Posted on May 17 2017
By Carl Valle
Elite Track & Field Coach, and Sports Technologist
Better General Preparation With Physiclo
Nearly all the sports attire companies claim performance enhancement; Physiclo is about training.
The pants are a combination of spandex-like material and woven resistance fibers that are so thin, you can feel the resistance like a “gravity skin.” Most of the resistance is felt during hip flexion, but some lateral motion is resisted as well.
Coaches have tried ankle weights and weighted pants for years, and those options didn’t resonate with me or the athletes I worked with. I was uneasy trying the Physiclo product at first, but became very happy within a few weeks because its resistance was perfect for base training, meaning General Preparation Phase workouts like circuits, drills, and mobility routines.
The resistance of Physiclo pants is perfect for base training: circuits, drills, mobility routines.
At first I considered the product great for fitness enthusiasts that wanted to burn a few more calories in their workouts, but after three months of seeing noticeable changes with different athletes, I am a fan. The pants are for running or lighter athletes only, as American football and rugby athletes will find them very binding. Soccer players crave them because they like using them in the off-season to build their muscles around the hip joint in a natural way.
I like them for coaching because I can wear them under sweatpants as a way to challenge myself for a few hours without being overwhelmed. While doing tempo runs in them, we noticed about a 10-15% increase in heart rate going the same velocities, and far more DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the anterior thighs from the lower abdominals about halfway down the quads.
Image: The people over at Physiclo did their own investigations of the muscle activity and metabolic differences with resistance pants and shorts. I followed up and found the resistance was enough to warrant use during my mobility and circuit workouts.
To summarize the experience, the pants are like weighted vests for the legs, but think therapeutic dose, not overdose. The resistance is something I have no research on, but the internal forces are likely somewhere around 5-10% beyond normal. Anything past that and athletes typically start to report pinching or irritation, but the pants felt comfortable and nobody had the slightest complaint. My favorite time to use them is with warmup drills and hurdle mobility, as they really challenge the athlete and remove the need for assistance exercises for the psoas and flexors of the hip.
Coach Valle has coached Track and Field at every level, from high school to the Olympic level in the sprints and hurdles. He has had the privilege of working with great athletes that have been All-American and school record holders. A technology professional, Coach Valle has expertise in performance data as well as an understanding for practical application of equipment and software. Carl is currently the lead sport technologist for SpikesOnly.com, and focuses his time on testing elite athletes and using technology to help everyone on any level of human performance reach their goals.