The other week my husband had this brilliant idea. He figured that since we backpack, which is a sport in which we carry – essentially – weight around on our backs, we should be training for that by wearing weights while we lift weights.
Now, I will fully accept some of the credit/blame for this idea of his. I’ve been pushing for us to start actually hiking on trails earlier than we ever have before, going backpacking in the foothills at a time when we are usually doing all our exercise indoors. However, most of the blame/credit goes directly to him for us actually heading to a sporting goods store and purchasing a weight vest.
We went for the 20 pound model, but it was adjustable, so we adjusted it down to 12 pounds right away. Partly because we wanted to ease ourselves into this new adventure and partly because wearing that thing with little weights right over my breasts was mighty uncomfortable. Okay, that last reason was all me, but still.
I wore the vest while vacuuming the car the day we bought it. I judged it worthy of further use, but I didn’t get a chance to use it while lifting until the next weekend.
Wow. Just wow. Wearing a weighted vest while lifting weights is a lot harder than not wearing a weighted vest while lifting weights. This isn’t exactly like backpacking. Usually when I’m backpacking, I’m not also lifting other heavy things. The heavy thing is on my back. However, I think it will be good training, because, well, it hurts a lot.
Not in a bad way… just in a ‘why do my shoulders hurt so much oh yeah I’m wearing a weighted vest’ kind of way. And that’s not entirely accurate, because it is very difficult to forget you’re wearing the weighted vest while wearing it. The straps are not of the best quality and they tend to loosen on me as I move. The weight shifts when I move my body in my weight-lifting motions.
And then there’s the stares from other folks at the gym. I don’t blame them. I know I look very silly in my weighted vest. But I’m looking silly in a very good cause, because sore shoulders now mean not as sore shoulders when my backpacking season begins.