Effectiveness of Compression Garments on Selected Physiological, Perceptual and Performance Measures While Traversing Austere Conditions at Altitude: A Pilot Study

Mitchel Magrini, Jay Dawes, Craig Elder, Rob Marc Orr, Doug Smith

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Compression garments (CGs) have increased in popularity within recreational and competitive athlete populations.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CGs on physiological, performance, and perceptual measures while running
on uneven terrain at higher altitude.
Nine recreationally active males participated in two trail running sessions (7 km: uphill section 3.5 km, and downhill section 3.5
km). In the first session, participants completed the 7 km trail while wearing regular athletic clothing. Seven days later, participants
then completed the same 7 km trail wearing CGs. Physiological and performance measures were collected at the baseline, during
the trail run, immediate post-run, and 24, 48, 72 hours after the trail run.
Results showed no significant differences in time to completion (p=≥0.05). However, there were significant differences in physiological
load (p=0.04), training load (p=0.01), average physiological intensity (p=0.05), and estimated caloric expenditure (p=0.02)
between trials. Significant improvement in vertical jump height and peak anaerobic power in watts (p=0.04), isometric strength
(p=0.03), and post-exercise pain ratings at 48 (p=0.01) and 72 (p=0.038) hours post exercise were found under the CG condition.
Although there were no differences in time to complete the runs in both conditions (with and without CGs), the significant differences
in the physiological measures suggests that the CGs may have an ergogenic effect when participating in trail running
activities at a higher altitude. Therefore, wearing CGs may increase exercise efficiency and capacity, leading to a possible increase
in recovery from training and activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalSports and Exercise Medicine - Open Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018


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