Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toning Clothing Review and Giveaway!

Toning apparel falls into three categories: underwear, compression garments and workout clothes - each with their own science to back up their claims.

First up was the Shapercise. They promise to "increase energy expenditure during daily activities" through the use of special resistance bands. While I did not feel any pump in my panties (I'm sorry, I can't help it!), they did suck me in and smooth me out beautifully and for half the price of Spanx. It would be difficult to measure if they did actually help me burn extra calories but they were comfy and looked good under clothes.

Next were the SKINS compression capri tights. Made for athletes, the science behind using compression to aid performance and speed muscle recovery is pretty solid. SKINS uses a special "gradient compression" to enhance circulation and give you that little edge. (And you'll pay for it, these babies aren't cheap.) So how did they feel? Embarrassing. When they say SKINS, they do mean they will fit you like a second skin. They make Katy Perry's liquid latex suit look chaste. And they're about as flattering as latex. My tushie was compressed into non-existence and my waist-skin overfloweth. And yes this led to a wardrobe malfunction (more on that later). But once I got over myself (I mean the whole point of compression pants is that they're really tight, right?) and tested them out in my wicked-hard bootcamp class I was impressed to find that the compression felt really awesome on my legs. I also wasn't sore the next day and I usually am. These really do what they say they will. You just won't look supercute doing it.

Lastly there are the toning clothes - shirts, tanks, capris, shorts, pants and tights all with built-in panels designed to "create extra resistance as you move" thereby activating more muscles and burning more calories. I tried out the Fila toning pants, wearing them to several workouts ranging from weight lifting to TurboKicking. Did they help my muscles? Who cares? I've never had so many compliments on my butt! And I probably burned some extra calories what with having to check out my rear view in every reflective surface. As a workout pant, they are very tight but not uncomfortable. They're quite thick which minimizes indecent sweat marks but I didn't overheat. My only real complaint is the length. I'm 5'7" and these were high-waters on me. I kept tugging them down trying to make them at least hit my shoes but they didn't stay. My advice is if you are taller than 5'4" go with the shorts or the capris to avoid a length issue.

So, did the clothes live up to their ad hype? The Shapercise worked well as a body shaper but I'm not convinced it increased my calorie burn. The SKINS lived up to their science but failed in the cute department (on me anyhow, the models on their site look smokin'). And the Fila toning pants are the most butt-flattering pants I've ever worn plus they were comfy so if they do do anything toning-wise it would just be icing as I'd wear them anyhow.

Want to try some of your own? I've got one pair of Shapercise and one pair of Fila toning pants for two lucky readers! Just leave me a comment below to enter. Contest ends midnight Friday. (I have to keep it short or I forget I'm running one and that's just embarrassing.)

What do you think about the new toning clothing - fad or wave of the future? Have you ever tried any? Do science-y explanations usually make you want to buy the product or just make you roll your eyes?

120 comments:

  1. I've been curious about the skin, a friend has started taking them up!

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  2. i am definitely curious about them, and if they would help my two month post partum body

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  3. If they do wonders for how my butt looks, I don't care what else they do :-)

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  4. Hmmm interesting. To me it's likely a placebo effect in terms of real toning. But I'll take a good pair of anything that makes me look good ;)

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  5. I have read about the skins and some rave about them but after reading your review, I really want some of those Fila toning pants (or capris). I run and lift but at 53 my butt needs all the help it can get.

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  6. I'm usually not into these fitness clothing fads because they come and go so quickly! However, your review does make the toning pants sound quite enticing :)

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  7. I have definitely been skeptical of all of these toning products, but am always game for anything that will make my butt look good!

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  8. I'm game for anything that will make my tush look better!
    bjbella5

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  9. I think it is ridiculous, but wouldn't mind a butt enhancing short/pant.

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  10. Fad. But the science-y explanation does make me want to try them.

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  11. The closest I've come are Lucy's Perfect Core Pant, which don't tone but give you a little extra tummy and core support. But I'm always game to try new workout gear, and I must admit I'm VERY curious!

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  12. I'm going with fad but I'll try on anything that will give me a cute butt!

    AND...I didn't know you were tall or relatively tall anyway! I'm not even 5'4"!!!!

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  13. I'm waiting for toning pajamas that also give me a workout in my pants!

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  14. Sign me up. I'm always in the market for some cute-butt pants.

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  15. I'd love a pair of the Fila toning pants but I'm gathering this is US only (although I'm sure I could find someone willing to send them onwards to me, so still enter me and I'll figure something out!)

    Whether they work as they say or not, I want a cute workout-butt!

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  16. You know, as someone who spends her life at the gym and promoting working out over shortcuts, I have ALWAYS wondered how these things stand up to their advertisements! Sign me up because I would totally love to try a before and after experiment of my own :)

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  17. I have been wearing Skins (both long sleeved top and long tights) for a few years now and I reckon they are fabulous. I think they definitely support your muscles and aid recovery, they also have the added benefits of eliminating all chafing and protecting you from the sun (important in Australia). They also do a great job of regulating your body temp, keep you warm in winter, and ar uncomfortable in warmer weather either. Couldn't recommend them highly enough.

    And I reckon I look okay in them too :-)

    2XU compression wear products are good too.

    Us cyclists have always liedcwearing Lycra though !

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  18. Sorry iPad fingers got me again, that was supposed to be " liked wearing " in the last sentence.

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  19. The only thing I've tried is compression tights for running, which I love. I still doubt clothes can give you a workout (besides putting jeans on fresh out of the dryer!) but anything that keeps me more comfortable and keeps my muscles warm and injury-free is a winner!

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  20. I am certain one of these is the answer to all my prayers. Can I wear the compression under something loose? Because trust me, no one wants me to wear them alone!

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  21. Mighty interesting! I can see the science "behind" (bad pun intended) the Skins, and the Fila just sound plain awesome! :D

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  22. I don't believe the fitness claims at all, but I don't mind wearing a placebo that convinces other people I have a great butt.

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  23. I looked at the Fila Toning Pants when MizFit did a review, but they don't have any Petite lengths, so I figured it was a no go for me. Now I may just give them a try...The Shapersize sound good too, I'll keep an eye out for those.

    Great review!

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  24. Hey they all sound like they're worth a try!

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  25. I've never heard of toning clothing before.

    I'm always game to try new stuff. Thanks.

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  26. I don't know that I believe it, but I need all the help I can get to look cute while working out since I get so sweaty and flushed it makes people ask if I'm ok.

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  27. I couldn't live without my calf sleeves, so I'm definitely sold on compression. But underpants that burn calories? That I'm not so sure about.

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  28. Definitely a fad. But I like jumping on the bandwagon...so I will most likely be joining the fad as well. :-)

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  29. I haven't tried any of these yet. Super curious about the Fila pants as everyone I've heard talk about them has been raving. Even if they do nothing else, making my butt look good would work for me. ;)

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  30. I find myself rolling my eyes every time I see the commercials, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm intrigued :P

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  31. New workout clothes = motivation, so they'd work in that regard, at the very least.

    Meghan B.

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  32. My butt needs some flattering, so I am in! :-)

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  33. Although I am skeptical, I would love to try these and see for myself.

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  34. I've tried compression socks, and they seemed to work okay (though I did have a stress fracture and they didn't help at all with that...)I'd be interested to try compression pants and see how they might help my butt look & feel good too :)

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  35. Oooohhhhh! I finally splurged on some lululemon yoga pants, so I'm all about the skin-tight making-your-butt-look-good gear! I'd love to try other brands now, too.

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  36. Hmmmm, all I can think about is Tom Cruise in Risky Business. But instead of him wearing normal whitey tighties, he's rockin the shapewear....twisted, I know!

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  37. I'm interested. Didn't have the guts to put them on my holiday wish list....but maybe they'd serve as the motivation I need to get back in the workout groove.

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  38. I'd love to try them- especially the Fila, but I am in Canada, and it seems to be impossible to get them here.

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  39. I keep thinking about getting Reebok Easytones...I like the look of them but am a little worried that I'll wobble right over standing on my train ride to work.

    Also...I think the way my butt looks in pants is much more of a determining factor than any fitness claims.

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  40. Science is important and all but, a wicked cute butt? Trumps science. I'd take a wicked cute butt, anyday.

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  41. "Underwear and a workout in one!" he hee

    I've been curious about toning pants...I mean the whole nice butt factor trumps anything else if you ask me. Looking good when I workout only makes me want to workout more.
    Fila pants are hard to find up in Canada and I've love to try them...up here it's pretty much lululemon or nothing...

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  42. I hadn't heard about the toning pants yet...I'm very curious about them now!

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  43. I've never tried them, but the Fila ones sound interesting. I'm skeptical about whether or not they'd actually tone, but if they make me look toned, that's the important thing to me.

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  44. Hmmm, next we'll be going back to elizabethan gowns and suits of armor on the theory that if you're wearing an extra 30 pounds in fabric, you're working out!

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  45. I am skeptical..but I'd still like to give them a try!

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  46. I've never tried any kind of toning clothing. I don't really believe they could be all that effective, but I would absolutely love to find more workout clothes that look cute!

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  47. I was just hoping for some photos :D. I'm never really concerned with how I look at the gym, as my hair can always attest to that.

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  48. I'm not sure if I buy all the miraculous benefits they promise...but I'm willing to give them a shot! Plus I'm always in need of more workout clothes, so as long as they allow me to move comfortably I'll be satisfied.

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  49. I have to admit, I scoff a little when I see ads for these products. But I'm always up to try something at least once! It'd be great to see for myself what they're about.

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  50. I think all the toning stuff is bs - whatever resistance the provide is minimal compared to that which you need to actually build muscle/increase fitness, and your body will just adapt to the level of resistance and plateau anyway. BUT I'm always up for free clothes! :)

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  51. I would LOVE to try either one--I love hearing your completely honest reviews. Thanks for taking the time.

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  52. I saw a toning shirt the other day at Dick's. It was cute, but I figured it was like the shoes, a lot of hype but no result. But hey, if the pants will make my butt look good, I'm for it. :)

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  53. I question if they work, but if they look good, that's half the battle!

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  54. I've never tried them but have wanted to. I'm not sure if they will work or not.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

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  55. Interesting! I've been meaning to try compression gear for awhile now - I get so sore after my hard HIT class! And the Fila pants sound just fantastic for OTHER reasons. Who cares if they work if they look that good?

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  56. Jessicabbecher@yahoo.comDecember 9, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    You AND MizFit endorse the Fila pants?! This MUST mean they are great!!! PLEASE put these pants in my life! :)

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  57. Since I started running I have noticed having the right gear (especially compression clothing) helps! When I ran my half marathon I wore Nike capri pants and got some serious compliments! It would be cool to try out the Fila ones!

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  58. I am curious about them and would love to give them a try.

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  59. Well, now I want one of each brand, the Shapercise simply because my old Spanx no longer fits, the compression pants because they sound like they actually DO something worthwhile, and the Filas because I want a nice butt, dangit!

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  60. I'm really tall so the Fila pants could probably be capris on me to begin with and I love capris for workouts. I'd love to try either!

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  61. To me, it seems too good to be true. How can clothing possibly make you more tone? That's just silly. Maybe it can make you *look* more tone, but I don't think it can actually increase your calorie burn. That's just my two cents. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't like the chance to try them out, though!

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  62. I think that the pants are more hype than real science. But if they make my butt look better while I am working out, I won't complain.

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  63. These are NOT something I would buy. But try it out for free? SURE! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  64. i think its just a trend. but a cute one lol

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  65. Honestly, I think toning clothing is a load of crap. But I love me some new workout wear. And a cute outfit gets me to the gym more often. So I guess that burns more calories?! Thanks for hosting this!

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  66. oooh, butt toning pants, awesome! Thanks for doing the contest, Charlotte!

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  67. I usually don't buy into such gimmicks, but I'm all about making my butt look nice while I'm working it out!

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  68. As a non-sciency person, I have to say that the sciency stuff gets me every time. I'm too cheap to buy anything that I don't know for sure "works" (which means I pretty much don't buy any of the sciency stuff) but I have to say that if they will make my butt look cute while I work out, I'm all for 'em!

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  69. I find it hard to believe that they really do work, but I'm all for having a new pair of pants that make my butt look great! :)

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  70. hmm, i'm skeptical! but anything that gains compliments for the booty must be worth it :)

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  71. I saw an ad for this gear but didn't give it a thought as I knew the shoes were a big fail. But I am game to try anything that would give me a cute butt!

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  72. If your butt looks good, everything looks good. Right? :)

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  73. I'm an eye-rolling type of girl but I'll try anything that gives me a hotter butt!

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  74. Cute butt pants?! I'm in! I would really be curious to see how/if they worked.

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  75. Probaby a trend, but if it helps in the rear end department - I'm in!

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  76. I'm a short girl, so those Fila toning pants would probably fit me perfeectly!

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  77. I am so glad you did this review! I have so wanted to try those Fila pants!!!! At my age, I work my butt off, no pun intended, trying to keep it lifted but I am telling you Charlotte, age sucks! :-)

    You know me & I work very hard! I have been putting more effort into my butt & legs with age as those are the areas that don't stay tight the most on me (well, the lower tummy never has). Making my butt look younger again would be so awesome! Heck, the Shapercise sounds cool too!

    As for when I hear about these things, I tend to roll my eyes & the research or hope somebody like you writes a review! :-)

    THX!

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  78. I JUST saw these for the first time in an ad and was wondering about them; you are always one step ahead of me (thank you for that, because I don't have to work as hard! LOL)
    I'd love to try these 'just because'. The toning shoes never looked like a safe bet but with these, what have I got to lose? (no pun intended)

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  79. You had me at "cute butt." I'm intrigued! Whether or not they actually do what they advertise, I'd love to try either of them. I'm Dumbo and they could be my feather.

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  80. Eh. All that extra toning resistance crap makes me roll my eyes, definitely (especially coming from the same companies that make the debunked toning shoes).

    That said, I am all for body-shaping garments that make you LOOK more toned but are actually comfy to wear!

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  81. New Exercise clothes? I'm there! Haven't had new stuff in years!

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  82. I've been curious about the shaping wear since they came out. I thought it might just go the way of the shaping shoe, but curiosity has gotten the better of me and made me want to try them out. If i seem them somewhere on sale I might just have to buy them.

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  83. Skeptical! Especially after the whole thing with the shoes, and the fact that an engineer at my work (who's both male AND 55ish) wore them to work and broke an ankle by stepping off a ladder awkwardly, thereby breaking our streak of accident-free work days! Psh! But I'd love to try them!

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  84. I am 5'9, but if they'll make my butt look good, heck, I'll sew some fringe on the bottom of the pants! ;)
    Great review!

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  85. I've tried Skins. I really liked the way the Skins felt, although I totally know what you're talking about with any bits not sucked in hanging over the waistband (and I'm pretty slim around my middle, too). I wore my Skins until they eventually started falling apart. I'd love to try other brands and see how they compare!

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  86. In the name of science, I will accept a pair of free toning clothes and report back!

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  87. i was convinced just by the opportunity to get new workout clothes! who cares if they burn calories? i can still look cute while working out and actually burning calories the hard way.

    i think we need to stop finding shortcuts. There aren't any. If you want to look and feel good, you have to eat well and workout hard. the end.

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  88. I'd love to exercise in my underwear. Hook a girl up :)

    Okay, but seriously I would love to try them. I use compression socks after my long or really intense runs and I think they really make a difference.

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  89. I think they are here to stay and the explanations make me laugh, don't really think they work (remember the tummy band that was supposed to vibrate and help you lose inches, yeah right!) but I would try it
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  90. I am dying to try these! Have major hip issues when I run & am wondering if they would help. Pick me!

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  91. oo those Fila pants sound lovely! I would really <3 the chance to try them :)

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  92. Anything that can make my 48 year old butt look round and smooth would be wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing!

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  93. oops, that comment from marc is really me, Bobbie at bobbiebabbles. marc must have used my account when i wasn't looking.

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  94. I tried a shirt that was supposed to make my sweat not smell, but it just smelled like pennies. Yuck!

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  95. I'd try them, especially if they are free! Also, would love to have some type of tight clothing that would alleviate floppy and bouncy skin and fat. After two c-sections, my mom belly is waaaay too jiggly! I'm also for any clothing that would enhance my non existant butt.

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  96. total fad. but as i keep all of my body fat (and i do mean ALL, i have NO boobies whatsoever and it makes me cry and save my pennies for implants) in my hips and thighs, those shaping pants definitely sound like fun.

    ** side note - just now, when i went to post, my captcha word was 'glutora'... did google just call me fat?

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  97. Unfortunately I hurt myself a couple of yrs back body building. Have just been able to start walking this past Aug. I've been looking at these products wondering if they work at all. Any help to assist my muscles would be great since I'm still unable to lift any weights or jog as of yet. :)

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  98. Definitely a fad....just like the shoes. But hey, if they are free, i am all about trying them!

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  99. I'm always skeptical about these kinds of things, but I'm willing to try anything!

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  100. I doubt the claim that the clothes actually do the toning, but if they look good on you & make you feel good, then you are more likely to change into them & actually work out!

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  101. I am skeptical, but when there is significant data I can be easiley swayed :)
    Thanks!
    Grace & Peace,
    Andrea M Wernz

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  102. I am also a skeptic about the toning part, but I will happily wear anything that makes my butt look better. Plus, I'm 5'4" so the Fila pants would probably be perfect!

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  103. I'm a skeptic as well about the toning, but a more shapely toosh would be nice!!

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  104. Enter me, please!

    I use surgical compression hose (mid calf length) when I run. They really do help!

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  105. Same Ruth--want to post under my blogger profile so you have contact info--thx.

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  106. Sadly, I had no idea this stuff existed. I'd be interested in seeing what is does for my back-end.

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  107. I am more than a little skeptical, but would love to be a test case for this new "advancement" in workout technology

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  108. I wear compression calf sleeves after long runs because they do help my calves feel better faster, but I just don't see a pair of shorts/pants actually increasing a person's caloric burn. That being said, I'm all about pants that make my butt look cute!

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  109. I'd love to win the Fila pants. I'm generally a skeptic about most fitness claims. I've taken too many math and science classes to believe assertions without valid proof.

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  110. I have tights for running, and I like how they feel. That's about as far as my wardrobe goes for toning clothes. At least until I win some from you. hahahahh.

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  111. Fad. But if they make my butt look good, I'm in. And you're the same height as me (before I lost my .5" in the last decade...boo)!

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  112. I've seen SO many commercials about these types of toning clothing. I have no interest in buying them. I don't feel like spending my money on clothing that promises to help you "gain muscle", when in reality, it does not. I just think it's one of those products put out to rip you off.

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  113. I don't believe they actually help you tone but if they make my butt look good, I'm in.

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  114. I so want these pants! I want to avoid buying some spendy Lululemon pants for something I have to do in Jan where my butt looking good is a critical requirement.

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  115. Ooooh, I want a workout in my pants!
    Could that SOUND any more porny?

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  116. I might get the pants - glad to hear from someone who has tried them!

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  117. London Drugs has the shaper sizers and i love them after a week of wearing them my but looks more firm and man did the muscles hurt for the first few days when you take them off at night but wow i love them worth every penny about $35.00 Canadian so give em a try don't be shy...Lisa

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