Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Get Some Gear

I've never understood the girls who show up at the gym with makeup and hair done. When I go to the gym, it is not to impress anyone or to look attractive. In fact, I think my goal is to make myself look like an absolute train wreck. I want some physical indication that I worked hard.

So it used to be that when I went to work out, I just worked out in my grubby lounge clothes. Anything extra I had that was comfortable, and that I didn't mind getting soaked in sweat. Because, why look cute, right? Why spend money on clothes that I was going to get all sweaty?

I've had a change in heart in the past year or so of exercising. I have realized that what I wear when I exercise makes a huge difference in how I feel and how I perform. With this, I'm talking both about function and aesthetics.

First, function. Before I exercise, I decide what I'm going to do, and choose my clothes based on those activities. Let me give you an example. If I decide that I'm doing yoga, naturally, I'll put on yoga pants or shorts. I also will wear a tighter fitting tank top. Why? Because loose clothes in yoga don't work for me. Having a loose shirt roll up to my face when I'm doing the downward dog just isn't ideal. Heaven forbid I go to a yoga class and give everyone a free show. Gross. I also preferred tight clothes in my surfboard fitness class.

I like to wear tight capris when I'm running. My best running outfit was the one I wore in my half marathon. It's the same one I wore on my weekly long runs. Why? The fabric clung to me in a way that didn't chafe. My tank was a wicking tank, never staying wet or absorbing water. I had nothing flying off of my body or creating any kind of wind resistance. I don't like shorts because my thighs would chafe, giving me heat rash. I got both parts of my favorite running outfit at Ross, actually!

If I'm going to do sit-ups or squats or anything else, I pick the clothes that allow me to do those things best.

I'm getting to a point now that I realize you often get what you pay for. For instance, I went to Kohl's a couple of months ago and checked the clearance rack in the fitness area. I got two pairs of Fila running capris. They fit, and they're cute!, but they're constantly falling down. The legs don't cling like they should, so I'm constantly having to pull them up during a run. It's not fun. I paid like $15 for each pair, so I can't say I'm surprised. That wasn't anything I could have predicted happening when I tried them on.

I have two pairs of Jockey capris I got at Gordman's. They were cheap. They're not stretchy enough. They don't work when I have to do crossfit situps because I'm worried about the crotch ripping. There's no give.

It's probably best to find a good pair of bottoms that will last you a long time that works for as many activities as possible. Pay a couple of extra bucks for them. Unless you're lucky and find an awesome pair at Ross.

Secondly, I've changed my mind about aesthetics in gym clothes. I think what we wear is important, to work or on a date or during a workout. I will say that I have come to enjoy wearing a cute gym getup. I've learned that when you feel like you look good, your confidence soars, and you just do things better. So when I get my best bottoms on and throw on the cute neon pink tank my grandma got me at Old Navy with my matching pink Altras, I'm going to rock that Zumba class like I've never rocked it before. I don't see a need to get done up or do my makeup, but I submit that cute, flattering, or motivating gear makes a huge difference. When I used to wear my "Wal-Mart shopper" outfit, or if that offends you, my "frump girl" clothes, I didn't feel like I looked good. I felt gross, and it worked against me. I still worked hard, of course, but I didn't get that extra energy that comes from feeling good about how I look. Does anyone else know what I mean, or am I just making crazy talk?

I've just been much happier wearing fun, colorful, cute clothes for my workouts.

Cute pink shirt from my grandma. Green shirt also from grandma. She's always lookin' out for my fashion. Took these pics for her.

Awesome shirt from my mom.

I like my purple Nike shirt. I got it on clearance, and it's a wicking shirt too.

Those bras were $3 each at Gordman's. Good find. 

So people, make yourself a budget for gym clothes and get some functional, cute clothes. It will make a big difference in your workout. 

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