SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Weight Training Makes the Snowshoe Trails a Friendlier Place

Want to get more out of each workout? Have you ever considered using a weighted vest to give your workout a wow factor? Or how using a weighted vest could help improve your longevity out on the trail? It’s never too late for pre-season conditioning. Or in this case, in-season conditioning.

If you spent the time conditioning for the trail, then when the snow beckons and you head outdoors, chances are good that you’ll notice some big time payoffs.

The trails will greet you with a much friendlier face when it’s time to amp up the power and bring it. Weighted vests like the ATI vest come with 12 pounds of half-pounder weights that you strategically slip in the slots located throughout the vest. I started with just 5 pounds to test it out. It was enough load to increase my heart rate more quickly and with higher intensity.

I did not place much weight in the lumbar section since that’s my weak spot. If you have back problems like I do, consider talking to your doc or personal trainer before using the vest. Always listen to pain. Never try to push through it otherwise you could damage your muscles, tendons, etc. Pain is not the same as pushing hard and pushing beyond your perceived limitations. Find your edge.

The neoprene and spandex material in the vest makes for a super snug fit. And that’s how you want it says Kevin Bouza, ATI Managing Partner. If you’re not sure about sizing, then ask for help to ensure you get the best results from the vest.

Certified Personal Trainers around the world give a high-five when it comes to weight vests. Why? One simple reason. You get more burn and intensity. Here’s the idea. When you train harder, it fools the body into thinking this is normal intensity. But when you hit the trail, doing the real activity, it feels much easier. For me, I try to condition myself for skiing, snowshoeing and hiking beforehand. Wearing the vest pushes me harder than I would normally push myself.

“The vest will help increase anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity. Both are very important to the ski, snowboard, and snowshoe enthusiast because it targets the thighs and hip flexors,” says Bouza.

And we all know the importance of strong thighs when snowshoeing up the mountainside or pushing through smaller foothills. Weak thighs mean one thing. Shorter days doing the thing you love—hitting the snowy trails.

Now add a bit of elevation to the mix and your muscles begin to scream—loudly. Elevation adds more challenge because now all muscles feel greater stress while they thirst for oxygen to power through each move. Conditioning helps improve how the muscles respond to load and duration.

I almost forgot to mention another small bonus. Considering all the holiday hams, sugar cookies and deviled eggs, just wearing the vest around the house, for example, brings calorie counting to a new level. “With weighted athletic apparel, your burning twice the calories,” says Bouza.

Bouza says buzz about weigh vests is catching on. The ATI vest is the official training vest for U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team. Plus, football coaches like Tommy Moffitt, Louisiana State University use the vests or conditioning to help players get their game on before they hit the field on game day.

The ATI Weighted Vest retails for $159. For more information, visit www.atinnovate.com.

Elise Oberliesen is the author. Please do not publish without permission.
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