If you're a fan of the Olympics (and really, who isn't?), you may have noticed that the swimsuits your favorite swimmers are wearing are VERY different than the two-pieces or trunks you might normally rock to the pool:
To gain every competitive advantage possible, swimmers don competition technical suits (think: swimsuits literally with space-age technology) for big meets like the Olympics. They look like this:
But what would happen if non-Olympians tried out these high-tech suits? There was only one way to find out: Grab our goggles, head to the nearest pool, and give these suits a spin. Or should we say, a SWIM.
Before we tried on the suits, we spoke with tech suit experts Julie Stupp and Mark Gangloff about what to expect when putting one of these on.
Julie, a former All-American collegiate swimmer, and Mark, an Olympic gold medalist, have collectively tried out more than 100 tech suits for SwimOutlet.com.
Unlike regular swimsuits, Mark said a tech suit's actual purpose is to literally make you faster in the water by helping an athlete hold an optimal body position — that's why they look so tight. "In a lot of ways, the suit helps assist the swimmer's muscles do their job," he said.
As for putting it on, Julie said it still takes her "10 to 15 minutes just to get the suit over [her] hips." For the average person, she said the entire process could take 30 to 40 minutes. She also advised us to "use the buddy system" — aka putting on one of these swimsuits requires multiple people!
Now that we were properly warned, it was time to get our Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky on and actually try the suits on at the Hollywood Roosevelt's pool:
Claire went from a trendy green bikini...
...to a fierce-as-hell TYR stars-and-stripes suit.
Then she dove right in!
Michelle went from a polka-dot bikini...
...to an Arena suit like the pros (which unfortunately tore when she put it on).
Then it was time to get wet!
Norberto rocked some badass board shorts...
...before the Olympic endeavor of putting on an Arena suit, which ultimately didn't happen.
Norberto's thoughts on putting on the suit: I expected to lounge by the pool and have my beautiful brown body draped in the finest Olympic swimwear known to man. Instead, I spent my morning trying to squeeze my fat legs through the JAWS OF DEATH. It took almost 50 minutes to get this ungodly swimwear on. I clenched, I squeezed, I tucked in all the fat and flab I possibly could, I got blisters on my fingers...but nothing. I managed to get the swimsuit halfway up my thighs with relative ease. At a certain point, the suit refused to move up any farther. I managed to get the suit over my junk, but it WOULD NOT GO OVER MY ASS.
Sam went from baby-blue trunks...
...to Michael Phelps's own signature suit:
But things got real cool in the pool!
Lara went from a black one-piece...
...to doing her best Team USA impression in a Speedo (which unfortunately ripped).
Then she got her Ledecky on.
And remember, no matter WHAT type of suit you're wearing, JUST KEEP SWIMMING!
Tech suits were provided free of charge by SwimOutlet.com.
Pool time and facilities were provided free of charge by the Hollywood Roosevelt pool.