My husband and I just recently decided to join a gym. Yes, fatty has a husband. And yes, you should probably feel bad for him- being married to me is no picnic. Or maybe TOO MUCH of a picnic- I am a fatty for a reason. So, anyway- we decided to join a gym. The place that was closest to our home was Planet Fitness, and so that’s where we decided to visit. Turns out, it’s the perfect gym for not in shape people like me.
Planet Fitness claims to be a “judgement free zone”. This appeals to me, because I can judge myself just fine (I’m awesome!). But I have found that after hitting a weight loss plateau I need more help. And this is another reason that Planet Fitness stood out. Included in any membership is personal training. And honestly, having someone encourage (yell at, push, threaten) me helps. Most classes are small (max of 5) so the trainer can work more closely with you, and there is also a “design your own” program where the trainer meets with you to determine your specific goals. A once a week meeting with the trainer has pushed me to work harder and better (and requires me not to slack).
The trainer always uses the 30 Minute Fitness room. I very much enjoy this area because it works EVERYTHING. It’s a great (terrible, awful, painful) workout because it alternates between weights and cardo. You push yourself as hard as possible with sprints, burpees, high knees, and other forms or torment. Then after each cardio set, which shoots your heart rate sky high and makes you feel like it may explode, you get a short rest and then a weight machine is used. This allows for “active rest”-you tone a different muscle group each time while your heart rate slowly comes back down. Each circuit lasts 1 minute. There are 20 stations, and 30 second rests between each station. It’s a fast set, but an intense workout. It uses a HIIT schedule (high intensity interval training), which gets the heart rate up super high, and then gives short rest periods. I have found that even though it is only 30 minutes, it is the best workout I’ve ever done. I often come home tired and sore, but I feel that I really pushed myself. Which is great, because hopefully my weight plateau will become a thing of the past. But maybe not lose TOO much, because then I will have to change the name of my blog- and I have no clever name for being fit and THIN. So fat and fit may be the best way to go.
Sorry guys- this is a blog for the ladies. But feel free to read on. And I guess the info might help you. . . some men may need to wrangle their man-boobs as well. I guess some similar concepts could apply. . .
So, you’ve decided to start your fitness journey. But you think “I don’t want to go to the gym, and money to buy some fitness machine is not really in the budget. . . so what’s a chunky girl to do? Hey, the outside is free! Let’s run outside!”. And so you convince yourself that this is a great idea. You decide to use your sweatpants for the purpose they were intended for (you know, not just to watch TV), and you might even put on one of those funny shirts that say something like “I don’t run unless something is chasing me”. You step out the door, optimistic, and start your run. And then- BAM, your boobs jump up and punch you in the chin. You have officially lost a boxing match with your breasts. So, you can either give up OR decide to spend a little money on your “free” hobby and get yourself a sports bra.
Now, sports bras run the gamut. You can spend $100 on a bra, or $5 on Ebay where you hope you get what the picture showed and not some cloth and a rubber band to assemble the bra all by yourself. And maybe someday they’ll invent a $10,000 sports bra that the second you put it on you lose weight (and I would pay it! Any men that may still be reading this- that one would apply to you as well). But, this blog today will focus on bras that actually exist. And in looking at the magic bras that allow me to run, jump, skip, etc I have several things that I require:
1. Must have a clasp or zipper to get it on and off. I will not wear a bra that you pull on over your head. I hate a bra that you have to struggle with just to get on, and then it compresses your boobs until you can’t breathe. And then taking it off you run the possibility of getting trapped with your arms above your head and a bra covering your face. SO- I require being able to use snaps or a zipper up front to get it on or off. Added points if the bra has a clasp and a zipper- double wrangling gets the job done better! And there’s less risk of the girls escaping and making a run for it!
2. Actual cups. I dislike sports bras that just compress everything down. I don’t feel that they do their job as well, and they don’t offer any support. They just flatten everything down and hope that’s enough. But having cups usually does 2 things- it lets you find your size (normally wear a 34DD? Well, they have a sports bra that’s your size), and gives you more comfort. Going by S, M, L, XL makes me uncomfortable- both mentally and physically. If you order online- you don’t know for sure that it will fit. It might say “go with medium if you are 36B or C-but who knows if they assumed right. I prefer a bra that gives me a size I know and love.
3. Cost. I don’t like to spend $80 on a bra. Even a sexy one that I wear daily. And many of the cheaper brands have great bras that do everything I want. And sometimes they have better options. Many of the big fitness brads love their smash everything flat bras. But my favorite bras are sold at Target (the magic store that has everything) and cost around $20. Here is my favorite brand:
Women’s Power Shape™ MAX High Support Front-Close Sports Bra – C9 Champion
I love the zipper in the front, and there’s an extra clip in front for extra staying power. Keeps everything in place- and has never come unzipped during a workout (I’ve had that happen with other brands! Not cool, especially not in public!!). Super comfortable with a great look. $25.00 at Target.
Women’s Power Shape™ MAX Support Convertible Sports Bra -C9 Champion
The straps are thick in the shoulders keeping them comfortable. I Keep the straps crossed in the back because it seems to offer more support. The cups offer full coverage, with breathable mesh on the straps and between the cups to keep the goods less sweaty. $23 at Target
I think the bras above offer the best coverage, best function, and are comfortable. They’ll save you chest, back, and chin when you get to running, jumping, lifting, or yoga-ing. And they won’t break the bank. I’d say that’s a win-win.