Hey. Hi. Hello!
In the words of the infamous Rebecca Black, “It’s Friday.” I hope everyone has some exciting weekend shenanigans planned! I’ll be working, like I always do, because that’s just #RetailLife. But, it’ll be my last week at my current store before I move on to bigger (and better paid) jobs. This is the post that was supposed to come out last Friday, which didn’t happen for many reasons (that I covered in my last post, please keep up). However, with the added time, I’ve been able to do some more “research” to really make this as comprehensive of a blog post as I can.
I want to start this off by being transparent with all of you. About two months ago a company reached out to me to see if I was interested in joining their athletes program. Obviously, it was a no-brainer and I said yes. I had vaguely heard about this company before, but really loved the community they built behind their athletes as opposed to just flaunting top name influencers around. So, I purchased some things, and put them through the ringer in order to be able to state with absolute honesty my opinion about this brand. From the title, I hope you can guess that the brand we’re covering today is Barbell Apparel.
What is Barbell Apparel
Barbell Apparel is a lifestyle and activewear company started by a couple of guys out in Las Vegas. I say it’s a lifestyle company because they sell more than simple activewear pieces. While they obviously do sell the leggings, shorts, and tanks that are typical of any activewear brand, they also sell t-shirts, chinos, jeans, and even polos.
Their collection of women’s clothes is lacking in comparison to their men’s side, but they at least have the basics, and it looks like they’re working to increase their women’s side. From their website, it states that they started with their jeans, and grew from there, which is an interesting direction to start. I’m lucky enough that I have a normal-ish body type to where I’m able to buy jeans that fit right in all areas, but I know many other athletes aren’t so lucky. So, cornering the market and releasing denim and chinos targeted specifically at this demographic is smart!
My first purchase from Barbell included Adore pocket leggings in light grey, their inspire tank in black, and a long sleeve t-shirt in size extra large to lounge around in. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on their performance pieces as supposed to their lifestyle/athleisure pieces.
I’ve worn each piece three times. Once for a day of normal weight-lifting exercise, once for a HIIT day, and once for a day of LISS cardio/walking around the city. I’m sure you’re curious how they stood up to these tests, but keep readin and you’ll find out.
The inspire tank is described as, “Thin, light weight and incredibly breathable…” It’s 88% polyester and 12% spandex. For some reason women’s tops is the one section they don’t have a size guide for, but I went with a small, which is my normal top size. The fit was good, albeit a bit loose in some areas. I don’t mind that, however, as I normally end up tying my tops up anyway. It features a racerback style, with the brand logo printed on the upper back portion. This retails for $44, and comes in black, grey, and pink.
Initial feelings: I love this top. Most of the things I work out in are cotton, so this felt a lot lighter and a lot more functional, while still looking stylist. It ties up well, which for me is a huge plus, and doesn’t look bunched or wrinkled.
It held up well during the weights day, which is to be expeted because I’m pretty sure almost any top would hold up well. On the HIIT day it seemed to soak up my sweat, but wasn’t too good for wiping my face off, but instead just made me feel like I was pushing the sweat around my face. It did just as well on the LISS day, but showed a little spotting at the end. I’m a sweaty person, and I’ve found that sometimes black doesn’t even hold up.
- Great material! Super light compared to what I’m used to, and definitely breathable
- Flattering cut and fit – Doesn’t make my lats look too large or squeeze any back fat
- Easy to wear
- Esspensive – $44 is not typically something I’m spending on a shirt, but then again all my shirts are cotton so maybe this is worth it for the material
- Limited color range – If I had my choice, I’d buy all my workout tops in white because it hides sweat the best. Black is the next best choice, but grey and pink for me are not plausible because they’d show too much, and I like to be able to carry on a full day without people judging me for sweat-stained clothes
The Adore leggings were the piece I was most excited to try. I’m continuously trying to find workout pants that are going to be able to withstand all types of movement and activities, rather than having to confine them to one specialty. These leggings are 88% nylon and 12% spandex. Like the tank, the color range is limited in that they only come in black, dark grey, and light grey. I picked up the light grey because it was the only color they had in a size small (and it seems like it still is!) I’m 5’1, so while on the model the look like they’re going to be a nice 7/8th length, they’re definitely a full length legging, and I had to tuck them up in order to get them to a lenth I like. They also feature and elastic wasitband and three different pockets in case you need to hold a million things during your workout instead of placing them on the floor?
In terms of size, they tell you to take your measurements based off of your waist and your thighs. I went with a small, which is my typical workout pant size (I measure 27” in my waist and 21” in my thigh). However, I really wish I sized down, because they just weren’t as skin tight as I would’ve liked (honestly I should’ve read the fucking size chart, I’m just an idiot). From my previous clothing posts, we all know I like my leggings to be compressiony AF so that they hold all this jiggle in.
For the weight-lifting test, I did a heavy compound movement day to see how they would withstand to squats and deadlifts. They’re definitely 100% squat proof, which you can tell right out of the packaging too. The material is thick, but not constricting. When you squat you don’t feel like they’ll rip or end up giving you a wedgy. They held up really, really well during the LISS day, too! Only a little sweat showed through on the upper wasitband by the end up it, so I’d definitely feel comfortable wearing these around the city.
However, the HIIT day was not the greatest. While I didn’t feel exposed or extra jiggly jumping around in them, I did notice that they weren’t as sweat-proof as I thought. After 5 rounds of jump squats, burpees, and the like, my lower body was starting to show sweat in some unattractive places. I’m sure the black or even the dark grey would’ve held up better, but this is the light grey we’re talking about, so I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did honestly.
- Great material – It’s super soft and breathable like the tank, and if I had gotten the right size, I’m sure I would love them even more
- Pockets – While I don’t need them during my workout, they’d be nice to hold my phone and keys while I’m out running some quick errands and don’t need to bring my whole bag with me
- Elastic wasitband – I love pants with elastic wasitbands because even though I literally workout in an empty gym, I still like to look good and also not have to worry about my pants falling down anytime I moved or bent over
- Squat proof (and decently sweat proof) – Ain’t nobody got time to spend worry about sheer leggings during squats. We’re here for the gains not for our ass to be on display!
- FLATTERING – Wow, I know a little more compression would’ve been nice, but still, these made my butt look like I was doing squats everyday, not ever other week!
- The Price – The $68 pricetag seems hefty for most people, especially if you’re used to buying workout clothes from TJ Maxx or Forever21. For me, however, the price is on par with the VSX Leggings, and these ones are clearly superior
- Sizing – The sizing is a little weird. I personally would say go down a size if you’re like me and want a little extra compresion.
- Length – I don’t know how tall that model is, but her looks are decieving. Full length leggings on me make my short legs look even shorter, so I’m not here for that. While it’s not hard to roll and tuck them to the length I want, it is inconvenient. I hope they come out with more leggings in the future!
Well, that about wraps it up! This isn’t a sponsored post, I’m doing it for the TRUTH. All in all, I think they have some great products that are definitely good pieces to have in your collection. I really do hope they’re working on expanding their women’s line, because I think they have great potential for growth here! If you pick up anything, let me know how you liked it!!
Until next time.