A Few of My Favorite Things

Training gear is great and comfortable, but you can’t wear it everywhere. (Well, you can, but there are times you probably shouldn’t.)

Training gear is great and comfortable, but you can’t wear it everywhere. (Well, you can, but there are times you probably shouldn’t.) Recently, I had the privilege to try out some revolutionary clothes, which just might be the items you’ve been missing to round out your closet.

Relentless Jeans


Relentless jeans

I am not a massive guy nor do I have the body of a Games athlete (OK, not even a local Rx-level competitor), but I have noticed that over the past four years of training, my legs and butt have gotten bigger. This has led to a limited selection in terms of buying and wearing jeans. Not that I would want to or ever attempt to wear a “skinny” jean, but I’d like to have an option aside from baggy and loose. If you’re looking for jeans that fit correctly without hanging off your legs like sacks, Relentless jeans makes an incredible pair of pants. Made of what founder Merle Mckenzie refers to as the “holy grail of denim,” these jeans fit and hug in all the right places no matter the shape or bulk of your lower body. Forget the statement, “You can have quads OR you can have jeans.” Relentless has created a product that allows the CrossFitter in your life the ability to have both.

You don’t have to take my word for it. My friend Hannah tried some out, as well, and this was her review of them:

In all honesty, I never wear jeans. Being 5 feet 10 inches tall and having an athletic figure, I quickly realized that there weren’t jeans that could accommodate my quads and hard-earned “squatting booty.” Each pair I tried was either too large in the waist or too tight on my legs. Like many athletically built girls, I decided that leggings and yoga pants were my best friends.

Skeptical that a pair of jeans could comfortably fit, I tried Relentless jeans and was instantly impressed. Even before putting them on, I noticed how soft the material was. I have had my fair share of “stretchy jeans,” but I didn’t want to look like I was wearing Jeggings. The beauty of these jeans was that they have the look of a stiffer denim with the feel of your favorite pair of yoga pants. I could bend over without worrying what was going to happen, and the stretch was unreal. Of course I had to try out some squats and pistols, and I couldn’t believe how comfortable the jeans were while I was in motion.”

Word on the street is that a major athlete endorsement announcement is coming very soon. I would offer this advice; they run extremely small in the waist. I normally wear a 33-34 in jeans, and I was able to fit into a 29-inch pair but found the 30s to be the best fit. Also, if they feel like they’re stretching after wearing, follow the washing instructions and they’ll be just like new. Please consult the website and customer service department for prices and sizing questions. New colors and styles are coming in December and January, and you can purchase at Relentless.

The Zip Fit Shirt by Teddy Stratford


At first, I had no idea what to make of this garment. It’s a dress shirt with a zipper in the middle, and I could not get my head around what the purpose would be for doing something like that. Then I watched the video, which explained the rationale for the zipper. After that, it made perfect sense and I had to try one for myself.

Not only is this an extremely beautiful and handmade garment, but the fit is also unmatched. Basically, traditional dress and button-up shirts don’t properly fit people with more athletic builds (broader shoulders, bigger arms and thicker through the chest). Often, the result is either a more traditional shirt, which ends up having excess material around the waist area, or a fitted shirt that sometimes pulls apart at the buttons, leaving gaps. This is where the Zip Fit shirt comes in. The fit is slimmed down to contour the chest and arms while remaining trim around the waist. The zipper (hidden under a series of buttons for cover) holds the shirt together in the middle to upper torso and eliminates the gapping between the buttons.

In the words of my daughter, “Dad, I have NEVER seen you get so excited over a dress shirt in my life.” She was right, this thing is amazing. This is very much a “you get what you pay for shirt” and might not be in everyone’s holiday budget, but if you have struggled for years at weddings and special events finding a shirt that delivers just the right fit, this is your answer. As an added bonus, there is still time to get the shirts at a reduced price by going here. These amazing garments are now available in XS to XXL. (The sizing chart is on the website). At 6 feet tall and 195 pounds, I easily fit into the large size.

While both these items might not be the right fit for everyone’s wallet, I can assure you that they will be the right fit for almost any athletic body type. If you hustle, you can still get your order in time to add them to your Christmas list. What are some non-gear items out there that people should know about? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Stay on the Grind.

Jamie Toland CFL-1 Trainer
Twitter @JTolgrinder