Men in Tights

Spandex is a privilege, not a right. – Life Time Fitness poster

I’m sexy and I know it. – LMFAO

We’re men, we’re men in tights /
We roam around the forest looking for fights – Mel Brooks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights

This week I bought my first pair of compression pants. I’m calling them “compression pants” because their more traditional name, spandex tights, just doesn’t sound like something a grown man is supposed to wear.

Why am I buying such a weird garment? For a perfectly masculine reason: to boost my athletic performance. Since I’m running and riding quite a bit this winter, I initially bought some dri-fit athletic pants that fit pretty loosely. They work well for running, but they tend to get caught in the chain when I ride. That’s a bit of a problem. So I tried tucking the ends into my socks. It works OK, but…yeah. To avoid looking like a dork, I needed some cold-weather tight tights that can’t get caught in the chain.

Shut up. I can hear you.

So I tried on some compression pants at Target. (hint: they’re $23 at Target vs. $80-100 at a speciality shop) Black ones. And they were definitely tight, so tight that I had to work to get into them like a middle-aged guy trying to squeeze into his wedding tux. They felt like super thick panty hose. (Um…don’t ask.) So I huffed and I puffed, and I tugged and I tugged, and finally they were on. I felt very official, almost like a real athlete.

They were surprisingly comfortable. Is that bad?

I was hoping they would make my legs look ripped. I work hard on my legs, and to be honest, I’m a bit vain about them. However, the compression aspect of compression pants actually compresses things, including my leg muscles, which now looked like skinny black chicken legs. I run 15-20 miles a week for this? Hmm. Well, at least they felt good. Plus Runner’s World says they also help one’s muscles recover more quickly during and after a long workout by squeezing out lactic acid, blah blah.

My other concern was…um…modesty. My regular readers might be surprised to hear me speak of modesty, but I think it’s safe to assume that the general population doesn’t really want to know the intimate details of my manly areas. (you’re welcome!) But guess what? Compression pants can compress other body parts besides muscles. BLAM!

Hmm. Maybe that’s not something to get too excited about.

Anyway, I hope to try them out during my long run tomorrow. The forecast high is 47 degrees. I need to log 10 miles. 10 very cold, very compressed miles. I wonder if guys in spandex are more or less likely to get a “Run, Forrest, run!” from passing cars. Will advise.