I have always been a great advocate of using weighted vests to add more resistance to the workouts.
But is it safe to wear a weighted vest all day long? I have been getting this question more frequently these days and that’s the reason I thought of covering this topic.
Weighted vests have got some proven benefits that are being recognized by health experts. But the majority of benefits came from the limited use of weighted vest while the training only, not for the extended period.
Wearing weighted vest all-day: does it work?
Okay so numerous studies have proven weighted vest effective to increase the calorie-burning and body strengthening, can you wear them for the whole day?
Sometimes, people come-up with weird ideas, one of the trainees at the gym said “if soldiers can wear a weighted vest all day, I can do it too”.
Yes, Special force operatives wear weighted vests but not to lose weight, they go through hardship to serve a much greater purpose. Plus, their body is strong enough to bear the pressure.
Before you decide to wear the weighted vest all day long it’s important to figure out three things
- Know the “why”
- What results to expect
- Probable health risk
Know the “why”:
Why do you want to wear the weighted vest all day? To accelerate the calorie-burning or to get strong?
Yes, a weighted vest will help you burn more calories but that’s not a huge portion. You might burn 200-300 extra calories by wearing a 12 lbs weighted vest for the day. A 30 minute of extra workout at the gym can compensate for all the benefits that you will experience wearing a weighted vest all day long.
If you want to get stronger then doing more compound lifts (deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press) will do a better job than a weighted vest. If you don’t have access to a gym then weighted calisthenics is going to be my personal favorite option, wearing a weighted vest all day is still not the best option.
What to expect:
We tried wearing a 12lbs weighted vest for 3 days straight (not while sleeping). Frankly speaking, it was not worth it. Here is how it felt.
- There is a constant feeling of something is pullup us down.
- Constant stress on shoulders.
- You get out of breath while doing normal activities.
- Constant efforts to keep your posture up straight.
- Soreness in the back, shoulders, and neck.
- A lot of core activation because of the requirement of constant core stabilization.
- Major benefits were felt while the training sessions only.
- People will give you weird looks.
Removing a weighted vest will make you feel lighter and energetic but that feeling will not last very long.
In short, trying to wear a weighted vest all day is a big mistake that many people are making, it will do more harm to your body than the goods. Wearing a weighted vest might help in burning fewer more calories but it is extremely stressful for the shoulders and spine.
Risks of wearing weighted vest all day:
1- Stress on the shoulders:
When you are wearing a weighted vest for a prolonged period of time, it is going to put immense pressure on the shoulders.
Prolonged pressure for hours might lead to stiffness or injury because of overuse.
2- Stress on the spine:
The spine plays a key role in keeping your body upright straight. Forcing yourself to wear the weighted vest for an extended period might put the spine under excess pressure and may lead to back pain or other critical issues.
Yes, your body naturally bends little forward just carry that extra weight. If you are not mindful of the posture you might ruin posture and develop severe back pain.
mistakes to avoid while choosing a weighted vest
Numerous times, weighted vest training has been proven to enhance the explosive speed and power. However, incorrect use of a weighted vest can lead you to deep injuries.
1- Choosing the wrong vest:
A wide range of weighted vests are available in the market, some are designed specifically for long-distance endurance athletes and some are designed for the Calisthenics and CrossFit athletes.
If you are an endurance athlete then its important to choose the vest that is light weighted and designed to fit in perfectly to the body. Don’t start your endurance training with heavy weights, start with 10 pounds of the vest, and then increase the resistance gradually.
Army style weighted vests are perfect for calisthenics or CrossFit athletes since those vests are available in heavyweights.
2- Going too heavy too soon
It’s a general tendency, most of the people want to progress too fast.
Whether you are a strength athlete or endurance athlete, you should not be starting weighted vest training more than 10% of your body weight.
This concept is a little more important for endurance athletes since the time under tension is a lot higher while endurance training. Suppose you purchased a 30lbs vest as futuristic purchase and went on a long run, your body is not habitual to that additional 30lbs which may result in injury or soreness.
3- Planning it right
Weighted vest puts a lot of pressure on the feet which makes it highly essential to choose the footwear wisely.
Beginners should wear high quality shoes with plenty of padding and arch support. If you are someone who trains with minimalist shoes then you need to think again.
Optimum stretching, Foot massages, warm water with EPSOM bath is a great way to relax after a training session.
4- Forcing yourself to wear it:
Just because others are training with weighted I should wear it too, is a common mistake.
Weighted vest might not be a good option for every individual, if your body is sending signals that everything is not right then you should probably pay attention to them.
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