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Thread: Compression base layers

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch
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    Hi,

    there was an interesting article in the latest TGO which did a review of some compression base layers. The review on the Accapi ones was most interesting and I wondered if anyone had any actual experience of this stuff? I'm most interested in the claims to speed up muscle recovery and reduce muscle stress enabling one to walk that extra 10km a day!

    Thing is I get the impression that these are best worn in cool to cold conditions, due to the warmth provided by a snug fit no doubt.

    See www.accapi.co.uk for more details.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    We discussed the wiffy 'science' around this stuff last year.

    I notice they've published a translation of an Italian investigation into the IR emission of the fabric. From a quick scan, my response is 'so what?': can't see anything spectacular going on.

  3. #3
    Initiate Mr Fuller's Avatar
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    I wouldn't tar all compression gear with the nonsense Accapi talk about, Major Cynic. Taking compression baselayers as tight-fitting garments made of synthetic fabrics and ignoring all the gabble I get to these conclusions on positive aspects:

    1) They help muscle recovery, both from exhaustion and from heavy bruising!

    2) They aid muscle stability - legs don't wobble about when cycling, for example. Feel supportive.

    3) They are very breathable - comparable to good baselayers. They absorb little moisture.

    4) They are extremely good worn under other clothing - wear under a standard baselayer when a little cooler than usual.

    5) More windproof than a standard baselayer.

    And some disadvantages...

    1) They stink. A lot worse than Hellys. I have not yet dared wear any compression gear while out winter climbing, where it would be great, because I'm not sure my partner would be able to stand the smell.

    2) Washing them is awkward - their tight weave means smell and ming doesn't seem to wash out as easily.

    3) If you are fat then you will look it.

    Those views are based on using compression tops when running, cycling, walking, climbing and playing racket sports. I don't own any expensive Skins or BodyArmour versions, only cheap Nike, Adidas and ChampUSA ones. Ooh, and shorts while cycling. They are the absolute best.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch
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    Hi CP,

    somehow I thought this thread would lure you out of your foxhole

    I had no idea that this had come up before so thanks for the link. It made interesting if disappointing reading. On a personal note I remember finishing a days walk and my legs, particularly my thighs were aching quite badly. For some reason I decided to keep my long johns on overnight and although my legs were uncomfortable in the morning they weren't too stiff.I didn't wear them again and my legs got worse over the next couple of days as I kept walking. It's only seeing this article that I got to thinking that maybe there was something in it.

    As for the company they haven't replied to my email in nigh on a week now. Their web-site doesn't include a sizing chart either, so I'm not impressed.The skins website is better but in the light of the comments on the other thread do you really need so many variations on the same theme. I think not. I smell bull**** .... no I'm sorry I got that wrong. I apologise that odour was the sweetly fragrant smell of marketing.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    I have no idea whther compression clothing aids muscle recovery, or offers other mircaulous properties, but I don't like seeing pseudo-science. And when I do, it makes me seriously question the worth of the product. Which means that I may be missing something that really is good, just marketed in a way that does the exact opposite of their intent...

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch
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    When the science gets that 'babbly' it turns me off and all I do is call out via the internet 'DOES IT B****Y WELL WORK?' and see what bounces back.There is nothing quite like personal and I do mean personal recommendation.


  7. #7
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    MC,

    Unfortunately, it's never quite that simple. A product might 'work' in some of the claimed areas in that there's a measurable effect in some particular user group but 1) how much of an effect is there, 2) does that matter to me (i.e. am I different from the test group) and 3) is it worth the investment are all questions that you'll not be able to answer directly from the science.

    So... to explain what I mean. Compression baselayer brand N might have a measurable performance benefit on the muscle recovery of professional rugby players from Australia as tested by some sports science lab or other.

    However, I'm not a professional rugby player (my sports tend to be lower impact except for running and my level of athletism is no where near such standards); I'm not in Australia so my climatic needs (often clothing for cold damp weather, sometimes on water) are not the same and I don't have a hefty sponsorship deal to supply me with kit.

    So even if someone persuades me of the scientific benefit of compression wear, I'm not going to fork out on it. Arguably, rowing lycra all-in-ones have been around for ages and do the job that is now called compression wear. That stuff is truly useful to me, mainly due to the movement (bending of the back at the hips) that pulls most conventional clothing loose at the waist which is both cold and risks getting caught in the seat runners. Now that's me - not many on OM are rowers it seems! I'd not be recommending this kind of kit for anyone on the hill...!!!

  8. #8
    Mini Goon Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    Wearing compression baselayers overnight will make you feel colder because they reduce blood flow to the surface of the skin. They wont make your core temp colder but it can feel uncomfortable.

    Compression shorts worn while actually walking though are great for keeping chafing at bay.

  9. #9
    Initiate
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    I agree with Ptarmigan I have some pairs of Umbro Long Compression Shorts that I bought for £6 a pair in the sale at Sports Direct. I find them comfortable they have good wicking qualities and they great for keeping chafing at bay.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch
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    That's it .... keep chafing at bay? If I want to do that I'll go commando!

    No seriously guys what I amaskingiswould they help my thigh muscles? I getup to the Lake District once a year for a week's walking. If we do the tougher higher level walks, because I don't get the hill walking practice in down south, by about half way through the week my thighs are really stiff and aching.We usually at this point take a day off.No real problem here. Now I am looking to get to a gym to improve the strength in my legs, but having read that article I wondered if these might help? I have a couple of Falke tops that I wear that are compression type base layers. But I don't really notice much benefit from them as walking doesn't really test my upper body.

    However for my thighs if there is some benefit to wearing a compression base layer then I'll consider them. I get the impression that cyclists are more likely to favor them.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Kelvin's Avatar
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    I wear compression sleeves when i'm at the climbing wall - arms do feel colder thats for sure and I'm pretty certain they dont pump us as much.

  12. #12
    Initiate Mr Fuller's Avatar
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    Yes, major Cynic, they will help your thighs. They won't cure all pains though! Do some squats or something similar for hills I'd guess.

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