Going Braless at the Gym: Yes or No?

You probably know the saying “practice makes perfect”? It doesn’t hold up in my case.

I’ve been going to gym since I was 15, which means I’ve packed up my gym bag and sweat my life away more than 1300 times. Don’t ask me why, but even then, I still manage to forget something one time out of four.

Last Friday, just before stuffing my face at my boyfriend’s restaurant, I decided to go work out. I got to the changing room and started unpacking: running shoes, short socks, leggings, tank top, sports br… SHOOT! I forgot my sports bra.

Don’t get me wrong. In my everyday life, I’m a hardcore defender of the wild and free breasts. I wear a bra as often as I clean up my desktop; only when it’s REALLY necessary.

Totally panicked — I’m not even exaggerating — I stared at the wall and seriously considered going back home and accept my defeat. “You can work out tomorrow”, said my left boob. “You’re a strong and independent woman, you didn’t come all the way down here for nothing”, shoutet my right boob, clearly more of a feminist than the other.

I decided to let the two fight and texted my fave gym addict, my friend Élé, to get her input on such an existential dilemma.

Me: Élé! I’m at the gym and I forgot my sports bra and I’m not wearing any other bra…

Is it weird if I work out anyway?


I feel super shy

Élé: No go

Free the boobies

Me: It’s not like if I had double Ds

Élé: Do it for you


Me: Haha I can’t believe it makes me so uncomfortable

Élé: It’s an unjustified taboo

It’s not inappropriate

Me: There’s a bunch of guys with man boobs working out anyways

Élé: You’re there to work out! Go shawty


Me: They’re about the same size as mine anyways

Élé: If it can make you more comfortable, there are so many girls with gigantic fake boobs working out without a bra at my gym and showing off their side boobs.

Me: I so don’t care normally


Élé: Exactly

Me: Okay, I’m alright with my teeny-tiny boobs

Élé: So show them what class is, with or without a bra

Me: Haha, you’re the best.

(By the way, I have nothing against girls with bigger breasts, fake or real, working out without a bra. At that moment, it just gave me some perspective on my small As. #FreeAllTheNipples)

After my 5-minute pep talk, I finally started working out… and I was uncomfortable from beginning to end. I was holding my towel around my neck the entire time and I felt like all eyes were staring at my two clementines.

Worst part is that I’m not necessarily exaggerating. I’ve never seen a girl work out without a bra at my gym… For sure people notice when there’s one who looks like like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, screaming “Freedoooom!!!”, with her boobs flying away.

I know most girls wear a sports bra for its practicality, but for having experienced the gym like a hippie, I can surely tell you that  it also conceals a certain discomfort. It’s the stare of others, or more like apprehending the stare of others, especially men, that’s annoying.

What do you think? Am I being paranoid? Has it ever happened to you? Who wants to start a Facebook group with me called “The Gym: The Land of the Free Boobies”?

5 thoughts

  1. If you are the young lady who works out with a t shirt and no bra at my gym, I promise, I wasn’t looking at you, I was past you, looking at the clock.

  2. I workout with no bra and I’m fine. I’m a B also so that’s probably why. Last time I check the research, not wearing a bra to the sport tend to be good for small or medium breasts (there is not enough data if you’re a D or over) : tonus of the tissue and position were improved on the long run contrary to popular belief. I think as long as it doesn’t hurt you or provoke a discomfort, you’re alright.

    1. Oh wow, I didn’t know that! I was sure the impact of working out would stretch out the tissue faster and thus accelerate the loss of tonus, etc. Thanks for that info! xx

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