VSX X JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS

Holy shit. This is truly outrageous.

Victoria’s Secret Sport has a line of sports bras based on Jem and the Holograms.

I mean, they might not KNOW that they did it. But they totally did it.

I introduce to you the “Incredible” by Victoria’s Secret sports bra.

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Jerrica_benton_jem

RIGHT??????

But wait. There’s more!!!

PIZAZZZ!

 

SYNERGY!

 

KIMBER!

 

Of course, my fitstyle is more

JETTA!

But whatever.

Thank you VSX for that surprising bit of joy I had trying on sports bras yesterday.

 

 

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NEW NIKE FREES!

Ohhhhh SNNNAAAAAP! Nike’s got some new additions to the Nike Free fam. They’re called the Nike Free RN Distance (RN = Running) and Nike Free RN Commuter. (I am a huge fan of Nike Frees. They’re like wearing slippers, they’re one of the few Nikes that don’t have a pointy narrow toe box, and I wear them all day, every day. I only take them off when I have to wear “real” shoes or when I run or train. And when I train, I usually wear Nike Free TRs, WHICH ARE ALSO GREAT!)

Nike Free RN Distance Distance! So, probably cushioning that doesn’t break down as quickly as the typical Nike Frees. And probably a wee bit of support. SOLD! Oh wait. There’s no solid black. UNSOLD! Bummer.  Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.36.59 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.35.53 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.36.16 AM

Nike Free RN CMTR What does “commuter” mean? It means that the upper is totally flat-packable so you can throw it in your work bag when you need to switch to your office-appropriates. Which in itself is kind of sad, right? Dudes wear sneakers to work all the time and it is not seen as sloppy at all. I’m going to make an effort to make sneakers work with my work clothes. #genderequality y’all. Oh, they do have CMTRs for men, too. I guess the other benefit is not taking up as much space in your gym bag. Sigh. Schlepping a gym bag. That makes me sad too. I love having a home gym.

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So, after all that, what did I buy?

My 8th? 9th? 10th? I lost count pair of Nike Free Runs. Mostly because they come in BLACK ON BLACK!!! right now. I love black soles. I love black laces. I love Nike Frees.

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Side note: What the fuck with the rest of the colors, Nike? The white on white is cool if you’re into white shoes. But the rest of them…Are you purposely making ugly basic colorways so we have to pay more to Nike ID a pair that actually looks cool? Not cool, bro. But thank you for finally making black on black! I’ll buy 1-2 pairs a year, forever.

 

End of year top ten 2015.

Hey Aimee, you got an end of year top ten list for us? It’s the end of the year. It’s list time. It’s what people do…

Sure, pretend person who asks me questions to prompt blog posts. Of course I can do that for you. Here you go…

PRETTY-SWEATY’S TOP TEN FAVORITE FITNESS THINGS 2015

10. FAVORITE WORKOUT PANTS: Athleta Chaturanga. Yes still. They’ll probably be knocked down a peg when I start really running again in 2016, because I doubt they’d stay up. But until then, the stretchy, never too tight, available in infinite lengths and colors and patterns, INCLUDING a new high waist version, are still my go-to. Because pants that never make me feel fat will never not be my favorites.

9. FAVORITE FITNESS TRACKER: UP2 by Jawbone. Best looking. User-friendly and nicely designed app.

8. FAVORITE PROTEIN BAR: Quest Bars, mother fucker! They taste like magic and are made of sparkles! Plus: fiber.

7. FAVORITE PROTEIN SHAKE: Sun Warrior. Chocolate flavor. It’s vegan, so it’s like you’re drinking a salad. (I tell myself.) Add spinach, psyllium husks, cocoa, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of stevia, and you’re good. It looks green, but it tastes like a Wendy’s frosty. Chocolate + Spinach works.

6. FAVORITE JOG BRA: Under Armour Armour Bra. I have faith that eventually I’ll find the Moving Comfort (honorable mention) bra for me, but it only took one trip to Sports Authority dressing room to find an Under Armor one. They’re color-coded for cup size, and they don’t have too many options, which is makes finding the right one for you quick and easy… If you know what size you are… Which I don’t because it changes every month. (Pregnancy should be considered a 2-3 year process for your body.) They have different impact ratings, but I don’t understand the point of anything that’s not rated for “Hi-Impact” (or why they don’t spell out “high”). Their H-I-G-H impact sports bra is called the Armour Bra. It’s well-engineered. Easy to get on and off (back clasps). And doesn’t cut into your armpit fat. In fact, it has special soft and stretchy bits around the armpits specifically so it doesn’t do that. VERY WELL DONE, UNDER ARMOUR! VERY WELL DONE.

5. FAVORITE WORKOUT: I still stand by a combo of boot camp and barre. Boot camp is basically the OG of HIIT. And any barre program will do. But I really like Suzanne Bowen’s Barre Amped series of DVDs as a lighter alternative to The Dailey Method. #yesiamstilloutofshape

4. FAVORITE FITNESS MAGAZINE: Experience Life. It’s put out by Lifetime Fitness, and it’s a healthy lifestyle magazine. A lot about nutrition, wellness, life balance, etc. It’s a good for when you get burnt out on Shape, Self, Womens’ Fitness, Oxygen, etc. It’s also great if you feel like you’re always swimming upstream while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. This magazine will make you feel like you’re not crazy, and not alone. (This is me: “Wait. People still eat pizza? Who? Who still eats pizza? …Wait. They still sell fat-free shit? People still buy fat-free shit? Where the fuck am I? Has nobody read anything in the last ten years? What is going on in the world???”) Also: you won’t be bombarded with fitness models and celebrities. It’s a safe space.

3. FAVORITE NEW(ISH) FITNESS LABEL: Olympia Sport. Strong, yet beautiful stuff. Goddess wear.

2. PRETTIEST WORKOUT PIECE: ALO Goddess Leggings. Who doesn’t want to look like an off-duty ballerina? Nobody. That’s who. And that’s why these leggings are just so…I don’t know…lovely.

1. FAVORITE GYM: The shittiest gym in town, whatever town I’m in. I like the cheapest, most down and dirty, simplest, nothing but machines, little shit hole of a gym available. I don’t like big gyms. I don’t like “fitness centers.” The bigger it is, the more of “a thing” it is to go there. If the gym has STAIRS and multiple FLOORS? I’m out. I don’t even like studios that offer more than one kind of class. And if people can watch your class while they’re working out? Forget it. I’m not paying to be someone else’s entertainment. I like to stay anonymous. I don’t want everybody all up in my shit. I just want to get in, do my thing, not talk to a single person, not feel intimidated, and get the fuck out. If the walls need painting, and the ceiling is leaking somewhere, that’s a good sign. That means there aren’t too many people paying too much money for too much stuff. I LOVE a shitty little gym.

 

P.S. Sorry/ Not Sorry for no links or pics in this post. I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, and I’ve got other shit to do. You understand, I’m sure. The beginning of the year kind of blows for everybody, right? Right. TTYL. Love, Aimee.

HEY! UP FITNESS TRACKERS ARE ON SALE!

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1. I lost my UP24 fitness tracker a while back. It was sad princess day. Since then I’ve been walking it old school with my trusty $20 Omron pedometer. Which is totally fine. But a tad inconvenient because most of my high-waisted workout pants don’t have key pockets.

2. But guess what! It’s Christmas time and them UP tracker shits are on saaaaaaale!!!!

3. So my husband just bought me one on Amazon because they’re hella cheap right now. And he’s a very nice guy. 🙂 And also he probably doesn’t like to hear me bitch all the time about how nothing fits, so…it’s kind of a future-present for him, too.

Why do I like Jawbone and not FitBit? Especially now that FitBit has a heart rate tracker? Because. Jawbone looks better. And I pay for design. The end.

I spent the last three days researching. Let me save you some time.

Here’s what you need to know:

UP3 = their newest one. Has heart rate monitoring. Which I thought I wanted. BUT, it doesn’t really do “you’re in the zone”-type monitoring during your workout. It does resting heart rate, and kind of a picture of your daily average. Or something. It isn’t well explained. But the FitBit Charge HR clearly does “during workout heart rate feedback.” So I figured, if UP did that, they would say that they did. And they don’t. So…not worth it to me. Plus, I might get creeped out by those nodes pressing on my pulse points all day. BUT, they are SUPER CUTE. They are by far the best looking tracker bracelets on the market. And, if you’re into it, they’re on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. So you can get a 20% discount on Jawbone site with code OPRAH. 

UP4 = same as the UP3 but you can Tap To Pay with an AmEx. Which I think is fucking stupid. But I’m 90 years old inside.

UP2 = just like the UP24, but updated. Adjustable size. Available in solid bracelet style and girlier thin strap (split-strap) versions. Split strap comes in more colors. I looked at them in person, and both are cute.  But I’m a little afraid I’d catch the straps on something, so I’m getting the classic solid shape. And after much deliberation and drooling over white, gold, purple, red, green, and teal, my ass is sticking with simple solid black. Why? Because when I was nine I chose a pink and purple ten speed for my birthday present, and my mom said “Now you’re sure you’re still going to want a purple bike with pink tires when you’re older?” and I was like “Hell yeah I will!” and I was wrong. I don’t trust what I like today to be what I’ll like next year.

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But you don’t care what I like. You like what YOU like. And if you like the idea of the UP2, it’s on sale on Amazon today. They’re $99 pretty much everywhere, but on Amazon the solid is $60ish and the strappy is $80 ish. The prices seem to change every day. They might even go down more, who knows? But I’m impatient, so I bought today. http://www.amazon.com/Jawbone

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HEALTHY GREEDY SHOPPY TIMES TO YOU!

 

Fitbit Fashion

Wearables. Fitness trackers. I’ve been using one for almost ten years. It was called a Pedometer and it cost no more than $20. But now there are bracelets, so I’M IN. I’ve been using a Jawbone UP24 and I dig it. It looks less clunky than the fitbit bracelets, has a great, user-friendly app, and tracks sleep.

But if you have a Fitbit, people are working to make them less fugly. Here’s one I noticed on my Esty feed recently: http://etsy.me/1KGZQDS

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How to wash your workout wear.

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OK. So. Now that you’ve ponied up 100 bucks for a schmancy high performing pair of workout pants, you need to take proper care of them to make them last.

Why? Because if you don’t, they will start to hold onto odor, they’ll stop wicking, and they’ll lose the perfect stretch and compression you paid so much for.

HOW should you wash athletic clothes? 

-In COLD water. (hot is bad for elastics)

-Only with other performance fabrics. Why? Because heavier/ rougher fabrics will beat up the sport fabric. Rough it up. Stretch it out. Cause it to pill.

-And HANG DRY. Before and after you wash. You should really hang your workout clothes up after you peel them off. Let the sweat evaporate, don’t throw them into your laundry pile all crumpled up and wet to fester and rot. Hang them to dry after washing, too. I am personally a hang dry-only freak. I hang dry everything except for sheets and towels. Because I can’t handle the emotional damage that shrinking will cause. I’m dead serious about this. Do not wash my clothes. Beware the wrath of the girl whose favorite whatever doesn’t fit anymore because it accidentally got thrown in the dryer. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that torrent of uncut rage and tears.

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Don’t even aim a blow dryer at my shit. I will cut you.

WHAT kind of detergent should you wash your athletic clothes with? 

-POWDER not liquid. Why? Because you don’t want residue. Any residue stuck to the fibers will coat them and keep them from wicking. You also don’t want fabric softeners or “optical brighteners” because they also coat fibers.  So unfortunately, Woolite is out.

-This is also why “Tide plus Febreeze” or any regular wash that just adds an odor eliminator doesn’t cut it.

-Most “sports detergents” focus only on body oils and odor. Apparently, active wear really likes to become permanently stinky. Because body oils and stinks bond differently to synthetics than they do to cotton. I guess I’ve noticed that a little, but overall, I’m more concerned with keeping the wicking performance and elasticity. And I assume if a detergent is good enough to preserve elasticity, it’s probably already got the odor and body oils thing covered.

Even the most “sporty” sports detergents (Win, Sport Wash) are liquid. So despite their macho labels, high prices, and sports-store distribution, they’re totally not ideal for keeping the physical performance properties of the fibers in tact. WTF right? BUT. Good news…

There are a few powdered sports washes out there, Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent (which is a good source of information, too) and Sports Suds. I haven’t tried either, but it seems like they should be good.

Raw_Athletics_1003__72903.1401903568.386.513      350-sport-suds-laundry-detergent-400g-jar11455

 

I usually use Forever New. It comes in through the “fine garment care” door instead of the “odor eliminating” one. It’s for delicates and it says that it “preserves fiber flex” and “maintains elasticity.” I mean, if people wash their french lingerie in it, I trust it.

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Here, I’ve done the shopping for you!

Forever New: $14.50 for 32oz (16 washes)  on Amazon, prime eligible.

Vapor Fresh: $22 for 80oz (32 washes) + shipping on their site, same on Amazon, but prime eligible.

Sports Suds: $21 for 14oz (34 loads) through Amazon, prime eligible.

I was about to just order some more Forever New, but after doing this research for y’all it’s obvious that these other guys are cheaper per load, so I’m going to try Vapor Fresh, too. Although, I’m still not sold.  I don’t trust a detergent designed by a boy to eliminate stink to take care of lycra and preserve stretch as well as a lingerie detergent. Hmmm… Either way, I’ve gotta stop using the Tide with Febreeze. My clothes just feel slimy. Bad news.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE  The residue from liquid detergent is coating your washer too. So you’re supposed to clean it out by washing old towels in your new powdered detergent first. Not sure how this is going to work for me since we wash everything else in liquid…but…I guess we’ll just have to gradually switch from liquid to powder for everything. No reason not to.

Here’s what Sports Suds says about that:

http://www.sportsuds.com/First-Use-Information.html

So. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. But now you know. And I learned some new stuff too. If it makes you feel better, I can’t do my stinky-ass laundry for a few days because I’m waiting for the special detergents to get here…

 

 

Why so ‘spensive? (The rise of $100 yoga pants.)

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Oh, workout clothes. You so silly. The really good pants can cost $100. And the nice tops can cost $70ish. You only wear the stuff for an hour at a time. And then it’s going to smell like butt. Literally. Where do they get off charging that much for smell-like-butt clothes?

Well. Back in the day I would have thought it was just branding and luxury marketing and all that seventh grade stuff. Charge more and people will think it’s better. Then every yoga mom has to have a Lulu logo on her butt.  But now that I actually design and manufacture stuff myself (paper goods, not clothes. bsandrs.com) and have a friend who designs and manufactures jeans (tallwaterjeans.com), I understand the work that goes into production and development and how much quality costs. And also, the more workouts I try, and the more laundry I do, the more I appreciate high-functioning stuff.

So. Why do they charge that much for smell-like-butt clothes? I’ll tell ya.

1. Quality of fabric. The fabric matters a ton. The fabric is what determines sheerness, wicking, longevity, fit, whether or not your cellulite shows, whether or not they keep their shape or stretch out, how easy they are to get in and out of, and whether or not the pants will slide down when you get sweaty. That’s why LuluLemon got big. Not just because they were design leaders, but also because of Luon fabric.

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LuluLemon

 

2. Technology. Not only do they have to be the right thickness and all of that, these fabrics have to breathe and wick and stretch both ways.  They have breathable panels in body-mapped places. And those silver seams? Those actually cool you down and don’t absorb your stink. (I worked on adidas for years. Trust me. I know things.) F-yeah, science.

athleta

Athleta

3. Design. Designing fitted things is hard. Designing fitted things that stay in place while flexing to and fro is hard. Figuring out how wide to make a waist band and how tight or high it needs to be to keep your poppin fresh dough from spilling out is hard. Placing the seams in a way that draws the eye around your leg, cutting the strap so you don’t get armpit boob, adding a key pocket without actually adding a pocket is hard. (It adds material, complicates pattern, takes longer to manufacture…) These are the things that make good pieces good. And they’re what make you keep on choosing to wear that one top or those certain pants instead of all the others.

Splits 59

Splits59 Spinning Crops

 

 

4. Engineering. If you have more than a B cup you know you need a real jog bra, and you understand what a feat of engineering that those suckers are. (Bounce. Moving Comfort.) And some workout pants even have built in spanx-y panels and butt lifters and stuff (Lucy). Compression patterns support your muscles and help you work longer. It’s way more complex then sewing two halves of a pattern together.

Moving Comfort Rebound Racer

Moving Comfort

 

So you see, a quality piece of fitness apparel takes a lot of work and design and R&D. It’s made with stuff that costs a lot more than cotton because it has to do a lot more than cotton. And the benefit you get out of that piece (comfort, support, confidence, performance) is directly related to how much work went into creating it.

I still have my first pairs of Athleta and LuluLemon capris. They’re at least 5 years old. And I still pick those guys from my drawer before all of the rest. Meanwhile, the Old Navy Active yoga crops I just bought for less than the cost of my lunch are thin and scratchy, don’t have stretchy thread, and will be busted in a matter of months. There’s cost per wear. And there’s just wasting time churning through cheap stuff when one great piece will remove “shop for gym pants” from your to-do list for years.

I am absolutely not trying to peer pressure you into buying something you can’t afford. (Hello, I wear old navy tank tops 90% of the time.)  But I am for sure telling you that there IS a difference and you will get A LOT of use out of the good stuff for a LONG time.

And yeah. It’s way cuter.

LuLuLemon

 

Evolve Yoga Clothing: Pretend Shopping Spree!

Well. I hate Facebook ads as much as the rest of you, but since I started blogging about fitness wear, they’ve actually started to be pretty useful! Thanks, internet, for delivering brands I never heard of, directly to my eyeballs.

Today I clicked on Kira Grace. Why? Because as I’ve said, I have over 20 pairs of black workout capris. So I’m kind of looking for a little variety. Probably not in color or pattern, because while I love that shit, it probably won’t get worn as much as something black just with a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

Like panels and cut-outs and ruching oh my!

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

The Kira Grace leggings had a sheer panel that I liked, and that led me to Evolve Yoga Clothing, which is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME SAUCE. They’re an Oregon-based yoga apparel site and they stock fun fun things. Love love. Here are some things that I would buy right now if I hadn’t just ordered a stay-in-place sporty pretty swimsuit from Title 9 called the Rizzo.

Rizzo Tankini

Rizzo Bottoms Rizzo Tankini

 

So, here you go.

STUFF FROM EVOLVE FITWEAR I WANT TO BUY RIGHT NOW BUT SHOULDN’T BUT MIGHT: 

Onzie X-Back Fitness Bra

Is that Minnie Driver? No. But I like the moxie.

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

These, I kind of need. They’re cutout without being trashy, you know?

Teeki Clouds Hot Pant-made from plastic bottles
Welcome to fun town!!

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Black. Pattern. Cellulite camoflage potential. Yup.

Liquido Cobra Leggings

Liquido Cobra Leggings

COBRA! WHAT??? HOTTTTTT! LOVE IT!

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Wowie zowie. Too bold for my big ol’ butt probably, but somebody please buy these happy pants.

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Aww. That’s nice…

 

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

These are terry cloth: sweatshirt material. Cozy for colder times.

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Sure. Why not.

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

I am actually trying to learn this technique right now. I’m applying it to my not-flattering generic basic workout shirts so I can try to give them a chance before I just donate them for being ugly.

 

 

So there you go. Some super fun stuff I want from Evolve Fitwear. Can we all agree that we can do better than this now? K. Thanks.

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I HATE TECH TEEEEEEEEES.                          Boooo. Sad pants. 😦