Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review; Amp Pro2 Compression: Training Tights & Training Short Sleeve Shirt

So a while ago Saucony contacted me and asked would I be willing to review their new Amp Pro2 Compression clothing and of course who was I to say no. So in time honored fashion here’s the info from their website:

Compression fit reduces muscle vibration and AMP PRO2 responsive fibers improve overall circulation to keep you going for as long as you need to.

  • AMP PRO2 41% Celliant Polyester, 43% Nylon, 16% Lycra
  • Features Microban antimicrobial
  • Contrast panels with tonal geometric print
  • Back storage pocket with lockdown zipper pull
  • Zippered entry at leg opening with grippers
  • Reflective elements and AMP PRO2 heat transfer logo
  • 29" inseam

So having worn them for several months over multiple runs and distances I now feel pretty qualified to write the review.

image Let’s talk about the tights first. First of all I am tall, at 6’1” I am not super tall, but above average and that usually means that to get the right length I end up have to up size and then things don’t fit widthwise, I am the not so classic 31/32 waist 34 leg rather than the 32/34 waist 32 leg which is more commonly seen. However these come with a 29’ inseam, what does that mean…it means they fit!!! Yes they reach all the way down to my boney ankles! Hooray!

The compression is very…well compressed, they fit tightly and it’s a wriggle to get them on…but that is the point! One nice touch is that there are zips at the bottom of the legs and this helps with the wriggling, they also have rubber grippers, think cycling shorts, round the ankles to stop them from riding up! As best I can tell the red panels are thinner and this helps cool you down, like most tights these are warm and so I would not recommend them on a summer day, but for an early morning run when it’s a bit cold they are perfect. I can’t vouch for them in the thick of winter though…we don’t really have those in Southern California. Another nice touch is the built in pocket at the back, it’s nestled in just below the waistband so none of that digging you in the hip as you run. Talking of waistbands this one sits true, that is round your waist, which overcomes the issue I had with my Sugoi tights which wear more like hipsters and so now I am not constantly having to hitch them up. In terms of the compression as it relates to the actual running, from a scientific perspective the jury is out, check out what Joe Friel has to say here, that being said do my legs feel better for wearing them, the answer is yes, it may not be empirical or quantifiable but it is qualitative based on my experience. My only real criticism is that when stretched there is a distinct waffle or fishnet pattern…it’s a little off putting but you have to get pretty close to see it and I assume that it serves some ventilation purpose.

image Now for the shirt, which has some different features from the tights;  the big difference is the fabric content with there being more Celliant; the mix is 54% Celliant Polyester, 27% Nylon, 19% Lycra;  from Celliant’s website:

Celliant is a technology that modifies visible and infrared light, recycling them into energy that the body can use more effectively. When Celliant is worn as clothing, or placed near the body (like in a bed liner or a blanket), it redirects this recycled energy back to the body increasing blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the tissue.

Sounds like voodoo? Well there is some science behind it backed by some clinical studies too. Anyway this was the first compression shirt I have tried, again like the tights it’s plenty long enough. It’s very very figure hugging, and it was a sharp reminder that I am not as skinny as I used to be and not as toned as I should be…in other words if you have a little excess it’s gonna roll right over it and make look like it’s there! That being said it’s easy to wear under something else after all we’re not all built like Usain Bolt or Shalane Flanagan…hence the stock photos! That being said it is very comfortable and very, very wicking, having anything that close to your skin needs to be especially if like me your a sweater (sorry TMI?) my only complaint is that the sleeves are a little long but I assume that if your biceps resemble anything more than bits of string with knots in at the elbow then you should be fine…seriously that what my arms look like.  The direct effect of compression is a bit harder the note with a shirt, it’s not like my arms ache from running right?!? But I do feel that there is some benefit and it’s much more noticeable now when I run with a regular shirt…I am thinking that when I start into the speed work that next month will bring this shirt will come into it’s own…well see.

So in summary I have written many reviews on compression clothing (see right tool bar), tights, sleeves, socks and shorts but these could quite possibly be the best compression clothing items that I have tried, most certainly the tights.  The one big difference is that they really fit well, not just in terms of compression but the actual cut fits out of  the package. The compression, which let’s face it is why you would get them,  is very effective not only in the fit but in it’s efficacy during and post run, but remember this is only anecdotal. Finally the look is attractive, subdued in color but pretty stylish. Available through Saucony direct you can also pick these up through multiple outlets on the web. Through Saucony the tights retail for $110 and the shirt is $90, yeah they’re not cheap but what’s how do you put a price on performance

These tights were provided free of charge by Saucony See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at quadrathon@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog and a serious resource for serious runners. It is no coincidence that it was voted one of the best running blogs!

    On an additional note, thank you very much for including this video for your readers to learn more about our technology. If you ever have any questions regarding our products, please feel free to ask us a question on our Facebook page http://facebook.com/celliant or send us an e-mail at social@celliant.com. We would love to help those who want to learn more about compression training better understand what Celliant can do to help recovery.

    Celliant Social Media Team


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