Back in October, Carley shared her review of the SKINS compression tights for running. I think she got the easy review, because all she had to do was put them on and run. She found that they increased her stamina and felt that they also shortened her recovery time. The first part was provable and observable. Verifying a shorter recovery time is not always so simple, since there are so many variables involved. That made testing the RY400 Men’s Compression Long Tights for Recovery a bit more challenging. Luckily, I had that big green Kinetic trainer to ride, and I also found myself accompanying my wife to the gym on a regular basis. So I hatched a plan. I’d do a workout, and skip recovery, but make some notes about how I felt the next day. After the following workout, I’d put the SKINS on for at least three hours, or overnight, if my workout was later in the day. Not very scientific, but I figured after several weeks, I’d have something to go on.
Time on the trainer consisted of around 40 minutes to a bit over an hour, or 2-3 episodes of Archer on Netflix. At the gym, we both walked on the treadmill anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, then did a circuit of weight machines, concentrating on lower body exercises, with 3-4 sets of higher reps at less than max weight. Neither workout was particularly taxing, but I get bored easily indoors, so any effort is a good effort. By the end of the third week, there was a definite pattern developing. The days after my workouts, what little soreness I might have had was virtually gone if I wore my SKINS for recovery. I still lack the motivation to put in really hard efforts while pedaling in front of a TV or monitor, but I know that if I do, I’ll still wake up with fresh legs the following day. So I’m really looking forward to warmer weather, as I’ve built three new bikes over the winter.
So what’s the magic of compression all about? When creating their products, SKINS maps out the body, and then builds dynamic gradient compression into the fabric (which is 76% nylon, 24% Spandex). A lot of attention is paid to make sure the tights are shaped anatomically, for the ideal fit. For active compression, that means that your muscles are better stabilized during exercise, which reduces the chances of injury. By varying compression throughout the the garment, better blood flow, and therefore more oxygen, can be delivered to the muscles. That’s what increased Carley’s stamina. This same technology is used in active recovery – while I never pushed myself too much, there was still enough lactic acid in my muscles the following morning that it caused a bit of discomfort. Wearing the recovery tights promoted the extra blood flow my muscles needed to transport that lactic acid back out, so I was ready to go for another workout.
My 2013 fitness goals are pretty ambitious, as I would like to get back into competitive shape. That’s going to require harder intervals on the bike, and a bit more effort at the gym. But I’m confident that the SKINS RY400 tights will play a key role in meeting them. Knowing that I can push myself harder, yet speed up the recovery process, greatly increases my chances of success. skins.net