You’d think Alter G, a treadmill that includes the words anti-gravity, means I can run faster and feel less tired after a workout.
My muscles disagreed. Admittedly, it could be because I haven’t been working out for ages. When I say ages, days, months or weeks aren’t even close. Try years.
But that’s the beauty of Alter G. It’s great for slobs who need to get back on track or folks on the road to recovery from an injured ankle or busted knee. Even marathon runners turn to Alter G to level up their cardiovascular system.
As to how effective it is, I spent a good hour familiarising myself with the machine, coupled with a demo and an actual
hands legs-on with the anti-gravity treadmill. Warning: you’ll soon see graphic images of someone in a really, really tight pair of pants. Proceed with caution.
There are really only two controls you’ll need to know once you start using Alter G - weight and speed. Adjusting the former will determine how many per cent of your weight is left, while the latter determines the treadmill’s movement speed.
Even at 20%, the term “float like a butterfly” comes to mind. It’s almost as if you’re tiptoeing, and your soles won’t land on the treadmill anytime soon. There’s no need to worry about losing balance, as the zipper firmly grips you around the waist, acting as a counter-balance even when you’re swaying to one side.
Your freedom is still mostly unrestricted, though once the weight setting gets lower, there’s a tendency for your body to lean forward. A somewhat uncomfortable experience at first, but it forces you to straighten up by shifting your upper body weight, hence working the right back muscles.
The whole idea of Alter G isn’t for you to run at 0% of your body weight. It’s meant to lighten the load, so you can run longer (for marathon runners) or have less impact on your feet (for patients). Me? For someone who has an aching back because of poor posture (and also, for being overweight), this is immensely useful. Less weight and an extended running duration gave me the illusion that my muscle was working less, even though I felt my heart pumping more blood through my veins.
Thing is, you won’t feel the strain during the workout. Similar to a treadmill run, the muscles are constantly put to work, but the lower impact and level running field doesn’t make them scream till you alight from the treadmill. Lessening the weight makes it even easier, or so I thought.
10 minutes later, I returned to my usual weight, and I can hear my muscles screaming, “Why? Why? WHY?!” before the guilt and soreness sets in.