This is one for the Blog Hop. I’ve only contributed a couple posts to the Hop so far, but I promise I am back for good.
This month’s topic is Favourite Pole Products. There have been some great posts so far (that can be found HERE), and while repeating products will be a given, I hope to offer some alternatives.
Now, I’d like to start by saying that I love shopping. A lot. I can’t seem to leave the house and not spend money, and with limited funds I have come to find some tricks and tips to make the most of my dollars. The problem is, I value a quality product. I have spent hundreds of dollars on Payless shoes that I never wear, tank tops from Walmart that lose their shape after one wash and worst of all, pole shorts that both ride up your vagina and let the world know you forgot to shave thanks to a crotch panel that doesn’t know how to stay put.
Favourite Pole Shorts: Lululemon
I have a love/hate relationship with this company. I refused to buy in to the fad until I started pole fitness. Before I was all, “Pffft, I don’t need to spend $100 to make my ass look awesome, thankyouverymuch.”, but then I finished level 1 at my studio and needed a short that gave me enough contact for a Gemini and enough confidence for a Hello Boys. I went online and read reviews, forums and inspected photos for seam placement and started my inventory of pole attire. I would initially fall in love with every single pair that landed in my mailbox, but after enough sessions on the pole I would find little things that slowly drove me nuts. Pole Skivvies are like the sweatpants of pole shorts (I’m not kidding, they are SO COMFY) but, at least for me, the length of the inseam was too long. They caused me to slip during Superman attempts so I shoved them to the back of my sock drawer. Mika Yoga Wear’s Mikaela Shorts are adorable and made my butt look amazing but I grew tired of picking the vagina wedgie they ultimately gave me thanks to the centre seam of their design. Bad Kitty’s Brazil Shorts are cute, very cheap (cheapest pole short that I’ve found so far) but their XS wasn’t small enough. The separate crotch panel provided comfort but would slide around and flap in the breeze while inverted. And then I caved. It was no secret that Lululemon was the choice of the elite. Every single instructor wore them to every single class at my studio and I knew there was probably a reason. Shocked by the $50 price tag, I managed to find a pair of Hot Yoga shorts on eBay for $20 (I’ll talk more about eBay in a bit) and once I put them on the Lulu Koolaid took effect. I was converted and singing their praises to whomever would listen. Their secret is their gusset (crotch panel). It’s a triangular shaped gusset that prevents camel toe, and if you try to copy their design expect to be squished by a large corporate foot wielding a lawsuit. Yep, Lululemon has their gusset patented.
Where to find it for less:
Believe it or not, you can find quality Lululemon second hand. I have found some things at Value Village and Salvation Army but they were usually worn and stretched out. I’d recommend scouting out the consignment shops in that part of town where the number of yoga studios is only rivaled by the number of organic tea shops (there are two neighbourhoods like this in my city, I’m sure your town has at least one). Most consignment shops have a high standard for clothes that they accept and normally turn things away that don’t meet those standards. Don’t give up if you go and don’t see anything in your style, finding that perfect item takes patience and persistence. Go about once a week and get to know the owners. Let them know what you’re looking for, if they like you they may even put something aside for you as they know you’ll be in.
What about eBay? The problem with Lululemon and eBay is that everything Lululemon makes is “Limited Edition!” and “***RARE!!***” as it’s only available for purchase from their stores for a set period of time. eBay sellers milk this fact and charge even more than what Lululemon originally charged and they get away with it because people still buy it!!! Lesson here? People are crazy. (Ok, sometimes you can find quality used items for cheap on eBay, however, expect a fierce bidding war)
Favourite Grip Aids: All Of Them
I’m telling you, I use everything depending on the day. To start, I apply either Dew Point or Embrace to my inner thighs, backs of knees, shins, tops of my feet, elbow pit and mid section (not surprisingly, my sample bottle of Dew Point ran out rather quickly). Then I’ll wash my hands with concentrated dish detergent (without any added moisturizers), dry them, and then apply a couple drops of Dry Hands. If my hands are still sliding on the pole, I’ll add some Mighty Grip. And if I plan to work on just the Iron X I’ll cake my pole in iTac. As you can see, I don’t have a favourite as I find all grip aids offer a different solution for a different problem. I love you all equally!
Where to find it for less:
A lot of companies offer promotions or discount codes. In fact, Dew Point just offered a one-day-only 50% off sale. Keep your eyes open for future deals and buy in bulk! Or, if shipping costs are freaking you out (Canadians: amirite??!?!?) go in with a few friends to split shipping charges.
Favourite Miscellaneous Item: Foam Roller
It’s like having a personal masseuse at your beck and call after every workout. I use this bad boy for everything: sore back, knots in shoulders, knots in biceps, stretching my hamstrings, stretching my hips. With a bit of creativity, you can angle it to target any sore muscle or prepare that muscle for a stretching session.
Where to find it for less:
Yep, foam rollers are expensive. I bought one for $40 and after a few months the foam became less dense and rather…squishy. One day my partner, who works at a fitness store, brought home a tube. A super thick, dense, hard-as-a-rock cardboard tube with a diameter slightly less than that of my foam roller that was originally used in packaging high quality fitness equipment. I tested it out, and while it hurt like hell, I knew the pain was a good pain. A very good pain. I bring my tube to every class, and every time someone sees it for the first time they ask about it. Once they try it out I’m asked to bring another one in for them. Future business? hmmm….