Health Fitness Revolution founder Samir Becic has been on a mission to raise obesity awareness by living the experience. He has been wearing weighted vests to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic in America, which currently affects 34% of the population. He hopes this dangerous fitness experiment will inspire people to live healthier and fitter by bringing awareness to the challenges and physical limitations that the obese population encounter daily.
This fitness experiment began in October with him wearing a 50lb weighted vest all day for a week, working up to 80lbs, 120lbs, 150lbs, and finally 200lbs. Those who have been following Samir Becic’s weighted vest challenge know that he has pushed his body to the extreme in order to raise awareness about obesity. Since then, he has quadrupled the vest weight to 200lbs, which he wore on a 3-mile walk in November.
While Samir has bore all the additional weight in stride, he commented that when he attained an addition weight of 150lbs, he began experiencing severe mental and physiological effects. He noted that the pain did not subside even after wearing the vest for hours. He felt consequences ranging from acid reflux to shortness of breath that lasted much longer than anticipated.
Earlier in his fitness experiment, Samir walked through Memorial Park wearing a 120lb vest and a 150lb vest. While he found those walks challenging and draining, they paled in comparison to the walk with 200 extra pounds. Samir said that the extra weight of the 200lb vest was without a doubt the most difficult workout he has endured. It is useful to note that these 200lbs mimicked the living weight of over 500lbs, a massive challenge to mobility that crushed him as he walked
He started the walk in the morning at Houston’s Memorial Park, where joggers and families were out enjoying the nice weather. As he trudged along with a vest that weighed as much as he does, Samir found his body shutting down.
His fingers started to tingle from lack of circulation and body parts started to fail. His body didn’t shut down all at once. First, he lost feeling in his upper back. Then his lower back started to go, followed by his knees and shoulders. Weak and delirious, his legs gave out causing him to collapse on the dirt road. He mustered his strength and pulled himself back up, only to find his head in a cloud of fog and pain.
The final thing to give out was his heart. Sharp tingling sensations and irregular heartbeat tormented him and caused him to fall once more. When he told his teammates they panicked, begging him to quit, to get picked up by the car or to even seek medical attention.
The finish line was just a mere 150 yards away, so quitting was NOT an option.
Mustering up the last of his energy, Samir managed to complete the entire 3 miles. As a lifelong competitive athlete and 4x fitness trainer in the world, he had never encountered anything like what he dealt with on the walk. By the end he was delirious and in total agony, glad to have survived the experience but eager to conquer the next challenge.
The side effects represent real challenges obese people face every day. Obesity impairs mobility and increases fatigue, posing a significant challenge to overall quality of life on a daily basis.
Worse yet are the long-term consequences. Researchers aggregated 20 studies and found that “extreme obesity,” the type Samir is recreating at 150lbs, shortens adult lifespan by as much as 6 and 1/2 years. The most extreme cases could result in a reduction of almost 14 years.
Decreased life expectancy is attributed to a number of chronic illnesses that come with obesity. Obese people are at risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer. So many millions are at risk of these diseases, yet politicians ignore preventative care. Samir wants to draw attention to the issue to motivate national leaders to intervene and promote healthy lifestyle.
To keep up with Samir’s campaign, follow his Facebook page and check back here!