Monday, April 29, 2013

Weight Bearing or Non?

by Kris Pitcher

This whole thing is confusing. And just when you think people are starting to get see something that makes you do a face palm. SMACK!

When I heard this one, I laughed and said, "I HAVE to blog about that!" So here you go. I'm blogging about something people seem to be confused about. Weight bearing vs. non-weight bearing exercise. I've written about it before.

Fade in:
Guy at the gym doing cardio. He's pretty serious. Gym guy is wearing requisite gym outfit including warm up pants and sweatshirt. Over the top of that he's wearing a weighted vest.

This guy is serious about his cardio. Right? His vest has about 25 pounds in it. That's a lot of weight to add to one's body weight. Here's the catch...


Now, if your jaw isn't dropped or you didn't just snort food out of your nose, you don't understand weight bearing exercise. The point of adding weight to your body with the vest is to increase the intensity of your increasing your weight.

This is only a factor in weighted exercise, or weight bearing exercise. When we are seated on our behind, we are not bearing our body weight. Cycling, swimming, and rowing are not weight bearing. Walking, and upright movements are weight bearing.

When you are bearing the weight of your body with each step, your body requires more energy to make that happen. It's not "better" it's just different.

There is no point to wear the weighted vest on the bicycle. No point. Walking on the treadmill, you bettcha! On the stepmill, you're a diva! Stairmaster, yes please! Get it?

There are times when a person should do non-weight bearing exercise, and times when someone should do weight bearing. We're not going into all those specific individualized instances.

The take away is the difference between the two. Doing non-weight bearing exercise requires less work. It doesn't provide the load on your muscles and bones in the same way. For some that's a good thing, for others it is not.

There are pros and cons to each and depending on your goals, injuries, and situation one or both may or may not be the perfect fit. Again, the point is if you are on your rear, you are not bearing your weight, in water...not bearing weight. See?

So, Gary...thanks for the blog fodder and for helping us all remember the difference between weight bearing and non-weight bearing exercise.

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