Hypergravity training is not as alien as it sounds and it certainly doesn’t involve donning a spacesuit and signing up with NASA. No, this futuristic sounding training technique simply consists of wearing a weighted vest while you workout. Sounds simple enough right? So let’s find out a bit more about it and the benefits of adding it to your workout programme.
What is Hypergravity Training?
The technique was first invented by Dr. Carmelo Bosco, a leading Italian sports physiologist, who discovered the benefits of using weights on the body whilst carrying out his research on cures for muscle atrophy caused by zero gravity in astronauts. Whilst the concept itself is obviously highly scientific, basically all you need to know is that by wearing a good weighted vest during your workout you are likely to see results quicker than if you weren’t wearing one.
By adding weights to a workout, it adds a force greater than the force of gravity, i.e. it makes you heavier and essentially drags you down. This resistance makes a workout much harder, but therefore makes you work harder than you normally might, thus improving performance longer term.
What Are The Benefits of Hypergravity Training?
Think about that feeling you get when you’ve been carrying a really heavy backpack and you finally take it off. The relief and that sense of lightness that sweeps over your body because a heavy force has been removed feels amazing doesn’t it? Well, this is what a session of hypergravity training does for you.
But as awesome as that feeling is, surely there’s got to be more to wearing a weighted vest than a feeling of lightness?
Well yes of course there is, you don’t make your workout more demanding and give yourself the extra work and intensity of wearing a weighted vest without reaping some benefits. So let’s take a look at what you can expect from hypergravity training:
Improved Strength – Anything that involves carrying extra weight will over time increase your strength. As your muscles get bigger and more capable of holding a heavier weight during exercise you will use up more energy and therefore experience greater results from your workout. On top of making your muscles stronger, wearing a weighted vest when running for instance will increase the load transmitted through to your bones. This extra loading can increase bone mass by stimulating osteoblasts cells, which produce new bone material. Improved overall strength will also help with…
Improved Endurance – That extra weight on your chest not only needs more strength, but it also requires more oxygen, it’s what keeps us going after all. You may feel as though you’re struggling to breathe with a harder workout, and this will be particularly noticeable if you are running or doing another form of cardio. But your body is a very clever machine and it quickly learns that if you are working it harder, it needs to adapt to cope with the pressure you are putting it under and over time this will result in you being able to run for longer periods.
Increased Speed – It goes without saying really, but if you improve your strength and you improve your endurance, as a runner you will also start to notice a marked improvement in your speed. Remember weighted vests aren’t just for use in the gym, they can be worn when you run too. Sure it’ll make you feel as though you’re running through treacle, but when you next do a run without a vest you’ll be amazed at how good it feels and how much easier it is. Look out for all those PBs, because they’re definitely coming your way!
Variation – We can all get stuck in a bit of a rut when we exercise, especially if we’ve been following the same training routine for a long time. It’s always a good idea to vary what you do, so that your body doesn’t get used to certain movement and to certain intensities. Sure it gets easier if you do it this way, but you’ll likely get bored and you definitely won’t get as a good results. If you vary your workouts by adding in a weight that your body is not familiar with then it helps to build a more balanced muscular system, as you are using lots of different muscles.
Can Anyone Do Hypergravity Training?
OK so it goes without saying that if you’re new to exercise or if you are recovering from an injury then you should not even be thinking about doing hypergravity training. If you are unsure then please do go and see your GP for a health check and to ask their advice, or seek the advice from your gym or PT if you have one.
Hypergravity training is an intense workout. It is a workout for people who already regularly workout and who already have a certain level of strength and fitness. It is for those people who want to up their fitness game and take their workout to the next level. You must also consider the weight of the vest, starting off with a light weight vest and moving up as your body adapts to the increased pressure. Like anything, common sense is required here. Take it too hard too soon and you run the risk of causing yourself them damage. But likewise don’t be afraid to mix up your workout and to make it harder in order to reach your fitness goals.