The Weight Vest Buying Guide, The Best Vests For Your Money
April 5th 2020
If you are looking for more gear to increase the intensity of your exercises, you may have come across a weighted vest.
A weighted vest is what the name implies, it is a vest that you wear that has pockets where you can put weights in, increasing the intensity of your exercises.
It is good for those who primarily perform bodyweight exercises and have reached a plateau where they are able to do a lot of reps before tiring out.
For people in that stage, they will have to perform a lot more reps, and spend a lot more time exercising in order to achieve any gains.
On the flip side, you can counteract this with the use of a weighted vest which adds more resistance, making it harder for you to perform the exercises.
The weighted vest can be performed with a variety of exercises, and it is used primarily for bodyweight exercises such as pullups, pushups, running, agility drills, squats, burpees, etc.
How it works is that by simply increasing how much you weigh, your muscles have to work harder to move you to perform the desired movement.
As a result, the greater training stimulus will result in greater size and strength gains than if you were to perform the same exercises without a weighted vest.
Benefits of a weighted vest
Adding resistance to the core of your body while performing complex movements can be helpful to improve your strength and size.
A weighted vest can allow you to progressively overload while performing bodyweight exercises.
And as mentioned in various other articles, progressive overload is an important factor for muscle building and strength.
A weighted vest is an easy way to increase the difficulty of your exercises without having to overly complicate the movement and without having to perform an absurd amount of repetitions.
When you first start performing an exercise, it is very difficult to perform, and your body starts to adapt to the training stimulus.
Over time, your body gets used to the training stimulus and you will need an even greater training stimulus in order to continuously progress in size and strength.
A greater training stimulus can arise from performing a different exercise, making the exercise harder, performing more reps, or more simply, by increasing the amount of weight moved.
And that is what the weighted vest easily allows you to do.
Is using a weighted vest safe?
The weighted vest is safe as long as you do not have any preexisting back, knee, or shoulder injuries.
Because of the increased load, it might place a bit more pressure on your back, knees, and shoulders while you perform your exercises.
One key to keeping safe while performing these exercises with a weighted vest is to progress slowly.
Rather than wearing a 40 lb. weight vest and start your exercise circuit, start off with 5 lbs.
You might or might not feel any noticeable difference, but then you can progress to 10 lbs.
If still no difference, then 15 lbs.
You will find a weight that is a bit difficult to perform, but you are still able to do it.
You should stay at this weight until all the movements feel the same as if you weren’t wearing a weighted vest.
Once that occurs, then you can continue to progress in weight.
Some exercises require more demand so you must use a lighter weighted vest compared to other exercises.
Make sure you keep track of a diary or a log in order to track how much weight you are using in all your different exercises so you can make the appropriate adjustments.
These steps might sound boring, but they are vital if you are looking for longevity while using a weighted vest.
Do not underestimate how taxing a weighted vest can be on your system. Especially if your body is not yet used to it.
What to look for in a weighted vest
While browsing weighted vests, you want a vest that provides comfort, does not restrict your range of motion, and that allows you to overload with weights.
Some other factors you may want to look into are weighted vests that allow you to tighten so they stay snug against your body and don’t jump around while you are moving.
You may also want to look into weighted vests made of good quality. Vests made out of cotton will absorb moisture, making it uncomfortable while vests made out of nylon are water-resistant.
From my experience, the most important factors are how tightly/snuggly the vest can fit against your body, and how comfortable it is to use the vest.
Here are our recommendations for the top weighted vests that are currently on the market.
Our recommendations for weighted vest
For those who want a more affordable vest at a fixed weight
Look no further than the Aduro Sport Weighted Vest.
The Aduro sport weighted vest is a great weighted vest for those who are just getting started into performing exercises with a weighted vest.
The Aduro is a fixed weighted vest that does not allow for you to adjust the weight.
The reason why you might want a fixed weighted vest is because you are new to exercising and want to hold yourself back from progressing too fast which can cause injury.
Another reason why you may want a fixed vest is because the weight is distributed equally throughout the vest.
Other features of this vest include 2 adjustable buckles in the front which allow you to find the perfect fit, and a slim design allowing you full motion in your arms.
Another great benefit of this weighted vest is that it is very minimalistic. The weights are found primarily in the straps, allowing most of the front and back of your body to be free of any excess fabric.
This is really handy for those who sweat a lot, or for those who live in a hot climate because any excess fabric will just add to the discomfort.
Overall, the Aduro Sport Weighted Vest is an excellent weighted vest with a variety of benefits and uses and it is fit for most beginners.
The Aduro comes in 4, 6, 16, 20, 25, and 30 lb. variations.
I suggest most beginners to start off with the 6 lb. and move up from there.
For those who want a weight vest with adjustable weights
Then, have a look at the CROSS101 weighted vest.
For those who want a vest where they can adjust the weights, you won’t go wrong with the CROSS101 weighted vest.
The CROSS101 is an adjustable weighted vest that allows for weights up to 140 lbs.
This is definitely not a weighted vest for beginners who are just getting started exercising, but for those who have been active in the past.
This weighted vest is made as a one-sized fits all and should fit snuggly against most body types except for those who are petite.
For those who are petite, it might move around so keep that in mind.
The weights are filled sandbags that can easily be added/removed in between workouts in case you need to adjust the weight on the fly.
It also comes with an option to select shoulder pads or no shoulder pads.
Shoulder pads will make it feel more comfortable on your body and can help with friction or rubbing if you plan on using the vest for a long workout session.
However, no shoulder pads can be more comfortable because of less material.
Overall, whether you decide to go with or without shoulder pads is up to personal preference.
FringeSport No-Bounce Elite Weight Vests
FringeSport offers an awesome weighted vest from OneFitWonder.
It comes in two weights, a 22lbs or 44lbs weight that you need to place weight blocks into.
At the same time, there are also straps and well-fitted blocks so that there is no bounce or discomfort when wearing the weighted vest.
This vest fits snuggly onto your chest.
It is just a great weighted vest design that gets the job done.
How much does a weighted vest cost?
Depending on the upgrades you want, it can really jack up the price.
But for the most part, weight vests are one of the most budget-friendly ways to add resistance to your workouts.
Whether you are going to do some cardio or just adding more resistance during your actual workouts, weight vests have a time and place in everyone’s routine.