Running commentary on training, gear, nutrition, and so much more.

My Shirt Is Going To Blow Your Mind! (And Not Just Because It’s Cute)

Sporting the Reebok ZigTech Running Top pre-run. My muscles feel recovered already!

Woven into this seemingly ordinary Reebok top is some of the most scientifically advanced fiber in existence: Celliant.

Celliant is a blend of thirteen “optically responsive” natural minerals (yes, as in the stuff rocks are made of) that have been pulverized and manipulated until a fiber-like texture forms. The fiber is then woven into fabric, which can be used like any other fabric material to make clothing. Except this material is magic.

According to the company’s literature Celliant is able to “absorb and store the electromagnetic emissions from the human body and release them where they are reabsorbed into the skin and deep muscle tissue. In the deep muscle tissue they act as catalysts for natural, biological processes resulting in enhanced oxygen levels and more balanced body temperature during sleep, rest or physical activity.”

Say, what? In plain English: Your body is constantly producing energy, which escapes through your skin in the form of light that is invisible to the naked eye. When you wear this fabric, it bounces that light energy back at you, so that the energy can be reabsorbed. Once it’s reabsorbed, the energy improves your circulation and delivers more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. And that boost in blood movement helps your muscles recover faster. (Sounds like legal blood doping to me!)

The idea that a fabric can affect your blood flow may seem like new age-y quack-science. But researchers at the University of Calgary Human Performance Laboratory have hard data* to back up these claims. They found that when a Celliant garment is worn during exercise, participants used less oxygen to accomplish the same amount of work. Showing that the body can be efficiently active for longer periods, without getting tired.

That little spring in my step is probably from all the extra oxygen.

In an attempt to conduct a test of my own, I put on this top before running my typical six-mile loop. Since I know my times from past runs (wearing any-old-tank-or-tee), I figured it would be easy to compare my time running in this shirt. The numbers really don’t say much: I ran an average 8:32 minutes per mile (typical), felt like stopping at a water fountain around mile 4 (per usual), and was pleased to be finishing when I neared my starting point (yep, that’s about right).

Clearly, more research needs to be done. And I should probably learn how to factor out variables, like weather and mood. But man, did I look good out there!

 

Are your workout clothes made of high-tech materials? Do you think they improve your performance? 

 

*The study was conducted on 12 subjects and is pending publication.

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