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!

Monday, August 15, 2011

(Guest Post) Running Shirtless And Showing What You Can Achieve

 (A guest post by Jennifer Bell)

Serious runners are running shirtless.

Have you noticed? The latest trend in running apparel is to not wear anything, and it’s one that’s catching on with serious runners everywhere.

What’s this trend all about? It’s all about being conscious of our bodies as we push ourselves to work harder and get stronger. Body consciousness obviously plays a role in physical exercise, and by running shirtless, we are exposing ourselves to the world--and to ourselves--in a greater way. It’s this willingness to “put ourselves out there” that can push us to higher levels of fitness.

Running isn’t easy. It takes time and commitment and a willingness to cross new thresholds of pain, fatigue and our own limitations as athletes. Serious athletes know, however, that pushing past our limits is what it’s all about. How can running without a shirt motivate us to work harder out on the track? For runners, it’s a question of being comfortable with taking your shirt off and having your upper body exposed as you pursue your athletic goals. Issues of confidence and self-esteem all come into play for the runner who challenges himself to run better, faster and stronger.

The cardiovascular benefits of running are well known. Running helps you burn more calories and ups your metabolism, so your body can run more efficiently. It works out the whole cardiovascular system as well as getting your legs and abs in shape. Running also increases the runner’s sense of well-being and can improve sleep.

Practically speaking, running hard - to the level of achieving a “runner’s high” - also increases perspiration, which is another reason why running shirtless is so freeing. It’s a great feeling to be cooled naturally by your sweat during a run, without having a shirt sticking to your back. The payoff in endurance this extra bit of motivation can bring is considerable.

If you’re a runner who’s just beginning a program, you may feel self-conscious about your appearance as you take on your fitness regime. For men in this situation, however, the challenge of running shirtless can stimulate the motivation to reduce belly fat and get lean. These are additional payoffs for running seriously, and the results will be obvious in a short time if you truly commit to your program. Getting in shape, looking good and running faster are all major confidence builders, to be sure. With commitment, running shirtless can give you real motivation and push you to take yourself to a higher level of athletic achievement; showing off not just “what you’ve got” but all you are able to achieve.

That’s not a small thing—not small at all.

-- This article was contributed by Jennifer Bell from Health Training Guide (


Phil said...

I met up with a buddy of mine for his first 5k race last weekend. He had been running on his own for the past few months so knew little about what to do at a race. After picking up our bib numbers, my buddy asked what to do next. I told him the race number goes on your shorts and to run without a shirt. I could tell he was uncomfortable since he paced around a bit, but once my shirt came off he did the same. Most of the shirtless runners were in the lead pack so I thought he might be peeved at me for telling him to run shirtless since we were far from the lead pack, but it went well. We met up the other night for a quick trail run and to my surprise he showed up shirtless, and he thanked me for showing him a better way to run. Going shirtless for the first time at a race is kind of like ripping off the Band-Aid, but it is a good way to quickly confront your fears.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that a woman posted that original article, and I just found another article about cold adaptation by a woman called Jolie Bookspan. Hell of a name, and she knows her stuff, it seems. That's not just the span of many a book, she seems to have practical experience, and direct evidence of various adaptations, as well as an explanation of how it can work. I think it's important because half the bother with going shirtless, never mind doing it in the cold, is that we come up against the atavistic fears of all those who forget their own nature and instead follow a herd mentality and look askance at those of us who dare to transgress their norms as if what they really want to do is shout 'burn the witch!'.

If I had a tenner for every vocalisation of 'Aren't you cold' I could probably have bought a small car by now on the proceeds, if I chose to drive one at all... It shows that with 'health and safety' and 'political correctness', never mind the fears of body image and prurience that result from some of the darker obsessions on them thar Interwebz, it's no wonder that people can not, will not, learn to trust their own judgement and find out what they can do. They'll marvel at those South Korean soldiers training shirtless in snow and fail to grasp that there is NOT some elite barrier to cross. In fact, getting used to handlng cold safely is a LOT easier than handling the repeated banalities of mass human incredulity. :) But if the herds see enough free animals running across the tide rather than being helplessly and fearfully swept with it, maybe they start to wonder. Not many, but enough. There are loads of ways to make that happen, but this one is mine. And not mine alone, but it has the advantage of not being easily taken away, even as I get oldr, I continually find times each year or so when I find endurance to be easier than I thought. Boredom can be as much as an impediment as anxiety, so I guess it pays to renew interest. Anything that gets a sense of wonder going is ok by me. Sometimes I get turned on by it, but even when I'm too tired and hurting from too much running, there is always some kind of wonder at the ability to persist. Not that running is the only way to go shirtless, even in cold...


Anonymous said...

Same link as above, but clickable this time assuming that HTML tags work ok...