I had compression socks in interval # 2 . First 15min no compression socks, then compression socks on, then # 3 I removed them.
Virtual Moxy KungFu Master Award goes to Ryan!!!!
First of all I want to thank Juerg for not telling me, what I probably would hear on 99% of the internet forums: â€œWhat are you doing, you are not doing it rightâ€¦, he is truly open minded scientistâ€
Here is why:
My experiment could be compared to following:
My wife asks me what the temperature inside the house is, I look at the thermometer outside, and try to guess temperature inside the house based on reading from thermometer outside the windowâ€
Juerg doesn't say a word, just mentions it, he lets the "kids" play and even participate himself and does really good analysis. Thanks for not killing the fun and allowing us to learn.
I honestly have to admit I didnâ€™t have a clue how those socks should really work, until Craigs comment:
â€œThey are meant to assist in venous return. Given that the moxy is not on the calf how can we tell if this is so? More HHB should be shifted to the quadricepsâ€
This comment made me really thinking , sock www site said their product helps with â€œvenous insufficiencyâ€â€¦
I will be fully honest, and explain my initial wrong thinking below, I was actually wrong twice, until l saw Craigs comment about venous return, then Juerg chart confirming it.
1. Before wearing the socks, I have asked myself what would I expect to see? My wrong impression was: Socks will compress my lower leg, this will push all blood out of the lower leg to my body, increasing tHb and SmO2. I was convinced I will see the difference on my VL and possibly Deltoid since that seemed like a lot of blood volume, I was not really thinking what could happen to my lower limbs left without circulation and O2 for 15 minâ€¦
I jumped on the bike and did quite a lot of respiratory manipulations (bad idea) I wanted to have fresh legs (again wrong, if you test compression socks you probably want to have tired legs and see if socks work I didnâ€™t think about my resp and CO at all.
Iâ€™m on the bike doing interval # 1, intensity was picked to stay in balance for 45 min (on VL), I wanted to have as flat Smo2 line as possible for all 3 intervals when looking at VL, and slightly increasing on Deltoid.
After about 6 minutes when my Deltoid Smo2 started to go up and down, I knew I pushed too much with my respiratory manipulations, normally my SMO2 on Deltoid increases (nice flat line), now it is erratic, does not go down in trend, but it seems I lower my O2 extraction ability by a notch.
Iâ€™m pedaling and thinking: this is actually good, when I put the socks on, I should see my erratic Deltoid SmO2 go flat or even increase. Great, accidentally I have created perfect O2 scenario, so I thought.
2. I stopped, put the socks on for interval #2 (It is PITA to put them onâ€¦) I jumped on the bike, and after few minutes almost screaming: wow they work, my Smo2 on deltoid is SOLID. Then I started to look at my VL SMO2 and realized line is solid, BUT slowly very slowly going downâ€¦I completely didnâ€™t understood that. (as true scientists I pretended it didn't happen ) If my Deltoid Smo2 (systemic) is not moving up/down, why my VL Smo2 goes down!!!, are my legs working harder? No, I could not explain that at all. (can not be explained, it must be fiction
3. While removing my socks, I was expecting my Smo2 and tHb to drop, I was thinking: if I could see my â€œjumpyâ€ Smo2 in interval #1 now it will be amplified by quite a lot. Surprise: Iâ€™m looking at my Deltoid and Smo2 is stable the same way as it was in # 2, that threw me off, after about 7 min smo2 started erratic movement again. I could not come up with the reason, why the delay was so long.
After the ride, my second incorrect conclusion was:
â€œMoxy on VL does not show much, due to constant load the demand and utilization on VL is â€œthe sameâ€ balanced, small differences we see in smo2 dropping cannot be explainedâ€¦.
The real proof about those socks working; can be observed by looking at Deltoid SMO2, during second interval systemic SMo2 was less erratic indicating more oxygenated blood in deltoid.
And then I noticed Craigâ€™s post about Venous return and realized dropping SMo2 in # 2 and clearly visible increased trend of HHB could indicate more Venous blood in VL that was pushed from my calf, this is at list in line with how compression socks should work.
Juerg biased 2 chart also showed tHb increase while Smo2 was going down. (thats multiple confirms)
At that time I realized I should really have moxy on my calf and look at HHb and O2Hb, those socks are so tight there is no way I could stick moxy in it, and I realized my experiment is flawed. Iâ€™m looking for signs in wrong placesâ€¦
Having said that: increasing HHB trend on VL is a â€œgood sign socks workâ€, I could confirm it by having second moxy on my hamstring instead of Deltoid, and repeat the same exercise 5 more times on different days, if I would observe the same HHB uptrend I could have much stronger evidence of venous blood shifting up.
Calf is not used that much in normal pedal stroke, it is just there to stabilize the knee, I could think about some pedal stroke manipulation to increase calf workload and observe if HHB increases even more during those manipulations.
Intensity as Juerg said, should be lowered, this would much easier show potential changes.
Attempt of explanation of more stable Smo2 in Interval #2 :
Since I did respiratory manipulations before this experiment, and I could clearly see the negative results in less stable smo2 in # 1, What happened is; when I stopped to put the socks on, I â€œtopped outâ€ my O2, I rested/recovered and fully loaded with oxygen. The same trend was visible in # 3 for first 7 minutes even without the sock.(removal was quicker= less recovery time). I'm in balanced zones but with overloaded respiratory.
- This was fun, thanks everyone for commenting. Iâ€™m still not sure if HHB uptrend in # 2 means venous blood increase in VL was caused by the compression sock.
- If HHB blood increases in VL due to compression socks, then I would not recommend them for road cyclists\criterium races, they could be probably better for runnersâ€¦ For road cyclists with dominant VL it would be more beneficial to wear way longer compression socks, as long as possible, to have more O2HB in VL and less HHB, maybe even covering Gluts, but that would mean I would need to wear stockings..., Iâ€™m not sure how my wife and cycling friends would react to that ..
- We would need to somehow check, how increased compression affect pressure and O2 exchange at the cell\tissue level, it could be negatively affecting it after a while. Initially higher pressure difference allows on better O2-CO2 exchange, but once cell pressure changes due to external force (does it after 2-3 hours?) we could be dealing with less arterial pressure difference and no CO2 extraction by hemoglobinâ€¦This could end up badlyâ€¦.
- If time permits I will do 2 more tests: A. Moxy on VL and hamstring, at lower power, and B: static tests off the bike while standing and slowly working my calf, eg (5 min while doing some calf raise exercise every 5 secondsâ€¦protocol to be developed any comments welcome.
Some charts Iâ€™m referring in this long write-up:
VL HHB main indicator of venous blood going up:
VL SMo2 going down in # 2
Deltoid SMo2, recovered trend i n# 2 and recovered trend in first 7min of # 3 caused by putting on and removing socks.