Last updated on October 5th, 2020 at 11:40 am
Weighted vests have gained momentum in recent years which has made everyone wonder about their effectiveness and real benefits.
Wearing a weighted vest is the simplest way to increase a few pounds of resistance to your bodyweight workouts, adding a few pounds to the body weight is the simplest way to increase the training intensity and burn more calories.
Whether you are a CrossFit athlete, endurance athlete, or bodybuilding enthusiast; weighted vests are believed to improve performance and overall body conditioning. But are they really worth the investment? Let’s find out.
Are weighted vest worth it?
Makers of weighted vest swear by its ability to improve the athletic performance and there are some decent studies supporting the argument as well. It’s important to look into the pros and cons if you are willing to know if these vests are worth investing your money.
Benefits of training with a weighted vests
1- Challenge your limits
Whether you are an endurance athlete or someone who loves bodyweight drills, a weighted vest is an easy way to challenge limits by adding a few pounds to the body weight.
Wearing a weighted vest will intensify your training session and will result in far better development of mind and body.
2- Burn more calories
Accelerated calorie burning is one of the most attractive features that is compelling many people to wear the weighted vest while workout.
Calorie burning is a relative term that depends on the intensity of training; higher intensity = greater calorie burning which leads to accelerated fat loss.
A person weighing 250 pounds will definitely burn more calories than a person weighing 200 pounds. Wearing a weighted vest increases the calorie burning by simply adding more weight to your bodyweight.
3- Core strengthening
Apart from making you look sexier, a strong core plays a very important role in improving overall athletic performance. Adding a weighted vest to your plank routine will take your core strength to the next level.
A weighted vest will help in core strengthening even while walking or jogging with it.
How does a weighted vest help in sculpting a stronger core? Your core is a primary stabilizer muscle group that not only supports the spine but also stabilizes the upper body to maintain balance and posture.
When you wear a weighted vest, your core needs to work harder to keep your torso stable which leads to serious core strength building. Walking or jogging with weighted vest have been found to strengthen the core and lower back (but you should always start with lightweight vest).
4- Versatile and portable
What makes these weighted vests worth every penny is their wide range of utility.
You can use the weighted vest while calisthenics, strength training, core training, jogging, brisk walking, hill climbing, cycling, and any other sports. No matter how you like to train, a weighted vest has got the capacity to be used by all kinds of training routines.
Weighted vests are portable which makes them an optimum training partner for people who love to train outdoors. You can carry a weighted vest at the gym or park.
5- Break plateau
Reaching a plateau is a stage when your body stops to respond to the training stimulus and progress seems to stop. Hitting Plateau is more common in bodyweight workouts because of the limited “progressive overload”.
Introducing a weighted vest to your bodyweight training routine can help you break plateau by introducing additional resistance.
6- Muscular strength & body density
Your body doesn’t understand the term “bodybuilding”, it just adapts to the added resistance by making itself stronger.
Adding 10-40 pounds of extra weight while training not only stimulates growth but also increases the body density and strengthen the joints.
7- Cardiovascular conditioning
Wearing a weighted vest not only challenges the musculoskeletal system but also improves cardiovascular conditioning.
To run or walk with added weight, your cardiac system needs to work harder to deal with added resistance which helps in improves cardiovascular health.
Weighted vests can be quite costly, a Rogue TACTEC Plate Carrier with 20-lbs plate will cost you around $250.
What makes these vests soo costly is the quality of material used to make it durable.
If you are looking to buy a weighted vest for cardio then we don’t recommend a vest heavier than 20lbs but if you are buying a vest for bodyweight exercises then you might expect some progressive overload.
Many weighted vests are coming with fixed weight which makes them less versatile options. Dip belt might prove to be a cost effective alternative to add more resistance to your pullups, muscle-ups and dips, we also covered an detailed article on dip belt vs weighted vest.
May cause injuries
Improper use of a weighted vest may lead to back injuries. Example: wearing a weighted vest for the whole day or jogging with a heavy weighted vest.
Are weighted vest worth it? Yes, a weighted vest is a versatile training tool that will help you lose weight while strengthening your core, musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, and improving agility. High cost and limited resistance are the only drawbacks.
What weighted vest should you get
More is not always better, you need to choose the weight wisely or you might hurt yourself. There is a wide range of weighted vests available in the market which makes the decision making difficult.
Weighted vests can be differentiated on the basis of design and weight. To find out what suits best for you depends on the goal.
Want to lose weight or improve endurance?
If you are looking to buy a vest for cardiovascular endurance and calorie burning then we recommend you buying light-weighted Hyper vests. Using heavy vests for the cardio which have a bad implications on your back health.
The innovative design features a unique fabric control system that hugs the body for an extremely comfortable fit, but does not restrict the range of motion. The heavy-duty CORDURA® material is ready to withstand your toughest workouts.
Are you into bodyweight or calisthenic training?
If you are a bodybuilding enthusiast and looking to buy weighted vests for HIIT drills to improve the explosiveness then I would suggest the Hyper Vest elite. But if you are looking to increase the resistance of bodyweight workouts then you need a vest with adjustable weights.
If you are searching to increase the resistance of your pullups, chin-ups, and dips then dip belts are far better solution since they allow unlimited progressive resistance.
To add resistance to other body balance drills like handstands, planch, human flag, etc, you can also buy the Rogue TACTEC plate carrier.
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