Okay, I’m not sure what the difference between a compression shirt and a rash guard is. From what I have been able to gather, they are pretty much the same thing. Please correct me if I am wrong. I have a very open mind.
Here’s the deal. When I head up to do my Jiu Jitsu workouts with the guys, I wear a gi. I don’t wear a shirt under the gi top. I used to wear a t-shirt, but I was getting seriously overheated. That may have been because I was really out of shape, because I was just starting out and not using my energy efficiently or just because it was hot outside. Who knows. I do know that I have been wearing a t-shirt under my gi top for the last two classes and it’s been working out okay. Still, I don’t trust the t-shirt thing.
When wearing a t-shirt under a gi, I tend to sweat much more than I normally would. When the t-shirt gets sweaty, it bunches up and I lose a little bit of mobility. You know, in this sport, I need my mobility. I had to figure out an alternative to the t-shirt.
Wait…why do I need to wear anything under the gi? I guess I didn’t explain that part. Okay, it’s a good idea (from what I have discovered) to wear some sort of protection under the gi to avoid having the gi smear into the skin all the time. A gi is pretty rough. When guys are trying to gain top control and side control on me, they aren’t caring too much about how sensitive my tender epidermis is. They just want to get their position. When they twist and turn, sometimes I get roughed up.
That’s where compression shirts, or otherwise know as rash guards come into play. You can see what a short sleeve compression shirt looks like here and a long sleeve rash guard here. Rash guards are slippery shirts. They are very much like spandex and when you put one on, it feels like you are stretching a big rubber band over your body.
The other day, I ordered a short sleeve Cliff Keen compression shirt through Amazon. It just arrived today. I think I paid about $27 for it with approximately $10 for shipping. That’s about $37 bucks. Yesterday, I found short sleeve rash guards in Wal Mart for $10. No shipping. These compressions shirts are made by Starter. Since I now have both makes of rash guard in hand, I can make a quick comparison.
I think the Cliff Keen compression shirt is a bit thicker and has more heavy duty stitching. The Starter shirt is very good though. I am very surprised at that. Even if the Wal Mart ones fall apart in half the time, they are still much less expensive than other brands out there. The Cliff Keen shirt was actually priced better than many others as well.
I suppose I really have to see how they do once I hit the mat. Perhaps in a month or so, I’ll write a follow up post comparing the Cliff Keen compression shirt with the Starter compression shirt.
I have to say though, I really like the Cliff Keen brand. I have head gear made from them and am thrilled with its performance.
Okay, until next time.
Oh yeah, there’s one more thing I wanted to mention. Sizing these shirts can be a pain in the butt. I had no idea what size I was. I guess the rule is that you buy the same size compression shirt or rash guard as you would regular shirt. I am almost 6’3″ and weigh 190lbs. I bought size XL and they fit perfectly. These shirts are meant to be like a second skin, so they are tight to the body.