Being the attention whore I am, I recently invested in some compression tights. What’s not to like about showing off your glutes while you squat in the gym? All jokes aside, Compression tights have been all the rage in the natural bodybuilding community lately. It’s not just to show everyone what you’ve worked so hard for, but also for proposed benefits in decreased muscle fatigue during workouts.
After a couple of times wearing these bad boys at the gym, I certainly FELT like they were making an impact on my workouts, specifically Deadlift/Squat days. However, was this just the placebo effect or the real deal? I set out to do some research on these butt molding wonder pants and I’ve compiled the results here.
Since I’m a nice guy and my generation is ADHD as hell…I’ll just post the results here at the top and you can keep reading if you’re interested.
TIL: THEY DO NOT HELP WITH MUSCLE FATIGUE/STRENGTH DURING WORKOUT.
TIL: THEY MIGHT HELP WITH MUSCLE RECOVERY POST-WORKOUT.
TIL: THEY DO INCREASE CIRCULATION AND OXYGENATION
As usual….here are the three studies if you want to read the scientific explanation:
So…they did a controlled study with a number of athletes testing both team sports, weight lifting, and cardio combined between the two studies. They found that there was no noticeable impact on performance in the gym nor muscle fatigue after the gym. While the studies didn’t go into the impact on recovery, the studies both referred to other smaller studies that had some promising results.
Update: The final study that I posted confirms that they do indeed increase oxygenation. This provides an explanation for why I didn’t feel the effects of DOMs as severely after wearing them overnight.
What’s my consensus?
Here are the Pros:
- They get a lot of attention and you get to show off the progress you’ve worked for.
- My legs do legitimately feel better if I wear them for a couple of hours after my workout.
- (Compression Tights are meant to promote blood circulation which would explain this effect).
- They make sliding knee sleeves on WAYYYYYY easier and they keep them from smelling as badly. (Knee sleeve isn’t touching your sweaty knee directly).
Here are the Cons:
- You get a lot of attention and if you’re legs suck….they will look horrible.
If you’re interested in my recommendation….here is the pair I’ve been wearing that’s being used by a lot of natural power lifters and bodybuilders.