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This Is How Tough It Actually Is To Put On An Olympic Swimsuit

Getting wet was not as easy as we thought.

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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:

Handout / Getty Images

They kind of look like the Avengers, but with goggles, right?

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:

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...to a fierce-as-hell TYR stars-and-stripes suit.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Claire's thoughts on putting on the suit: Oh my god. These swimsuits truly 👏 do 👏 not 👏 budge 👏. I thought it would be so much easier — like when you think of putting on a swimsuit, you imagine just popping it on without a problem. But I had 99 problems and they were all this swimsuit.

Then she dove right in!

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Claire's thoughts on wearing the suit: Everything about me was compressed. My butt and boobs were essentially flattened within a millimeter of their lives. Walking felt awkward because of the way the suit squeezed my hips, but it all made sense once I was in the water. It didn't just make me feel faster, I know I was faster. I felt like the fastest mermaid in Atlantica.

...to an Arena suit like the pros (which unfortunately tore when she put it on).

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Michelle's thoughts on putting on the suit: I went into this challenge incredibly confident. How could it be SO difficult to put on an article of clothing? It was uncomfortable, it felt like it was four sizes too small (even though it theoretically was my size), and it didn't stretch at all. It felt like I was trying to push against a brick wall to make it move.

Then it was time to get wet!

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Michelle's thoughts on wearing the suit: Even though my suit ripped while I was trying to get it on, it was still incredibly tight around my chest and waist. My A-cup boobs turned to negative A-cups. I ended up not being able to go faster in the water because the suit trapped all the water through the open hole. However, the material itself did feel good in the water and I felt slipperier overall.

...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.

...to Michael Phelps's own signature suit:

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Sam's thoughts on putting on the suit: If you've ever watched Game of Thrones, you've probably been shocked but also kind of impressed by the creativity the writers exhibit in concocting new ways to kill characters. HBO, I've got a new idea for you: putting on a tech swimsuit. I was the quickest to put one on, and it STILL took me 20 minutes, not to mention literal blood, sweat, and tears — despite the fact that I wore one of these years ago in my high school swimming career.

But things got real cool in the pool!

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Sam's thoughts on wearing the suit: Here's the deal: Putting on the suit was not easy, but once it was on, I felt like if Captain America and Ariel from The Little Mermaid had a kid together. I was fast in the water, and my suit was SO different from a normal swimsuit — it felt more like a superhero costume. Tony Stark, call me — I'm ready to join the Avengers now.

...to doing her best Team USA impression in a Speedo (which unfortunately ripped).

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Lara's thoughts on putting on the suit: Trying to put on this suit is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was physically and emotionally taxing. It was like running a marathon right after going through a breakup. IT HURT. And it took so long. I thought maybe it would take me 15 minutes with a little squeezing. It's adorable how wrong I was. It took me 35+ minutes, and the only reason it didn't take longer is because I ripped the damn thing.

Then she got her Ledecky on.

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Lara's thoughts on wearing the suit: When the suit was actually on, it felt like I was enclosed in a giant condom. I couldn't move or breathe very easily. It was incredibly uncomfortable, and any sort of curve I had on my body was nonexistent in the suit. I hated the way I looked in it simply because I thought it made me look like a 12-year-old boy. That being said, the suit actually did make me feel like I could've slid through the water easier, if only I could breathe while doing so.

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Claire: This experience was emotionally draining. It makes me wonder how these Olympians stay calm as they wriggle on these sausage casings right before their big race. While I will still appreciate the attractive and skilled Olympic swimmers, I will do so from the comfort of my television screen, while wearing my Brazilian-cut bikini, thank you very much.

Michelle: For many people, just showing up to the gym is the toughest part of trying to be healthy and stay in shape. I can't imagine trying to get into this outfit while nervous before a competition. I have so much respect for Olympic swimmers, and I didn't even do a swim workout that day. I just tried to put on the damn outfit!

Norberto: This was an awful experience. I got mad respect for those Olympians who have to endure this terrible ordeal.

Sam: Wearing a tech suit is sort of like "eating your vegetables" or "paying your taxes" — you don't do it because it's fun, but it's good for you. Additionally, It's hard picturing Michael Phelps nearly crying on the floor of a bathroom trying to put one of these suits on like I did. But coming out of this, I'm equally impressed with the effort that it takes to put one of these superhero swimsuits on AND how much more like a mermaid they make you feel.

Lara: This experience was incredibly eye-opening to just how much time and effort and training goes into being an Olympic athlete. I mean, forget the fact that you have to work out every day for hours a day, you also have to spend time putting on things like this. I imagine it gets easier with practice, but I'm not willing to try again. Olympic swimmers have all of my respect, and I will be praying for their organs.

Tech suits were provided free of charge by SwimOutlet.com.

Pool time and facilities were provided free of charge by the Hollywood Roosevelt pool.

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