Friday, January 20, 2012

Play Harder

Occasionally I get asked to try out a product and review it on my blog.  I usually decline because I don't want my blog to be one big advertisement.  But sometimes when I'm genuinely interested in trying the product offered, I agree.

110% was one such product.

If you hop onto the website, you'll see that 110% is a company that makes compression gear with the added twist of being able to combine either ice or heat while you compress for that extra bit of help in recovering faster.  Because we all know, if you recover faster you can train harder.  And we all know what happens when you train harder.

I first learned of the 110% concept in Kona this past October.  I was intrigued by it but, I'm not going to lie, a little scared off by the price.  At the time all extra funds were going towards the "buy a power meter for Beth" fund and I didn't want to get enticed by anything that would take away from contributing to that fund.  I convinced myself I didn't need a pair of $250 compression tights because how special could they really be?

Well lucky for me, I got to try them anyway!  Not the tights, but the shin/calf sleeves.  And I pretty easily answered the question of "how special could they really be?"  Umm...REALLY special.

Okay, so it all started when this arrived via FedEx earlier in the week.

It couldn't have come at a better time because as I've not mentioned a gazillion times, I'm in the midst of a big training week and I could definitely use ice, heat, compression and any other recovery trick in the book!

Inside this shiny little package were compression sleeves, much like any other compression sleeves you've seen...

...EXCEPT, the shiny little package also came with these, ice/heat sheets!

All you have to do is get these wet, let the little fluid cells "fill up", and then place them either in the freezer or the microwave depending if you are looking to ice or heat up your legs.  The sheets are reusable and last ~6 months per the 110% website.  If/when they "wear out" you can buy inexpensive replacement sheets.  The finished product looks like this:

You then can cut the sheets to size so you can place them IN your compression gear for added recovery affect.  The ice isn't going up against your skin, it's going inside a pocket within the calf sleeve.  This pocket goes all the way around so you can ice your shin or your calf (or both).

And ta-da - you have compression AND ice/heat at the same time!  Pretty much THE ideal situation! 

I first tried the compression sleeves after a double run day that included intervals/hills in the 2nd run.  My legs were pretty cooked and my shins/feet sore.  There are varying opinions in research as to how effective compression works but anecdotally, I can honestly say my legs felt better for wearing the compression/ice combo for ~30 minutes and then wearing just the compression for the rest of the evening.  I really haven't been this jazzed about a product for a while!

And just as a side note, I've worn my new 110% compression sleeves every day this week!  Definitely a product worth it's weight in gold!

Of course now what I REALLY want are the full compression tights.  My hamstrings got so jealous when they saw the possibility of being compressed and iced all at once (my hammies have always been trouble children...).  There are also shorts, knee sleeves, elbow sleeves, full length arm sleeves and knickers.  The possibilities are endless!

Oh, and you that shiny little package that arrived in the mail?  It also serves as an ice box to keep your ice sheets (and perhaps a recovery sandwich?) cold for up to 6 hours!  (the ice sheets will stay cold up to an hour in normal temperatures).

Definitely worth a look-see if you are seeking out top-notch recovery methods!


  1. I saw these earlier this week and thought they were pretty cool!

  2. I knew there was a reason I liked your blog... it's not one big advertisement :-)

    I got some of those to try too. Haven't yet, but those sheets were awesome when it came to icing my foot the other day.

  3. @SSB - pro tip - put on compression socks, then another pair, and then slip the ice in!... good temp solution while we prepare to launch 110% gear that will address foot issues specifically!

  4. Very cool product!! It's funny that even though I'm not training anymore, my work leaves me more sore and tired than ever - I think all of us pet service people are athletes too to varying degrees. The tights would definitely something I'd be interested in trying at some point, but I'm not sure I could ever afford to :S

  5. i bought the pants at IMFL... haven't had to really try them yet but I'm excited to put ice in my pants :)

  6. Those look really cool Beth! I love the concept and it seems easy to use. Thanks for the review, I always value your opinion on these things.

  7. haha, love it!! 110 is going global!! good stuff huh?!?!?

  8. I have seen those on a few blogs, love that you can put the ice / heat sheets in them. Like compression bonus!