What You Need To Know
- Comes in sizes from XS to XL
- Drop up to 45lbs… at least on the treadmill
- Yeah, you’ve gotta wear special shorts
- Available now for $1,099 or $99 per month
MEAGHAN: I was scrolling through Instagram one day when I saw Sara Hall running on a treadmill while strapped into a Lever running device. I’d heard of AlterG treadmills, but you had to go to fancy gyms or shell out over $35,000 to get one. Instead, this was something Sara added to her at-home treadmill. I had to know more.
I reached out to the company and connected with Brad, one of the cofounders. He gave us some background on Lever (founded in 2019), and we chatted about some of the pro athletes using it.
So what exactly is it? Similar to the AlterG, Lever suspends part of your body weight. It uses a skeleton frame and elastic cords to hold you slightly above the treadmill, reducing your body weight by up to 45lbs. The Lever team sent us a unit, and I have to say, it’s made hitting the treadmill so much more fun.
MEAGHAN: When the Lever package arrived, it looked daunting. Surely the assembly would require power tools and hours to complete. It turns out I was very wrong. The assembly of the Lever is super simple. Its two base bars lay flat on the ground, and the cross bars attach easily with push pins to lock into place. You then use the rubber straps to connect the base bars to the treadmill arms. Don’t worry, the Lever fits on just about any treadmill, and we hooked it to our Landice just fine.
Once you’ve connected the device, you have to strap yourself in. The Lever comes with a pair of neoprene shorts (more on these later) with two pulleys on each side. You have to use those pulleys with a bungee cord to lock into the device, and you can adjust how much weight you want to remove by tightening or loosening the cords. I usually took about 15lbs off, and it felt substantially different. Typically fast-for-me paces felt easy, and easy running felt equivalent to walking — you can (almost) fly with this thing on.
I used the Lever to add in some extra miles without the impact in my build to Boston. As someone who has tested out all sorts of training, I usually find that two runs a day is hell for my joints. However, adding a second run on the Lever didn’t feel any worse than a bike ride. It’s also just a pretty great feeling when running feels effortless.
THOMAS: Take off to Never Neverland! As I threaded the bungee cord through the spools attached to the Lever shorts, I felt the suspension that Peter Pan felt while soaring across the stage.
The weight-assisted bands don’t take effect until you start running. I found that taking off 10-15 pounds reinforced the theory that lighter is better for running. I was lucky enough not to be injured when I used the Lever, so I cranked up the pace and let the assisted bands help me reach what would typically be tempo paces with ease. My guess is that I could get the full effects of a hard workout without the same stress if I took the weight even lower. Cranking to higher paces also helped me feel what the foot turnover cadence should be.Shop LEVER
MEAGHAN: The neoprene shorts are pretty rough. I opted for an x-small which I found to be snug through the legs but loose-fitting through the waist. Since you’re attached via pulleys on the sides, I didn’t have any issues with them sliding down, but I did get some gnarly chaffing. They’re also just not the most comfortable shorts in the world.
The other thing to note is that the weight measurement is just an estimate. A machine like the AlterG provides precise data (you could be running at 80% body weight with the press of a button), but the Lever isn’t quite as exact nor as easy to adjust.
THOMAS: The shorts you have to wear with Lever aren’t great. They’re thick and uncomfortable. I understand that you need a highly structured garment to help lift you with bungees, but I’d love to see advancements to make the shorts more comfortable. The only other knock is that the frame and bungees force you to keep your arms close to your body and pay attention to where they are in space.Shop LEVER
MEAGHAN: The Lever is a fantastic tool to have in your training lineup. It can be used to increase mileage with less impact, ease back into running after a break or injury, or get your legs used to fast paces and turnover. While it’s not exactly inexpensive at $1,100, it’s still a fraction of the cost of an AlterG and other alternatives. The Lever also scores points for being extremely easy to assemble, disassemble and travel with. I’ll be incorporating the Lever into my Fall marathon training.
THOMAS: Meg pretty much wrote my conclusion. The Lever works, and I’ll use it to increase my mileage and ease back in from an injury. I imagine I can even use it on those days when I can’t tell if I need a rest or should continue with my prescribed training. The Lever is an ingenious, simple tool to help runners train more often with less risk of injury and impact on the body.
You can pick up the LEVER Movement system for $1,099 or $99 per month by using the shop link below.Shop LEVER