I have no issue admitting that I wear tights, well not tights exactly, but… for training. If you have been reading my “‘Till Killington” articles, you will note that I have been doing far more running than I detailed out in my OCRAddicts Workout Routine article. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do as much running as I think I will need to have in the bag before Killington so I have been on the hunt for something that can take my running to the next level and allow the workouts that I do log to be more effective. Physiclo thinks they may have the answer.
I have to be honest with you, when I first found out about Physiclo, I didn’t have any interaction with their products. There wasn’t any first impressions or mention of them in any Facebook group that I frequent. In fact, I only found out about them because of a Facebook ad that presented itself in my new stream. Without hesitation, I reached out to them to try and find out more about their company and their product.
First off, Physiclo is a manufacturer of resistance training gear. If you are wondering what that means, it is actually brilliantly simple; they have resistance bands built into them. Instead of running with weights on your ankles or wearing a weighted vest, the gear provide enough resistance to increase the intensity of your workout without putting the additional strain of added weight on your joints or back.
The shorts are offered in two colors, black and gray, and six sizes.
- Patent-pending resistance system challenges your body and enhances your workouts
- Training in Physiclo increases muscle activation by 23% and calorie burn by 14%
- Target muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, and glutes
- Moisture-wicking, breathable and machine washable
The Physiclo compression shorts feature specially positioned resistance bands and panels that target muscle groups when engaged in exercise. This resistance increases the amount of effort required to complete any of your movements. The bands target the upper leg muscles involved in these movements including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and adductors.
To test the effects, surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to quantify how much additional muscle activation would result from using the resistance gear. Subjects were tested running on a treadmill at 7MPH and 2% incline with electrodes positioned over target muscle groups to measure the amount of electrical activity resulting from the contraction of the muscles. The results of this test indicated that there was a 23% increase in muscle activity.
Additionally, analyzing metabolic data collected using pulse oximetry, electrocardiography (ECG), and VO2max testing (CPET – cardiopulmonary exercise testing), subjects experienced a 9% increase in heart rate and 14% more calories burned.
All that sounds good on paper, but I wanted to see if I could tell the difference these can make in my routine. When it comes to the shorts themselves, putting them on is half the workout. They are tight… very tight. The included tags indicate that you will be able to bring the shorts up to around your knees and then have to “shimmy” them up into position. When first worn, they provide noticeable resistance and simply walking around begins an internal Rocky montage played by, none other than, Bill Conti.
On a typical training run, I will map out a 5-mile route that brings me through the mountains of the great Garden State. My run, which I commonly refer to as JC or Janes Chapel, will feature somewhere around 1K in total elevation gain. Instead, to spice things up a bit, I decided run one of my longer routes. It includes additional 5 miles of nearly level terrain to the run for a total of 10 miles and 1600FT of elevation gain. Having run the extended route here and there in the past without much issue, I figured the addition of the Physiclo resistance shorts would be far more noticeable over this longer distance.
Post run, I could feel the difference. My legs were noticeably more fatigued and the following day something happened that hasn’t happened since the NJ Ultra Beast; muscle soreness, and it felt great. The run’s inclines were noticeably more difficult and the resistance shorts seemed to have added nearly 25 seconds to my average per mile time.
With one long run in the bag, I decided that something a bit more measurable would be required to adequately deduce whether or not the resistance shorts are cutting the mustard. For the last couple of weeks, I have been wearing the resistance shorts during my sprint days. A sprint day for me is a couple of laps around the high school track, then 10 x 100-yard sprints and my TomTom Spark Cardio + Music keeps track the details.
Starting week, top speed 18.63MPH. Six weeks later, top speed 20.11MPH.
Granted, my results could be a combination of factors, including a natural increase in muscle response due to consistent training. However, it is undeniable to me that I “feel” different and I feel like the compression shorts have made a difference for me. The ultimate question is, how much of a difference will it make to a long distance goal in a short period of time? Probably not much, distance running is a long-term commitment.
With the progress and results I have made in a short period of time in some simple sprints, I think I can say that the product is doing its job. I can feel the resistance when running, I can feel the fatigue, and I can quantify some results. This all boils down to something doing exactly what it claims to do, to help me perform better.
The Physiclo resistance shorts aren’t cheap when compared to standard compression gear. The pair I tested is priced at $95 USD, making it an investment. However, if price is your major concern when shopping for training gear, take a look at your feet and what you are strapping on them. Bottom line, tools cost money and so do these. If you were to ask me if I would spend my hard-earned cash on a pair, I would say “yes.” The Physiclo resistance gear is well made and does its job. Now let’s see if it makes a difference on the Mountain at Killington.