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ehoch
August 12th, 2009, 06:26 PM
OK - here is the research ....

Sharp RL, Hackney AC, Cain SM, and Ness RJ (1988): The effect of shaving body hair on the physiological cost of freestyle swimming. Journal of Swimming Research 4(1):9-13.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if shaving of body hair would have an effect on the physiological cost of standard swimming velocities. Physiological effort required to swim at a given velocity was assessed using determinations of blood lactate concentration 2 min after each of four 200 yard freestyle swims. Six subjects volunteered and were asked to swim four 200's with 15 min rest between each and reducing their time by roughly 10 sec on each consecutive swim. On the next day, subjects shaved their body hair from arms, legs and exposed torso and repeated this swimming protocol. Blood lactate accumulation at a submaximal speed of 1.08 m/sec was significantly reduced by an average of 28% by shaving. Blood lactate accumulation at a maximal swimming speed of 1.30 m/sec was significantly reduced by an average of 23%. This much change in the physiological cost of submaximal and maximal swimming speeds is nearly as great as that resulting from a season of collegiate swimming training. It was concluded that there is indeed a physical benefit to shaving-down (most likely a reduction in body drag) and that the benefits are not solely due to a psychological response.

Competitive swimmers progressively reduce training volume or ''taper'' prior to an important competition in an effort to improve performance capabilities. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of taper upon factors associated with swim performance. Twelve intercollegiate swimmers were tested before and after taper in preparation for their season-ending meet. Power during a tethered sprint swim increased significantly (P < 0.05) by almost-equal-to 5% with taper. No significant changes occurred in distance per stroke, oxygen consumption, and post-exercise blood lactate level during a 182.9-m submaximal swim with taper. Five swimmers were additionally tested after shaving exposed body hair upon completion of taper. Swim power did not increase further with hair removal. In contrast, shaving significantly increased distance per stroke (P < 0.05) by almost-equal-to 5%. These data indicate that reduced training specifically improves swim power; however, removing exposed body hair after taper may additionally enhance performance capabilities by increasing distance per stroke.

ehoch
August 12th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Shaving is simply not fair:

- it affects different swimmers in different ways > one of the main arguments against the suits. Teenwolf has a huge drop in time, while Mr. Icantgrowabeard goes the same times
- what is more normal ? Putting on a body suit no matter what material or taking a razor blade to your entire body ?
- the advantage of shaving to not shaving seems to be just as big as any of the suits out there (see research)
- we are naturally born with the hair -- what's next ? Cutting off body parts that are in the way
- the suits make more sense - you can only shave once or twice a year for the benefit, you can put on the suit at any time.
- it's too bloody - we should not require to expose the kids to razor blades.
- the opportunity cost is much higher than any body suit >> 3 hours of shaving + 2 weeks of agony afterwards - not to mention the complaints by your partner about the stubbles
- and last for the guys ... seeing you in the body suit was weird for her -- just wait till you ask her to shave the hard to reach place around your speedo ....

Swimmy83843
August 12th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I'm fine with that too. Would manscaping still be allowed or would there be not trimming of the lenght? While I am not that embarassed by my extremly eccessive body hair, I do like to keep it in check a little with the clippers.

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 06:53 PM
tl;dr





I shave for social reasons. That it makes me more hydrodynamic is a fortunate--dare I say it--side effect. :D

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 07:14 PM
- the opportunity cost is much higher than any body suit >> 3 hours of shaving + 2 weeks of agony afterwards - not to mention the complaints by your partner about the stubbles.
I missed this part. More than three hours? Are you serious? What, does it first take two hours to construct the scaffolding, and then one more hour to have workers perform the actual shave?

:D

Don't hit me. I kid! (Mostly. Still, three hours? It takes me maybe 15 minutes if I hurry.)

Ripple
August 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM
There's always waxing... :bolt:
Grows back softer, only hurts for a few hours after, and if you leave a thin translucent coat of beeswax on your skin, maybe people will think its a tan and no-one will notice that the water is beading right off.

ehoch
August 12th, 2009, 07:38 PM
Still, three hours? It takes me maybe 15 minutes if I hurry

A lady without a doubt :)

The time spent is directly related to the number of cuts inflicted. 3 hours is required for a fullbody shave of hair and top layer of skin + TWO customary cuts ( a cut is defined by "blood running in the bathtub"). For each half hour less of total shaving time the number of cuts will double -- 4 at 2 1/2 hours ...8 at 2 hours ... 15 minutes, you may as well call for a blood transfusion :applaud:

Novaova
August 12th, 2009, 07:47 PM
A lady without a doubt :)

The time spent is directly related to the number of cuts inflicted. 3 hours is required for a fullbody shave of hair and top layer of skin + TWO customary cuts ( a cut is defined by "blood running in the bathtub"). For each half hour less of total shaving time the number of cuts will double -- 4 at 2 1/2 hours ...8 at 2 hours ... 15 minutes, you may as well call for a blood transfusion :applaud:
I laughed. Would read again. :bliss:

qbrain
August 13th, 2009, 08:32 AM
The German might like his women hairy, but I like mine smooth, thank you very much.

Speedo
August 13th, 2009, 09:10 AM
Between the blood loss and the filets taken out of my ankles, weight loss is unavoidable if I shave. Although, I could stand to put a few pounds on.

Chlorine
August 13th, 2009, 09:49 AM
Hey all! I have been lurking for a while and decided to sign up, as I have just started to really get into swimming and love the great info on this site! That being said, it's funny that my first post is going to be about bodyhair :D

I'm too much of a man-beast to try to shave off my hair. The dude upstairs played a cruel joke on me: no hair on the top, and plenty on the bottom :afraid: I liken shaving my body to attempting to mow a really big lawn; by the time I am done one end, the other has started growing back...so it's a pretty useless endeavor for me. As a result, I let it run wild and free :bliss:much to the chagrin of my pool mates, who probably never expected to be sharing their lanes with a sasquatch.

scyfreestyler
August 13th, 2009, 10:36 AM
3 hours? Wow. Perhaps I am not paying enough attention to detail.

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 10:40 AM
3 hours? Wow. Perhaps I am not paying enough attention to detail.

3 hours wasn't that unusual for me. I couldn't just put shaving cream on, then use a razor.

I had to clip the hair down first, which involved having 2-3 clippers. One would get overheated, so I would switch to a different one.

Then the shaving down with the razor would be next. Sometimes I would clip one day and shave the next because it did become a pain to do all in one day/night.

jim thornton
August 13th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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I wonder how the cost of this would compare to the cost of high tech body suits purchased every other year until life expiration?

Muppet
August 13th, 2009, 12:31 PM
To say shaving is unfair is ridiculous.

For one, saying Teenwolf gets an advantage by shaving, where Icantgrowabeard doesn't is not accurate. There are physiological advantages by shaving - even where there is no hair - as well as psychological. Also, there are plenty of people that are genetically disposed to very little body hair. In that case, doesn't Icantgrowabeard already have a huge advantage over Teenwolf by having no hair to slow him down? How is that fair?

I'd argue shaving is more normal than a wearing bodysuit. People have been shaving for swimming purposes for decades. Bodysuits have been worn for hardly a decade.

Body hair acts like seaweed and other hair-like aquatic plants - it catches water and flows with the current. If your body isn't too hairy, contact myself and/or the Furburglar for a live demonstration - or pop in Finding Nemo and look at the coral sway with the current.

Shaving is a (relatively) quick, inexpensive process that can be done by any swimmer from any country with any socioeconomic background.

Redbird Alum
August 13th, 2009, 12:36 PM
...
- the suits make more sense - you can only shave once or twice a year for the benefit, you can put on the suit at any time.
....

Incorrect...

The paper cites drag reduction as the key benefit so the physical improvement effect from shaving is constant if one shaves every day.

The psychological lift would be lost.

ande
August 13th, 2009, 12:48 PM
why not outlaw plastic surgery too
liposuction & breast reduction surgery give swimmers a slimmer profile

Redbird Alum
August 13th, 2009, 12:55 PM
why not outlaw plastic surgery too
liposuction & breast reduction surgery give swimmers a slimmer profile

But won't these impact buoyancy in a negative way? :D

ehoch
August 13th, 2009, 01:53 PM
I'd argue shaving is more normal than a wearing bodysuit.

On a more serious note -- ARE YOU SERIOUS ???? Just because swimmers have been doing it for many years does not make it more normal. If both would offer the same benefit - and you would ask 100 people who know nothing about swimming, how many would say that shaving all your body hair is more normal ?


Incorrect...
The paper cites drag reduction as the key benefit so the physical improvement effect from shaving is constant if one shaves every day.

Sure - that is why female swimmers used to shave all the time .... oh no, coaches asked them not to shave for months before a big meet.

knelson
August 13th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Sure - that is why female swimmers used to shave all the time .... oh no, coaches asked them not to shave for months before a big meet.

That doesn't mean the coaches were right, though!

Anyway, I would think the rationale for this is more part of the psychological aspect. They're used to swimming hairy, so when they dive in hairless they feel totally different and that boosts their confidence so they swim fast.

Chicken of the Sea
August 13th, 2009, 03:36 PM
are my inflatable buttock-implants still legal?

orca1946
August 14th, 2009, 12:40 PM
I'm buying stock in BIC :afraid:

Redbird Alum
August 14th, 2009, 03:54 PM
are my inflatable buttock-implants still legal?

Only if no "fasteners" are visible outside the suit lines! Also, you may not want to use these in backstroke as they will throw off your body position! :D

jim thornton
August 15th, 2009, 12:19 PM
are my inflatable buttock-implants still legal?


It depends on what they are inflated with. Saline solution and air are both illegal because they are more buoyant than freshwater found in swimming pools. (Saline inflated butt cheeks are legal for ocean swims.) Air, of course, is legal only for swimming in dehydrated pools. Under such swimming conditions, the officials will need to check to make sure you haven't switched the air inflation system with helium.

To be on the safe side, I recommend inflating your buttock implants with natural human substances. If and when, for instance, Angelina Jolie decides to have her lips reduced to normal size, you might be able to use her lip tissues as a fully legal buttock inflation substance.

See USMS rule 601.b, subsection H4a, codicil 44 (popularly known simply as the "Help! My ass is fallin!" rule) for a more detailed explanation of what is and is not acceptable.

Chris Stevenson
August 15th, 2009, 06:28 PM
Much of what Erik says about shaving applies equally to training and tapering: makes a huge difference in speed; affects people differently; high opportunity cost in the case of training. Ban them both!

We should all show up at the meet with proof positive that we have not been in the water -- not even for bathing purposes, to make verification easier.

onefish
August 15th, 2009, 07:19 PM
Ohhhh, Chris!

If that were the case then I'd very officially be an evilstroker, such a lucky break. Visible proof positive. Avert yer eyes.

DV