Are you wondering what the benefits of training with a weighted vest are? After all, their rise in popularity in recent years has seen them become an essential part of many athletes’ workout equipment. A weighted vest can help develop cardio, strength and endurance.
We’re here to talk you through all the things you need to know before buying a weighted vest, and get straight to the point - how would a weighted vest benefit you?
Why Use A Weighted Vest?
The logic behind using a weighted vest is simple: a weighted vest will force you to carry more weight which in turn will make any activity more difficult. If you have more weight on your body, your body will have no choice but to exert more energy, resulting in a whole wealth of benefits just waiting for you to take advantage of.
Benefits Of Training With A Weighted Vest
Sprinters, endurance athletes, CrossFit athletes, runners...you name it, there aren’t many athletes who wouldn’t feel the benefits of a weighted vest in their workouts.
Overall, the way a weighted vest benefits your training is simple: increased difficulty means increased benefits. By pushing yourself to the limit you can get the most out of your workout whether that means meeting your fitness goals faster, developing your physical strength, pushing your mental strength or overall improvement to your general wellbeing.
1. Get Stronger, Faster
What’s not to like?
The endurance needed when wearing a weighted vest will soon feel worthwhile when you are able to get stronger at a faster rate. When you put an increased load on your muscles it will force them to work harder. The effect of wearing a weighted vest during training follows the principle that the more weight used, the more the muscles have to adapt to the higher weight—which builds strength and muscular endurance.
Think of it like weight lifting. If you go for a heavier weight to lift, you will be increasing the straining on your muscles which will then increase your muscle strength and size over time.
A weighted vest employs this exact same logic and can do wonders for your muscle gain.
2. Go Further
Ask any athlete and you’ll find one of the main benefits of wearing a weighted vest to be increased endurance. The reason behind this is simple: we know that to compensate for the extra weight, your muscles will work harder. However, they will also grow accustomed to this extra weight, meaning that when you are no longer wearing your weighted vest, your workouts will feel somewhat easier.
The more your muscles get used to this extra weight the more your endurance will increase. Expect to beat your PBs and go further than ever before after regularly training with your weighted vest.
3. Stay Balanced
Did you know that by increasing the upper weight on your body you will improve your balance?
A fact not many people think about when considering weighted training vests is the positive effect it can have on your balance.
Increased weight on your upper body makes it easier for you to balance. As we know, gravity pulls your weight down which forces your body to work to keep your balance. By adding extra weight on top, the force of gravity will be stronger, meaning the body has to work harder to balance.
Wearing a weighted vest means pulling the body down even harder, pushing it to the extremes to stay balanced. Again, this means that when you’re not working out, you will notice a significant improvement to your balance.
4. Improved Posture
Your core muscles are an area where you will really feel the effect of training with a weighted vest. As the additional mass impacts both the strain and stress on your muscles, you’ll find your core getting stronger. The stronger your core is, the easier you’ll find it to hold up your own body weight, and the more effective you will be at supporting your spine. You’ll find these factors work together to improve your posture.
5. Build More Muscle - Can you build muscle with a weighted vest?
Looking to gain more muscle?
Training with a weighted vest could be just what you need! Resistance training is well known to improve muscle mass. Of course, any resistance training will have a positive effect on your muscle gain efforts, however training with a weighted vest can heavily impact this. Adding a weighted vest to your bodyweight training will make your workout more intense, difficult and, not to mention, rewarding.
6. Burn Fat
Another benefit of wearing a weighted vest is the impact it has on how your body deals with fat. As we know, wearing a weighted vest helps greatly with increasing your muscle mass. The more muscle your body has, the better armed it is to burn calories and lose fat. Even when your body is resting, muscles will burn more calories than fat. Gaining more muscle vastly affects your ability to control your weight.
7. Speed Up
There is a reason many boxers, MMA fighters and gymnasts train using weighted vests.
Studies have shown the addition of a weighted vest to help improve the speed of the runners participating. It is understood that the addition of weighted training vest to speed drills will increase your agility tenfold. As you train under these extreme conditions, you’ll find that when training without your vest, your speed and quickness will have improved, allowing you to move quicker than you have before.
Which leaves the question… what PB will you be able to beat when wearing a weighted vest?
8. Huge Cardio Benefits
Wearing a weighted vest benefits your cardiovascular system hugely. By placing an additional resistance on your body, you will send your cardiovascular system into overdrive. Your lungs will be strengthened as a result of this as well as your Vo2 Max (the measure of how much oxygen your body can consume).
Cardiovascular activity also strengthens your heart muscle which positively impacts your heart's ability to pump blood throughout your lungs and around your body, resulting in increased blood flow to muscles and rising oxygen levels.
9. Vary The Intensity
Another great reason to add a weighted vest to your workout is the freedom it gives you to vary the intensity of your workout.
Let’s just say your go-to workout is pull-ups. Some days you may be working out and not feeling a strain on any particular muscles nor feeling the effect you used to enjoy. Throwing on a weighted vest can reignite the intensity of this workout and help you feel the full impact.
Another great advantage of the varied intensity weighted vests offer is that you can train for a shorter amount of time when wearing one, with the equivalent benefits of a longer workout without one. Often your workout with a weighted vest will feel far more effective than the one without, plus will leave you with plenty of time in your day to carry on with the things that matter to you.
You can vary the intensity even more with the Force Fitness selection of weighted vests. With a range from 7kg to 40kg, you can find the right size weight to tailor your workout to your requirements and goals.
10. Strengthened Bones
Your weighted training vest will also increase the strength and density of your bones. Strong bones are important to help you with your movement, as well as protecting your organs. Our bones also store minerals (like calcium and phosphorus) which not only keep bones strong but also release them into the body when we need them. Strong bones are even more important as we get older as they can help prevent bone disease. So in essence, look after your bones and they will certainly look after you.
Now for the science bit…
Increasing the amount of weight on your bones encourages your osteoblasts to lay down more bone matter. So the more weight you put on your bones the more new bone (called osteoid) they produce.
Whilst running, weight lifting and other workouts are definitely beneficial to this process, wearing a weighted training vest can have increased benefits on your bone health. The heightened weight on your bones speeds up your bone growth and formulation. Wearing a weight vest will help your bones grow bigger, denser and stronger.
11. Easy To Use
A great advantage of working out with a weighted vest is how convenient and easy they are to add to your training.
Firstly, by their very nature, they are convenient to transport and wear. If you’re heading away, you can easily take your weighted vest with you to ensure you can continue your training regime no matter where you are.
Laura Marshell Trains With Weighted Vest At Home
In a time of uncertainty, many athletes have found the sheer convenience of weighted vests to be vital to their workout. When gyms are not always accessible, a weighted vest is a stress-free piece of workout equipment that can be popped on whenever and wherever needed to compensate for not being able to use gym equipment.
12. Comfortable Fit
A vest loaded with weights may not be the first item that comes to mind when considering comfortable clothing, however, weighted vests are specially designed to offer the wearer complete comfort when working out.
At Force Fitness, our vests are completely adjustable meaning one size really does fit all. The adjustable straps mean that you can secure your weighted vest to your body to ensure a snug fit which will not move about or get in the way when you are working out.
13. Suitable For Everyone
Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to push yourself to the limits (why not try the Atalanta workout?), or simply exploring ways to be more active, a weighted vest is a great piece of equipment to assist your training regime.
Weighted vests can be used as a transition from bodyweight plyometrics to Olympic/powerlifting. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, they can be worn during walks or runs to help push the impact felt on the body.
The range of weights available means you can really tailor your workout to your ability and goals. That’s why at Force Fitness we offer a range of weight sizes to ensure you can really get the most out of your weighted vest workouts. Choose from 7kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg and 40kg to find what weight works the best for you.
14. Improved Psyche
It’s no secret that increased exercise can have great repercussions for you psychologically too. It has been shown that exercise has positive effects on your mental health. It can reduce anxiety, depression and negative mood whilst also improving your self-esteem and cognitive function.
There is also something to be said for the personal satisfaction and pride you feel when you have a particularly great workout, beat your PBs and achieve goals you never thought possible before.
A weighted vest is your companion throughout this and helps you push yourself to your limit physically, helping you to feel your best mentally too.
15. Look Great
It’s no coincidence your weighted vest resembles tactical vests worn by the military or the police force. A weighted vest is a serious piece of equipment that shows those around you that you are serious about your workout and committed to your goals.
When Not To Wear A Weighted Vest?
As much as we can’t deny the plentiful benefits that weighted vests offer to your training, your overall well being is always top of our priority and there may be times a weighted vest is unsuitable for your workout.
Wearing A Weighted Vest All Day
We would advise not to wear a weighted vest for the whole day as it is likely to make you very fatigued and could cause soreness and muscle burn in various parts of your body. If while exercising in the vest, any of your muscles start to hurt, take off the vest immediately.
If you’ve suffered a recent significant injury and don't feel in top shape, we would recommend leaving the weighted vest at home until you feel well again. This particularly applies to an injured core, as mentioned - a weighted vest will put a lot of additional force on this area which could aggravate existing injuries. We understand how it can feel to be eager to get on with your training, but in this situation a weighted vest isn’t suitable.
However, saying that, if you have suffered a minor injury and can’t wait to get back on your feet, weighted vests work as an excellent transition. For example, say you have torn a muscle in your leg and are incapable of completing the runs you would do so easily before. Putting a weighted vest on and going for a walk means you can still get the maximum metabolic effect of the run and are still doing good for your body.
Always check with your doctor or physician if you’re unsure.
Long Distance Running
We get it. Once in the zone, it can be hard to stop. However, due to the nature of the vest, we wouldn’t recommend wearing your vest on an exceptionally long-distance run. Of course, running with a weighted vest has many benefits, and once you start practising with one, it can be hard to go back to running without. Yet on a long-distance run, the additional weight and strain can do your body more harm than good.
Don’t just take our word for it, add a weighted vest to your workouts and feel the force for yourself. Explore our range of weighted vests and find the right style and weight to personalise your training.
Of course, if you have any questions or queries about weighted vests, don’t hesitate to ask us. Simply drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.