How do the right clothes affect performance?

Have you seen someone working out in the gym in jeans? Or trying to run on the treadmill in smart shoes? Well I have. They obviously have some reason for not being able to get the right workout gear but not only are they vastly increasing their risk of injury (smart-shoes-on-treadmill guy especially) but they’re not going to be able to perform efficiently either.

Basic workout clothes are fine for the gym but when you seriously start thinking about performance, especially when it comes to running or cycling, you’ll need the right gear to help maximise your performance.

Running in heavy, baggy jogging bottoms can make you over-heart, will reduce how aerodynamic you are and they’re bloody uncomfortable too!

How does compression wear work?

You’ll seen all the super-serious athletes wrapped head to toe in tight fitting clothes, this isn’t just for the benefit of the viewer. Those socks, tights, thigh-highs, shirts and anything else that’s tight, are all compression wear. Take a look at Strammer Max – Men’s Premium Compression Wear, for examples of the garments available.

These are made from highly engineered, elastic gradient material that helps to improve blood and lymphatic flow. Of course, the more blood/oxygen your muscles are getting, the better they are going to perform.

Compression wear will also help to speed up recovery, something that’s so important if you’re training hard for a race.

Compression wear will help you run faster

Allowing more blood and oxygen into your muscles, while getting rid of waste, can help you to run faster and further. They can also help to reduce your heart rate (because it doesn’t have to work so hard to move blood around your body). Some studies have backed this up but there are plenty of studies that haven’t managed to prove that compression wear helps. The best thing to do is try it for yourself and see how it affects your performance.

Where to start

Socks are a great place to start if you’re looking for good compression wear, especially if you’re a runner. Take a look at these Strammer Max – socks.

Shirts can be a bit more expensive but they’re great for keeping your warm while wicking away sweat as your train. The compression benefit is often less obvious here but good base layers like these Strammer Max – shirts are a must for anyone who is a serious about their training.

Studies haven’t been conclusive as to the effectiveness of compression wear in terms of helping blood flow but you can’t go wrong with good quality running and cycling gear, you’ll just have to judge any boost in performance for yourself.

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