Do “lighter” weights actually seem lighter?

I keep looking  for news about the next installment in the EA Sports Active series, 2.0.  There hasn’t been much news in the month since it was first announced, but Kotaku asked the EA rep an interesting question: why are the 2.0 controllers white? And they got an interesting answer: according to their research and focus groups and all, they made them white because black looked too heavy.

But what about those heavy bands?

I never really thought about it before, but maybe the pure-whiteness of the Wii is part of why it has been attracting women and “non-traditional” gamers.  White looks so lightweight and ethereal, like an iPod.  My white netbook and pink Nintendo DS proudly show my girly side.

Like Yogi Berra says, 90% of the game is half mental, so maybe we can extend the lightening properties of white to something heavier than a game controller.  If some trainer took a 50-pound kettlebell and painted it white, and didn’t tell anyone how much it weighed, would women find it easier to swing than a black one of the same weight?  I’d love to see someone conduct such an experiment.


Posted on April 20, 2010, in Exergaming, Just sayin', Kettlebells and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is an excellent question! I think you’re absolutely right that perception of weight is affected by our expectations. Weight manufacturers know that pink kettlebells will attract more female buyers. Those colors suggest that a woman can use them and still stay ‘feminine’. Sadly, however, the pretty colors usually only appear on extremely light weights…could that discourage women from increasing the amount of weight they train with?

    While I didn’t find a study such as the one you suggested, I wouldn’t be surprised if something along those lines is being run. And if it isn’t, it should be!

    Now, if only someone would manufacturer pink 45-lb plates, I’d be a happy camper.

    Awesome post! 🙂


    • Hi Milda, thanks for the comment and retweet! Really, I don’t see why heavy weights can’t come in cool colors, like pink or my personal fave, yellow. Or have 45-lb plates shaped like flowers, or Hello Kitty, LOL! Whatever it takes to get women to lift heavy, that’s the most important thing!

  2. So true! I smell a business opportunity… 😉

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