Grow Pecs, Ditch the Bra? (TMI warning)


PECS XL - pink

PECS XL – pink by moncarton, on Flickr

I’m going to start this post off with some oversharing – I hate bras and always have. I’m sure many women secretly agree with me. If you are local to me, please don’t stare – I follow convention. Sadly. But there may be hope for people like me.

I imagine the French scientist who made headlines a couple of months ago by measuring women’s breasts with calipers and a slide rule (?) didn’t know what hit him when his research became public. Quite aside from general male fascination with women’s breasts (I have my own theories about that, which involve premature weaning and unsatisfactory pacifiers), there’s the fact that breast augmentation is carried out on hundreds of thousands of North American women each year. People don’t just want larger breasts, they want them to be perky and youthful-looking.

So Dr. Rouillon found out that for women between the ages of 18 and 35, not wearing a bra resulted in less breast sag than wearing one. Not what we’ve been told by the lingerie business since the nineteenth century! Given that pretty much everything I’ve been told about health and wellness since the eighties has been dead wrong (remember the fatfree craze?), why not that, too? But hey, I’m 51 years old and not afraid to admit it, I’ve had three pregnancies and breastfed three children for much longer than most. Surely if anyone needs the body armour, it’s got to be people like me, right? My local specialty bra store has been making a nice living off that assumption.

Well, maybe not. If you follow this blog, you’ve seen me boast of my prowess with a kettlebell, especially swinging the heavy ones. One of the many excellent side effects of all this chest work is that my pecs are getting stronger. I can do pushups that I couldn’t do a year ago. I look better in a tank top than I did before. I’ve become remarkably strong for my size. I’m still wearing bras, though.

For now, let’s just say that I am highly intrigued by this exchange. In it, female bodybuilders discuss whether stretching their pecs will cause their breasts to sag or have the opposite effect. The consensus seems to be on the latter.

So my dream is to try it out someday. I probably won’t until I’m confident most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, which is going to take quite a bit of improving my diet and working on leaning out. So please don’t stare. I’ll be in the gym, swinging a kettlebell.

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2 Responses to “Grow Pecs, Ditch the Bra? (TMI warning)”

  1. Wenchypoo Says:

    I ditched mine when I quit working, and I also ditched underwear when I hit 45. As for shoes, I never really got attached to them except when it was socially necessary (work, mowing, etc.).

    My advice: wear lots and lots of soft cotton to avoid friction.

  2. Hadass Eviatar Says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing! Yeah, friction is an issue … as are visible nipples 8-(.

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