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SKINS A200 – like a ‘VIP’ second skin

For anyone who has been following my blog for the past two years, you’ll know how much emphasis I place on feeling good, both on the inside and on the outside. I live, breathe and sleep the gym and it really is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. It clears my head and keeps me focused both in work and in day-to-day life. I am ‘that weirdo’ who actually enjoys getting up early on Saturday to smash out a session with my favourite boys in The Edge: Clontarf.  

Getting the balance right with rest days

I was over training a little last year and ended up with an injury which meant I couldn’t increase my strength with squats or anything that extended my hip at all really. I found it really tough and it really made me appreciate that when you start to take training more seriously, you see the importance of what you are doing and why!
I was training in the gym and then training (or should I say OVER-training) the same muscles again at home doing exercises I like doing over and over again- hence the injury!

What kind of training do I do now?

I started training properly in 2007 with a PT in Barcelona, training outside in the lovely sunshine doing a combination of kettlebells, kickboxing and HIIT.
Now I focus mainly on weights, circuits and some yoga at home when I have the time. In the run up to the summer I’ll probably up my game a little and train another day per week but at the moment I’m in the gym three times a week with a trainer.

What keeps me motivated?

Funnily enough, how I feel before each session hugely determines how my session will pan out. I need to feel and look confident to feel strong and full of energy- so from arriving to the gym hydrated to eating the right kind of food beforehand, to wearing the correct activity specific training gear and supportive trainers- it really all does make a difference.
SKINS compression gear 1
Think of it this way- Ever tried to squat in cheap gym bottoms? You will not feel confident, it will affect your technique and you will not feel comfortable. Likewise, if you are doing lots of impact HIIT circuits, then you need the right training shoes to absorb the impact.
 SKINS compression gear 2

How important is gym gear? Do I need to spend a fortune?

I’m not saying to go out and buy loads of new gym gear for each kind of training you do but having some good quality basics makes the world of difference- it really does!
I have a pet peeve when I’m training- I want to focus on my program, not pulling my top up or down or worrying whether my running tights will slip up or down. If this doesn’t bother you, then fair play but I find it incredibly distracting!
I also justify my increased spend on gym gear with not so much going out clothes anymore 🙂 It’s a win-win situation really!

What kind of training gear is best for those who train regularly?

I was lucky enough to  try out some SKINS compression gear the past few days, which I would have presumed was moreso for professional athletes to be honest until I learned more! SKINS is where science meets performance- and I was more than happy to act as guinea pig for a sneaky session or two!
Skins compression gear 8

So what did I think?

Let’s get this straight- SKINS is elite. It looks and feels amazing against your skin- and is, quite literally, like a second skin (pardon the pun). The gear is extremely tight fitting, yet still comfortable. It’s measured  to your height and weight so you can get an exact measurement to suit your body shape.
I found the gear very breathable, and even went for a run in the rain afterwards. It feels so incredibly light it’s hard to believe it’s outer wear! The A200 Compression tights felt smooth over my ‘lumps and bumps’ and I found I was barely even thinking about what I was wearing while I trained! I also felt like I didn’t get too hot- which surprised me as most long sleeve tops make me feel too warm when I train in, say,  a cheaper Lycra long sleeve.
What’s great to know is that when you are wearing them training you are less likely to suffer from injury, as the gear itself is really supportive and you really do feel like you’ve had a super workout- that and your recovery feels faster. Oh and for any nerds out there like me, yes you can throw them in a 30 degree wash and you don’t have to worry about shrinkage- hurray!
Skins Compression Gear 9

What range did I try?

I got to sample two pieces of SKINS gear; the  SKINS A200 Compression Women’s Long Tights  and the  SKINS A200 Compression Women’s Long Sleeve Top and would readily recommend these for anyone serious about training. I’ve trained indoor and outdoor now and they kept me warm outside and nice and cool indoors. Although we don’t have to worry about this yet, it’s nice to know that the non-mesh areas also provide 50+ UV Protection so they can easily fit in your suitcase if you’re jetting off anywhere soon! These are basically a great investment for anyone looking for a piece of gym gear that looks great and is super functional too.

My overall verdict?

I have tried and tested loads of gym gear from Penneys to Forever21, Nike to Under Armour…I have to say I have yet to feel like a ‘real athlete’ when I train until now…now one or two pairs of tights I wear for squatting are a close-ish second as it’s hard to find gym gear for shorties like me!) but these really and truly are something special…
Skins Compression gear 10
Get them now. Let it be a little ‘to me, from me’ next pay day gift.
Feel great + look great = Train like a beast.
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