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It's about time for a "Shaving" thread!

But not your normal one.

I don't know if any one else as noticed this, or if it is just me.

But there is a now iconic picture of Jan Frodeno winning the 2008 Olympic gold. This was on the cover of a 220, I think, but has been run on the back page as an advert for Suunto for quite a few issues now. Now, there is one thing that sort of stands out:

He has no discernible under arm hair!

Assuming that he 1) once had some, 2) has removed this voluntarily, then the burning question must be: Is this normal?

Is it specific to Mr Frodeno?

To triathletes?

To Germans?

To German Triathletes?

I've scoured all the other pictures in the last few 220s with a magnifying glass and unhealthy curiosity, but am a unable to come up with suitable arm aloft pose (except for women, where it is undoubtedly the norm) to either confirm or deny any of the above theories.

So, any of you Gentlemen Pluckers own up to removing that unwanted under arm hair? Or do you favour a bit of a trim for the purposes of Aerodynamics/cooling? And if you do, is it acceptable to turn the tables and borrow your Significant Others razor!!

[PS. here's a link to the evidence, for all those who would otherwise be rushing to all good newsagents to look at the back page of the latest 220]



  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Have to say I never noticed that! Yes, I shave my legs, and no I don't do my underarm hair... the only reason that I cant think is that as the water in beijing was warm, it was a non wetsuit swim so for the extra advantage, he went the whole hog and shaved everything, arms, back, underarms, basically anything not covered by the tri suit...
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    i read an online article about the whole shaving thing, it suggested that the advantages of shaving were over-rated and that most of us do it because we like how it looks/feels. I would add that this is a good enough reason on its own, after all, we buy the kit we use not only for its performance but also for the way it looks. I'm gona find the article and attach to thread.....watch this space....
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Being lucky enough to live next door to a physio who I'm good friends with, I can certainly vouch for the advantages of shaving for massages, there is a massive reduction in pain! It also helps a bit cleaning road rash, but other than that it really is just for the looks!

    Steven Fry, reckons it can save 2-3% in swimming, and it makes sense, though I've never seen anything confirming this...
  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    "EFFECTS OF TAPER ON SWIM POWER, STROKE DISTANCE, AND PERFORMANCE" by Johns et al. in the journal MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE Volume: 24 Issue: 10 Pages: 1141-1146 Published: OCT 1992

    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.

    Of course this is only true for non-wetsuit swims.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The arguments for shaving arms/legs, possibly chest are well rehearsed. Coming from a cycling background, and having grown up with my Dad shaving his legs (yes, he was a cyclist), it doesn't seem strange to me at all.

    It's the shaving under the arms for males that I've just never seen before!
  • im just sat here giggling over an image of you looking at his armpits with a magnifiying glass!! fantastic [:D] x
  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    Not to put to fine a point on it

    No Under arm hair, its a sex thing.

    Bet he shaves his bits to.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    does that make him faster too???[sm=rolleyes.gif]........[:D]
  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    slower i would think, less energy.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The Mrs informs me that the tennis player Rafael Nadal also goes shaven under the arms. The plot thickens.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    so you can do the swim the day before? That saves all that thrashing around with the other lot on the day then & leaves you free in transition & on the first part of the bike..wizard idea.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    It's genetic - German men have no underarm hair because only German women have it [;)]
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Got to agree with conehead, there. If you are not going to shave your legs, then fine. If you ARE going to shave you legs then shave the entire things, right the way to your groin, and possibly even the old Butt-Ox if you are particularly hirsute round the back.

    Do not, under any circumstances, ever think that it is acceptable to only shave the bits not covered by your tri suit, leaving the upper leg hairy. The 'Hairy Pants' look has been banned in all major competitions as it has been shown to have a detrimental effect on fellow competitors. Think there is a specific rule on the BTA web-site about this... I'll find the link later.

    Oh, I remove hair from the back of the neck, upper back and my shoulders too as it looks better in the pool. It is only a small amount. I am not to big to admit that this is purely vanity, as I can't stand back hair. Of course, really hairy people should simply be banned from swimming.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I think any streamlining benefit I might get from shaving would be offset by the effects of blood loss...
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Bopomofo wrote:

    I am not to big to admit that this is purely vanity, as I can't stand back hair. Of course, really hairy people should simply be banned from swimming.

    Well said Bopo. I too shave the top of my back and shoulders purely for vanity. I have actually seen an overweight gorilla of a man using the hair dryer to dry his furry body in the swimming pool changing rooms. To me that should result in a lifetime ban!
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Being quite new to all this I cant see the apeak of shaving ones hairy bits!!

    Is the feel of soft sliky legs worth the p"$s taking I would get at football?

    So lets get right down to itm what are using to shave with razor and gillette foam/gel? I reckon Mrs Blinky would not like me using her razor.

    I not sure if I am going to tale the plunge but some honest harding product info would be good!!!!
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    I used veet for the first time, no shaving rash and also didn't work my way through 10 razors hacking off the inch long hair. Downside is it takes AGES, so stick to a blade now, unless I can be bothered....
  • lauraflauraf Posts: 31
    Try waxing (if you can take the pain) it lasts longer and you don't get such awful stubble when it grows back
  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    afraid i am going to have to put my hand up. i dont shave my legs, but i do trim my underarm hair. reasoning is 2 fold, i find hairy underarms uncomfortable during training, and it also means my deo gets a chance to work!
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    one thing I have found though, waxing doesn't work on 'long' hair I waxed chest for charity last year and it was a real mess, lots of broken hairs, bleeding bits and a really bad rash afterwards. however, when getting my last tattoo i shaved a week/10days before then waxed when it grew back (and was still quite short) it worked a treat! oh and i shave/wax my shoulders for vanity's sake too...
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    xpost with jon_g. i do the same, more for vanity (that and itf i didn't then i am worried someone might mistake me for a yetti and try to trap me when i'm out on an early morning run)
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    The first time I shaved my legs (what is this, shavers anonymous...?) I used the razor I use on my head, minus guard, to get the long stuff off before razoring the rest.

    The missus has vetoed it now though, so I'm back to unmodified natural hairiness instead.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Top tip: try a torch to remove excess hair: fast, effective and practically costless( if you don't use it too long in the same spot!!!)

    The beautifull aroma's of freshly burnt pig hair comes along for free and will go away spontaniously after a week. Happy trimming!!!
  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    In for a penny.

    My back i have waxed once every 6 weeks or so, again like others its for my own personnal vanity, i just dont like it.

    My legs i do with the clippers. i shave my arm pits because i can,

    the rest i aint saying unless you want to cuddle up in bed, but that should tell you all you need to know.

    As for equipment

    clippers for legs/chest/head.

    Normal razor and gel for pits, no adverse effects yet.
  • BexHBexH Posts: 226
    He he, this post is highly amusing!!! Welcome to our world guys! By the way an intrigued question; how the hell do you shave your own back??? Not that this is a problem I possess personally but wondering about the logistics or do you all get your other halves to do it for you?! Or do you have to sellotape the razor to a ruler/wooden spoon/similar in order to gain the reach required to do it yourself??

    P.S. Jelly Legs, I did reply to your email but it rebounded so don't know if you got the 2nd attempt- send me another one with an email address that def works and I'll resend if you didn't receive it
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    how the hell do you shave your own back???

    Ha ha, BexH. I hadn't really thought how that sounded.

    Personally speaking, when I say I shave my back it is really just the back of my neck and some fine stuff on my shoulders. I'm not a bear or anything. [8D]

    But now you've got me thinking..... how many of those sleek bodied people that you see in the pool are actually depilated gorillas? Some of the hairy oiks I've seen would need to fill a bathtub up with Veet, or if using benny's technique would need a gallon of unleaded.
  • WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    Also in the back waxing club. It feels great and looks so much better.

    Also do a little trimming of the underarm hair...............if it pokes out the side of your arm like a little boy waving bye to his granddad then it's got to go!

    I have long debated the waxing of the legs, but I then start to wonder where it actually stops........... feet? chest? stomach? arms? feet? And the only hair is hidden by pants and a hat!

    Also, good tip on the pre-shaving a few weeks before waxing! Gonna try that as I normally come out in a bit of rash. [image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m14.gif[/image]
  • gingertrigingertri Posts: 277
    as a leg and body shaver virgin....so its faster on a non-wetsuit swim as you cover more distance, bike is better in case you come off, but is it proven to be faster? and running? my legs are more than skinny, so hair makes them look slightly less like chicked legs! if i shaved them i might make up time on competitors as everyone wouldnt be able to see through crying of laughter!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Are we a vain lot? this from me who wishes he had shaved his 'hip area' before putting on plasters to cover velodrome injury..or to be more precise before changing the dressing...less hairy now than I was (less skin too).
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    Im going to have to add my 6 pence on this.

    I could never get away with shaving my legs as id have to start at my throat and end at my big toe so as not to look a complete psycho.

    I do however shave my armpits, for hygene reasons wax the bottom part of my back for cosmetic reasons and "er hum" trim another certain area but thats purely for optical illusion purposes.

    And i find Veet the best for this, however do not leave it on certain areas too long!
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