Posts Tagged ‘fitgear

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Studio to Street Wear

Weekends aside, I am in leggings or stretchy pants, tank tops and sweaters most every time I leave the house. I am always on my way to, or coming from an exercise class where stretchy pants are an absolute must, and who has time to change into street clothes every time they have to run into a store?

That’s why when I’m shopping I try to find styles that can go from the studio to the street without missing a beat.

Styles that are both functional and fashionable make it easier for me to pop into a store between classes to pick a few things up without feeling like I look like someone who just came from the gym and Bench. styles are made to be multipurpose, in fact they have right on their clothing tangs, “Multipurpose City Clothing”

Or you know, multi-purpose country clothing… ;)

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This Bench. Sinker II Fleece in Polar Ice is quite possibly the softest hoodie I’ve ever felt. It’s like wrapping yourself up in a blanket! Complete with the beloved thumb holes and sleeves that are actually long enough for this long limbed girl give it two distinct thumbs up from me!

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A not so well kept secret about me is that I’m always cold, so when I saw this adorable grey snood (scarf meets hood) I knew it had to come home with me. Not only is it great for keeping my neck warm, but if my ears get cold and I don’t have a hat or hood near by I can pop it up over my head like a hood for double duty!

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As for the fingerless gloves, I’ve been wanting a pair of those for well over a year. The Bench. Leyko B Glove are fleece lined making them super cozy for those times you want to keep you hands warm but need the freedom of bare fingers.

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I picked up the hot pink Supta Vest tank from the sale section, so I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find it in store, but the tank is made from lycra supplex making it a high performing tank that looks amazing paired with the Baddah Legging.

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These leggings might have tied my much adored herringbone WU’s for favourite leggings. They are super comfy, soft and let’s face it, look pretty dang amazing.

Prior to now I never would have thought to look to Bench. for multi-purpose clothing like this. Actually I thought they only made outwear and hoodies (oops…), and now that I’ve seen what great pieces they have to offer you can be sure I’ll be looking to see what they have to offer the next time I’m looking for new pieces.

From studio to street to studio. That’s how I live my life, and these pieces from Bench. are definitely helping me do that with a little more style!

Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card to Bench. in order to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Sears Pure NRG Athletics

Happy Monday y’all! :) Today I’m going to be reviewing the new athletics line from Sears Canada – Pure NRG!

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And before I get started, can we take a moment to talk about how cute the striped outfit on the right is the that picture?  It reminds me of my favourite outfit from when I was in grade 2, which my family called my “Hamburgler outfit”.  I wants it.

Anyway… a few weeks ago Sears Canada contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing their new athletic line Pure NRG, which is an exclusive line of performance clothing with features including:

Another great selling feature for me (and I expect all fitness enthusiasts) is that the entire line has been designed to provide high quality at an accessible price point with all items costing less than $50.00!

Now, as a fitness professional, I look at my wardrobe as an investment.  Fitness clothes to me, are like a business suit to a business man, so while I don’t mind spending more for quality items, I also love a deal, and if I can get quality for a lower price – I’m there.

They were kind enough to send me a number of pieces from the collection which I received and began wearing to classes a little over a week ago.

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Included in my package were the studio tank in deep aruba blue, the karma crop in grey, the motion crop in black, the stride pant in black, a grey t-shirt and the Jersey Knit Mock-Neck Jacket.

At first glance my favourite item was the studio tank.  Possibly because it was bright blue ;) but also because of the quality.  It has a built in bra (with removable cups) and considering it’s $29.97 price tag felt a lot like some much more expensive tanks I’ve owned.  If I were to wear it to teach Zumba or for running I would wear another bra underneath (a built in bra is rarely sufficient for me during high impact activities), but for teaching strength training classes or yoga it’s perfect.  I wore it on Saturday morning to teach Zumba Toning and really enjoyed it.  I’ve got a long torso and was really pleased that this tank hits me a a good place so I don’t feel like I’m showing everyone my mid drift throughout class.

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Don’t mind my cranky face.  That’s the face of someone who loves her tank top, but is getting really sick and tired of her chest cold.

My next favourite item is the stride pant.  It is from the “performance” section of the line and they are fairly lightweight feeling, but are super comfy and two things I particularly liked are that the sit right at my waist (just below my belly button) and that the seaming on the legs comes in and runs down the side/front of the legs instead of the traditional side seam.  I find that type of seaming is more flattering and I am really happy that more and more companies are starting to go that route!  I tried to take a picture of what I mean with the seaming but I don’t think it translated onto the picture well so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I actually wore a full Pure NRG ensemble last monday to teach Barre and Yoga Relax – the stride pant, along with my grey T-shirt and the mock-neck jacket.

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I was trying to look more lively here.  Also ignore my unmade bed.  There was a cat asleep in it ;) Believe it or not, I didn’t actually have a plain black zip up jacket so this was a more than welcome addition to my wardrobe.  I wore it to classes the first night I got it!  It’s a light jacket so it great for those times when it’s too warm for a sweater, but you still want a cover-up of some sort.

The grey t-shirt (which I’m wearing in the photo above), the karma crops, and the motion crops are also great inexpensive pieces in the collection.  I’ve been wearing them to teach my seniors fitness classes, and while doing my Physique 57 workouts:

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after teaching Zumba Gold on Friday in the karma crop

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and doing a Physique 57 workout last week in the motion crop.

Over all I am really impressed with the Pure NRG line from Sears Canada, and in looking at the website see some other pieces I would really like, to add to my collection like the studio jacket, the performance legging (these look great for running!), and of course my grown up Hamburgler pants ;) the fashion pant.

I’d love to hear what you think of the new line from Sears Canada.  What it your favourite piece in the collection?

Disclosure:  Sears Canada provided me with six pieces from the new Pure NRG line in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Yogi Clothing

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Yogi Clothing about doing a review of their clothing on the blog.  I took a look at their site and when I saw the beautiful clothing they make I excitedly said, “Yes please!”

I picked out a couple pieces and a week or so later I got a package in the mail full of goodies!

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In the package was their pink ruched hoodie jacket which is super cute with pleating in the back that makes it look sort of like a riding jacket

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and it has thumbholes!  I heart thumbholes.

I also received their Zip V-Neck Cardigan which I am obsessed with

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It is so soft and comfy!  In fact, the day the shipment arrived I tried it on to take these photos and then wore it for the rest of the day!  I’ve worn it a number of times since, it is a perfect fall cardigan for those not so chilly days.

Here is another shot of the two sweaters/jackets

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I really like that the hoodie is different from your traditional zip-up hoodie/jacket.  The rushing on the front, and pleated back really makes this hoodie stand out, and I’ve received a number of compliments already and I’ve only had the chance to wear it twice.

As for the cardigan, what more can I say?  Besides loving how soft and comfy it is, I adore that the sleeves are nice and long so my wrists stay warm along with my arms!  The problem with being tall/having long arms is that is can be tough to find sleeves that are long enough, so I always get excited when a top has extra long sleeves!

As much as I love the hoodie and cardigan, the Print WB Pant they sent me are my favourite item (and that’s saying something!).  My usual go-to black workout pants are my Lululemon Astro pants (which are super old and getting very close to retirement) and I gotta say – I like these better.  Why?  Because of the way they are made.  Instead of just having a front and a back sewn together at the sides, these have a third smaller panel on the sides which makes for a more comfortable and flattering fit.

I wore them on the plane to San Francisco, and to teach a few classes and I really am pretty smitten.  In fact I wore them just this morning!

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I treat all of the items like I would any other athletic wear, I wash them in the washing machine and then hang to dry.  Each piece has been washed a minimum of two times and I’ve had no issues with discolouration, shrinking, pilling, etc.

I also found the items to fit true to size, so if you’re wondering what size to order I would go with your regular size.

If you are in the market for some new workout wear check out Yogi Clothing!  They have lots of cute items and their products are made in the USA (which I know is important for a lot of people)

Disclosure:  In case it wasn’t clear, I received these items free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  I really do love the products I received and would tell you if I felt otherwise.

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What’s in your Fitness Closet?

Today I’m linking up with a bunch of my Fitfluential Peeps over at Pavement Runner’s blog to share what’s in my fitness closet.  

Once you’ve read my post why not hop over to his post to see what others have in their closets?  I’m pretty sure that even though I am a fitness instructor (and 80% of my wardrobe is fitness clothes) that my fitness wardrobe is probably going to be one of the smaller ones!

My “closet” actually consists of my closet, one drawer and a trunk.  So let’s start with the trunk, otherwise known as Zumba Land:

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Inside we have:

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Zumba jackets and hoodies, long sleeved shirts, t shirts and Zumba bras

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tank tops (including my favourite “Eat, Sleep, Zumba” tank)

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cargo pants, and 

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and capri pants.

Moving on to my fitness drawer, otherwise known as Lululemon Land:

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Inside you’ll find…

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my Sweat Pink tops, Fitfluential Tank and a few other random tanks, my regular sports bras,

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my Lululemon CRBs (cool racer backs – my fav, fav, fav tank tops), and my swiftlys (2 long sleeved, one short sleeved),

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my No Limits and Practise Freely tanks, some other lulu tanks (my beloved Back on Track tank is on top)

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running shorts and skirts,

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and all of my crops and full length pants.

My actual closet houses all of the rest of my fitness wardrobe and all of my regular clothes.  When I say fitness clothes makes up most of my wardrobe I’m not lying…

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Here we have my 4 wraps (1 Splits 59 and 3 Lululemon), my 2010 Canada Olympic hoodie, 3 hoodies and my Lululemon Cuddle Up (missing from photo is my other Lululemon hoodie which is in the kitchen).

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This is the top shelf in my closet.  On the left you have all of my running hoodies/jackets and couple random sweatshirts (including my high school graduation hoodie – Go Gators!) On the right are all of my pants.  Mixed in with my jeans are a few pairs of sweatpants, 2 pairs of wunder unders I wear as normal leggings (my herringbone full length WU’s and my grey pique WU’s).

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And this last shelf is all of my regular shirts/tanks/sweaters but there are a few lululemon and nike items mixed in with the rest.

As for my footwear collection, I used to have 5 or 6 pairs of sneakers that I rotated while teaching, and then they all wore out at once.  I replaced them with one pair of Nikes that I’ve been wearing for all my classes since last August (which means I’ve logged well over 400 hours in them) and they are finally DOA.  I’ve ordered two new pairs online last week so hopefully they will be here soon but for now I’m wearing my Saucony running sneakers to teach in.  Here is my sad shoe collection

 

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Truthfully I do still have a few other pairs of sneakers in the basement, but they are all so worn out I can only wear them for casual use now (which is where the yellow nikes will be going when my new sneakers arrive).

And there you have it, that’s what in my {fitness} closet!  What’s in yours???

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SportLine Solo 925 Heart Rate Monitor Review

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve no doubt seen me sporting this watch for the past month or so

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It is Sportline’s SOLO 925 Heart Rate Monitor which they sent me to review.

While I knew they were sending me a heart rate monitor I didn’t know what colour it was, and of course I was tickled pink (excuse the pun) when it arrived and was a super pretty pink colour!

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As a Polar F4 user, I was interested to see how this monitor compared to my beloved Polar.  The SOLO doesn’t include a chest strap and required you to touch your finger tips to the metal area around the face in order to  record your heart rate and this feature was what really drew me to the SOLO in the beginning.

I’ve come to find that wearing my Polar while teaching classes is a real pain.  The chest strap always slips no matter what I do to it and it’s a bit awkward to be adjusting your chest strap during classes in front of a room full of people.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked down at my Polar during a class only to see “Check Transmitter” and know that there was no way I could fix the problem because I was in the middle of teaching a song.  This has led me to having a lot of inaccurate calorie burns and makes it difficult for me to monitor my heart rate during classes.

Enter the SOLO.

While some people may find having to touch your fingers to the watch in order to register your heart rate a pain, it doesn’t both me at all.  I do find it registers most quickly if you are standing still so I tend to only take my heart rate between songs or on water breaks which works out really well.  It doesn’t disturb my class and it gives me a good idea of how hard I’m working.  Another thing I really like is I can wear the watch for all of my classes and if at the last minute I decide I want to record my heart rate or calorie burn I can, there is no chest strap to bother with, and no parts that I need to wet down prior to use (with the Polar you need to wet the chest strap in order for it to get a proper reading).

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Something else that is really cool about the SOLO is that it can record your total calorie burn each day.  If you remember to reset it when you get up or before you go to bed, and record your heart rate during exercise it will be able to tell you how many calories you’ve burned all day long.  If you are trying to lose weight this information can be invaluable as it helps to take the guess work out of how many calories you should be consuming.

Honestly, the SOLO has a lot of functions that I still haven’t completely figured out.  It has a pedometer which can calculate how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve travelled, it has a timer, an alarm clock, has a dual time feature if you travel frequently between time zones and even within the heart rate monitor functions there are lots of features I haven’t yet used.

As far as it’s accuracy, no heart rate monitor is going to be 100% accurate as far as calories burned is concerned, but will give you a much more accurate reading than exercise equipment.  Compared to the Polar, I wore both monitors one night when I went for a 2 mile run and the total calories burned according to my Polar was 275, and the Sportline registered 248 so a difference of 27 calories.  That makes sense to me since I had to stop running in order to get my heart rate to register on the SOLO and obviously as soon as I stopped moving my heart rate would start to slow.

Overall I think the SOLO is a wonderful tool – and is now my preferred tool for calculating calorie burn while teaching classes and for every day use.  I think the strap and fit of the SOLO is much more comfortable than my Polar (which I find a bit big and clunky).  However, when running I will still be using my Polar since I can see my heart rate without having to stop, and when I’m running it is easy for me to adjust the chest strap if it begins to slip.

If you are looking for an affordable option to help keep you motivated to move more I would urge you to take a look a the SOLO 925, besides being pretty it has a lot of wonderful (and practical) functions.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the SOLO 925 free of charge in order to review it for Sportline, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.  Those aren’t for sale.

Stay tuned: Sportline also sent me an Ab Station which I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks!

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