In Part 2 of this mini-series, we examine a study which shows that compression gear does indeed have a beneficial effect on performance for athletes.
Effect of Compression Stockings on Running Performance in Men Runners. Published Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - pp 101-105
This study was performed on 21 moderately trained athletes with healthy lower legs. They were tested twice, the first time without any below the knee (calf-length) compression garments and then after 10 days of recovery, they were tested again with a compression garment. The athletes performed the test on a treadmill and were tested up to their voluntary maximum limits. Their V02, energy expenditure, aerobic (with adequate oxygen i.e. jogging) and anaerobic (without adequate oxygen i.e. sprinting) thresholds were all measured. The study found significant* performance increases during aerobic activity but not during anaerobic. The athletes were able to work for longer which lead to an increased workload.
Although this was a small study, it found that compression garments helped with endurance activities but their benefits were diminished as intensity increased. High intensity demands overwhelmed any physiological benefits that the garment could provide.
Join us again next Monday at 1230 and we'll look at the evidence which shows no benefits from compression wear.
You might be interested in our Health and Fitness magazine which cuts through the marketing and snake oil in the fitness industry to deliver the truth about nutrition and training.