Sunday, August 22, 2010

SKINS Compression And Therapeutic Wear Boasts Scientific Credibility

Be Skeptical.

Athletes of all levels are always on the lookout for the next best thing in sporting equipment, hoping to find a new piece of technology that promises better performance and quicker recovery without adding hours to their training schedule. Now, athletes and coaches should know that there is no magic pill for success – and breakthroughs in technology will occur as incremental improvements based on existing theories.

With this in mind, I recommend a healthy dose of skepticism when evaluating products that claim to boost performance in some way.

Things to look for when evaluating scientific claims:
1.) Has the product been independently tested, or are the claims based on “in house” studies alone?
2.) Do experiments control for the placebo effect?
3.) Are the proposed effects based on testable scientific theories?
4.) Do the proposed effects violate the principle laws of physics?*

*This might seem humorous, but you’d be surprised how many “breakthrough products” out there are based on magic, plasma fields, holograms, and free-energy transfer.

A Little Honesty Goes A Long Way.

Ok, so this post so far has been sort of a round-about way of getting to a point I wanted to make about SKINS compression and therapeutic apparel. I wanted to elicit the context of dishonest sporting goods in order to show the stark contrast between quackery claims and the full disclosure of evidence-based research conducted on SKINS.

Check out the SKINS Labs section of skinsusa.com. You’ll notice, in addition to product claims, a reference list pointing to actual peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. These articles aren’t written by SKINS product testers finding ways to market their equipment, but by researchers in the field with their own interests in the topic.

Take the article “The Effects of Wearing Lower-Body Compression Garments During Endurance Cycling” for example. Published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, the funding for this study came from the Queensland Academy of Sport Centre of Excellence, and not from the SKINS manufacturers. This is an important point because it eliminates a bias for the researchers to confirm claims made by the people signing their checks.

Looking at the same article, I pulled up a digital copy of the original publication to see if there were any erroneous claims made on the SKINS website.

The Effects of Wearing Lower-Body Compression Garments During Endurance Cycling

The SKINS site claims that the “reseults (sic) showed increases in muscle oxygenation economy and improvements in cycling economy” (source).

The original article conclusion stated that “LBCG [lower body compression garments] were observed to elicit likely practically significant improvements in [power output] at [anaerobic threshold] during an incremental test and possible practically significant increases in muscle oxygenation economy during a cycling [1-hour time trial]” (Scanlan et al. 2008).

Ok, so in short, the SKINS website is making accurate claims about their products, and does not generalize beyond what can be backed-up with independent research!

Public Response.

This “academic honesty” or “full disclosure” on the part of SKINS has gotten the attention of national organizations, such as USA Triathlon, who use SKINS as their official supplier of compression and therapeutic wear. I also have unconfirmed information that the USA Swimming National Team uses/will uses SKINS as recovery aids.

Several SKINS products are available at Kast-A-Way Swimwear.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Brief #44

> Can it get any worse?: industrial bleach as cancer and HIV cure Science-Based Medicine
> Five things we learned at the Swimming Nationals Universal Sports
> Third Time Lucky For Silchenko Red Bull Cliff Diving
> Pinniped Party at the End of the Pier Rob Aquatics
> Thoughts on Televising Nationals Swimming Science
> Cool Fencing Picture of the Day: Ocean Fencing! Tim Morehouse
> How to Take Your Swimming Pool Workout to the Beach Mat Luebbers About.com
> Ryan Lochte vs. Michael Phelps: A Battle of the Titans Column by John Lohn

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Odd Man Out: An Autobiography By Jeff Commings

odd man out autobiography

TUCSON, Arizona

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Duel In The Pool (Slaughter In The Water) Results

As pointed out by Gold Medal Mel, Eric Shanteau’s tweet renaming the Duel in the Pool the ‘Slaughter in the Water’ emphasizes the convincing USA win over the European E-Stars. The final scores give you some idea of the spread: Team USA women took the E-Stars with a final score of 90-41, while the men’s meet ended with a 95-37 USA victory. The combined score of 185-78 shows Team USA’s undeniable dominance.

More impressive than the scores, however, are the times, records, and splits that Team USA clocked in the final tech suit meet ever. Check out the full results here (PDF), and analysis by Swimming World Magazine.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Professional Duel In The Pool Photos Already Up!

michael phelps duel in the pool 2009

Daylife.com already has photos coming in from Reuters, Getty Images, and the Associated Press. I linked to their search results for ‘Duel In The Pool‘ to create a sort-of gallery of the latest photos!

Do you think the dramatic high contrast lighting is just a result of the flash? It looks like there is an all black background – I’ve never seen lighting like this at a swim meet before!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cool Graphics For NBC Coverage Of SCM Nationals

I was just watching NBC coverage of the 2009 AT&T; USA Swimming Short Course National Championships from Federal Way, Washington. Check out the cool graphics for lane assignments! It’s just a subtle change, but it looks really cool!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Speedo On The Red Carpet At The 2009 Golden Goggles

This video was posted on The Daily Reezy’s YouTube channel. If you love Ryan Lochte as much as The Daily Reezy, subscribe to their channel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Do The Athletes Think And Why Is It So Hard To Find Online?

Joel from the17thman posted a quote by Australian swimming hero and bodysuit proponent, Ian Thorpe, in which the Thorpedo states he does not think records set in bodysuits should require an asterisk next to their times. Joel goes on to provide a colorful quote of his own on the topic of bodysuits:

“Dear press, before you bitch about swim suits I offer you the challenge of 1 year in USMS or FINA Masters or Competive Swimming. Otherwise your views are pointless and well [expletive deleted]!” (source)

Joel touches on an important point: shouldn’t those in a position to make decisions (or provide views and analysis) about the sport’s future be active participants in the sport itself?

This got me thinking more about athlete representatives. I remember some talk about it in the heat of the suit debacle this past year, but I don’t remember anything substantial being released. After some digging I found the USA Swimming Athletes Committee Manual online. This provided some information about the type of athlete representation that is currently in place.

As stated in the manual, the purpose of the Athletes

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whitney Myers Sets American Record In 200 IM At World Cup

whitney myers is a local!

My Google Reader gave me some great news this morning with results coming from the FINA World Cup meet in Singapore. Whitney Myers (hometown: Oxford, OH) set a new American Record in the 200 IM in a time of 2:06.20 (source). Myers has been a local celebrity in the Cincinnati swimming community for some time, but this latest achievement will not go unnoticed.

Whitney has been on the USA Swimming national team for years, has previously taken gold in the 200 IM at the 2006 Pan Pacific Games, and was named NCAA Woman of the Year in 2007 (source). In college, she swam for the University of Arizona. Since graduating, she’s still out west swimming for Tucson Ford Dealer Aquatics.

For you locals, you should already know that Whitney’s hometown of Oxford, OH is also the home of my alma mater, Miami University. In high school, Whitney swam for girls D1 powerhouse Ursuline Academy, where she led the Lions to 3 State Championships and made All American honors all 4 years.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Brief…

kast-a-way swimwear in brief

> Man Dies After Being Found At Bottom Of YMCA Pool CBS2.com via @poolnewsfeed
> Underwater Freestyle GoSwim.tv
> FINA Water Polo World Leagues Starts Tomorrow Swimming World
> Slow lane: Phelps misses out world record binge Associated Press
> Breaking world swim records has become an International joke EverymanTri
> Frederick Bousquet reveals how he trains in a interview with ‘Gala.fr’ SCAQ Blog
> Fast Swimming Bull Run 2009-2010 SwimmingWorld.TV
> Hardy breaks world record as World Cup in Berlin concludes USA Swimming

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