Compression gear has been all the rage lately and for good reason, it’s been shown to reduce running injury and promote healing. There have been a flood of new product hitting the marketplace like, compression socks, compression shorts, and now Saucony has released a full body compression suit. The Saucony AMP PRO2 compression suit comes as a one or two piece full body suit and has two models: a training suit and a recovery suit. This suit claims to be able to increase the levels of oxygen in your bloodstream and by doing so they can make you run better and recover faster. These suits come at a price however – a they’ll set you back a couple hundred.
In this review we’ll take a look at what exactly the Saucony Recovery Suit is, how it works and how you can benefit from it.
What is the Saucony AMP PRO2 Recovery Suit
The Saucony AMP PRO2 Recovery suit is one of two compression suits that has been specially designed to (in the case of the Recovery suit) help you recover from long stressful runs and workouts. The other suit, the Saucony AMP PRO2 Training Suit, is a similar suit that has been designed to help you perform better during those workouts. We’ll cover the differences a little later on.
The recovery suit comes in two pieces: a long sleeve top and a form-fitting tights. Each piece is made from a blend of Polyester, Nylon, and Lycra with the polyester portion containing special minerals that have been researched and design by Celliant. The suit also features Microban anti-microbial, a special material that helps to keep the suit cleaner for a longer period of time. Being a compression suit, the garments are very tight and are designed to snugly fit your body and keep pressure on the muscles. The Recovery suit is designed to be worn overnight to get the maximum recovery benefit.
How Does Compression Gear Work and What Makes the Saucony AMP PRO2 Special
Running science is just discovering how compression gear works and how it can benefit runners before, during, and after running. The way compression gear works is that the item (whether it’s a sock or a suit) is designed to constrict certain parts of the body so that extra pressure is put onto the muscle. Different levels of pressure will help do different things: low pressure will help to keep a higher level of oxygen within the blood stream but won’t exhaust the muscle when wearing the item for long periods of time, higher pressure will help to support the muscle and reduce vibration allowing the muscle to contract better and reduce damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The thought is that by assisting the muscle with compression you’ll force more blood through the veins and return to the heart thereby increasing circulation. With the increase in circulation comes the benefit of having more oxygen available within the bloodstream. Saucony’s AMP PRO2 products tie this compression feature in with the benefit of a new fabric called Celliant.
The Celliant fabric is a specially designed fabric that is infused with 13 natural minerals (titanium dioxide, aluminum oxide and silica are reported to be in the mix). The company won’t say what they are but what they do say is that this material has been shown to increase oxygen levels in the blood. They then draw the conclusion that higher oxygen levels have been shown to aid in performance, healing and recovery. The company goes on to talk about how the material not only increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream but has been shown to regulate body temperature so that you have more even temperature within the body. My guess is that the two functions are related
Together the compression and Celliant combine to provide enhanced support and blood flow; more than 32% more than just compression alone (see graph above for comparison of the two). This results in an increase in the body’s natural healing capacity and a reduction in the recovery time from major workouts.
AMP PRO2 Training Suit vs. Recovery Suit
As you may have noticed, Saucony makes both a training suit and a recovery suit. They both feature the same technologies such as Celliant and Microban, they both are compression suits that provide the benefits above. They even look the same with the same design. The biggest difference between the two suits is the level of compression. The AMP PRO2 Training suit is designed with higher compression to provide more support through the jarring and vibration of running. This tighter fit comes at a cost though as it’s not good to wear the suits for long periods of time (i.e. overnight). The AMP PRO2 Recovery suit is just the opposite. The compression has been toned down to provide the benefits of increased oxygen and blood flow but also to keep the body relaxed enough to endure long overnight wears.
Does it work?
The main question that everyone has (especially before dropping $200+ bucks) is does this actually work? The science is there and there have been more and more reports coming out documenting the increased oxygen levels in the blood and better lactate recovery (source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19057400). In addition, many people have reported no post-exertion muscle soreness after wearing the AMP PRO2 recovery suit. However, other scientific studies report that this benefit does not extend to the ultra-fit, elite athletes (most likely because their bodies have maximized these benefits already). One way to look at it is that the super expensive GPS running computers only provide the perceived benefit of better running while these suits that are in the same ballpark price-wise actually do provide a tangible benefit of better health.
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