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Gravity Suit may put new spin on weight training

August 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Build muscle, strengthen bones, burn more calories. Strength training is a good thing for us to do. But is wearing weights better than lifting them?

"We don't like to call it weight; we call them resistance packs. The suit is adjustable anywhere from one up to almost 70 pounds," said Jim Foster.

Foster created the Gravity Suit for athletes. It's helped MMA fighter Brian Warren win bouts, as well as three-time NCAA gymnastics champ Jen Hansen.

"This product will challenge young children, seniors, the most elite of athletes and everybody in between," said Foster.

It can make a big difference, but it's not inexpensive. It costs nearly $600.

Keep in mind, whether you're just trying to stay in shape, lose weight or perfect your sport, don't just run out and grab one. Experts caution you do need to follow some rules.

"The whole idea is not to start with 40. The whole idea is to start with what you can handle," said Foster.

Dr. Andrew Pritikin sees benefits for athletes training for quick efficient movement. But he worries about its use for the general population.

"A lot of leaping, that puts a lot of extra pressure on the spine, on disks, on the knees. That can easily cause damage and pretty good injury as well," said Pritikin.

Every step for every one pound is an extra 10 pounds of pressure on joints. Then there's the compression aspect.

"Well unfortunately most people think the tighter it is, the better. And that is not the case. That would be one big thing that I would be very wary of," said Pritkin.

The company that markets the Gravity Suit also markets it for fighting Parkinsons, arthritis, osteoporosis and more.

But Pritikin says be cautious about claims.

"I'd love for it to work, but they have no scientific work that it actually does," he said.


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