You Tell Me: Gym + Binders = Suck

Written by the butchelor

Topics: You Tell Me?

I really, really, really, REALLY need to get my ass back in the gym… and for the most part – I’m READY. Like, really, really READY. But when the time comes, and I think about what it’s like to workout in a binder – I inevitably find an excuse not to go. I get hung up on the logistics… I mean, honestly – it just sucks. NORMAL binder-wearing *SUCKS* (we’ve been over that before), but when you add sweat and full-range(s) of motion, it only exacerbates all of the normally sucky parts (namely: it’s hot, it’s uncomfortable and it rolls up)

What do you guys do? Do you just suck it up and deal with it? Do you abandon the binder and just go with a coupla sports bras? I’d especially be interested in hearing from the beefier/stockier/bigger guys out there. I HAVE boobs, dammit. Big ones. And normal binding doesn’t actually BIND my chest completely… so, a sports bra (or two) is WAY less than ideal for me…

There’s a gym here in town that I’ve been considering – fairly seriously, until I start thinking about my stupid binder. See, it’s a group training kind of place – You have a set time to show up everyday, and you workout with a small group of (the same) people everyday with a trainer… so, it’s cheaper than personal training AND you have a team – someone to hold you accountable, which is EXACTLY what I need right now. I need people that are depending on me to show up everyday. As someone who has been a member of various sports teams my entire life (until about three or four years ago) – I really miss that team mentality. A lot.

Anyway, it sounds fantastic, right?!? Perfect, even… until I start thinking about what it’s going to be like to lift and workout with a group of people while wearing a stupid binder that’s constantly rolling up (and that I’m constantly pulling down)… it makes me not want to go. AT. ALL.

Hell, wearing a binder while working out by MYSELF is enough to make me not want to go…

How have you guys gotten passed that? Have any of you joined a gym like this? And if so, do you out yourself as trans/GQ in order to explain the binder? Or do you just deal with it? Suck it up and push through??

I know that’s probably exactly what I’m going to have to do, but right now it’s a HUGE mental roadblock (and it has been… for awhile). In fact, It’s become an easy excuse for me to use.. Oh, I can’t go to the gym because—BLAH. Actually, I *can*—I just won’t.

There are two pieces to this sneaky mind game I play with myself…

1. There’s part of me that’s perfectly content with NOT going to the gym (like, ever), and

These binder/gym issues make it really easy for me to give into the part that doesn’t want to go.

Grrrr… It’s been a losing battle up to this point, but I HAVE to come up with a solution!!

So, you tell me… any ideas/tips/thoughts at ALL for a big guy who needs a way to overcome this mental roadblock and get his fat ass back to the gym? Right now this damn thing is binding more than my chest…

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Rori says:

    Hi there!

    My solution to working out while wearing a binder (this one is for me specifically for biking) was to get a short, vest-type binder that won’t roll up as much, and then reinforce the front with trigger. For me, this was a good solution, especially since I’m rather good at sewing, and needed the support (My chesticles are somewhere in the range of DD, and I’m about 5’9, and plenty stocky.).

    The binder that I got was a T-Kingdom 801, which I will admit was both a little stretchy for my purposes and rather expensive, but it did the trick. That, or, and again it takes sewing, getting one of the longer models of tank-binders, and stitching part of the bottom together to make something similar to a bathing suit.

    On that note, getting a good quality racing suit a size too small has been a godsend in the gym, particularly since I can then go for a swim, shower off, dry, and hit the gym almost immediately, without wrestling into or out of more cumbersome, itchy, claustrophobia-inducing things than necessary. Since racing suits (Think Speedo) are meant to reduce drag, they automatically compress a little. Add that to a size too small, and it starts compressing… well, if not “Enough”, then at least enough to feel more natural than just going unbound, and it won’t roll at all given the *ehem* anchoring point.

    Anyway, that’s my $0.02

    — Rori

  2. Seth Rose says:

    Unfortunately I’m one of the people who sweats like a pig when I work out, AND I have mild asthma, so wearing a binder to work out is completely out of the question.
    However, the gym I go to with my mom and sister is a place mostly frequented by bodybuilders, and we worked (we all had a group session but my classes interfered so I had to split from the training and had a schedule made for me) with a bunch of other guys. I know a bunch of people there and I’ve informed the ones I know well about my gender dysphoria. They’re all understanding, and pretty good at remembering, even if a few of them slip up with the name and pronouns occasionally, so I just wear a tight sports bra to reduce bounce and go anyway.
    Not much help in your case, but I can stand not wearing the binder while working out because my health and physical comfort trump my dysphoria in this situation.

  3. Toby says:

    I have the same problem as you do. It makes you feel defeated because it’s hard enough to have motivation to even work out but then it’s like well this binder and sweat and everything just doesn’t match up. If you find any real answers please contact me my name is Toby.

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