All The Gear No Idea

All The Gear No Idea

We’ve all been there. For me it was hot yoga. I bought the mat, the yoga towel (with special grippy bits so your sweaty feet don’t slip), the bag, the block and the lululemon leggings and went to a grand total of 4 sessions! I totally intend to take it up again as I have so much free time what with having a 5 month old at home. Oh wait…

For my husband, it’s golf and skiing. We’ve been together 7 years next week and in that time, he has been skiing once and played golf about 4 times – neither of which happened in the last 5 years. YET, every time we move, we move a box full of all his gear and I get told, “I will use them again!” Alright then, darling!

But you know, when it comes to taking up something that you are either truly passionate about or if the passion isn’t quite there yet, you are truly committed to, there’s something to be said for buying all the gear – if anything to make you feel that little bit more confident about taking it up and fitting in.

I don’t know anyone that hasn’t absolutely dreaded going to the gym or going for that run outside for the first time. I’ve been going to gyms for 20 years but I still feel a little nervous when walking into a new one for the first time – will the machines all work the same? Will I be able to get the clips off the barbell – arguably harder than lifting the weights themselves? When I did a ½ marathon 5 years ago, I remember feeling so nervous about running outside – would I look like the total novice that I was? Would other runners overtake me? (They did – every time!)

Of course, we shouldn’t be worried about what others think about us but the reality is, we do. So, why not feel that bit better about ourselves before we get going? If you rock up to the gym for the first time in your 15-year-old tracksuit bottoms that you’ve had since uni, your partner’s old T shirt, wearing that old and greying but oh-so-comfy bra and the bashed up trainers that you’ve had for 6 years because “there’s nowt wrong with them,” you are going to feel more like a slug and less inclined to walk tall with that ‘I’ve got this’ attitude that we know you’ve got hidden away under those layers of old clothes.


You don’t need to be like me and start with brights – unless you want to… you can ease yourself in with some simple black leggings, a well-fitting sports bra, a funky sports top and maybe some bright trainers. Your new fitness wardrobe needn’t cost the earth either. My favourite place for funky sportswear… TK Maxx! Yes, really! The bargains I’ve picked up from there for designer sportswear!

As for trainers, I know the experience of actually going into the store can be somewhat traumatising but there is always a bargain to be found in Sports Direct and if you know your size, save yourself the visit and order online. Little tip: for those of you that are a size 6 and below, buy children’s trainers! Practically the same trainers for £20 less – yes, please! My other favourite online stores for pretty sports gear are Fabletics, MyProtein and Lululemon – I wait for the latter to have a sale as it’s pretty pricey but they last for years and years! For any of you Beyoncé fans out there, her new sportswear range, Ivy Park, is now available in Top Shop and it’s very cool. Feeling that bit better about yourself before you get to the gym will help to eliminate your fears and even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll damn well look good finding out!

I’ve also recently tested a new little item to go with my workout gear and that’s the Booband! It comes from the makers of the Popband which, if you haven’t come across it already, is a fabric hairband that ties your hair back without the painful pull on your head, without breaking your hair and most ingeniously, without leaving that ridge in your hair when you take it back down after training / cleaning / stopping baby from pulling it all out. It also looks so purrrty around your wrist too.

So, loving the Popband, I was intrigued to try the Booband… which obviously made me giggle because it has the word ‘boob’ in it and I have the sense of humour of a 13 year old boy! J The booband really is for the boobies too – it claims to give your assets extra support during most forms of exercise and ultimately, prevent sagging in the long run – yes to that! I can totally see how it would benefit running and keeping the babies in place but would I feel any benefit during a strength training session?

The answer is… YES! I’m genuinely really pleased with this product as I was pretty hesitant at first. I thought it would just make my boobs feel squashed down and make me feel restricted but actually it did the total opposite. For want of a better way of saying it, my boobs felt safe and out of the way and wearing the band also made me far more conscious of my posture whilst performing lifts. I also feel like it gave me additional support around my upper back too which can often feel strained from too many hours spent hunched over a PC. I love this product and I have a little confession to make, as I had one in small and one in medium, I used the small one around my chest as you’re supposed to but I actually used the medium one around my lower back, which is currently very weak and it really gave me a lot of extra support there too. So, I will be keeping both! If you’re active in any way, I totally recommend the Booband, regardless of breast size – small boobies sag too, no one is immune from the effects of age and gravity!


One final piece of advice, if you’re planning to workout but have loads of jobs to get done first or you’re working from home, put your workout gear on. Some days, I wear mine all day and still don’t manage to get a session in but I am far more likely to do it if I’m already in my gear. For those of you that work, have your gym gear laid out in the morning, ready to put on and your work outfit on a hanger ready to take with you or if you train after work, have your gym gear ready to go and a small snack or a protein shake packed to have 30 mins before your workout. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

If you need any support with training and nutrition or would simply like to talk more about brightly coloured leggings and shopping for new gear, get in touch: nicki@fitinsideout.co.uk or visit my website.

Author: Nicki Ryder


Nicki Ryder is a very new CheltenhamMaman, having only moved to Cheltenham from Berkshire in April 2016 and giving birth to Jasmine in the guest bedroom just a month later! Originally from London, Nicki and her husband, James, decided that the commuter belt was no longer where they wanted to raise their family and with James coming from Cheltenham originally, decided to up sticks and move out here with their 10-year-old daughter, Olivia. Nicki is currently on maternity leave and although she works for Microsoft, she will be opening her books to take on clients for her new business, Fit Inside Out  in November. If you are unhappy with how you look, feel tired all of the time and generally don’t know how to eat or train for optimal health, Nicki’s the lady you need! Drop her a line at: nicki@fitinsideout.co.uk or give her a follow on Instagram.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.