There’s a reason why marines and Navy SEALS train with a weighted vest – they help you get into the best shape of your life. Challenging yourself with more resistance, is the key to building strength and generating more explosive power, and just like lifting weights, weighted vests follow the same principle of resistance training and progressive overload.
Weighted vests are a great training implement and easy to add to your training routine. Wearing a weighted vest while running or during plyometric exercises, can help increase your peak power and dramatically improve your athletic performance. We’re going to talk more about the benefits of wearing a weighted vest and how this simple piece of fitness gear can accelerate your athletic performance.
What Is A Weighted Vest
Aptly named, a weighted vest distributes weight around your core and torso evenly. It’s a training tool used to provide and apply resistance while running, or when performing endurance and plyometric exercises such as box jumps, step-ups, burpees, sit-ups, pull-ups or jumping jacks. This simple piece of fitness gear can elevate your performance and help you run faster, jump higher, and become a better athlete, just by adding an extra layer of resistance. Moreover by adding a weighted vest, to your workout you will burn more calories, improve bone density, and build more muscle just by adding a little bit of resistance to your traditional body weight movements.
Benefits Of Training With A Weighted Vest
1. Increases Running Speed And Power
Running with a weighted vest can seriously take your running performance to a whole new level. Adding resistance while running, will help elevate peak power, and with power comes speed.
A study published in the Journal Of Science and Medicine In Sport, researchers found that wearing a weighted vest during light workouts, involving sprints, and short running intervals, resulted in enhanced peak running speed and improved cardio respiratory performance [R].
Furthermore, a systematic review concluded investigating the acute and longitudinal effects of weighted vest training on sprint-running performance, concluded that weighted vest loads (5-40% body mass) were found to significantly increase acute over-ground times and that improvements in velocity and running times were found 3-7 weeks after consistent training [R].
2. Increases Strength And Muscle Mass
To increase your raw and peak power, you must increase your strength. Adding resistance, will initiate muscle protein synthesis, the muscle building process, and help you inevitably build more muscle mass. Strapping on a weighted vest, and cranking out some toe to bar, pull-ups, air squats, or sprints, will seriously increase your gains in a hurry.
One study found that performing a push-up with a weighted vest, actually matched the effectiveness of and effort of doing a bench press [R].
In order to increase strength, you must follow the principles of progressive overload; in which you consistently add more weight, workout volume, or time under tension overtime to your workout, to increasingly place stress on your body to adapt and overcome.
3. Personalized Intensity
A weighted vest provides you with versatility and more options, to help you with adding resistance and progressive overload. Adjustable weight vests, give you the option of adding more or less weight to turn up the effort and workout intensity.
4. Helps You Lose Body Fat
With the added resistance from the weighted vest, you’ll build more muscle mass, and lose more body fat. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism. More weight also means, higher workout intensity with translates more calories burned during your workout. The key to losing body fat, is to be in a caloric deficit, therefore, with the heavier weight, your muscles and body will be working harder, requiring more energy, and burning more calories.
5. Preserves Bone Density
Studies have shown that weight-bearing or resistance training are great for preserving bone density [R]. If you train with bodyweight, adding a weighted vest can add a ton of benefits, including preserving and building your bone density, for longevity and overall health and wellness.
Commonly Asked Questions About Weighted Vest Training
What Does A Weighted Vest Do For You
I think the real question here is, what does a weighted vest not do for you. A weighted vest will help increase muscular endurance, aerobic performance, strength, muscle mass and improve bone density.
Do Weighted Vests Help Build Muscle
Weighted vests help you build more muscle. By adding resistance to your exercises, such as pull-ups, sit-ups, box jumps or sprints, you’ll build more muscle mass, by initiating muscle protein synthesis.
Do Weighted Vests Help Lose Body Or Belly Fat
Wearing a weight vest, will increase training intensity, effort, and peak power. With the added physical demand of the resistance, you’ll build more muscle mass, and burn more calories, thus helping you lose body fat and optimizing body composition.
Weight Vest Training Pros And Cons
I have to say, there aren’t a whole lot of cons when it comes to wearing a weighted vest when training, besides the fact that you’ll get tired much faster. Wearing a weighted vest, especially and adjustable vest, will help you build muscular endurance and strength over time, with added resistance at your own pace. The pros of wearing a weighted vest far out way the cons, since there really are none.
Benefits Of Wearing A Weighted Vest: Takeaway
Wearing a weighted vest during your training, can enhance your performance in every way imaginable. Added resistance, will help you increase your strength, build more muscle mass, lose more body fat, preserve bone density and whip you into the best shape of your life. Go grab yourself a weighted vest, you won’t regret it. Find me on Instagram, then thank me. You’re welcome.
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