A gym professional, I most certainly am not. BUT! I have figured out some gear that makes my time at the gym much more enjoyable and wanted to share it here.
After one too many workouts where I spent most of the time tugging at my shirt, feeling shitty about how I looked, and feeling like the cotton was just so heavy on my body, I started looking for some real workout gear. GO FIGURE, the offerings for extended/plus/fatty (however you wanna call it) sizes are slim to none. I check out Old Navy (don’t think I didn’t notice that active wear blog sponsoring blitz they did a few months ago) but, as is typical with Old Navy, many sizes were sold out. These Reebok tops are from Lane Bryant, but are reasonably priced, unlike most Lane Bryant clothes. Note, these fit much snugger on me than the models, even in my standard size, so if you’re a 12ish and want a great workout shirt, you might be ok with the 14/16. If you are not plus sized, I checked out Reebok’s site and see the exact same colors and fabrics in a bunch of other cuts, so I’m assuming they’re essentially the same shirt.
Lesson learned, wicking fabric is great and fitted clothes make for a much better workout. Once I got over the idea of feeling fat while working out, because, duh, I am fat, having fitted gear made the whole process MUCH more enjoyable. These shirts also have a slightly longer back which isn’t really noticeable while I’m wearing them, but is great for moves like an overhead triceps extension.
While I’ve never necessarily needed wide shoes, I suspected I’d appreciate them, especially since I usually go to the gym after a long day in the shop. Suspicion – correct. These Nikes are suitably wide, true to size, exceedingly comfortable, lightweight, and effing adorable. I’ve been doing exclusively weight training for the past 5 weeks, and I feel very planted in these, which is great. Perhaps the best part, Zappos.com has them for $65 which I think is very reasonable for athletic shoes.
I’m still rocking my second generation iPod shuffle but see they’ve since dropped the price to an exceptional $49. At that price, it’s not worth worrying where to put your iPod or phone or dealing with arm bands. The shuffle clips right onto my shirt, never interfering with my workouts. In fact, I don’t even notice it. If you workout, gym or outside, and want music, the shuffle is a total no brainer.
Apparently I’m the only person in the world who can’t properly use those squeezable sports bottles. After one too many gym sessions where I felt like a baby sucking on a bottle and worried that everyone could hear me loudly slurping, I picked up two Nalgene bottles. I use the wide mouth at home, because it’s easy to fill with ice. At the gym, I somehow end up chugging too much and dumping it on my shirt, so I use the narrow mouth. Is this more than you ever wanted to know about water bottles? I’m sure it is. These days, I don’t go anywhere without one of the two bottles. They’re 32oz and I aim to finish the bottle 5-6 times per day.
I still haven’t figured out the perfect workout pants. I can find tall pants in standard sizes, or plus sized pants in regular inseam. I need a 34″ inseam, and generally find yoga/compression pants to have a ~30″ inseam which is totally unworkable for me. I’m thinking about trying some pants from the Old Navy active line, but worry about the quality. Have you tried them?
Finally, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to picking up an activity band, either the Jawbone UP, FitBit Flex, or Nike Fuel band. I was set on the UP because it’s adorable, but this video has me convinced that the Flex is the way to go. I tried to order one only to find out that they’re on 8 week backorder, so the entire process has stalled. Do you use one? Is it worth the money? My gym buddy and I were recently discussing Heart Rate Monitors, which the Flex is specifically not (to my understanding) and it’s much cheaper to just get a dedicated HRM. I’m now totally torn on what to do.