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What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Weighted Vest

Jun 02, 2017

what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vestAre you wanting to know what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest?

Well, there are many options out there on the market, and you better believe people try them all.

We actually recently created a buyers guide for the top 5 best weighted vest to buy

And they all have different benefits…

Maybe you’re looking to intensify your training.

Maybe you’re looking to acclimate to a new situation.

Or maybe you just want try something different to change things up a bit..

In today’s article we’re going to be focusing on using a weighted vest and giving you a through break down on them if you are wanting to know what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest.

So no matter what your reasoning is for wanting to know more about weighted vests we’re going to help you out with all the information you should know before using a weighted vest and the different types.

Before you begin the article sign up to our VIP list where you get discounts on our very own accessories.


What Are The Benefits of Wearing A Weighted Vest

To get straight to the point if you’re wanting to know what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest they are explained below.

After reading the benefits of wearing a weighted vest below, continue on reading the rest of the article for even more information on weighted vests.

  • Strength and muscle are going to be increased through the use of a weight vest
beniftis of wearing a weighted vest
Picture credited to Fitness Republic

But, to what degree will these benefits impact you?

Well, that is primarily based on your choice of exercises along with the amount of weight, stress and resistance your vest provides.

The main reason for the increase in strength and muscle is due to the weight being something your body needs to adapt to.

When your body adapts to stress, it gets stronger and bigger – as muscle breaks down it eventually rebuilds.

So, keep it in mind that working out with a weight vest under significant stress, without taxing your body to pure exhaustion, your muscles will grow and strength will increase as a way for your body to adapt naturally to the excess weight being thrown onto it.

  • As with your muscle, your bone strength and overall health will increase
weighted vest benefits for walking
Picture credited to Belief Net

It is only logical, as more weight (from the vest) will make your body assume it needs to become stronger by bulking your musculoskeletal system and allowing for more dense, strong bone to form.

Whenever you see very skinny people, their bones are protruding and they may seem brittle or weak – this is the result of weak bone and weak muscle.

Overweight people often have less muscle but due to the size of their bodies and the pressure it puts on their systems, their bones need to be much more dense and capable to withstand the impact of their movements.

Now if you are muscular and adding excess weight, your bones will also adjust accordingly.

  • weight vests can also drastically help your cardiovascular system and overall breathing  because you are slowly increasing your lung capacity over extended periods when you use a weight vest
benefits of running with a weighted vest
Picture credited to Hyper Wear

The thing you have to remember is that the weight vest varies your workout routine and makes it so your body does not become accustomed to the same, continuous responses to certain exercises or routines.

When the same workout is done with and then without a vest – like riding a bike for example – your body will constantly try to understand the strain you put it through and have a hard time becoming acclimatized to the workout.

This variance allows for your lung capacity to expand because of the incorporation of weight resistance.

You will be able to walk, sprint, bike, climb or jump for longer stretches of time before reaching exhaustion than if you hadn’t trained with a weight vest.

The website ” Live Strong ” actually put out a pretty good article on what happens when you wear a weight vest that I recommend checking out.


Introduction To Wearing A Weighted Vest

If you’re wanting to know what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest you’re first going to need to know why weighted vests are even “a thing”.

Let’s say you’ve built a solid muscular foundation or have pushed yourself in the gym to lose some excess fat, but you’ve now have hit a plateau.benefits of wearing a weighted vest for crossfit

Where do you go from here, maybe you’re looking to try some kind of accessory to help push past your plateau.

Exercising accessories have become more and more popular over the recent years and there have been numerous trends in training and procedure that come and go, many of which are influenced by celebrity and sports training philosophies.

For example, you have the creation of the “elevation mask,” which is meant to stimulate training at higher altitudes.

Then you have products like sauna suits, which raise your body temperature and induce sweating to push your workouts to the max.

And finally what you’re most likely interested in – weighted vests:

Assuming of course that you are here to learn what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest ;)

As with ankle weights, weight vests are worn on the body to add supplemental weight, in order to produce a stronger degree of resistance for the wearer

Are accessories like these necessary for fitness?

Short answer: NO

long answer: NO

but why not?

As humans we are always looking for the next best thing, something that will elevate us to another level, and products like these make us feel like we are going to reach that higher level.

That is why the weighted vest was created. To help you push past your normal boundaries and achieve better results.wearing a weighted vest all day

So are they necessary, NO, but they are beneficial and can definitely supplement your workout and help you get the results you want.

In my opinion, the greatest things about weight vests are that they build strength, increase endurance and can help with weight loss.

All of these things can be achieved without a weight vest, but as stated above, we always want to take it to the next level.

If you reach a plateau in your fitness goals, I truly believe a weight vest can be a great addition to your workouts – whether you purchase one to own or can borrow one at the gym – your exercises will feel more strenuous and rewarding.

So before moving on to actually answering the question of what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest we should first look to see if you should even be wearing one.

This article here is actually a good starting point on the different ways a weighted vests are used if you’re just starting out.


Should You Even Be Wearing A Weighted Vest?

The next focus when trying to answer the question of what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vests is should you even be wearing one in the first place!

That is the big question: Are you ready to wear a weight vest?

When you start working out you will often see people in the gym with a multitude of accessories that seem vital to maximizing results and naturally, this may motivate you to want to suit up to full capacity, but be careful.

It may be too early in your training and/or fitness education to start incorporating all the bells and whistles for maximum results.

If you are just starting out, build your strength foundation in the gym and then you can think about things like weighted vests later down the road

Also, you should never allow someone else’s training to influence your own, especially if you have completely different body types and fitness goals.

As a beginner, I made these mistakes.

I saw runners with knee braces, lifters using resistance bands on their weights and these glimpses – of what looked to me like necessities for progress – blinded me to my own fitness path.

I made so many purchases early on, before I even built a solid foundation, that most of those products went unused after a week or so.

Once you have progressed to a level where your training is no longer causing you to constantly take breaks or lower weight/repetitions, then you may be in the market for a product like a weight vest to help increase intensity into your training

Think about it – if you are doing pushups and after twenty, or even ten, your breathing becomes heavy – you probably do not need additional resistance thrown on top of your training.

Now if you can knock out twenty to thirty pushups for multiple sets, that is when a weight vest could come in handy.

If the amount of cardio you can do resembles walking a flight of stairs and being winded, I suggest skipping the weight vest.

But, if you can do a half marathon on the treadmill or go through two rounds of Stairmaster with ease, then try it with a weight vest!

You get the idea; be smart and train accordingly.

Hyper wear (one of the weighted vest companies) actually created a pretty decent article that goes more into detail if you’re contemplating whether or not you should get a weighted vest.


What Type of Weighted Vest Should You Get?

With a weighted vest, you might be thinking:

I’ll just get the cheapest one.

If you want versatility, longevity and a comfortable fit – I suggest investing in a weight vest that suits your particular training goals and is designed accordingly – regardless of price

That doesn’t mean spend hundreds in the hopes that your vest will be the best out there, but do not plunge into your purchase because you saw a 10-pound vest on a clearance sale.

You should always be thinking long-term – with every fitness product – but especially something that can affect the structure of your workouts.

With every added increment of weight, your resistance grows and your form will change and adjust.

Think about wearing a huge difference in weight and what must go into the design and production to factor in the stability of the vests.

Do your research first and then decide on your purchase!


Now let’s go over some benefits of the styles and weight levels.

There are many weighted vests on the market and the ranges of weight can vary from as low as 10 pounds all the way up to around 150 pounds.

Obviously, as stated earlier, you will and should be purchasing your vest according to your fitness goals.

Some vests are made to only come in one standardized weight, where there can be no addition or reduction of weight.

  • INTRO VESTS (LOWER WEIGHT FROM 5 TO 20 POUNDS)top weight vest for running

Many of these types of weight vests are slim fitting, marketed towards walking and walkers and contain things like sand as their source of weight.

Usually “walking” weight vests will range up to around 10 pounds and can be safely worn during walks to increase resistance.

These lower weighted vests are perfect for those trying to stimulate their cardio and help burn some extra calories. As for training, this may not be your best choice, unless you are truly a beginner in the gym.


Next in the chain of weight vests are what I like to call the intermediate vests, or the “standard.”

These vests will range from 20 pounds to around 45 pounds (the same as a full weight plate).best intermidiate weighted vest

In my opinion, these weight ranges are perfect for those who are either in fairly good shape or have been working out for a decent amount of time and can withstand some extra resistance.

Typically, with weight vests starting at 20 pounds, you will begin to have removable weight bars that will dictate your chosen weight for your workout sessions.

I would recommend this level of vest to anyone who is healthy enough to withstand wearing the vest for the entire workout without feeling sick or constantly resting due to being overworked.

Many will benefit from the high intensity attached to using this league of weight vest; from cardio to calisthenics to lifting and more specific routines found in CrossFit – these vests will be optimal.

For an in-depth list of calisthenics exercises, including ones you can perform with a weighted vest, check out this awesome article by our friends over at Calisthenics-101.



Lastly are the vests that are consider insane.

Why?best heavyweight weighted vest

Well, they are just that, insane!

Any vests weighing from 50 pounds to 150 pounds would fall under this category.

For health and safety reasons, I would only recommend these to seasoned gym veterans and those who have strong physical health and ability.

Due to the overall weight in this category of vests, I would suggest against anything overly strenuous – like long distance running – as adverse effects may occur.

Heavier weight vests may be beneficial for variance in movements and during certain low intensity cardio situations, but otherwise proceed with extreme caution.

Training with a 100 pound weight vest should not be a daily activity.

You can get a quick view here of all the different types of weighted vests out there.


The Different Styles of Weighted Vest

As far as styles go, many weight vests are shorter in length and cover the upper chest down to above the torso.


  • Some brands and companies offer long vests

These vests typically will reach down to your belly (often the case for higher weighted vests that require more room for weight bars).

When it comes to walking vests and vests with a preset weight amount :

  • Walking vests are often more full upper body coverage and utilize a slimmer profile

Certain companies also have vests with various color and print designs, which will be mostly cosmetic and up to personal preference.

You also have to think about vest construction and factor that into what your goals with the vest are.

  • Bulkier vests will be harder to do versatile movements in 

This is due to the restrictiveness of the design and lack of mobility.

Vests with too much mobility and not enough strict secureness can lead to sliding and moving during walking and less demanding exercises.

  • Vests with thinner shoulder straps will allow for more movement

this is especially true  overhead, and will be suitable for things like pull-ups, lifting with arms, punching, pulling, climbing things and anything with free weights like dumbbells and barbells.

  • Wider shoulder straps on your vest will be optimal for your standard cardio-based exercises

Things like the Stairmaster treadmill, calisthenics exercises or outdoor activities like running, walking or hiking on uneven terrain because these will be more supportive and comfortable on your body, especially the shoulders.

  • And finally, the choice between a preset weight vest and a vest with expandable weight through weight bars

Every detail and benefit that the different styles of weighted vests offers is up to personal preference and can be determined by the amount you use the vest and if you intend on moving up in intensity or changing the way you workout with your vest over time

If you are a beginner and simply want to add resistance to your own body weight and are not looking to constantly work out with a vest, then a preset weight may be the best option for you – and a less stressful one at that.

However, if you are planning to vary your workouts from day to day and intend to gain more and more endurance and strength, you will most likely require an adjustable vest to implement weight changes between exercises and accordingly when the resistance is no longer enough or becomes too much.

It all comes down to what your goals are for using a weighted vest.

Aside from just wearing a weighted vest there are several different types of weighted clothing that you could wear to simulate the same experience.


Conclusion For What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Weighted Vest

Now that you know what kinds of weight vests are out there, how they can differ and what they bring to the table as far as fitness goes – you should also now have a better sense of what type of vest you would personally use and if it is worth pursuing a purchase

Keep in mind that these vests are not cheap and if intense training with a heavy weighted vest is in the cards for you, you could be looking at spending some big bucks.

Furthermore, always remember that adding resistance to your training and certain exercises can cause for the training’s blueprint to completely change.

If you are doing pull-ups or running laps with a vest on and then take it off, you may have a totally different experience afterwards.using weighted vest for

Also, the heavier you go on the weighted vest, the more pressure you are putting on your joints.

Be aware of this fact when you attempt weighted box jumps, sprints, lunges, squats or anything where there is already a significant amount of pressure being exerted onto your joints.

There is no denying that a weight vest can be a great opportunity to expand and extend the reaches of your fitness potential, but do not strap one of those vests on without fully understanding the perils that may come along with improper knowledge of the products and how they can have adverse effects when used incorrectly.

If you are interested in a weight vest, I suggest you start off light and work your way up the proverbial ladder of fitness to reach your strength and health goals safely – adding one extra weight bar at a time.

If you’re really in the market for buying a weighted vest then I suggest checking out our buyers guide:

The top 5 best weighted vests to buy

Hopefully by now after reading all of this it gave you sufficient information on answering the question: what are the benefits of wearing a weighted vest

So until next time, stay tuned.