delicate wash setting with cold water, then let them air dry to avoid any breakdown from the dryer.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the Lululemon License to Train Short, I’m going to discuss how these shorts perform in a variety of contexts. Since they’re a niche short, I think it’s important to understand where these shorts are going to excel and fall short.

Lululemon License to Train Short Performance Overview

Lululemon License to Train Short for CrossFit and Lifting

The context where the Lululemon License to Train Short performs the best is for lifting and CrossFit. This short is designed specifically for these realms of activity, which is important to note, and I found them to be really solid for this style of training. For lifting, these shorts have enough stretch to not limit mobility in movements like squats and other mobility-focused exercises.

As someone who’s blown out two different Pace Breaker Shorts with squats, this is a nice feature to have. Additionally, I also like the material used in this short for abrasion resistance from barbell knurling and doing exercises like burpees where the front of the short is going to be rubbing on the ground a lot.

Lululemon License to Train Short material

Must Read: 8 Best CrossFit Shoes | Picks for Flat Feet, Rope Climbs, and More

The fact that you can also turn the drawcord in internally is also a nice touch for preventing the shorts from losing their security while training.

Lululemon License to Train Short for Classes, Plyometrics, and HIIT

For classes, plyometrics, and HIIT training the Lululemon License to Train Short does an okay job. The material is light enough to accommodate this style of training and the mesh waistband is breathable and good for not holding sweat or getting too damp. The sweat-wicking material is also nice when training in hotter settings.

Lululemon License to Train Short waistband and shirt loop

I think if you’re someone who primarily lifts and only does a small amount of versatile training on a weekly basis, then the License to Train Short will be better for your contextually. If you primarily train in a more versatile manner, then you may want to explore short options that breathe slightly better with a bit more stretch as they can be more comfortable for longer versatile training sessions.

Lululemon License to Train Short for Running and Daily Wear

The License to Short is an okay short for shorter runs and runs programmed in WODs, however, I’m not the biggest fan of this short for long-distance runs. Since this short is not technically designed for this style of training and has a more rigid material, you may find that this short is a little uncomfortable for cardio, and the internal part of the thighs on your short start to pill with longer cardio sessions.

Lululemon License to Train Short for daily wear

On a daily wear basis, I really like the License to Train Short. For me personally, I really like the deeper zip pockets and I find these shorts easy to wear out casually due to their pockets and their appearance. These shorts look clean and aesthetic which I like and prefer for daily wear contexts.

Lululemon License to Train Short Vs T.H.E Short

The Lululemon License to Train Short and Lululemon T.H.E Short are both good options for training in certain contexts. There are three key construction details that I want to draw attention to with each short to help you make the best investment for your training needs.

Lululemon License to Train Short vs T.H.E Short

The first major difference is the material used in each short. The License to Train Short’s material has a more rigid feel to it and is composed of 84% Recycled nylon, 16% Elastane, and the pockets are recycled polyester. The T.H.E Short has a similar build is composed of 86% Recycled polyester, 14% Elastane.

This material difference may seem minimal, however, the slight difference in elastane used in each short makes the T.H.E Short have a bit more stretch to it. The License to Train Short stretches, but with its more rigid material, it is limited compared to the T.H.E Short’s stretch.

Lululemon License to Train Short vs T.H.E Short Materials

The second major difference is the pocket construction in each short. The License to Train Short comes with three zipper pockets with two on the front and one on the right posterior side. The T.H.E. Short has two normal front pockets and a zipper pocket on the ridge posterior side. This could be worth considering depending on where you plan to use these shorts.

The final major differences to note are the inseam options and the price of each short. The T.H.E. Short has a 7″ and 9″ inseam option, while the License to Train Short only has a 7″ option. The price points are also different with the T.H.E. Short coming in at $68 USD and the License to Train sitting at $88 USD.

Lululemon License to Train Short vs Lululemon T.H.E Short (1)

I think for general training both shorts work well and if you’re not so worried about abrasion and you want more stretch in your shorts, then the T.H.E. Short is a good option to look into and you’ll save around $20 USD.

Conversely, if you’re primarily strength training and plan to use your shorts outdoors as well, then the License to Train Short will be a slightly better option.

Lululemon T.H.E. Short

$68

Lululemon T.H.E. Short
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.3
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Training
  • Class Workouts
  • Lighter/Mid-Range Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Serious Strength Athletes

 

Lululemon License to Train Short Sizing

The Lululemon License to Train Short comes in one inseam option and that’s 7″. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on your short preference. For example, I personally like 7″ inseams and don’t opt for 5″ that often as they’re too short and find 9″ shorts to be a tad too long for my training.

Below, I’m wearing the medium 7″ linerless Lululemon License to Train Short. I’ve also provided my dimensions to help you assess how the short will potentially fit for you.

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Waist: 32″-33″
  • Hip (circumference around butt):
  • Mid-Thigh: 23.5″-24″

Lululemon License to Train Short Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Lululemon License to Train Short, drop a comment below and try to help you out accordingly.

Linerless Vs Lined

When considering the linerless and lined version of the Lululemon License to Train Short, I think there’s a pretty clear winner. While generally, I opt for shorts with built-in liners, I think the linerless option for the License to Train Short is the better option.

The compression liner in the lined option runs a bit long in this short so it extends a little past the shell. Some lifters and athletes may like this, but personally, I prefer a shorter compression liner that is covered by the short’s shell while training.

The pro with the short compression liner is that you know it won’t get snagged on things while training or break down from abrasion since most liners are not made to be abrasion-resistant. That being said, I’d go linerless in the License to Train Short and use your own compression liner.

Price Breakdown

For the Lululemon License to Train Short, you can expect to pay $88 USD. I think if you’re a Lululemon fan and want a pair of shorts for lifting that has a little taper to it, then this short’s price point can be a bit more justified.

Otherwise, if you’re not exactly sold on these shorts, you can definitely find more budget-friendly options on the market, and even slightly more budget-friendly Lululemon shorts that will likely work for your contexts of training.

Lululemon License to Train Short

$88

4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Barbell Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Long Distance Runs

 

Construction Details

Below are some of the biggest construction callouts that influence the Lululemon License to Train Short’s performance and durability. There are a few subtle construction details that make this short good in certain contexts.

  • Inseam Options: 7″
  • Liner Options: Linerless and Lined
  • Abrasion Resistant Fabric With Sweat Wicking and Stretch
  • Shell Material: 84% Recycled nylon, 16% Elastane, pockets are recycled polyester
  • Drawcord Loops for Facing In and Out
  • Mesh Waistband and Posterior Shirt Loop
  • 3 Zipper Pockets, 2 On the Front, 1 On the Right Posterior

If you have additional questions about the construction of the Lululemon License to Train Short, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Are the Lululemon License to Train Short good for CrossFit?

A:
The Lululemon License to Train Short can be a good short option for CrossFit for two key reasons. First, the material is abrasion-resistant from the demands of CrossFit. Second, this short stretches well to accommodate different exercises.

Q:
Are the Lululemon License to Train Short good for running?

A:
The License to Train Short can work for shorter runs and runs programmed in WODs, but they do fall short for long-distance runs. For long-distance runs, this short's material can be fairly uncomfortable.

Q:
Do the License to Train Short only come in 7 inch inseam?

A:
Unfortunately, the Lululemon License to Train Short only has a 7 inch inseam option available for both the linerless and lined short options.

Takeaway Thoughts

Compared to other Lululemon Shorts, the License to Train Short is one of the strongest performing shorts for recreational lifting and barbell training. This short’s abrasion-resistant material offers a nice blend of versatility and durability for strength-focused athletes.

The price is a little high for what this short offers, however, if you love Lululemon and your training context matches this short’s construction and build, then I think the price can be justified.

If you have additional questions on the Lululemon License to Train Short, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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