You’ve probably seen athletes wearing heavy vests over their clothes. They remind a little of protective clothing, but in reality they are an efficient piece of equipment for increasing strength and fitness. You are a fan of doing exercises with your own body weight? Then put on a weight vest before your push-up, pull-up or running program. You’ll immediately notice how much more intense your workout is. If you use it regularly, success will not be long in coming. You’ll build muscle faster, stabilize your core, boost your fat burning, and even do something for your endurance.
What are weight vests?
The name already tells you what a weight vest is: a vest equipped with weights. At first glance, it’s not much different from the piece of clothing you wear in everyday life. On closer inspection, however, you will notice some differences. For example, on the vest you will find 6 chambers that can be filled with weights. As weight for weight vests manufacturers mostly use sand bags or metal discs that you can remove and reinsert.
As a rule, a weight vest is produced from sturdy material and has various options to connect it tightly to the upper body. Therefore, the vest can mostly be adjusted to your figure via a Velcro closure or, even better, via an adjustable strap. Thus, it does not slip during endurance or strength training and can be worn virtually always. This is also its great advantage over weight belts, which are only suitable for selected exercises.
Weight vest: this is the weight you should choose
We have already mentioned it: the weights in the special sports vests can be adjusted according to your needs. So you can always train with as many kilograms as you currently require. Basically, the appropriate weight depends on your strength and fitness as well as the planned exercises. And of course always on your daily physical condition.
Despite the possibility to vary the weight of the vests, you can also buy versions that already include the weight in the form of sand or steel shots. This way you already have a maximum weight that can be reduced as needed. A weight vest with 10 kg is therefore ideal if you have never trained with a weight vest before. As soon as you have reached the next training level, it can go heavier. With a weight vest >20 kg on your body, you may swear during the push-ups and pull-ups. But your muscles and your heart will thank you!
It goes up even further – however, a weight vest >25 kg should be the upper limit of what is possible. If you can estimate your strength well and are looking for a real challenge – then take it! After all, you can always empty some chambers of the gear.
You can remember another rough guideline for determining the appropriate weight. For all strength exercises, you should be able to do three sets of your üexercises with the vest, each with eight to twelve repetitions.
If you train with a weight vest, you can be sure of its efficiency. But exactly what training effect you achieve depends on the use of the popular sports equipment. If you use it for functional movement sequences, you improve the interaction of different muscle groups and thus your flexibility. At the same time, you increase your strength: an aspect that is in the foreground for many users of weight vests.
In classic strength training, you always increase the intensity of your exercises with a weight vest. However, you can use them in different ways.
- Some athletes use them exclusively to warm up before building muscle with free weights or on machines.
- The majority of all fitness and performance athletes, however, put on the vest for pull-ups, dips, push-ups or lunges. Calisthenics has a large fan base. But not everyone is sure if bodyweight exercises alone are enough to really get fit. With a weight vest, you’ll strengthen your type 2 muscle fibers and increase your explosive power as well.
- You can also use a weight vest to specifically stabilize your core or strengthen your legs.
Whether you should wear a weight vest to increase your endurance and thus while jogging is debatable among experts. What is certain is that you drive your energy metabolism significantly in the Höhe. However, critical voices warn about the double stress your joints are exposed to with every step. They predict possible injuries, overuse symptoms and an unhealthy running technique.
We ourselves recommend weight vests only for controlled strength training and not for running, so you don’t put undue stress on your joints.