Stash from Ryderwear. Squats and MetCons from Watford.

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I was up early one morning, in the gym causing intentional DOMS with the squat programme, when my phone pinged. I don’t usually stop to check it in the middle of a session but I think I was looking for any excuse at that point for an increased break from the barbell!

What glowed up at me though was a rather neat email from a rather neat sportswear company that I’ll admit I’d not heard of before. RyderWear, a sports apparel shop in Australia, had seen my blog and were offering me the chance to test out some of their kit! Well who isn’t up for free stash!?

Taking a look a2016-09-20-07.33.27.jpg.jpegt their site, I was immediately struck by the ‘functional fashion’ on offer. Sure, PT kit has to be functional. Noone wants to trip over their own over-stretched t-shirt and break their fall with their nose during Fran but this is something different. It is quite obvious that each item is carefully thought out in relation to others on offer. Indeed, one click of a top and you find recommendations for matching shorts and shoes! Well, being about as fashion aware as “Brick” from “Anchorman”, I definitely appreciated this kind of guidance. It might have been known (within the last few days even) for me to wear an orange CF Watford t-shirt, bright green shorts, dark green cycling shorts and blue compression socks!! Yeah. I am THAT guy in the CrossFit box.

Selecting a few items that definitely do go together, and keeping it pretty military, I went for the following:

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Military Ribbed Tank, Action Mesh Shorts & Raptor Khaki Shoes

What amazed me next was the delivery speed. Sent via DHL, they were signed for in under 4 days! And that’s FREE international shipping, people! Unfortunately, I was away when they arrived and so had to get excited from Texas, in excited anticipation, from afar.

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I’ve got a little mobility issue going on in my left arm, it would seem…hmmmm….should really get that checked out.

Starting with the Tank vest, I am extremely impressed with the ruggedisation and fit.
I’m not the biggest guy, nor the most muscular, and I therefore

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mmmm….sweaty.

don’t usually do vests. However, this is now in my favourites pile. Tough, nicely fitting (I got the Medium) and extremely flexible across all dimensions, this met the needs of the squat programme session in the morning and a CF Watford MetCon later on – yes, I did wash it in between! What do you think I am!? 😉 The cut is such there is completely free movement under the arm without chafing on the material.

It’s still pretty warm over here and a tank vest has exactly been what is required. Perfect timing for a humid and muggy Autumn evening in London.

Next up, the shorts. These appear to have been built for ‘functional fitness’ and are a superb fit for CrossFit. I always suffer with shorts in one way or another, usually around 2016-09-20-07.32.04.jpg.jpegthe thighs when getting in to a squat or when beginning a Snatch or Clean or because they are too loose and get caught somehow. Not so with these babies. Loose enough to allow completely free movement but secure enough not to be flapping around during running or high intensity MetCons. These are excellent gym-based fitness shorts.

Ok, the shoes……

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Right, I’ve been in the fitness trainer game for about 5 years….I’ve been in to fitness for almost all my life in one shape or other. I have never seen lifting shoes quite like these Ryderwear ones. High ankle, soft uppers and with a completely ‘minimalist’ (no heel drop) base, these took a little getting used to. I have no doubt that high-level Australian professionals have endorsed these and so I have confidence in their performance…..they’re just not what I was used to with my Adidas Powerlift 2s. Slipping them on felt like I was pulling on my old flanker (wing-forward) rugby boots. I used to LOVE those things. Despite being a sprinter, I always felt more secure with the ankle support; so too here. I have weak ankles and this provided a degree of lateral stability. However, what I gained there, I lost in dorsiflexion – this is a condition of ME and not the boots, I should add! Having had operations on both ankles to remove bone growth, I have limited dorsiflexion in either ankle and absolutely need a heel raise in order to get down in to the bottom of a squat or lift. Simply resolved, I added my orthotic insoles and I was away! The flat sole provides the grip and overall stability that you need in a lifting shoe while the boot-like upper, despite being soft, provides the security. They are still a little ‘new’ to me but I know I’ll come to love these little beauties in short order.

Shoe change to my Inov-8s as there was running in the MetCon

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Not the best example of an Overhead Squat! Do as I say, not as I do, people!

Not having seen Ryderwear.co.uk before, I am really excited by this brand and will be buying more stash shortly. The free international shipping is an absolute no-brainer, making this immediately competitive with UK companies. Am I a gym ‘fashion’ convert because of it? No. I’m 37 years old and my days of trying to be fashionable are behind me….but if the site tells you exactly what matches what then who am I to argue?!

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