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Old 05-06-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
Conor Curtis
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Compression Clothing

Has anyone done any testing/experimenting with compression clothing? Have you seen measurable performance gains? How did you test if so?

I was running yesterday and thinking about it, does anyone have any ideas how to construct a test between various brands and non-usage? I'd do it myself, but buying several pieces of similar clothing seems senseless. Maybe this could be a group test between brands and a control group? Do we control group ourselves or have a separate group working side-by-side?

My thought is to do a run, maybe 5km and "Fran." Doing this un-compressed and then compressed would highlight the potential benefits because of the extreme amount of work involved. Thoughts?

Also, I usually wear generic compression shorts to workout in, does anyone using Skins/2xu/other pricey brands feel there is a difference?
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:58 AM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Compression Clothing

Maybe it's just me, but are asking if gear helps CF performance?
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:15 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Compression Clothing

Any differences the clothing might make would be offset by any of about 30 different variables--temperature, humidity, time of day, what and when you last ate, how you feel that day, how much sleep you got the night before, what yesterday's WOD was, etc. It would be impossible to replicate conditions enough to isolate the effect of clothing on one person, let alone setting up control groups and experimental groups of exactly equal physical ability. If there is a performance difference, it's mental--being comfortable and not having to worry about readjusting your clothes every time you move.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
Jeffrey Crawford
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Re: Compression Clothing

I use it when I go potty mostly, It helps the process.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
Conor Curtis
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Re: Compression Clothing

Yeah, I guess I am. I was on the CF Games website, and saw that Skins was a sponsor. I'd never heard of them before, so I went to their website. They made some pretty big claims as to the benefits, so it made me curious. If it were true, then you'd think they would be ubiquitous. I'd never heard compression clothes/lycra had any benefits.
If wearing it can improve performance with it on in one instance, it should hold that training with it over an extended period of time would contribute to improved performance over the long run, even if you aren't wearing it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Compression Clothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor Curtis View Post
If wearing it can improve performance with it on in one instance, it should hold that training with it over an extended period of time would contribute to improved performance over the long run, even if you aren't wearing it.
Not necessarily true. Two examples:

Lots of people argue that training with weight belts impedes development of necessary assistance muscles, and that such belts should only be used in competition and/or for maximum attempts.

There's some evidence that the proliferation of swimming records at the Beijing Games was partly due to widespread use of streamlined skinsuits. If true, the performance advantage would be purely a function of reduced drag and would be independent of the athlete's past use (or not) of the suits. In fact, one could argue that training without skinsuits would be the best way to improve performance, much as boxers sometimes train punching speed by using heavier gloves than they would in competition.

Katherine
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
John Kolody II
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Re: Compression Clothing

I would have to say that the aid is in comfort being a big guy, it helps to not chafe and rub when running, biking, rowing, etc. With the lifting I think its mental because you won't get any extra carry over out of spandex like you would a 2-ply poly squat suit.

Yes in 2008 Beijing I feel the swim records were aided by the advancement in the swimsuit technology, but they were also swimming in the widest and deepest pool in Olympic history so it made for a fast pool. Just as the track surface was brand new, not to take away from Bolt's records, because he is the first man under 9.8 that has not had a positive drug test.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Compression Clothing

There's some studies in pubmed if you want to look them up regarding compression clothing. I looked at a few before, but I can't remember any of the conclusions offhand.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:53 AM   #9
Sam Ser
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Re: Compression Clothing

i recall seeing some anecdotal reports (yeah, i know, they CAN be useful) of compression shorts helping things like squatting, sprinting and jumping in basketball. extra "bounce" and all that.

i don't think those were highly controlled experiments.



also, i don't think there's been much investigation into how well you'd do with long-duration use of compression shorts, for example. not only wouldn't they be terribly helpful in things like distance running, but they might have some negative effects if you walked around in them all day long...?

anyway, IMHO the bigger issue is that they're doing part of the work for you. powerlifters may do insane squats and bench presses in ridiculous lifting shirts, but they can't approach those lifts if they walk in wearing baggy shorts and a t-shirt. (ok, they can still lift huge amounts, but you get the point.) if you know that the compression gear adds X percent to your lifts, and if everyone is wearing the compression gear, why not just compete without the gear and use "real" numbers?

or, conversely, if its assisted non-pharmaceutical performance enhancement you want, why not just have everyone in the high jump competition use shoes with springs in the soles?

:stir:
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
Mat Frankel
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Re: Compression Clothing

It seems like were talking about two different things here. Compression clothing such as bench shirts and squating singlets vs. spandex shorts or compression socks (i've heard they help with running...but don't believe it).
At the NFL Combine lots of players wear these tights or spandex shorts that have what looks like tape lacing in certain areas. I know that they are used to try and keep muscles tight, producing more speed, but I have also heard they "move the muscles into the right places for efficiency"...sssuurrrrree
IMO these kind of performance enhancing clothing are as Rip says "silly b*******." What truley makes an athlete better isn't the equipment and gear, if anything, like Katherines reference to boxers who train with heaver gloves, train with heaver weights and make the competitions easier.
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