There comes a time when you need to maximize the benefits of your training sessions and you want to increase the intensity of your workouts. Your first instinct might be to just add more weight and lift heavier, but weighted clothing and weighted vests are an excellent option to help you get the best out of your workouts.
Weighted vests are made from thick and highly resistant materials and they mostly have pockets for holding precise amounts of weights. The weights are often metal plates but can also come in form of sand bags. They are worn on the upper body with the purpose of adding different levels of resistance to your workouts.
Most weighted vests have adjustable shoulder straps that allow you to customize them to secure snugly on your body. It is always a better option to choose a vest that can allow you to adjust the weights according to the level of your strength and endurance. New enhancements in the design mean some weighted vests can be worn without being visible on the outside. When you wear a loose clothing on such weighted vests, there would be a huge difference in your physique and it would seem as if you have suddenly amassed ten pounds of muscle.
If you are looking to increase your fitness level and bring your exercise routine to a whole new level, then throwing on a weighted vest for each workout will help you reach your fitness goals faster. They can be used in almost any type of training exercise. They are perfect for bodyweight workouts and can be effective means of increasing the challenge when running or walking. According to a study cited in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, young male athletes can enhance and improve their agility performances by wearing weighted vests during their training exercise.
When you wear a weighted vest during a workout, your muscles work against the weight or force that is exerted by the vest. This leads to an increase in muscle fibre, mass and strength to meet the demands of the increased load.
There are several benefits of using weighted vests and you don’t need to be a professional athlete to enjoy them. By simply wearing a vest when performing your normal daily activities, you can significantly boost your metabolic rate and burn more calories. But the most important thing is to start with relatively low weight. Start out light with as low as a ten-pound vest and then gradually move up to weights of 40 to 50 pounds. Being able to perform exercises like jogging, pull-ups or push-ups while wearing a 50-pound vest means you are probably at your best fitness level.
Why Purchase a Weighted Vest?
You increase the intensity of your exercise routines with weighted vests, which results in more weight loss. With a weighted vest. For low intensity workouts, this may not be much but will add up over time. Wearing a vest during workouts can also help to boost your metabolic rate. An increase in your metabolic rate will make your body burn more calories even when you are not working out.
With the use of weighted vests, increase in strength and endurance is not limited to any particular type of exercise. When training under a particular weight, your body works harder to support that weight. Your body will naturally get used to working under such weights. Even after that weight has been removed, your muscles will still be able to maintain that high level of endurance. For example, anyone who can do 50 push-ups while wearing a 30-pound vest, will be able to breeze through 50 or more push-ups without wearing a vest.
Your strength and endurance increase the more you use weighted vests during your workouts. As it increases, your overall speed will also experience positive and elite conditioning.
The extra weight that a weighted vest provides can build you up with strength, power and bone density. As you train more and more with a vest, your body will respond by increasing both your full body and bone strength to be able to withstand the weight.
ZFOsports® - 80LBS ADJUSTABLE WEIGHTED VEST
There’s no doubt about it that this is one of the best weighted vests for anyone serious about his fitness. It has an exceptional design that makes it just the “perfect” vest. It is durable and comfortable to wear. The weights can be adjusted to fit any fitness level. For athletes who have long torsos, it is a great option.
The ZFOsports Adjustable Weight Vest has several designs but the ones with the most positive customer feedbacks are the 40 and 60 pound models. Both the 40 and 60 pounds models allow you to remove or increase weights up to 40 and 60 pounds respectively.
Here are some of its features:
This vest is designed in such a way that it fits perfectly on your body no matter the level of intensity of your training exercise.
Its impeccable design means that the weights are prevented from shifting during your workouts.
It allows for 2.5 pound weight increments.
It can be used by both men and women and can fit a person of any size.
Since the vest comes with the weights, the ZFOsports Vest is a worth spending money on. The breathable material it is made of guarantees you a comfortable workout session void of bad odors. The only con is that it is a little bit bulky. However, this is not an issue when you compare it to the excellent advantages it offers.
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound Adjustable Weighted Vest
In terms of material quality, only a few weighted vests can compare with the Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO. Its flexibility and versatility makes it a very special vest. The stretch fabric design makes it very comfortable to wear. It is designed for both men and women and the weights can be adjusted and according to your fitness needs.
Here are some of its features:
It comes with 10 pounds of weights made of high density steel. 65 pounds is the maximum weight capacity for the XXL size.
It features a fabric moisture control system.
The high density steel weights stay firm and close to the core even during vigorous activities.
Its unique design makes it almost invisible when worn under a T-shirt. The vest is super thin and the weights are only 0.25 inches thick.
It is available in several different sizes and each size has its own weight capacity. Below is a list of the maximum capacity for each size.
Small: 23 pounds.
Medium: 26 pounds.
Large: 34 pounds.
XL: 46 pounds.
XXL: 65 pounds.
The Hyperwear Wear Vest PRO would fit perfectly on anyone, providing comfort, complete mobility, and enough ventilation through its open sides. The only downside is that it may seem a little expensive compared to other vests. But any serious athlete would be willing to pay that extra price for quality.
Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest, 40 lbs (Camouflage) With Phone Pocket & Water bottle holder
This is one of the best weighted vests in terms of versatility. It is perfect for anyone of any height, and it can be used by both men and women. The size is very good, and it can fit any athlete of any size without any problems. The 40-pound vest is equipped with ten weights of 4 pounds each. The 20 pound model comes with eight weights of 2.5 pounds each.
Here are some of the features of the Cross 101 Adjustable Vest:
It secures easily on the body by means of its one-piece Velcro belt design.
Almost any kind of training exercise can be performed with this vest because of the level of mobility it offers.
The weights can be adjusted and you can increase or reduce the amount of resistance.
It comes with a manufacturing warranty.
As you may have predicted, the 40-pound vest costs slightly more than the 20-pound model. The latter includes shipping and is moderately priced.
Considering the tough and breathable material which the Cross 101 is made of, as well as its versatility and ease of use, it is one of the best weighted vests you can invest in.
Things to Consider when Buying a Weighted Vest
Comfort: One of the major factors to consider when choosing a weighted vest, is the comfort. The vest should not put a strain on your joints. Generally, you should be able to slide your whole hand beneath it with ease. It should not be too tight or too loose.
Weight: Another important consideration when choosing a vest is how much weight you want to add to your workout. Vests come in variants of weights ranging from the ones between 10 to 20 pounds, to those above 100 pounds. As a beginner, it is a good option to go for vests between 10 to 20 pounds. This may not seem like much, but your muscles will definitely feel the effects.
Design: Some vests have a fixed weight that cannot be adjusted. This has its advantages but it is best to choose a vest that allows you to easily adjust the weight according to your workout intensity. It should also fit easily over your shoulders and secure well on your body with straps, clips or zips. You should be able to make adjustments quickly and safely during workouts, and taking it off after a session should not be difficult.
Quality of Material: The quality of the material that a vest is made from is very important. A good vest should be tear resistant as well as sweat resistant. During work outs, your body produces a lot of sweat. This causes bacterial build up which can penetrate through the open pores of your skin. Thus, it is best to choose a vest that is protected by a coated metal or neoprene as this helps to prevent formation of rust.
Just like with any other workout equipment, it is important to start conservatively and then gradually ease into a weighted training. You should be able to perform basic body weight movements before training with a weighted vest. If you go for a 40 pound weighted vest without establishing your fitness level first, you will only worsen the problem and that can result in injuries.
Weighted vests are a remarkably versatile training tool, and can be used with almost every exercise. Here are some workout options you can try out with weighted vests.
Walking and Running
There’s no doubt about it that regular cardio exercises such as power walking can improve physical health and total body strength. But a weighted vest is a simple way to increase the intensity of walking without the need for speed or a high incline. A 30 to 50 pound vest should simply be enough to increase the calorie-burning effect while walking or hiking. You could even wear it while going for a leisurely walk or stroll.
To add more challenge to your walks, you can predetermine a point, walk to that point and then walk back again. One effective way to do this is to set a time target for a walk, and try to increase it in subsequent walks.
If you’ve been breezing through bodyweight workouts or finding then to be a little too easy, then it’s time to put your fitness and strength to a test with a weighted vest. Here is a bodyweight workout to get you more intense with a vest.
A 3-minute run (this is even more effective if you have access to a treadmill. An alternative is to find a local park or a place where you can exercise without any distractions.)
This involves doing 20 get-ups (You need to do this by lying flat with your chest down and your back up, do one sit up and get back on your feet.)
20 Lunges (This could be regular or reverse)
This should be repeated five times. Depending on your fitness level, you can decide to increase the number of repetitions. You can also add extra courses or include pull-ups to the exercise sequence. You can make this bodyweight session more effective with a 10 to 20 pound weighted vest.
One of the simplest ways you can use a weighted vest is to wear one while processing through your daily activities to give you an additional calorie-burning edge. You can take advantage of walking and climbing the stairs by wearing a 30 pound vest. It is an opportunity to keep burning more calories even with such a low-intensity workout.
Cycling offers a whole lot of benefits. But whether you are cycling for fun or exercise, it is definitely a great idea to ride with a weighted vest so as to increase the health benefits of your rides. Another way you could do this is to wear a vest when exercising on a stationary bike. Here are some ideas you can follow.
Warm up for 5 minutes
This involves continuously alternating between seating and standing positions at every 30 seconds. This should go on for 10 minutes. This exercise means you’ll have 5 minutes standing as well as 5 minutes of being seated.
Cool down for 5 minutes.
One of the greatest ways to lose weight is running. It is also known for its cardiovascular benefits. But running can be a little boring especially when you don’t feel challenged enough. Adding a weighted vest can both increase the health benefits of running and help you kick your next run up to a notch. You can try a 2 minute jog and a 1 minute walk. Just six repetitions of this exercise should be enough if your fitness level is not at its best. Your workouts will be even more effective if you try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) while wearing a weighted vest. A 30-second sprint, while resting for 60 seconds, is great. You can perform between 8 to 10 repetitions of this exercise.
Again, depending on your fitness level, you may decide to increase or decrease the number of repetitions. If you’re a beginner, it is best to select a vest between 10 to 20 pounds.
You can improve your weight training by increasing the intensity. You can effectively do this by wearing a 10 to 20 pounds vest. For a start, it is best to keep the number of repetitions low. The famous 5 x 5 training routine is a great way to increase muscle strength as well as lose body fat. It is a program of exercises performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions each.
It is very obvious that weighted vests are a great way to improve the intensity and the quality of your workout sessions. From endurance, increase in strength, to increase in muscle size and bone density, the benefits are endless. If after using a weighted vest for some months, you decide to stop using it and go back to your normal training methods, you will see that there are significant differences.
While choosing a weighted vest, there are several factors to keep in mind. But it is very important to choose one that goes along with your fitness level. To be able to use a 30-pound vest, you should be able to run at least 3 miles without having muscle cramps. And don’t even attempt to run 4 miles!
While using any training or workout equipment, your safety is very important. Be sure to go for a weighted vest that suits your fitness level and your training goals Strenuous activities and exercises require you to be hydrated, so ensure you drink a lot of water. Know the right time to take off your best, especially when your breathing becomes difficult.
A weighted vest, when used the right way, can be a great tool to improve an already comprehensive workout routine.