Athletes of varied sorts are always looking to take their workouts to the next level. It can be difficult to make our workouts that much more intense and so people find creative ways to do so. However, one of the best ways to get that extra bit of intensity you desire is through the use of a weight vest.
Weighted vests are equipment for training. They look comparable to a tactical vest complete with pockets to hold the weights. The weight it carries can range depending on the vest, but it can hold even up to 150 libs and possibly more depending on the product.
One may think these are comparable to backpacks, so the question would stand, why not just use a backpack? The distinguishing difference between a weighted vest and a backpack is actually incredibly important. A weighted vest provides you with a rather even and secure distribution of weight throughout, whereas a backpack has the weight confined to one area.
Weighted vests help especially in the area of challenging the body with activities where increasing bodyweight resistance is optimal. Exercises like pushups, running, hiking, or air squats are where you will be able to get the most out of a weighted vest. Whether you are dog aerobics, or explosive drills, the extra weight is a great option
Beyond that there is so much more that a weight vest can help with.
The Benefits of a Weighted Vest
1.) Improve Your Cardiovascular Activity
Though it is known for being undermined and ignored in the world of fitness, cardio is arguably one of the most important forms of exercise when it comes to our health. Our health ultimately depends on our hearts ability to properly circulate so as to distribute nutrients and heat throughout our body. Improving your cardiovascular health is by no means something to ignore.
Adding a weight vest to your workouts may just be that extra step you need to take your cardio to the next level.
A study was done where people were observed in different forms of cardiovascular exercise. The results ultimately concluded that through the use of a weighted vest, the subjects were able to maintain activity for longer periods of time at faster speeds.
The study had a range of weight added to the vests ranging from 5-40% of the subjects’ body weight. They studied the results of both long-distance running as well as sprinting.
If you want to take your cardio exercise even further, having a weighted vest will absolutely give you an extra boost.
2.) Improve Your Strength
Strength training is right up there in terms of importance when it comes to choosing our exercises. We need to constantly be improving our strength in a number of ways to help maintain our ability to lift and move objects, squat, stand up, twist and turn, and do just about any movement.
Using a weighted vest during your workouts is a great way to help boost your strength. Anyone who trains or does some sort of exercise, generally knows that you get stronger through adding more resistance, and in time your muscles adapt to the demands placed on them. Research has clearly shown that adding weight to both explosive exercises and traditional exercises, all encompassing resistance, improves the strength of our bodies.
Though this is generally known, studies have been conducted observing how the use of a weighted vest during such exercises as pushups and bench presses. The results were a notable increase in strength.
As we have said, strength training is super important for everyone, both for general health as well as long term. Studies have shown that not only do the younger groups of trainers benefit from using the weighted vest, but elderly populations as well benefit from the use of this form of resistance because it is safer than other options.
In addition to this, people with osteopenia are being encouraged to use weighted vests. Osteopenia is a condition where you begin to lose bone mass and as a result, the bones become weaker. The use of a weighted vest may just be one of the best options for those struggling in this way. It has been shown to add mineral density in the bones and in turn, minimizes the risks of fractures and breaks.
3.) Helps You Burn More Calories
One of the main goals for many athletes, lifters, and anyone who enjoys exercise, is burning calories. When it comes to managing weight, burning calories plays a big role. One way to boost how many calories you are burning is by upping the resistance.
Weighted vests ultimately serve the purpose of having the added resistance in your training. The more resistance, the harder you will have to work to push through a motion.
A study was done between two sets of individuals. Those with an additional 10% of their body weight and those with 5% added. Those with a higher percentage of added weight burned a notably higher amount of calories than those with less weight.
When you add the additional weight via a weighted west, you are going to be able to burn more calories.
4.) Body Mass Benefits
Though there is still more research needing to be done, it is worth noting that a study was conducted that suggested the use of a weighted vest, and more specifically weight loading, can help with improving the efficiency of metabolizing fat.
Studies have essentially concluded, however, that the general activity of our muscles drastically impacts our metabolism. Because a weighted vest increases muscle activity, it may very well improve the fat metabolization in our bodies.
Other Things to Consider
Obviously there is not just one weighted vest to choose from, as many different companies offer their own version of a weighted vest, but not all are equal. So, when it comes time to make your selection, it’s important to look for specific things in the product.
You are going to sweat wearing a weighted vest, so naturally, you need to consider the reality of bacterial growth. This is why the material the vest is made of is important. It needs to be made with some sort of antimicrobial material, such as neoprene.
This way you can workout without feeling concerned about the excessive smells and just general uncleanliness that can arise with the use of other materials.
2.) How it Wears
Just as we often reach for comfortable clothes, when it comes to a weighted vest, we want to make sure it gives us the needed comfort and ultimately can be worn in a way that will only work to benefit us in our workouts.
The ideal vest is going to be ergonomic. You want to be able to move with as much freedom as possible as if you weren’t wearing it at all. If it limits your ability to move, it is going to make it very difficult to perform exercises. This will also minimize and possibly completely eliminate concerns regarding chafing.
It should also be breathable, and fit a number of bodies. Finding a vest that is adjustable would be ideal.
3.) Amount of Weight
Most weighted vests will hold around the same amount, but some may struggle depending on the quality and just the general ability of the product. You want to make sure that the product offers a range of options regarding the weight that it can hold.
Additionally, it may be worth it to have a vest that doesn’t require special forms of added weight but gives the freedom to use a convenient means of added weight like barbell plates.
Go Get Yourself a Weighted Vest Already!
Trainers across the globe are reaching for the weighted vests available to them because of the countless benefits they provide. Maybe you want to progress in your strengths. Perhaps your cardio needs a bit of a boost. Essentially all of your fitness goals can be improved upon through the use of a weighted vest.
When making your choice, there are so many great options out there, but by no means are all products equal. If you are wanting a reliable option, Exosleeve offers a great option for a weighted vest at a reasonable price.
The Exosleeve weighted vest conveniently fits the small barbell plates comfortably and has been used to hold more than 20 lbs. It is made of neoprene, as we have discussed, is an excellent option for gym equipment materials, and offers a comfortable and adjustable fit. Its design allows for essentially no restrictions in movement and so you will naturally be able to avoid chafing. Additionally, it is also breathable, so you want to feel so suffocated wearing it.
An Exosleeve weighted vest is going to be a total game-changer in your fitness and you will learn to love using it for its convincing as well as its benefits. Get yourself a weighted vest and see for yourself!