Discover What You Can Do With A Weighted Vest
Introduction To The Weighted Vest
For the non-well versed, weighted vests pretty much sound like battle armor worn by men who are all battle-ready, ready to take on the enemy. That, or they’re simply worn by gym goers who usually make it a point to be so overwhelming for the entire gym.
Because of this, we can imagine how easy it is to tag it as overkill (and a pretentious one at that) and add it to your growing lists of “gym don’ts,” next to hogging the weight machines and not putting them back to a lower setting after you’re done using them. In fact, in some cases, it actually is overkill.
However, while you usually see them used by the most intense of gym goers, used properly, it’s actually a really effective tool, and it can help make you stronger and faster, taking your usual workout routine to a whole another level.
But first of all, what is it really? And why the need to use it?
What Is A Weighted Vest
By definition, the standard weighted vest is actually what it sounds like. Pretty much looking like your usual bulletproof vest worn by SWAT teams, it’s simply a vest filled with pockets all over for weights. These weights can come from any material of your choice, be it small sand bags, tiny steel bars, or pretty much anything else you can think of that can help weigh you down.
The vest’s general purpose is to use the weight you placed on it to add some extra heft for body exercises that make use of your weight, such as distance running, speed, walking, agility, or quick drills. Furthermore, the most common exercises that these heavy-duty vests are used with are rope climbing, jogging, push ups, pull ups, sit ups, burpees, and so much more.
So now that we’ve covered the basics and pretty much the gist of it, it’s easy to think: Okay, big deal. You put on a vest and put some weights on it to help slow you down. Is there any real benefit in this? And what makes it different from other gym accessories, such as ankle and/or wrist weights?
As it turns out, there’s a lot. But before we list down some of its best benefits, consider this for a second: Wearing one while working out forces you to carry extra weight on your body, making any activity – be it walking or running – a whole deal harder. Since you’re moving with more weight you’re normally accustomed to, your body will need to exert more effort in performing the exercise you’re doing. And the result? Improved cardio capacity, overall muscular endurance, and increased strength.
But if you’re still on the skeptic side of things, then here are more benefits you can get it from simply wearing it:
Benefits Of Using A Weighted Vest
Better strength + endurance
As we’ve already mentioned above, perhaps the biggest and most obvious benefit you’ll get from weighted vests is you’ll end up becoming a whole lot stronger and faster, with enhanced endurance to boot. That’s because it takes a lot more strength and energy to deal with a weighted vest than without it. Plus, because your muscles have gotten used to doing exercises with all the extra weight, doing the same workouts without it will make it much easier, increasing your endurance.
Improved balance and posture
But it doesn’t stop there, as it can also help promote improved balance, as well as better posture. That’s because wearing one forces your body to balance itself much better, what with gravity going down a bit harder on you. It also helps work your core muscles, which in turn can help your body carry its own weight much better, leading to better posture, which is something that’s important to maintain, especially as you get older.
Increased bone strength
Another benefit to using weighted vests is that it can help improve the overall strength and density of your bones. To achieve this however, you need to wear the vest while doing what’s considered as weight bearing exercises, such as squats or pushups, or any other workout that pushes you to carry your own weight.
Perhaps one of the less well-known benefits you can get from weighted vests is the cardiovascular help it can give you. Basically, working with added weights forces your heart and lungs to work twice as hard in supplying your load-bearing muscles with much needed oxygen blood. This results in increased performance, while also helping prevent blood pressure and heart conditions.
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits you can get from weighted vests. The idea is simple: you can easily increase the intensity of your workout, giving you a better one without increasing the amount of time you will use. What’s more, since the added weight can be changed, you can easily adjust the intensity of the workout, whether you want to go overload or take it slowly.
Overall, while it’s a bit unorthodox, these action-hero looking contraptions can do a lot to take your workout to the next level without the need for you to scrap your entire workout routine just to make it longer. Moreover, better performance fabrics have also made a lot of progress to make sure you look good while wearing it, with designs ranging from the classic vest to form-fitting ones that mimic your current body, without compromising quality in the slightest.
So the next time you feel like you hit a snag and feel like you’re simply going through the motions of your routine, why not take a weighted vest and take things up a notch. Whether that’s running, walking, jogging, kickboxing, or simply going through some daily tasks that involve you going from one place to another, the weighted vest will make things a whole lot heavier to do, quite literally.