Weight Vest, to use or not to use?
What is a weighted vest? It’s a vest (kind of looks like body armour) that has pockets to put interchangeable weight packets inside to increase or decrease the amount of weight worn. These vests were specifically designed to be used for this purpose so if choosing to use a vest, be sure to use the appropriate weight packers designed for the vest. This ensures no movement while doing weight training, HIIT, or cardio movements.
Typically a weighted vest is used by someone who has already been working out for a while and wants to push their body further to achieve better results. That’s not to say a beginner cannot use it, they should just proceed with a little caution. So let’s get down to the pros and cons of using a weighted vest while working out.
Increased Intensity : Allows you to add another form of a challenge to a movement that you typically do. This can be in place or in addition to adding another mile to your run, increasing weight in your workout, or adding weight to a typically body weight exercise like push ups.
Convenience : Let's say you want to bike to the beach to workout or you injured a part of your body that won’t allow you to hold weights well. This would eliminate the need to carry dumbbells/kettlebells etc and still allows you to challenge yourself by wearing the weight and doing a workout.
Cardiovascular Boost : “ The extra weight works your muscles harder, requiring more oxygen to be circulated throughout your machinery. Heavy and fast breathing strengthens the lungs. The added resistance also improves what they call VO2 max – the efficiency of the body to deliver oxygen to muscles every minute. You’ll also get to lower your lactate threshold – the amount of exercise needed until lactate starts accumulating in your blood, causing exhaustion and muscle fatigue. All these help you last longer during physical activities, taking more time before you get exhausted”, says Home Training Hero.
Increased Intensity : "In general, training in a weighted vest makes you heavier, which in turn, makes the movements you're attempting more difficult," says Steve Stonehouse, director of education for STRIDE, an indoor running franchise, in Orange County, California."Without even knowing, you could start to put stress in areas that aren't used to it."
Too much too fast : Some beginners that start with too much weight thinking it will result in losing weight faster tend to wind up injuring themselves. Before you add a weight vest to a movement, be confident in your abilities to do it without the vest.
If you choose to do so, use your weight vest wisely and enjoy your workout!