For an excellent treatise on wrist weights take a look for the book 'Heavyhands walking' or 'Heavyhands the ultimate exercise'(both are out of print now). The author is a little overzealous in his beliefs but he has done a lot of lab research - he doesn't quote much in the book though. The Cooper institute has done some similiar research but on nordic (walking) poles - walking with poles versus walking without poles results in a 20% increase in oxygen consumption, a calorie burn of up to 46% greater, all at the same rate of perceived exertion. The idea is that walking uses about 70 of the muscles in the body versus about 90% when you use poles
If you use wrist or hand weights the idea is to use light weights and use the arms vigourously. The author is in his 80's now and still does heavyhands daily. He claims to still be able to do over 1000 pushups a day and can crank out about 25 or more pull-ups.
Thanks, twa2w. I'll check that out. I do remember that book, way back when. I just got off of eBay, looking mostly scuba weights and belts.
This is good stuff for the not athlete!
I ran across Art De Vany's "Evolutionary Fitness" on PDF the other day and this is what he has to say about this weighted body, Heavy hands stuff:
(I see some of the copy and paste from the PDF didn't work so well. Still readable, I think.)
back as much of the kill as they could. Power walking, laden with real weight on
the order of 35 to 100 pounds, is an effective modern version of what our ances-
tors did. Power walking with back pack or scuba diving weights around the waist
dramatically increases the intensity and effectiveness of walking. And it is about
as effective as jogging for aerobic capacity, without the pounding and damage. It
is what women among hunter-gatherers do when they gather. For example, Kung
San women typically carry an infant on a seven-mile trip foraging for plant foods
and return with a 35-pound load. They only do this 2 or 3 times a week for they
live in a kind of natural affluence where food is readily available. Males among
hunter-gatherers do not carry the large game our ancestors did and are not a good
Consider this instead as a model. A historical source reports that 5 Indian
braves drove 5 bison into a pit. After they killed these 2000-pound bison, they
pulled them out of a pit more than 10 feet deep, lined them up and skinned and
butchered them. Then, they carried as much as they could back to camp to get
speed, power, strength, stamina and courage. You can be sure this successful hunt
was followed by plenty of rest and play and feasting. This model is what I seek to
The other day I bought a ten pound adjustable Reebok ankle weight set at Target for $21. I already had a four pound set, and old scuba weights that I was using in a fanny pack. I also bought a used book on eBay about these kind of weights although it is not here yet. I will probably buy a modern scuba weight belt that I can drop the old weights into pockets or easily add more.
I love 'em! I've not only been using them during yard work, I'm now looking for yard work to get the exercise! As I pause at my computer, I do reps of various kinds, arm or leg.
I can feel the muscles being used at the end of the day and into the next morning. That nice sort of notice, "Hey, I'm here!"
For someone just starting a regime after many years of nothing, you should consider this technique.