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Product Review: Saucony AMP Pro2 vs CW-X

Posted Aug 29 2010 1:18pm
Compression is the reduction in size in order to save space.  Compress: force into less space.
Inigo Montoya:  "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Well, I promised you the review* and here it is:

As a long-time lover of CW-X compression apparel (supported web tights with Kinseo Taping Technology) (we fell in love in late 2007), I was intrigued to hear that Saucony was working on their own compression apparel to help performance, recovery and muscle fatigue.  Their answer to CW-X is the AMP Pro2 line .
The Saucony press release reads: Saucony AMP PRO2 unites the benefits of compression with Celliant, a specially formulated technical fiber, delivering more oxygen to your blood, to help you recover faster and perform better.  The Training category delivers the benefits of higher compression technology, including enhanced muscle support and the reduction of energy lost to excessive pounding and muscle vibration during workouts.
Sounds great, doesn't it?

The Gear consists of training tights, shorts, long sleeve shirt, recovery tights and long sleeve shirt.

Since it's summer and the length of the training shorts is 6", a nice in-between length from CW-X's two compression shorts, the $48 Pro at 3" and the $75 Stabilyx Ventilator at 9", I asked for a pair of the $80 AMP Pro2 training shorts for my birthday.  (I already own almost every tight/capri in the CW-X Stabilyx family )

Pricey, but CW-X tights are pretty pricey, but well worth it, so hopefully AMP Pro2 will deliver.

They arrived the day after my birthday.  The material seemed to be two thin layers actually and they didn't seem like they would offer much compression.  I tried them on and thought, either I'm spoiled by CW-X's compression or I don't really know what compression is.  

The AMP Pro2's fit against my skin, but unlike the CW-X tights which fit smoothly and compress in a very flattering way, the material of the AMP Pro2 fell into any available nook and cranny (I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about this, but I think you get the drift).  Basically, I did not like how the AMP Pro2 looked on me.  (and quite frankly, I haven't seen anyone who doesn't look good in any of the CW-X tights , men included)

I'm not going to lie to you, I put them back in the box and was going to send them back.  They looked terrible and why would I pay $80 for something that looks that bad on, when I can get something flattering for less $.  

Of course, the next morning at 5:30am as I was getting ready for my interval workout in the dark, I decided that maybe I should give them a try and see if maybe there would be magic at the track.

I got to the track and as it began to get light out I wondered why the heck I kept these shorts.  The day's workout, mile repeats.

The first mile went great, as a matter of fact with the exception of how I felt I looked in the shorts, I had one of the best workouts of the summer.  Of course, the cooler weather helped.  I still didn't think they felt anywhere near as good or supportive as my CW-X's.  I got home, looked in the mirror again.  Ugh, is it so hard to make compression shorts that truly compress? 

I wore the AMP Pro2 again this past week for our pyramid workout .  Again, the workout was great.  Still, not a fan of how they looked, but they seemed good enough for the interval workout.  They definitely didn't offer the same support as CW-X.  The whole purpose of the compression apparel is to stop the vibration to lessen muscle fatigue and the AMP Pro2 just can't compare in the compression department to CW-X.  (Yes, I got the right size)

National Half in 9"
CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator
Friday morning was tempo time.  Since it was my first tempo  in quite a while, I decided to go with my tried and true CW-X .  They've gotten me through the killer hill workouts these past few weeks and accompanied me on all my PR races this past winter/early spring.  Guess what?  I had the best tempo run all year, and I've had some good tempo runs this year.

BUT, I wasn't quite done with the AMP Pro2.  How would they be on the long run?  Maybe that's where I'll find this training benefit they are raving about in their press releases.  Saturday morning was a 14 miler.  The day after the tempo run.  All winter/spring, CW-X got me through these tough back-to-back's.  How would the AMP Pro2 do?

Vibha 5k in CW-X Pro 3"
My legs were tired after the tempo run.  In the past, the compression and also the supportive kinseo taping technology of the CW-X shorts are a huge benefit to getting me through these two tough workouts.  

Fail.  Unfortunately the AMP Pro2 just don't offer the same quality of support.  I felt like I was just wearing form-fitting shorts and my legs/hips were getting tired fast.  In all honesty, I can't tell the difference between these and a pair of the much less expensive Nike Pro Compression shorts (which I don't find supportive or compressive either).

By mid-point long run, I decided to ditch the AMP Pro2 shorts and switch into my CW-X 3" Pro's for the last 7.  I still didn't feel great, my legs were a bit rubbery from the tempo, but the CW-X shorts gave me the support I needed to concentrate on running and not any extra vibrations going on.  

My decision for the ING RNR Philadelph Half in 3 weeks has been made: CW-X for sure and I'm leaning towards the 9" Stabilyx shorts.  

CW-X is the clear winner for me in the compression/support/MAGIC department.

If I had it to all over again, I would have saved the $80 spent on the AMP Pro2 and used it towards these bad boys , yeah, they're pricey, but at least I know CW-X delivers.  Christmas is around the corner:

Yeah, I'll still wear the AMP Pro2's here and there, I mean they were $80, but not for a valuable workout or race.

*I am not affiliated with or given anything by CW-X or Saucony.  These opinions are my own and do not reflect anyone else.  I'm just a regular person trying to get faster in middle distance races.  Further note: I am not a scientist; I have no idea what Celliant is.
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