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Have you ever wondered what tech suits the Olympians and elite-level swimmers rock out onto pool deck? Well, in this article we will cover the most popular Olympian tech suits so that you can look just like the pros when you stand behind the starting block for your next race.
It is no secret that swimming is one of the most popular sports to watch at the Olympic games. The stands are always packed with spectators, the television and youtube views are high, and the energy in the stands is excellent.
Throughout the games, hundreds of Olympic swimmers from all around the globe will compete in the games and they all have 2 things in common- they want to bring back gold, and they are equipped with the best swimming gear available to do so- the most important piece? Tech suits.
In short- Olympians wear tech suits that provide the maximum physical benefit for them and their swimming performances. Some tech suits popular among Olympic swimmers include the Speedo LZR Pure Intent, the Arena Carbon Air 2, the TYR Venzo, the Mizuno Sonic GX IV, and the Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit.
Why Olympic swimmers wear tech suits- the science behind the suits.
Olympic swimmers wouldn’t be racing in expensive tech suits if there was no performance benefit in doing so. Tech suits are built to reduce drag, increase stroke rate, and ultimately to allow for faster swimming performances.
In a study conducted by the Faculty of Sport Sciences at the University of Rouen in France, there was concluded that tech suits had the effect of improving glide and reducing drag while swimming. Ultimately, this allowed for conditions where swimmers could produce faster stroke rates, allowing for faster swimming speeds.
The study used 15 elite french swimmers as subjects and looked at a variety of factors such as buoyancy, passive torque, glide, and arm coordination while swimming with a tech suit.
Another study conducted by researches Jean-Claude Chatard and Barry Wilson, published in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine found that tech suits provided swimmers with a 3.2% performance benefit when compared to normal training swimsuits.
There were also findings that tech suits were able to reduce drag by up to 4.4 to 6.2%, as well as a large reduction in the energy cost of swimming rounding to roughly 4.5 to 5.5%.
With that being said let’s take a look at the best and most popular tech suits among Olympic swimmers.
5 Awesome tech suits Olympians wear
Here is a quick list of the most popular tech suits Olympians wear-
- Speedo LZR Pure Intent tech suit
- Arena Carbon Air 2
- TYR Venzo tech suit
- Mizuno Sonic GX IV
- Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit
1. Speedo LZR Pure Intent
The Speedo LZR Pure Intent is an awesome featured-packed tech suit. This is the latest and most innovative tech suit released by Speedo and many Olympians and world-class swimmers have already opted for this suit, including some big names like 100m butterfly world record holder- Caleb Dressel as well as Olympic Champion, Ryan Murphy.
The suit is designed to reduce drag in the water and to allow for maximum range of motion while swimming. It also has great muscle compression and is built for increased power output and fast swimming performances.
All in all, the Speedo LZR Pure Intent is a very popular tech suit among elite-level swimmers and it’s packed with good features.
Here are some features of the Speedo LZR Pure Intent tech suit-
- The Speedo Pure Intent has dual compression layers in its design, this will allow for intelligent muscle compression, ultimately enhancing blood flow to muscles.
- The suit also has an ergonomic seam construction, when this is combined with the dual compression layers it allows the suit to connect critical muscle groups for an increased power output while racing.
- The Pure Intent has a triple fabric construction with bonded seams, allowing the swimmer to have a greater range of motion in the water.
- Textured fabric zones in the suit target drag reduction for enhanced swimming performances.
- New band technology in the Speedo Pure Intent allows for a powerful leg kick while racing.
- Lastly, the suit has a premium waistband engineered to reduce water ingress, ultimately reducing drag and resistance.
2. Arena Carbon Air 2
The next tech suit popular among Olympic swimmers is the Arena Carbon Air 2. This is another high-performance racing suit with a lot of awesome features. The suit is raced in by world-class butterfly swimmer- Chad le Clos and many others.
The Carbon Air 2 is built to enhance swimming performances. The suit allows for maximum range of motion in the water and has a very lightweight design. The internal carbon bands also allow for intelligent and comfortable muscle compression while swimming.
Overall, the Arena Carbon Air 2 is an awesome racing suit with great specifications- no wonder Olympic swimmers like to race in this suit.
Here are some features of the Arena Carbon Air 2 tech suit-
- The Carbon Air 2 has a single fabric construction, this reduces drag by removing the side seams on the suit. It also decreases water absorption, increases comfort and makes the suit easier to put on.
- Carbon bands in the suit allow for comfortable and intelligent muscle compression. They attach to important stretch points to provide compression on overextended zones, improve core stability and enhance power when required.
- The Arena Carbon Air 2 allows for a greater range of motion. The internal lining is made up out of 3 different panels to allow for increased freedom of movement.
- The Air 2 has an ultra-lightweight design with a material composition of 65% Polyamide, 34% Elastane and 1% Carbon Fiber.
3. TYR Venzo
The TYR Venzo is another high-quality tech suit, popular among Olympic swimmers. The suit has a lot of great features and it built for enhanced speed and power output in the pool. Some big names racing in the TYR Venzo, include Katie Ledecky, Cody Miller, and Lilly King.
The suit is sculpted for reduced drag and resistance in the water by utilizing a frictionless fiber construction. It also has great compression for increased blood circulation and its Exo shell is designed to keep you in a streamlined body position.
All in all, the TYR Venso is an awesome tech suit raced in by many Olympians and elite-level swimmers. Additionally, the cool patterns on the suit give it a unique and neat look.
Here are some features of the TYR Venzo tech suit–
- The TYR Venzo has a frictionless fiber construction. The TYR team has analyzed drag on a microscopic level to design a suit that utilizes ultra-smooth fiber, allowing for a frictionless and durable fabric.
- Surface lift technology in the suit stops water from permeating the fabric of the tech suit, ultimately resulting in a higher body position in the water. This can reduce resistance and make you swim faster.
- The TYR Venzo contains an endo compression cage. This forms a flexible and compressive cage of support for the abdominals, obliques, and quadriceps and creates a snapback effect that increases distance per stroke.
- Seamless Exo shell design is aimed at streamlining body position while decreasing drag.
4. Mizuno Sonic GX IV.
The Mizuno Sonic GX IV is currently one of the most popular tech suits among Olympians and elite-level swimmers and it is not quite that uncommon to see almost an entire heat of pro swimmers rocking these suits.
The Mizuno Sonic GX IV is built for speed in the pool. The suit is highly water-resistant and it also presents a lightweight design. The Sonic GX IV has great muscle compression and is built to enhance your kick cycle throughout the entire race.
Overall, the Mizuno Sonic GX IV is a great tech suit with awesome features.
Here are some features of the Mizuno Sonic GX IV-
- The Mizuno Sonic GX IV is engineered and constructed for speed.
- The suit combines grooved sonic light ribtex II fabric with Sonic Line Design X taping to lift the swimmer’s lower body, support body-position and to enhance the kick cycle throughout your race.
- Ultra-lightweight design.
- Sonic light ribtex II fabric contains water-resistant material, ultimately allowing for minimal water resistance, while providing compressive muscle support.
- The design X taping in the suit supports both up and down kicking while offering a hip-lift sensation throughout your entire race.
5. Finis Rival 2.0
The final tech suit we are looking at today is going to be the Finis Rival 2.0. This suit is also quite popular among Olympians. The suit is loaded with great features and it comes in some pretty cool colors.
The Rival 2.0 is an ultra-lightweight tech suit, built to reduce drag and resistance in the water. It has good muscle compression and it uses innovative seams to lock swimmers into the perfect body position. The suit also has a very durable fabric allowing for a long-lasting tech suit.
All in all, the Rival 2.0 is a great tech suit. Some of the Olympic swimmers wearing this suit include Olivia Smoliga and James Guy.
Here are some features of the Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit-
- The Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit utilizes fabric technology to retain very small amounts of water. This ultimately creates a shield-like effect while reducing drag and friction in the water.
- Shield-tech proprietary fabric allows the suit to move with your body. It also allows for a tough and durable fabric.
- The Finis Rival 2.0 has flexible hip panels built-in. These single-layered panels on the inner thighs allow for increased range of motion in all of the strokes.
- Hip-lift technology utilizes innovative seams on the back of the legs to increase muscle compression and to lock the swimmer into perfect body position.
- Ultra-lightweight design with a material composition of 44% Elastane, 41% Polyamide, and 15% Polyester.
Olympian swimmers will always wear tech suits. These suits are built for enhanced swimming performances and can be the difference between Olympic gold or last place in a final.
To many non-professional swimmers, these suits can be the difference between qualifying for that big meet or missing out altogether.
I highly recommend investing in a tech suit, it is a great addition to your swimming gear and it will assist you in reaching your maximum potential in the pool.
Here is a quick summary of each of the Olympian tech suits we covered in this article-
|Olympian Tech Suit||Our Rating Out Of 10|
|Speedo LZR Pure Intent||10/10|
|Arena Carbon Air 2||10/10|
|Mizuno Sonic GX IV||9/10|
|Finis Rival 2.0||8/10|
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Source 1– Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Rouen
Source 2– Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine