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July 16th, 2010
11:27 AM ET

Young engineer develops weights to wear

As a child, Patrick Whaley was so skinny, he carried extra books in his bag to build up muscle.

He came to realize that if his own clothing could weigh more, that would also help him bulk up. That's how he invented a clothing line called Omega Wear, which incorporates hydro-gel weights, strategically placed over major muscle groups.  The extra weight helps raise the number of calories you burn and improve muscle endurance - read more from Georgia Tech.

This apparel won Whaley, a Georgia Institute of Technology engineering student, the $20,000 first prize at an invention contest by the university in May, and a free U.S. patent.

Whaley nearly lost his dream in 2009, when he was shot in the chest during an armed robbery.  The bullet missed his heart by one compression, he said, and left him with only two-thirds of his lung.

The weighted shirt turned out to be instrumental in his rehabilitation.  His own success of getting back in shape with the shirt made him realize that it could also be useful for patients who need physical therapy.

“As soon as I was able to get into my shirt, and use my own shirt for my workouts, that was one of the proudest days of my life,” he said.

Today, he’s had thousands of shirts pre-ordered. He plans to get it mass-produced at get it to market by next spring.


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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Lincoln Brigham

    Weighted vests for workouts are nothing new. The primary problem with them has always been that they typically provide only a modest increase in load.

    July 16, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Stewart

      I agree they are light weight. However, It is suggested that you do not use more than 10% of your body weight otherwise you end up doing more harm than good. For the average person that is about 10-15lbs. You should read up on exercise physiology.

      July 16, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Wow he is Hard to find. If you are as interested in this product as I am, go to http://www.patrickwhaley.com/

      July 16, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • nonesuch

      So what if they're "nothing new"? They don't have to be "new", they simply have to be better in some way than the previous versions. If they are, they'll be a success; if not, they'll fail.

      Do you have a problem with that? If the kid succeeds, what's it to you?

      July 17, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • William

      Yes, but the difference is that his shirt is form fitting and much more comfortable! It is a huge step in the right direction. No one uses weight vest because they are large and bulky. I think this is fascinating and look forward to its release!

      Sign up for updates at TitinTech (dot) com

      November 6, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • William

      GT football and LifeTime Fitness are have expressed urgent interest in purchasing his product. He is a delightful young man! I had the honor to speak with him at a Trustee meeting at GT.

      http://www.titintech.com/ to sign up for updates and release dates!

      November 6, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
  2. VD

    I've seen people wear weights in a vest under their shirt.... probably much cheaper than however much this thing will cost.

    July 16, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. someone

    i had to carry so many books as a child it probably stunted my growth... and actually WALK places with them to boot.

    July 16, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. touristguy87

    if I were him I'd worry more about wearing them to prevent bullets from striking my heart than to help burn fat and boost muscle-mass.

    July 16, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mickey

    He didn't invent them... But he must have some rich parents who want him to think he did.

    July 16, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mickey

      Redundant capitalism....This is just a case of alienated success justified by the conditions of his struggle to survive a gunshot. people need to get together and stop acting like they own things... Just because you develop an idea, doesn't entitle the media to embellish your pursuit in business.

      July 16, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • nonesuch

      How arrogant you sound! What qualifies you as an expert on this? Do you have details on how this product differs from what's already available? Do you have any knowledge of the requirements this invention met that resulted in his award?

      Can't stand know-it-all blowhards.

      July 17, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
  6. Fiona

    I agree that weighted garments are nothing new. Perhaps this guy had created something that looks more like regular clothing? You need to be careful with this sort of thing, though. You can end up injuring yourself, by creating new - or reinforcing old - bad patterns of movement. Even if you aren't aware of it, you might be tensing your neck or chest muscles in a way that irritates the nerves in your shoulder and arm, or in your neck, or jutting your head forward to counteract the weight. You'll end up with headaches, nerve problems, and joint problems that can end up plaguing you for years. Better to do controlled, careful workouts every day to build muscle than to look for a passive "fix" like this.

    July 16, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JustSaying

    He developed something that works – whether it's situational or not doesn't matter. At least he's making his own way in society versus whining about inequity and waiting for that next government handout.

    July 16, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • William Shafer

      http://www.patrickwhaley.com/

      Cool Site! I want 3!

      July 16, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • William

      His new site is http://www.titintech.com/

      November 6, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  8. Jim Stewart

    He is a college kid. Most college kids are more worried about their next binge rather than trying to better themselves like this young man. He should be commend not criticized.

    July 16, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mike

    He has much more will power than most of the people I know... WOW, remarkable story!

    July 16, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sam

    I think in addition to gel packs he might want to add some kevlar.

    July 16, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Lina

    This kid should be comended for taking his time to invent something even if he is just reengeniring something that has been attempted before. Most kids today are lazy and wait a hand out from their parents. Way to go kid. If U.S. went back to the idea of inventing and making things instead of jsut finding it some place else and getting it, wow, how great would that be for the economy?!

    July 16, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • William Shafer

      Agreed! Nice work kid! You made a believer out of me.

      http://www.patrickwhaley.com/

      July 16, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • William

      His New site is http://www.titintech.com/

      You can sign up for updates! Take the survey on the home page!

      November 6, 2010 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
  12. SZB

    It really doesn't matter if the idea is new (and it isn't) or even if it really that good, success in launching a product is more about marketing the idea then how great the product actually performs. Of course the product has work to some extent or people will quickly stop buying it, but sales success has more to do with how people perceive the product than how well it actually does work. There are many example where the best technology or product wasn’t the most successful from a business stand point.

    It is very easy to armchair quarterback and point out all the problems with the idea, but the fact that he has thousands of preorders proves his is doing something right.

    July 16, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. andrew

    Yeah and when people start to realize that their joints are separating because of the constant downward weight perhaps we will start to see some funky shaped people.

    July 16, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. andrew

    I can't believe that we have to endure this crap instead of clothes that we can eat. That way I could chew on my socks on the train to work.

    July 16, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Miker

    So the idea we can extract from this article is that we should all be wearing kevlar vests and heavy armor plating.

    July 16, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Lincoln Brigham

    Mr. Jim Stewart said,
    "However, It is suggested that you do not use more than 10% of your body weight otherwise you end up doing more harm than good. For the average person that is about 10-15lbs. You should read up on exercise physiology."

    This comment by Mr. Stewart is on a par with the folks who say women should not lift weights heavier than 3 pounds. (Which means only daddy is allowed to pick up that newborn baby, never mind the three-year old...) This is humorous. I have multiple certifications from several national fitness organizations, have been coaching the sport of weightlifting for close to ten years, and just a few days ago in a routine workout I deadlifted double bodyweight at 51 years of age. I've done chinups with an added 100 lbs. of weight, as well. No more than 10% Mr. Stewart says? Ha.

    July 16, 2010 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      I don't mean to insult you in any way sir, but I believe he's talking about 10% of your weight as a passive, constant weight on your body. Not the strength workouts like you say.

      July 17, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • William

      Don, I agree I believe it is to be used as a passive supplement to your workout!

      http://www.titintech.com/ to sign up for updates and releases! GT football and LifeTime Fitness are interested in purchasing his product. He is a delightful young man! I had the honor to speak with him at a Trustee meeting at GT.

      November 6, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
  17. Bro

    How is this a new idea?

    July 16, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. nonesuch

    These jokers who pooh-pooh this kid's idea for a new version of weighted exercise clothing are goofy. Haven't you ever heard the saying "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door"? Be careful, you all sound jealous that YOU didn't manage to accomplish what he did. Sour grapes aren't good eating.

    July 17, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jenna

    This article had too many typos for me to enjoy.

    July 18, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. William

    He is a delightful young man! I had the honor to speak with him at a Trustee meeting at GT. GT football and LifeTime Fitness are have expressed urgent interest in purchasing his product.

    http://www.titintech.com/ to sign up for updates and release dates!

    November 6, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply

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