Topless At The Gym?

Posted: April 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

I know I caught your eye with that title, huh? Just hold on to your antsy pants a little bit for me to explain at the end of this post. I have some venting to do first.

Yesterday at the gym I did something to my back. I completed my hamstrings, back, & biceps workout. During deadlifts, I felt like I may have gone too heavy on my last set. Once I finished the set, I felt fine and completed my workout. Then, a little later on it hurt pretty badly to bend down to pick up Braedon. My back continued to feel more and more messed up as the morning went on. In fact, it hurt so bad I spent almost the entire day with a heating pad laying on the couch. Well, as much as that’s possible as a mother of two little ones.

I consoled myself with one of my favorite lunches – a sandwich with egg, goat cheese, spinach, and tomato with a hefty serving of mango, grapes and cucumber slices.

lunch

I also turned to natural medicine. Chocolate, of course. For my snack, I continued my love affair with Love Grown Foods granola and poured a small bowl of their Cocoa Goodness granola with almond milk and a sliced banana.

cocoa granola bowl

If only that really helped the discouraged feeling. Back pain always makes me so nervous because you never know how long it will affect you. I hope to feel better very soon!

Now back to the title of my post. I want to end on a high note and what better way than sharing about going topless at the gym? ;) During spin class on Monday I ended up without a sweat towel. All of mine were in the wash and I figured I would just get one of the ones offered in the class at the gym. Well, the towels in class ran out and I was left with no towel. About two songs into the class, I was dripping sweat and constantly trying to wipe my face with my tank top. Eventually I decided to just say “screw it” and took my top off to finish out the spin class in my sports bra.

Normally, I would never think to do this thanks to worrying what others thought. Of my body. Of being dressed “appropriately”. And so on. It hit me though that in all honesty no one pays that much attention to others at the gym. I think we’re all concerned with our own workouts and, truth be told, our own bodies. I didn’t need to worry what others thought. All that mattered is I would physically feel comfortable managing to wipe away all my sweat.

Then, I got to thinking a little bit deeper. I sat in that class sweating away because I was challenging myself with a great workout. My body can DO great things. I should take pride in my body and its strength. That includes no embarrassment on working out in just my sports bra for this class. I feel good and that is all the confidence I need. That is all the confidence we should all need. I’m not saying you have to bare your belly, because I even don’t plan on habitually working out sans shirt. I’m saying not to worry about how you look. Worry about how you WORK. Let that fuel your confidence because you rock!

  • Do you ever workout in just a sports bra?
  • Any back pain remedies to share?

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88 Comments to “Topless At The Gym?”
  1. Heather says:

    Take it easy on your back – I bet a few rest days would do it wonders!
    Can’t say I’ve ever gone topless at the gym. Not sure I ever would, either……..wish I had that confidence!

  2. Kacy says:

    So sorry about your back!
    Rock the topless spinning girl! You’re awesome!

  3. I never work out in just a sports bra but that’s because I’m too self conscious of my mid section. I say more power to anyone who wants to, though!

    For back pain, a lot of times I’ll lay on a hard floor with a water bottle or something round under the arch of my back and that helps a lot.

  4. Ohhhh noooo, I hope your back gets feeling back to normal soon. That’s awful. Take it easy and allow yourself to rest (from the gym… I don’t know how much rest a mother can get with 2 little babies :) ) Maybe a few days off at the gym would be a good idea.

    Way to go on going sans shirt at the gym and feeling good about it!!
    I always used to run in just my sports bra and shorts and loved it. But when I moved to the city I felt more comfortable running with a shirt (again, because of what people thought). But I actually hated it.. I had to get used to wearing a shirt again while running lol.

  5. Don’t worry about how you look, only how you work. Brilliant! LIve that!

  6. Great post and glad to hear you’re feeling so confident! I’ve learned a lot about back pain from my hubby who has 2 herniated discs and is a strength coach. He does the following: rest for several days so you don’t re-tweak, lay on the floor with your feet up at 90 degrees on the couch, a chair or something (takes all the pressure off of your back…this really works!) and stay there for awhile, and lots of hot showers. Also, stretch your hip flexors a lot…often times back pain can stem from tight hips. He always says advil and beer don’t hurt the situation either. ;-) Feel better!

  7. Jen says:

    Ouch! I hope your back feels better quickly!!!

  8. I hope your back is feeling better- surely that amazing lunch helped!

    I used to work out in just a sports bra in high school, but don’t really like doing so now. I’m not ashamed, just more comfortable with a top on :)

  9. Karen says:

    Good for you rockin’ the shirtless workout!! Hope your back gets better soon!

  10. Errign says:

    I’ve never worked out in just a sports bra. First of all, because my gym has a tops-on policy & secondly because it just makes me uncomfortable. It’s weird- I have a HUGE amount of self confidence, but if I get uncomfortable, it’s ALL I can focus on!

    • Tina says:

      Makes total sense! I hope it didn’t sound like I was saying you had to work out in a sports bra to show confidence either.

  11. Jen says:

    Tina,
    I have been a reader of your blog for a while now and the more popular it has become, the less of God I have seen on it.
    You say that life is more than diet and exercise but it seems that all you seem to talk about is diet and exercise.
    I would love, love, love to see a post on your faith! Your blog is FAITHfitnessfun, right?!
    Just some friendly input.
    Love ya-Jen

  12. Tracy says:

    If I’m not (as in temperature hot, not ohlala hot), I will work out at the gym in a sports bra – not problem – as long as the important parts are well covered. If you’re having pain, check out the book “Pain Free” which I thought was kinda dated, but gave good advice.

  13. jobo says:

    Congrats to you for going topless! ;-P Seriously I don’t know if I could do it but you make such great points, I now feel empowered to just go for it! Haha! Had the same problem this morning in Ride and had no towel too! As for your back, back pain is the worst, I hope it improves and wasn’t anything major. (and that sandwich looks divine! must try!)

  14. Good for you for taking that confidence and running with it! I’ve never worked out in just a sports bra and not sure I ever would, but the fact that you had such a great moment of recognizing where your priorities are (in enjoying a great workout, not being self conscious or worrying about what others may think) is amazing.

    Hope your back feels better!

  15. you go girl! I sweat like nobody’s business when I workout so I can totally understand needing something to sop it up!

    I probably wouldn’t have taken my shirt off to be honest not sure why! :P I wear bikinis at the beach :P

    great post! :)

  16. Geraldine says:

    I’m always jealous of the girls who work out in those little Nike sports bras! I definitely need to get over caring about what people think. I pretend that I don’t care but deep down I really do. Saying that, there is nothing worse than feeling sweat dripping and not having a towel to mop it up with. I totally understand why you did it!

  17. No, I would never workout in just my sports bra. It has nothing to do with me being confident, I just don’t think it’s appropriate. I guess I should never say never… you never know. ha! :)

    • Tina says:

      I definitely don’t think you have to go in a sports bra to display confidence and its certainly not something I would regularly do. I guess it mainly felt good that worrying what others might think about my body didn’t hold me back from doing what felt best for me at the time – aka using my tank top as a sweat towel instead of a shirt. LOL

  18. Naomi says:

    so sorry your back has been bothering you!!! omg you ROCK your hot self in spin with the sports bra…I’ve done that before and said screw it even though I wasn’t 100% comfortable with it. I did it and felt liberated…honestly no one really even cares, its just the thoughts that run through our head about how others are percieving us

    continue to inspire, Tina :)

  19. I hope your back feels better soon! I’ve run in my sports bra only when it is ridiculously hot outside. I’m okay with it! Go you!

  20. Coco says:

    I hope your back is feeling better!

    I always workout topless in my (home) gym. ;-)

    I used to run topless but got uncomforatble a few years ago (maybe a side effect of turning 40?). At a hotel gym I often will run topless–I just can’t stand being so hot–but not if it’s a work conference with the possibility of work colleagues being on the adjacent treadmill.

  21. Anne Marie says:

    I definitely don’t have the body confidence to rock just a sports bra. I was super impressed by a woman in yoga last week who was rollin with it. I was so envious of the confidence!!

  22. I hope your back is feeling better! I tend to be sensitive to what I think others might have to say at the gym. My mom always says “Allison, people are too concerned with themselves anyways to worry about what you are or aren’t wearing”. She’s right.

  23. Great topic! I used to say I would NEVER do this.. but now that I am addicted to Bikram and sweat like no other.. I go in there wearing next to nothing. I am so shocked that I do this without caring. It’s really liberating, actually.

    Happy weekend and happy easter, I love you!

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