By now, most of us are already familiar with the standard advice on how to recover: eat more protein and calories; use ice and, if appropriate, heat on your wounds and sore muscles; massage stiff and sore body parts and use compression on any wounds.
We all know that bench-press shirts help increase our lifts and take our strength to the next level. And we know that compression is a method that can speed recovery. So what if we combined the use of compression with a shirt? And so the compression shirt was created – but does it work?
Researchers had eleven people each do two workouts, separated by seven days. One group in the study was given lower-body compression garments to wear during the recovery period, and the other group was not given these garments. The researchers found that although the subjects given the compression garments reported lower levels of perceived muscle soreness, the actual effects on performance and recovery were minimal.
So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Just because something sounds like a good idea in theory doesn’t mean that it actually works. There really are people out there marketing these products and promising that you’ll grow muscle from their use. Don’t believe it. While bench press shirts really do work and compression on wounds really does help recovery, a compression shirt or pants will have little or no effect on recovery.
Source: Duffield R, Cannon J, King M. The effects of compression garments on recovery of muscle performance following high-intensity sprint and plyometric exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jan 6 [epub ahead of print].