Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2013

Knowledge Transfer

Chis Hoy with the ADIPOWER hot pants

The scientific basis for ADIPOWER hot pants

Loughborough academic lead
Professor George Havenith, Design School
Steve Faulkner (PhD student, Design)

Dr Richard Ferguson, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

The marginal gains approach behind Team GB's cycling excellence was a hot topic in an outstanding summer of Olympic sport. One particular innovation to hit the headlines were the electrically heated, insulated pants Team GB’s track sprint cyclists wore to maintain their leg muscle temperature between the warm-up and the actual event. A Loughborough team of ergonomists and exercise physiologists provided the physiological basis for the design and the scientific proof that the concept actually improved athletic performance.

The Loughborough researchers worked with adidas on the project for three years.  They conducted specific studies on heat absorption and heat loss from different body regions to advise adidas on the design of heated trousers.  Their research, including measurements of deep muscle temperature and of athlete performance, provided the evidence that the hot pants were highly effective in improving power output of the athlete.

Having established the benefit of ‘hot pants’, they were further developed by adidas, British Cycling and the University’s Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre for the British Cycling track team for the London Olympics. The results in the velodrome were emphatic: Britain won seven out of ten track cycling gold medals in London - matching their achievement from Beijing 2008. The ADIPOWER hot pants were seen as one of the important innovations contributing to this success.

Watch Sir Chris Hoy warming up with ADIPOWER Hot Pants

Free download of scientific paper in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


  • Extensive research dissemination including publication in one of the top sports science journals
  • Global media attention for ADIPOWER hot pants
  • Hot pants received enthusiastically by the athletes including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott

Hot pants received enthusiastically GB Cycling:

I have definitely been feeling the benefits of the ‘hot pants’. As soon as you take them off immediately before you do your standing start or flying effort, your legs feel like they are ready to go. You feel like you did at the end of a warm up but not out of breath or fatigued from it. It gets you in the optimum state for training and competition.

Sir Chris Hoy

The aim of the British Cycling marginal gains strategy is to develop a performance advantage through the application of cutting edge science and technology. What adidas has delivered with the muscle warming garment is a key component of our performance preparation.

Matt Parker
Director of Marginal Gains, GB Cycling

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