I met TITIN team in New York a few months ago, and was impressed with their story and the group as a whole. You could tell that good things were happening for them with the business, and this is always nice to see as an entrepreneur myself. Go visit their website, it’s totally worth it!
The concept of putting extra weight on the body and working out is not new, we used to train at SEAL Team 3 with full body armor, and in BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training you didn’t eat dry unless you knocked out 25 pull ups in full kit. However, using body armor was ok but it always felt clunky to work out in. What is unique to TITIN is how they took the weighted workout concept one evolutionary step further, so simple it’s beautiful.
Meet the world’s only weighted compression gear. This 14-pocket shirt locks 8 pounds of gel inserts onto your upper body, while the fast-wicking outer compression shirt completes the set. Wear it to help build explosive speed, strength & teeth-gritting endurance. –TITIN
I haven’t done gear reviews since the early days of SOFREP, but Jack Murphy and I launched this site in order to grab some of our gear head followers from our Military.com Kit Up! days. Because I was so interested in checking out TITIN I asked the guys if I could review their weighted compression shirt for myself.
I picked the package up from the New York Athletic Club front desk two weeks ago—where I am a member. The NYAC is not some “Moto” chain of sports clubs.
Founded in 1868, the club has approximately 8,600 members and two facilities: the City House located at 180 Central Park South and Travers Island in Westchester County.
The club offers many sports, including rowing, wrestling, boxing, judo, fencing, basketball, rugby union, soccer, tennis, handball, squash, snooker, and lacrosse.
The City House, located at 180 Central Park South, is a large, cavernous building built in the early twentieth century which offers panoramic views of Central Park. Designed by Charles W. Clinton, the 24-floor facility includes two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, library, ballroom, billiard room, meeting rooms, rooftop solarium, and eight floors of guest rooms for members and club guests. The athletic training floors include a swimming pool, basketball courts, boxing rings, a fencing and wrestling room, judo floor, and squash courts.
NYAC members have won 119 Olympic gold medals, 53 silver medals, and 59 bronze medals. –Sourced from Wikipedia
The “AC” is my New York workout sanctuary, and has one of the only indoor pools in Manhattan for this Navy SEAL turned masters swimmer. It’s also normal to see Olympic athletes coming and going in the club, and I’ve swam next to more then a few Olympic medalists in the pool.
So you can imagine the funny looks I got putting on the TITIN shirt in the pool locker room. Let me back up a bit. I wasn’t supposed to swim this shirt, the word from TITIN was that they’re making a shirt specifically for this purpose. “Please don’t swim the shirt”, I was told by our gear representative. If you tell the word “don’t to” to any SEAL, especially myself, it’s almost a dare!
Guys in the Special Ops community are hard on gear, and always pushing the limits. The joke goes, “what happens when you put a Spec Ops guy in a locked room with three one pound steel ball bearings? He’ll break one, lose one, and steal the other for himself.”
I filled my shirt up with the gel packets, half at first; worried I was going to possibly sink to the bottom of the pool with the full load. Hopped in the pool and asked the young lifeguard to take some photos and video for me. At first everything felt fine, the shirt was mildly negative in the water—I wasn’t on the bottom—but hardly noticeable, and when I swam a test lap it felt good. My plan was to swim it 500 meters. I normally swim a full 2500 to 3500 meter workout so 500 would be no problem, or so I thought.
So off I go, and at about the half way mark the shirt started to kick my ass in ways I’ve never imagined. My muscles started to burn and ache, it was awesome and a nightmare at the same time. And what I really noticed, and appreciated was that—fully loaded—the shirt was forcing good swim technique on the crawl stroke.
I swam 500 and it felt like I’d swam 5000! I’m not easily impressed but this shirt got me, and I can’t wait to get it in the gym next (standby for a follow on). Out of the pool, the funny looks turned into questions about the shirt and where they could get one.
They say, “This 8lb shirt will kick your ass”, and TITIN is not kidding.
Go buy a TITIN set-up, you’ll be in better shape for it no matter how you choose to use their stuff.