Wearing weights to increase the intensity of a workout is nothing new. The premise is that by strapping on additional pounds, the body will have to work harder against gravity to do the same activity, thereby increasing strength (and making it feel like a piece of cake when you later do the same workout sans the extra load).
But adding wearable weights can also present risks for individuals who are deconditioned or for whom their joints are already taxed. This is especially true in cases like adding ankle weights to a walking or running workout since this may impair proper form and increase the probability of ligament and tendon injuries.
Enter Omorpho’s Gravity Sportswear. While most people are familiar with the concept of a weighted vest, Omorpho has taken things a step further by creating an entire fitness line of clothing imbued with evenly distributed weight “beads.” These spheres “spread the load” such that the wearer can glean the benefits of added resistance minus the increased threat of imbalance/injury.
They also make you look insanely cool (more on that later). But for now, suffice it to say that these are some well-constructed fitness wear items that are not only functional but also fashionable, and I now know this firsthand after getting to try their G-Tights myself.
Omorpho G-Tight review: The story behind the gravity sportswear
Omorpho — derived from the Greek word for beautiful — spent over three years perfecting their Gravity Sportswear line. Not only was it tested across a variety of activities from cycling to running to dance, but it was also created to live up to its name. In other words, these products are not only effective, they are actually really chic.
The idea behind the Omorpho Gravity Sportswear — co-founded in 2017 by Stefan Olander, formerly of Nike — was to create clothing that distributes weight ranging from 0.5-2.0 lbs. naturally across the body such that the wearer gets fitter simply as a result of their workout clothing choices.
Omorpho accomplished this by fusing hundreds of individual high-density polymer spheres to the fit-wear fabric (they call this MicroLoad technology). The result is that the clothes are light enough that you barely notice the extra weight. However, they’re also heavy enough that their studies showed that regular Omorpho wearers can burn up to 8% more calories, run up to 3% faster, and jump up to 9% higher.
Omorpho G-Tight review: Price and availability
The Omorpho G-Tight is available from Omorpho directly, and costs $149. They are available in Black, and come in sizes XS to XL, fitting waist sizes 23″ to 35″.
Omorpho G-Tight review: Design and Fit
After reading all the thought and research that went into the design of these leggings, when I got the opportunity to try the Omorpho G-Tight for myself, I was really psyched. I have tested different types of leggings in the past that were supposed to increase muscle workload via embedded bands and other unique construction techniques, but I didn’t really love any of them.
As soon as my new Omorpho leggings arrived, however, I had a feeling these were going to be different. When I opened the box, I could already tell these were very high-quality leggings. The lycra material was thick yet flexible. And the weighted beads looked like those old-time Necco candy buttons, except sexier and not edible..
I ordered a medium since that’s usually my default with leggings (I’m on the more petite side, but I’m muscular with a longer inseam than you’d expect for my not-quite 5’4” in height). In hindsight, I wish I’d sized down to a small. That’s only because they said they’re mid-rise but since I’m so short-waisted, I could pull the leggings up almost to my under-boob. And as a result, I had to work the pants around a bit to make sure the weights didn’t hit my knee joints in a weird place.
Nonetheless, once I put these on, I was cooing. I felt like some kind of superhero, or actually an X-Men (specifically the shapeshifting character “Mystique” played by Rebecca Romijn that looks a bit like a lizard or something). The leggings fit well except for the high-waist situation on my body and the fact that oddly they were gaping around my ankles (maybe I have small ankles?). But the overall fit was tight and attractive.
And the way the beads are distributed, I could tell I was wearing something a little heavier than normal leggings, but at the same time, it didn’t feel odd. Next step was to try them in different activities.
Omorpho G-Tight review: Performance
Since I’ve had three knee surgeries, running isn’t really in my repertoire anymore, but I could immediately see that you could feasibly jog or even sprint in these and not have it impede your cadence.
I decided, however, to try these first in a barre workout. I’ve taught barre for years and love that it’s low impact. So I was curious to see if this could heighten the intensity of a workout in which I typically already participate. I set out to do a 45-minute routine that I regularly teach as my first trial (since I know how I feel after that workout without weighted leggings).
The result? I definitely felt an enhanced burn and I actually loved it. These leggings made my barre class ever-so-slightly more challenging without putting additional stress on my joints. Especially when I got to some of the leg pulsing exercises, I could really feel the extra burn.
The even distribution of weight was also very evident, meaning that as opposed to say wearing ankle weights, I didn’t feel anything pulling on one specific muscle or joint but rather could sense just an overall enhancement of effort. Honestly, I may never do barre again wearing anything but these leggings.
My next test drive was yoga. Also a great use for these leggings. However, there is a caveat here. If you like to do arm balances such as Crow Pose and rely on the connection between your arms and legs, the microbeads are a tad annoying in that case. You’ll feel them pressing into your arm skin during the balance and it’s not the best sensation. But if you’re someone who is only doing some sun salutations or other flowing asanas, you might dig the extra challenge that comes from wearing these leggings during that type of yoga exercise.
I decided to also try wearing these weighted leggings while working on my handstands. I actually did a 21-day handstand challenge last year that has completely transformed my handstand practice. I continue to work on them to this day and I’m still improving regularly. So I put on the leggings to see what would happen when I flipped upside-down. And, wow. I don’t know what happened but the extra weight on my legs actually made me find my balance even better than normal. I was holding my handstands with aplomb.
My final test was just wearing them around all day. I kept them on while walking to the store, vacuuming my apartment, wearing them while doing my makeup, and so on. I’m pretty sure just keeping them on during those everyday activities boosted my NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) levels.*
*NEAT is the energy expended in activities that aren’t eating, sleeping, or exercising.
Omorpho G-Tight review: Durability and Care
If you’re like me, I don’t want to have to hand wash all my workout wear. I like to sweat in it, and then toss it in the wash. But I was amazed that it said these Omorpho leggings were machine washable. They’re so fancy looking with all the microbeads, one would think they were dry clean only!
However, after I’d thoroughly abused them with a sweaty workout, I took them to my laundry room, turned them inside-out (per the instructions) and threw them in a machine with a bunch of my other dirty clothes. Then I even went against my better instincts and put them in the dryer (which it also said was fine but made me nervous). Happy to report, they came out perfectly.
I’ve now washed them several times in the machine and they hold their shape and not one microbead has dislodged. Plus, the material doesn’t fade and they look as good as when I took them out of the box the first time.
Omorpho G-Tight review: Verdict
I am rarely completely taken with a product, but from the minute I put these on, I was impressed. Yes, they’re pricey but I’d argue they’re not that much more than unweighted upscale Lululemon or Athleta leggings.
If you’re looking to boost performance or increase your calorie burn without too much extra effort, pull on a pair of these G-Tights. In seconds you’ll be on your way to a new level of fitness while looking like the coolest kid (or X-Men character) in class.