My Favorite Workout Gear

Oh haii, everyone! I know you all missed me. The change in seasons has inspired me to get back on the Corks and Kale wagon and start writing again. Now on to the good stuff…

When people ask me what gym I belong to, I usually laugh out of embarrassment because at one point 2 months ago, I technically had FIVE gym memberships. They weren’t all monthly memberships, some were just 10-class passes–but still, if I wanted to workout, I could chose from 5 different studios. All of my memberships were studios that held classes. I cancelled my rec center membership a few months ago when I finally had a moment of clarity that I hate open gyms.

Currently, I have three studio memberships (one I don’t pay for because I teach spinning classes there so I’m able to take other classes for free). I belong to Orangetheory Fitness, PAI Yoga & Fitness (where I teach), and Fair Trade Yoga Studios. I’m probably going to buy more classes to Harbor Yoga just because I absolutely LOVE them…but right now can’t justify it due to the fact that I have TWO other yoga studios I can attend. I previously had a membership also with System of Strength–which is still one of the best workouts in town in my opinion–but again, couldn’t justify it with my new-found love for Orangetheory.

Since I go to a lot of different workouts throughout the week, I had to create a workout wardrobe that worked for more than just one type of class. You’ll see I tend to favor sweat wicking materials because I sweat a lot, and looser tops with support. These are my favorites:

Bend Active loose 614 tank
I was apprehensive about buying this tank because I tend to sweat a lot and I was worried this wouldn’t wick it away. I was wrong. This tank it nice and and loose, but stays in place when I’m doing yoga. It also does a good job dealing with the sweat.

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Lululemon Rebel Runner Crop
I have these crops in 3 different styles/colors. I love the fabric as it’s made to sweat in, and I also love all the zippers. These are great to run, spin, yoga, anything in. I will say that the inner thigh pills a little for me from spinning/running (but lulu told me that would happen). These are still my go to workout pants. I also like higher rise and these definitely fit the bill.

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Lululemon All Sport Bra
I am not small chested. Sports bras are the most important thing to get right when it comes to working out for me. If I don’t feel supported, my workout will suffer. This bra, while listed as medium support, is the best sports bra I’ve ever worn. I hate the feeling of the VS bras with cups built in and I don’t like high support bras because I feel like I’m suffocating. This bra provides lots of support while still letting me breathe. I run, spin, yoga…do it all in this one. I have it in 4 colors.

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Athleta Enduro No-Show Sock by Balega International
I need socks that have a little tab in the back because I always end up with blisters on my heels. These sock prevent that and stay in place while moving around. I used to buy cheap thin socks, but buying decent socks really does make a difference.
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Old Navy Compression Tank
I promise that this tank looks better in person than in this photo. It’s so unflattering here but I think it’s super flattering on. The extra support of the built in bra is always appreciated, and the elastic at the bottom makes it my go to top for yoga. The material is also great for sweat so it’s good in really any class.

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What are your favorites?

Things that drive me crazy in a group fitness class

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I’m a group fitness junkie. I would much rather take a group class than spend 20 minutes in the gym by myself. I take a big variety of classes–yoga, strength, hip hop, spinning. I also teach spinning 1-2 times a week, so as an instructor, I know it’s impossible to please everyone. That said, there are a few things that both the instructor and the attendees do that drive me up the wall.

1. Starting a class late/students coming late to class. This is obvious, but man it is so annoying–and it happens all the time. I know I’m guilty of this in spinning sometimes…but it’s usually not my fault. Someone will walk in late and be a first-timer, so I have to spend the next 5 minutes getting their bikes set up and explaining the different hand positions. I’ve also been to yoga classes where 5-10 minutes in someone will walk in the room and make everyone shift their mats over in the already crowded class and just interrupt the entire flow that we just started.

2. Music being too loud/too quiet. There is nothing worse than being in an extremely crowded room, unable to see the instructor, and not be able to hear what they are saying either. On the flip side, I can’t get into the groove with super quiet music. I need some noise! This balance is sometimes hard to find, but it is so important.

3. Instructors that don’t do the work too. I get it…lots of classes require the instructor to walk around to encourage and correct form, but I also think it’s important for the instructor to participate in what she is teaching. How can someone tell you that you can do 15 more burpees when they haven’t done one? It’s good to have a model up front doing the moves correctly and with you so they can also feel your pain.

4. Students that half-ass the moves. Trust me, I’ve been there. There have been many times in yoga where I just say, “not today,” and sit in down dog for a few minutes. It’s okay and I always encourage people to listen to their bodies. But, when other students who are just plain lazy decide not to participate and then interfere with my space/energy, I want to yell at them. Why are you here if you aren’t going to move your body? Don’t half ass a class. You won’t get your money’s worth.

5. Instructors that don’t cool you down or stretch you out when class is over. I know instructors want to squeeze as much in to the class as possible, and I also know all the arguments about stretching…but I think this is so important. If you are doing a high-intensity workout and end class with your heart rate at 90%, chances are you’re going to be leaving that class in the next 3-5 minutes and that can be dangerous. You really need to let your body come back down to a normal level before you go on about your day. I personally also think stretching after a workout is just as important, and if the class time is already over, we all know you’re not going to stay any longer to stretch by yourself.

I do love my group classes..the ones I teach and the ones I attend. But, if you’re guilty of any of the above items, cut it out!

What bothers you in group fitness classes?