Should You or Shouldnt You Wear Compression Clothing?

Growing up in the tropics, and living in Southern California the past 9 years, I’ve been somewhat spoiled with warm weather. And it is always nice working out at the gym – even when it is pouring heavily – when the heater is turned on. Warm temperature helps with workout performance while cold temperature works the opposite and can be dangerous as well.

Compression ClothingWhen the temperature is cold, our muscles and limbs tend to be stiff and inflexible, but proper warm-up will help to loosen them up. Imagine jumping high during a plyometric workout without a proper warm-up? You’d easily pull and strain your muscles! Even with proper and long warm-up, the muscles can cool down easily between sets.

A couple of years ago, I discovered the Nike long-sleeve compression shirt. It helps to keep me warm, while keeping my muscles tight, especially during intense outdoor workout session like at the muscle beach. I found that the compression shirt also prevent me from injuring myself and make muscle recovery much smoother. Since then, Ive been a firm believer of compression clothing over multiple layers of sweatshirts while working out in the cold.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Clothing:

1. Enhancing aerobic thresholdone study suggests that wearing compression clothing can slightly improve your performance. While not significant, even a 1% improvement in your marathon could be the world if you’re competing professionally. However, compression clothing seems to do little or nothing when doing weight training or powerlifting.

2. Muscle support – It does this by holding muscle tight in place. Muscles normally vibrate during exercise, but compression wear keeps them contained which helps in turn to reduce injury – just like wearing brief/jock strap vs loose boxers while running (get it?).

3. Control Body Temperature – It is so important to keep muscles warm while training, so that they are ready to perform. Cold muscles tear and injure easily and keep you from performing at optimal levels. Also, compression clothing helps to evaporate sweat efficiently and keeps the body from becoming over-heated, unlike the old school sweats.

4. Decreased Muscle Soreness –  It only makes sense that while compression sportswear provides extra support for muscle that the muscles don’t tire as easily. The reason there is a reduction in muscle soreness is that compression holds muscle close to the body and upon impact gives it stability that it wouldn’t normally. As a result, muscle isn’t torn or damaged, but held in place, and would need less recovery time. So the next day, you should be ready to do your workout again without groaning.

5. Why not looking great while working out? Your attitude is everything. You will do better at work, school, relationships, and even during a workout if you have higher self esteem. When you look good, you will feel good. So, if you’re in shape, why not show off your hard work by looking good while working out 😉

Okay, the last one is just for fun…..

Any thoughts or comments?