Company - Sub Sports
Product - ELITE RX Men's Compression Top - Short Sleeve & ELITE RX Men's Compression Shorts
Summary - A short sleeve top and shorts with graduated compression designed to help you perform at your best.
Prices - Top: £28 / Shorts: £28
Website Links -
Company & Product Information
They sell a wide variety of compression gear for men, women and children and have tops and bottoms designed for all training conditions from keeping you cool in hot conditions to keeping you warm in the snow and ice.
The "Elite RX" range comes in a variety of colours and looks aesthetically pleasing, personally I went for the "Navy stealth" option which, given the sizing guidance from Amazon, fits like a glove.
Compared to the other ranges available the compression on the Elite RX range is graduated (i.e. more compression in the areas you need it), where the greater compression in the body's extremities acts to support blood flowing back to the heart, thereby improving performance.
It is designed for high intensity exercise, helping you keep cool when the pressure is on.
Compression Gear Benefits
Personally, my backing is always with those who have done rigorous scientific testing rather than whoever has the best advertising department.
Whilst the data for the first two claims (i.e. increased power and stamina) has little scientific proof as of yet , the benefit of compression gear in terms of improving recovery has been widely accepted.
The pressure from a compression suit has been proven to cut down on swelling and inflammation, one study by Massey University examined the effects of wearing graduated compression stockings after a fast-paced 10k road run and found that muscle soreness was reduced in the region where the muscle was compressed.
Of those wearing compression socks, only 14% experienced muscle soreness, compared to 93% in the non compressed group .
So maybe compression gear won't make you significantly stronger or faster as certain companies might claim, but the reduced soreness and improved recovery will get you back into the gym and training again faster, meaning you should experience an improvement in strength and endurance performance over time due to the better recovery alone.
You might even want to wear compression gear when you're next out and about, it counts as training right?
Elite RX Gear in Action
The compression gear is very good value, in the UK they retail at £28 per item for the top and shorts in the RX range, which if compared to a competitor such as 2XU (where similar items are priced at £50 and £45 respectively) is pretty good value.
With regards to the statement made on the site & Amazon for the products mentioned, Sub Sports Elite RX claims to:
- Provide greater compression towards the body's extremities, thereby improving endurance
- Keep you cool and dry during intense exercise
- Hold it's compression qualities wash after wash
With regards to these claims, they all hold up. Well, apart from the "greater compression at extremities" bit considering the compression gear only goes up to the elbows and knees on the products in question.
I've owned the set of top and shorts for several months now and they have probably gone through a good 10-15 washes and so far, so good, having whipped them out of the shopping basket, they still feel particularly snug, good stuff.
When running usually, I typically find my arms begin to tire, particularly around the biceps from being held at a 90 degree angle, however, when wearing the compression top, this effect is not noticeable.
I have also secured my personal bests during a 10k (46 minutes, 24 seconds) and half marathon distances (1 hour, 42 minutes, 29 seconds), though that was my first and only half marathon to date, meaning I could have tied my legs together and hopped like a rabbit the entire course and still achieved a personal best!
After completing the half marathon, I can say with absolute certainty that this compression gear helps keep you dry.
Over the course of 13.1 miles I had sweated quite significantly, though finished the race remaining quite dry but with a light layer of salt over my entire body, as if someone had spilled a giant salt shaker over me as I crossed the finish line.
So far so good! It helps blood flow during endurance events, keeps you cool and dry during intense exercise and even retains its shape when washed over time.
Over the course of a quick 5k I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem, but imagine that piece of stitching, which is directly in front of your private parts, moving up and down slightly over the course of an hour or more...
After maybe 40 minutes of my half marathon in which I wore both the shorts and top, it felt as is someone had sneakily put a small piece of sandpaper next to the area I'd ideally like to be sandpaper free.
As the race moved on, the more steps I took, the greater the pain, it was only once the race was over and the endorphin rush had subsided that I felt the full effect of more than an hour and 40 minutes of chaffing around my nether regions.
Much to the amusement of my friends that I raced with, I ended up walking like a cowboy that had spent way too long on a horse for the rest of the day...
But if wearing a compression suit can improve your recovery, setting that next set of personal bests becomes that much easier.
I've personally been quite happy with the first product I bought from sub sports (thermal leggings and top), however, with the goal of using this compression suit during races, the chafing becomes a real issue when running for more than 45 minutes.
If you're running more than a local 10k I'd avoid using these unless you've got an iron set of genitals that are immune to the horrors of chafing, alternatively, you could pick up a near identical product from Skins for £25 and save yourself walking like a cowboy for a day.
Overall Rating = 3.5 Stars
 How Compression Apparel Works - http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/recovery/the-science-of-squeeze-how-compression-apparel-works_43385/4