Friday, April 13, 2012

Fitness Wear, Gym Clothes, Sweats ‐ Tips and Advice

Do you remember Fitness Fridays?

I had received a little while ago ( I am sorry I am late on this) a request for any advice I had for

"Fitness wear"

I actually took a while to answer because I did not really know what to say…

So I will speak about it in the general terms, and pray this is useful to some people, but please note, I am no where near an expert on the subject.


Sports Bra's
Let's start with the base! I HIGHLY recommend you invest in a proper good quality sports bra. I have some cheap ones in my collection, from when I started working out years ago and though they last, the material is often more sheer, not as thick, and do not offer as much support. They also stretch out faster, and become more saturated with perspiration.

Unfortunately, a sports bra from more well known sports brands can go up to $60.00 which I know is quite an investment.
I honestly think it's worth it, BUT it depends on your activities.

If I am performing yoga, pilate's, weights, ab exercises, nothing with too much movement, the cheaper bra's are fine. So long as there is not much movement and support is needed, you are able to get away with less expensive bra's. Mine are just from Old Navy. I don't remember the exact price I paid, but I am sure I got them on sale.

Exercises involving a lot of movement, bouncing, and high intensity where sweating will be happening, I would wear a more brand name item such as Nike or Under Armor. I do not recommend Adidas or Reebok as they stretched out easily. I also think Puma was more in the middle ground.

If you are starting out I would have a small collection of the cheaper kinds, and invest in a few name brand ones, or even just 1 and have your collection grow.

Also places such as Marshalls and TJ Max I have seen sell higher brand sports bra's for a fraction of the cost. The shape is usually a less popular model, but you can try there for the feel of the brand.

Tops
For the gym I always have two kinds of tops in my bag. Tighter breathable material tops, and loose T's.
For the actual work out I wear tighter tops in breathable material. Usually in "dry fit" to let air in, and perspiration out

Don't go crazy on the small spandex, you want something you can breathe in easily in all positions, you want the material to bring air in, so you don't get over heated easily, and you don't want it to be too lose. If it's too loose and you are doing exercises with a lot of movement, the top tends to go up with you, so you are constantly pulling it down. Also, if the top is a bit more fitting, when you work out, and look in the mirror whether you are doing weights, or just looking at your form, you can see your actual body shape, and as you do the movements you can view what parts need change, what parts have grown, or what parts have improved, or need improvement.

With a more fitted top, everything is easy to view, and it is easier to see what needs to be worked on, and what has changed from working out.

If you are uncomfortable showing yourself in tight clothing, I would recommend black everything! You can't go wrong.

The loose T's I carry around are to change into after working out. It's good to change your top, it feels better, and cleaner, and far more refreshing. A loose top will let air through as your body is trying to cool down, and just feels a lot more comfortable. After working out, I wouldn't want to put on a tight top, it's far too hot.

Bottoms
Shorts, Leggings, Running Spandex, the list goes on
Again, I would recommend pants depending on your activity.
If yoga or pilates, or other more fluid movement activities are your exercise, I would recommend leggings that are breathable or sweats. Not long sweats, I would recommend the ones that go to around your mid/lower calf and have a large opening on the bottom not tight. These let air go up your legs, and are stretch material so you can go through multiple poses with ease.


I would never recommend grey sweats! Please any shade but grey. Any amount of perspiration you have will be shown to the world. And loose grey sweats are not always the most flattering.

For higher intensity cardio work outs I recommend tight pants. Spandex or legging like. When you run or do something fast, the material wont be flying around. They are stuck right on you and you tend to move faster because you are not being distracted by excess material.

Also, the tight pants really help you see changes in your legs, and your leg shape, so if you are practicing in front of a mirror because the material is so adhered to the actual shape of your leg, when you practice your form you can see exactly what it's doing.

Socks
I have purchased many socks from sports brands, usually in some pack. I don't think buying sports socks is necessary. I have found them to be not extremely helpful especially when running. They seem to drag down also from the heel of my foot. I have found cheap ankle socks from any brand seem to do the job just as fine. I always wear ankle length socks, they are just more flattering, and easier for fast moving sports in my opinion.

Sneakers:
This really depends on what you do. I would recommend if you are starting out to buy comfortable shoes, but as you get more far along in your preferred sport to maybe go to a sneaker or sports specialty store and ask the staff the best kind of shoe for you. They can take into consideration the shape, arch, and length of your foot. See your running form on a working treadmill, and make recommendations on what they feel would be best suited.

For running I recommend Asics.

Ugly shoes but the best for running



For walking I recommend New Balance


For yoga and general slower pace activities such as weights, I recommend Puma


For cross training or, a little bit of everything, I recommend Nike

I hope the person who requested this, and others found this useful!

7 comments:

  1. Love this post!! When I finally got "serious" about working out (I use that term very *very* loosely, lol) I decided to buy a couple decent pieces of clothing. So thankful TJ Maxx had some things. There is nothing like a proper sports bra...my chest should never cross my mind while exercising lol. And shoes...after I bought new shoes my feet weren't tired after running. I truly need to find new tops though. Old over-sized t-shirts really don't cut it!

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  2. Thank you for the post!!! I was the one who requested it XD

    Really appreciate it as I am just starting to get into working out regularly (mostly yoga, pilates, and running). I didn't own any proper workout clothes before (just wore old tees, sweats, and leggings) but since I've stuck with it for a while now and can see myself pushing further, I want to build a proper gym wardrobe. I have gotten some basic pieces since (sports bra, top, shorts) but am still looking to invest on a few quality items. Thanks for your tips on Nike's sports bra (was actually leaning towards Adidas). Will definitely check em out now! YAY!!!

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  3. Thanks J - great post! I used to be a gym rat and have now slowed because of school, but I'm looking forward to getting back into it!

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  4. Totally agree about the sports bra thing! I have had some that offer little to no support at all, then when I finally got a nicer, more expensive one I realized what I had been missing out on for so long. Great points all around, thanks for all of your tips!

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  5. just bought some asics recently because i knew they were your favorite! i plan on running so i knew that was your fave choice for running. you are right, they are ugly! haha. but oh well, at least i hope to be confortable

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