Apparel

Exercise and breathing – the key to Mo Farah’s Olympic gold success?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Mo Farrah, and the Olympic 10km silver medalist America’s Galen Rupp, have been undertaking a focussed training regime by their coach and mentor Alberto Salazar. Alberto best known for his performances in the New York City Marathons in the early 1980s and his American track records of 13:11.93 for 5,000 m (July 6, 1982 – Stockholm) and 27:25.61 for 10,000 m – (June 26, 1982 – Oslo), has become a legend in the middle- and long-distance disciplines. Training elite athletes at the Nike Oregon Project, Alberto is known for complete focus, detail and novel-training techniques. One of those was to improve the breathing efficiency, through the intercostal muscles, of his athletes using RespiBelt.

Respibelt-opro360-powerbreathe-chest-muscles-breathing-training

RespiBelt is a specially constructed compression belt which allows you to train your breathing and chest muscles during exercise by providing an adjustable load. We are all very familar with training our biceps, legs, abs, by doing exercises such as bicep curls, squats and crunches, but what we don’t have, until now, is a way of training the inspiratory breathing muscles during exercise. Training our inspiratory muscles can improve our breathing efficiency, running economy, help with asthma, and make us use less energy. But please don’t look at the product and think you can use any old elastic belt. The team at Progressive Sports Technologies have spent years developing the right tension in the elastic. If the tension is too high it can overload the muscles, too low and you don’t get any benefit. If you get it just right, like in the RespiBelt, then you can achieve much better performance like the British Triathletes (wording from RespiBelt website):

The first trial of early prototypes was performed with the support of British Triathlon and four of their TASS athletes over an 11 week period. The results of the training intervention proved very interesting. The participants significantly enhanced running economy measures, along with reduced sub-maximal oxygen utilisation and minute ventilation which was considered by British Triathlon scientists as being atypical of results expected due to habitual training adaptations. This prompted further investigation into the RespiBelt using a larger sample size with the addition of a control group. The second trial was performed with 12 competitive athletes over only a 4 week period. Additional measures were taken in addition to the measures previously investigated. All the measures showed positive changes compared to the control group who undertook the same training regime. Breathing endurance improved as did, sub-maximal oxygen consumption, % VO2max, sub-maximal minute ventilation and heart rate. Further improvements in running economy, respiratory frequency and minute ventilation were also present.

Respibelt-opro360-asthma-chest-muscles-breathing-training

RespiBelt comes in 6 sizes that are derived by measuring your chest: X-Small – chest sizes 75 to 80cm; Small – chest sizes 81 to 88cm; Medium – chest sizes 89 to 96cm; L arge – chest sizes 97 to 106cm; and X-Large – chest sizes 107 to 118cm.

If you would like to purchase the best accessory for training breathing muscles then please click on this link to buy the RespiBelt.

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Posted in Apparel, Apparel, Bryan Roberts, Fitness equipment, Rugby, Running | No Comments »

Suitpack rucksack design provides crease-free solution to cycle-commuting

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Cambridge Design Partnership’s innovative design allows commuters to keep fit and look smart

Cycling commuter rucksack bag for suits clothing

The practice of cycling to work, whether for convenience or keep-fit, has risen sharply in recent years: Yet cycling is still impractical for many people who need to dress smart for their job. Commuters wanting to cycle often have to sacrifice either a sharp look or exercise in their struggle to find convenient ways to cycle to work and look slick. Cambridge Design Partnership today announces an innovative solution to this problem.

Suitpack is a prototype of a compact rucksack that, with an innovative yet simple patented roll-fold concept, combines convenience with a crease-free solution for clothes. It is designed to hang easily from locations wherever required allowing easy-access to the clothes, toiletry and shoe compartments. The Suitpack has been designed for speed of use with its novel folding system making it an all-round solution for the modern commuter.

Increased commuting time and the ever more common practice of working long hours often mean that there is little time outside of work to dedicate to exercise. The convenience of cycling as a form of exercise, the popularity of various government cycling initiatives, and financial and environmental concerns, have all resulted in a significant net increase in cycle-commuting. 1.3 million new UK cyclists joined the roads last year, there are now 783,000 cycle commuters and the increase in cycling levels is predicted to continue to grow another 20% by 2015.

Furthermore, cyclists clearly enjoy spending on their passion1: The bicycle market in the UK was worth £1.62 billion in 2010, (up 28% on the previous year), with the accessories market worth £853 million. The average cycle commuter spends, on average, £195/year, and ‘enthusiasts’ a whopping £1295/year, on accessories. And that’s just the UK market; the EU cycle market is 10 times the UK’s with 4 million frequent commuter cyclists.

As part of their ethos to think differently, Cambridge Design Partnership has ventured into new capabilities by combining their traditional engineering and innovation skills with ‘cut and stitch’ design. This is another example of flexibility and versatility in applying innovation to diverse market opportunities and technology areas with the ability to gather rich, in-depth research to discover unmet consumer needs and tackle them with creative solutions.

“We know the challenges faced by anyone who has to pack smart clothes for the journey to work,” commented Ben Strutt, Head of Design at Cambridge Design Partnership. “Most people who go to the gym early, cycle or jog to work, and commute regularly in ‘practical’ clothes understand the need to change into smart attire upon arrival. This can be annoyingly impractical: Current poor solutions result in disruption to personal routine; lack of exercise, or commuting via different methods. There is also the issue of office changing facilities which tend to be cramped, impersonal, with floors too wet to put clothes on.

“Very often the trick of good design is not to reinvent the wheel; but to identify and understand problems, give a fresh perspective, and address a burning gap in the market. Here, Cambridge Design Partnership has provided an innovative, graceful solution to what is, for many people, an everyday problem, and which addresses a huge market need.”

It’s not just cyclists who will benefit from Suitpack. Many commuters wish to go to the gym before or after work, or during their lunch break, and Suitpack also fits within the dimensions of ‘hand luggage’ allowed by European airports and in railway ceiling racks, allowing business commuters to travel in comfortable clothes with all of the convenience of the backpack form-factor. Also despite its compact size there is still space for a laptop and important daily accessories.

Graeme Henderson, business commuter and partner in the project, says: “Life in the city can be fast and days in the office are often long, so many people find they don’t have time to go to the gym or play any sport. Commuting by bike solves this problem by incorporating exercise into your daily routine, so a healthy lifestyle and a busy job are no longer incompatible. But the problem of what to wear means the only options seem to be turning up with crumpled trousers, keeping your wardrobe under your desk or taking transport and exercising later. The Suitpack is a smart solution to all this.”

CDP’s Head of Design continues “Cambridge Design Partnership’s most recent demonstrator has evolved during the application of our usual iterative design process; with rapid experimentation and critiquing of successive models and prototypes we quickly learn about problems and opportunities, while refining the design for cost and labour effective manufacture.”

Cambridge Design Partnership is now interested in speaking with potential partners about the future branding and development of the Suitpack backpack, or its core innovations into other luggage designs, and on to the manufacture and distribution phase.

1 Dr Alexander Grous; ‘The British Cycling Economy: (http://corporate.sky.com/documents/pdf/publications/the_british_cycling_economy)

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Bike fitting in East Midlands Nottingham Leicester

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.progressivesports.co.uk

THIS SERVICE IS NOT AVAILABLE ANY MORE!

As part of my sports design and research job with Progressive Sports Technologies Ltd., I have recently completed a SICI approved bike fitting course with Cyclefit London. Having read a number of cycling blogs, magazines and other online resources, I noticed that there was a lack of bike fitters within this region of East Midlands, Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough.

Our company is one of the World’s leading sports design and research consultancies and is based in the £15million Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University. Our company has been involved with many major brands and professional teams including Nike, Umbro, Reebok, British Cycling and Rowing.

Cleat alignment only per bike – £35 (per bike, lasting 30 minutes)

Basic existing road bike fitting no cleat assessment – £75 (per bike, lasting 1.5 hour)

Full existing road bike fitting – £100 (per bike, lasting 2 hours)

Gold Standard road bike fit with Power analysis – £175 (per bike, lasting 2.5 hours)

Gold Standard road bike fit with Dynamic biomechanical analysis – £175 (per bike, lasting 2.5 hours)

Gold Standard road bike fit with Power and biomechanical analysis – £250 (per bike, lasting 3 hours)

You can also hire our professional bike fitter for the day to visit your club? Price upon request? Circa £500 for a full-day

Cleat alignment only includes:

  • Foot evaluation and measurement
  • Assessment of pronation, supination or neutral footfall
  • Alignment of cleats on bike to enhance balance and comfort

Basic bike fitting without cleat alignment includes:

  • Basic physical and flexibility assessment
  • Saddle height optimisation
  • Saddle set-up optimisation
  • Seat tilt assessment
  • Handlebar width assessment
  • Handlebar reach and drop assessment

Full bike fitting includes:

  • Foot evaluation and measurement
  • Assessment of pronation, supination or neutral footfall
  • Alignment of cleats on bike to enhance balance and comfort
  • Basic physical and flexibility assessment
  • Saddle height optimisation
  • Saddle set-up optimisation
  • Seat tilt assessment
  • Handlebar width assessment
  • Handlebar reach and drop assessment

You will need your bike, your cycling clothes and information sheet which will be sent before the bike fitting process.

If you are looking for a bike fit or some sort of bike fitting service then please get in touch.

My email is: bryan@progressivesports.co.uk

Or telephone: 01509 564806

The certification I received was from SICI – Serotta International Cycling Institute and is a world-wide recognised body in bike fitting. For more information please visit their website:

http://www.serottacyclinginstitute.com/

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Posted in Apparel, Cycling, Helmet, New Bikes, Parts | No Comments »

ScooterGirls Inc introduces fashionable protective wear

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

ScooterGirls military jacket

ScooterGirls, Inc., a Los Angeles-based apparel company is scooting into Atlanta to preview its innovative and exciting “GoGo Gear”, the first fashion forward, highly styled, protective gear for female scooter and motorcycle riders. Designed to appeal to today’s image conscious, contemporary scooter and motorcycle enthusiasts, GoGo Gear solves the age old problem of finding attractive and affordable protective wear.

According to ScooterGirls founder/CEO Arlene Battishill, “One of the main reasons women do not wear protective clothing when riding is they don’t like the way traditional gear looks or fits. GoGo Gear addresses these issues by providing gear that looks and fits like fashionable overcoats of the type that can be worn for business, social and recreational activities.

ScooterGirls has created a fashionable, fully armored, abrasion resistant and highly reflective coat for today’s woman on the go, to be introduced in two lines. The initial preview will showcase GoGo Gear which emphasizes cutting-edge, feminine outerwear with robust interior engineering that includes abrasion resistant fabric, body armor in the back, shoulder and elbow areas, and reflective details for being seen in low visibility conditions. ScooterGirls will follow the GoGo Gear launch with its “360 retroreflective” line designed to provide enhanced visibility in low-light and night-time riding conditions. The “360 line” is the quintessential commuter line: wear it during the day and then reverse it at night for maximum visibility.

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Posted in Apparel, Cycling | No Comments »

Compression garments and socks allowed back into Ironman competition

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Ironman compression socks

In an interesting article published by Herbert Krabel of slowtwitch, the World Triahtlon Corporation was reportedly going to ban compression wear from Ironman competitions.

From slowtwitch:

“Just before 7pm EST tonight I received an e-mail with the following statement from Blair LaHaye, the Director of Communications of World Triathlon Corporation. “In response to athlete feedback, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) has retracted its ban on garments that cover the calves at this year’s Ford Ironman World Championship, taking place on October 10, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Because the age of athletes wearing these garments is not visible, Ironman will eliminate marking athletes’ ages on calves in Kona to ensure fairness among the field. The tradition of body marking of bib numbers on athletes’ arms will remain in place. WTC will continue reviewing this issue and evaluating ways to display ages of participating athletes.”

There had been all kinds of speculations and rumors about the “real” reason behind the initial ban of socks and other garments that cover the calves, but now quite a few people will be able to sleep better the next few weeks. Especially the industry people who make compression socks, the Pros who earn money doing so, and the age groupers who have come to accept them as the miracle solution. ”

For more information see slowtwitch.

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