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Pretty in Pink & Purple: PUMA Fitness Review

Posted Mar 02 2014 7:54pm

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of PUMA.

It was like Christmas all over again, which is especially weird since I’m Jewish.

Winter holiday or not, on Friday of last week, I came home to a box of goodies courtesy of the lovely people over at PUMA — a combination of fitness must-haves in eye-popping, spring hues. Even if it’s still nippy outside, the bright purples, pinks and fuchsia fabrics were enough to bring just a bit of warmth into my small apartment on Manhattan’s east side. And trust me folks, that’s not easy. Our insulation is freaking awful.

When it comes to fitness fashion, I’m admittedly not always on top of my game. Some days, I feel as though I’m lucky enough just to put on two of the same sneakers, or a pair of socks sans holes in the toes, before heading out the door for my daily morning run. And while I’m all for the newest, the coolest, the snazziest gear on the market, when push comes to shove, I live in the most expensive city in America — and I’m not often willing to forego a manicure or good meal for something that’s inevitably going to make stink like sweat.

For a fashionable piece of fitness gear to make a real impression on my life, it’s really gotta WOW.

So that brings me to last Saturday morning. After being sick for several days, Saturday was the first on which I could truly run.

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I typically fly solo during the week, and so my Saturday morning runs are often reserved for friends. Given that I was still somewhat in recovery mode, I had no specific distance in mind when I texted my cousin that morning. To be honest, if I could finish a lap of the lower loop of Central Park — complete with the route to and from the southern most entrance — I’d have been satisfied. 5 miles would have been more than enough.

On Saturday, I had my first opportunity to test out my new PUMA swag. At the time, it was still too chilly outside to wear cropped pants or a tank top, so I started with the Gym-licious bra .

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The fit of the sports bra was fab, which makes a lot of sense. The garment itself integrates athletic tape and ACTV technology to help stimulate the muscle — advanced compression that works with your body’s natural systems to help maximize performance during and after your workout.

At 5’6”, I usually prefer medium-sized tops since I find elastic bands to be really restrictive, but the problem I’ll run into then is that the bra is not supportive enough for my too-small chest (for proof, look ^). That wasn’t the case with PUMA’s make. Bright, tight and light on the body, I couldn’t possibly have loved this item any more. But maybe I’m just being biased — after all, purple does happen to be my all-time favorite color.

At any rate, Saturday’s run — and the PUMA Gym-licious bra — carried me somewhere between 7 and 8 miles, and I felt comfortable and secure the entire time. Great sports bra? Check. One can never have too many of those, and this just might be the prettiest of the bunch.

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Next up were the PUMA Bubble XT Tribal sneakers — a funky pair of kicks in the same bright colors as the pants, top and bra. I have to admit, when I first received these, I was a bit confused. I’m used to wearing a traditional, ultra-supportive running sneaker — none of that weightless, airless, sockless, shoeless stuff. When I noticed that the Bubble XTs could easily bend in half, I didn’t know what to expect.

This past Thursday, I found the perfect opportunity to test these peculiar puppies out. It was the first morning all week when the weather was too cold for running, and so when my alarm went off at 6:27 am, I knew it’d be Jillian Michaels or bust.

Jump out of bed. Brush teeth. Roll out yoga mat. Turn on YouTube.

The morning would have been like any other had it not been for the splash of color on my toes. As I got moving, these were the only things helping to keep me awake. Yes, even a morning fitness freak like myself has trouble, at least some days, waking up.

In my sluggish, sleepy state, I struggled at first. How do I put them on? Do I lace them tightly? Do I just slip them right onto my feet? The confusion extended into my first workout; within a minute of jumping and kicking, I noticed a strange swishing noise coming from the floor. Remember those parachute pants all the cool kids wore back in the day? Yea. The sneakers, for the first 10 minutes, sounded like those.

Fortunately, this only lasted a short while, and once they were broken in (literally 10 minutes later), the PUMA Bubble XT Tribals were actually pretty fun. The shoe itself combines a stylish, fashion forward design with lightweight cushion technology, making it a great shoe for the gym, the streets — heck, if you’re me, even for your living room. Sure, they are definitely not for the traditionalist, but if you like a little spunk in your step, I think you’d have a blast. The cushioning on the soles made it feel as though I was jumping through the clouds.

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PUMA’s cropped fitness pants and top would be saved for this past weekend — for a very special occasion at that. MY BACHELORETTE PARTY!

No one can say that my friends don’t know me very, very well. Strippers? I am way too awkward for that. Yoga? Now there’s my idea of a good time.

I was excited from the moment I began packing my bags on Thursday night; not only was I the bride-to-be and reason all my friends were getting together, but I was also going to be the girl in the bright purple pants and sweet pink top. Awesome hardly begins to describe it.

The  Gym Loose Top  was a great pick for the occasion — loose, airy, moisture-wicking and comfy but also kind of sexy and cool. My favorite part of this training top was the backless feature. It marries fashion with function, optimizing freedom of movement by layering in a truly flattering way that screams workout in the front — but party in the back.

On the bottom, I got to check out the  Gym ACTV Power 3/4 Tight . At first, I couldn’t understand why the pants were sticking to my legs as I tried somewhat animatedly to pull them up. Then I realized this was an intentional part of the garment. ACTV technology inside the legs is supposed to help to stimulate the muscle. Pretty cool, right?

Once I got used to the sticky feeling on my skin, I was totally fine with the tights. The advanced compression is supposed to maximize performance during and after exercise — and I have to admit, I felt that, despite a massive hangover and raging headache from champagne the night before, I performed pretty damn well. If you do purchase the tights though, be warned: They are slightly see-through when you bend over, so either 1) don’t wear bright pink underwear like I did or 2) be sure you’re working out with friends.

So here we are. Back from my weekend of debauchery and fun, and only one more month to go until my wedding. And yet, it’s still snowing in New York City, as though winter is completely refusing to give up. Die already, winter. Die.

This winter, I’ve missed a lot — too many — of my morning runs; the frigid temperatures simply have not allowed it. But with fitness gear like PUMA’s, it makes it just a little bit easier to get out of bed on these dark, cold mornings, and to whip our booties into shape.

I’ll take that little bit. Summer is around the corner, after all.

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