Goodbye, 'Jogbra'...

May 2015: First up, though I still try to put up blog content whenever I can, it has been easier to more regularly visit the the Twitterverse. Follow me at @barethomas10 and let's keep the shirtless running flag flying. Of course, the blog still attracts very interesting comments, and good discussion. Keep it up.

Second, in the years since this venture launched, and as shirtless running among women has gone increasingly mainstream, the term "jogbra" has clearly declined in use. I will thus prefer "sportsbra" henceforth - as has already been the case on Twitter, and in recent posts here.

I continue to welcome guest posts (sent to on any related topic, including from those who would discourage stripping to the waist. I am myself of course a fervent convert to the joys of running bare. But let all voices be heard!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Guest post: Tips on shirtless self-confidence

Going barechested or jogbraed for the first time can be a daunting experience, so ROBIN VANAGS has offered a few tips on how to weather that initial storm.

 Shirtless Self-confidence
(perhaps it’s obvious – but...)

(a) First off, remember:  Hesitation is the enemy. Whenever/wherever you run shirtless, take the shirt off decisively and keep it off, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world; you’ve been doing it all your life. The illusion of confidence can be beneficial.

(b) To shield from insecurity, try the ‘what are you looking at?’ technique. I don’t advocate hostility to those you encounter, of course. Rather, try a blank stare if you sense unwelcome attention. Let them question their own behaviour – not yours.

(c) Mental application is important: To fend off self-consciousness, concentrate intensely on what you’re doing and your surroundings – or on anything other than just that you’ve got your shirt off.

(d) Remember your posture! Keep your back and head up straight and your shoulders back – so nothing sags and you don’t slouch. This is one area where thinking about what you look like is going to help (well, I think so).

I hope this isn’t too patronizing – it helped me in my early twenties, I hope it could help others.


Hairy Jim said...

What I would also keep in mind is what YOU would be thinking if you encountered a shirtless guy running or shooting hoops. Chances are you would not be thinking anything negative. Either you wouldn't think anything of it or you would admire his audacity. A couple of days ago inspired, in part, by this blog, I shucked off my shirt at my home YMCA while shooting baskets. Now, I do this all the time at other Ys, but mine seems to have some unspoken rule about it. Well, not only did nobody tell me to stop being a skin, I found those who walked by, including Y employees, either waved as they usually do or just ignored me. So now, a week later, I am shooting barechested every day. Not only is it more comfortable but I feel proud to show off my body.

Phil said...

Robin offers good advice to keep in mind for even the more knowledgeable shirtless runner. I fell into the hesitation trap a few days ago at a 5k race when I was meeting up with some casual running friends that I normal don’t run with. I normally take my shirt off upon arriving at the race or at the very least when I put my race number on my shorts, the shirt comes off. However, this time with everyone standing around chatting around me, I put my race number on my shorts, but that hesitation left me standing at the race start with my t-shirt on. There was no reason to wear a shirt since it was a very warm evening 85f (29.4c) and I have done all of my runs and races shirtless for the past couple of months. However, I hesitated when it was time to take my shirt off, which then leads to self doubt and wearing an uncomfortable t-shirt. The good news is that within few minutes into the race, I took my shirt off a chucked it into the bushes since I did not want to carry it for the race. After finishing the race, I ran back and grabbed my shirt, but remained shirtless up until parting with my casual running friends after the race.

The lesson learned was that my running friends did not mind me being shirtless and actually commented that it was a good idea to go shirtless. This weekend I am schedule to run another race with some other friends. However, this time the hesitation enemy will not get to me and I will be shirtless at the start of the race.

Jordan! said...

I wasn't expecting much from an advice post, but these tips are fantastic! They should come in handy not only for first-timers, but also for anyone who hasn't completely converted, and for anyone looking to get back into the habit. THANKS ROBIN!!!

mizuno wave said...

This is such an inspirational post! I loved this one! :D

newbie shirtless runner said...

For me, as a newbie runner anyways, I find that just focusing on running form, posture, breathing, the trail, etc., takes my mind off being shirtless even, often, when encountering other people on the trail. Robin's tips are right on the mark and very helpful. Thanks.