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How do Weighted Vests Work? Do They Work to Keep You in Shape?

how do weighted vests work

Perhaps you’re seeking a new workout challenge or simply wish to add equipment to your home gym. Would you consider working out with a weighted vest? 

How do weighted vests work?

xMy favorite thing about weighted vests is that they can boost your workout routine and give you a new approach to fitness. Whether you are a professional athlete or not, a weighted vest can benefit you in your daily activities. It is possible to keep your at-home workouts fun and focused by changing their intensity. 

Adding a little extra weight to your fitness routine will help you improve strength, run faster, or push yourself harder. Weighed vests can benefit you, so you should take advantage of them. However, before you begin adding weight, you must understand the mechanism of weighted vests.

How do Weighted Vests Work? Do They Work to Keep You in Shape?

What is Weighted Vest?

RUNFastMax Adjustable weighted vest on guy

Generally, weighted vests are garments that are heavier than normal vests to be worn over clothing. Weighted objects such as steel bars or sandbags are used in pockets of the vest, or heavy fabric is used as a material. With this tool, a person’s body weight is supposed to increase by five to ten percent. 

Various weighted vests are available, from minimalist racerbacks to padded mesh panels and flex-fabric vests. Depending on the style, they may cover some or all of your back, chest, core, and shoulders.

How do Weighted Vests Work?

In essence, weighted vests are exactly what they sound like: vests designed to distribute extra weight evenly throughout your body. There are many benefits of wearing weighted vests. Weighted vests work by increasing your body weight and resistance to your movements such as pushups, squats, or pullups, which makes them an ideal low-impact option for those looking to burn more calories, build muscle in your legs through squats, and even increase bone density. 

Getting rid of excess weight and fat while strengthening your muscles is as simple as wearing one throughout the day. In essence, they are shortcuts to turn on beast mode.

Do Weighted Vests Work to Keep You in Shape?

BOX Weighted Vest for running

Weighted vests can drastically increase the number of calories you burn while exercising, which might seem counterintuitive. As a result of the extra weight, your muscles will have to work harder, burning more calories. The more calories burned in the same or less time, the more weight lost.

Because weighted vests make working out harder, there are also some aftereffects, such as increased EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). As a result of this increased EPOC, your body burns calories more efficiently after you remove the weighted vest. Additionally, weighted vest training will increase calorie expenditure as your muscles develop and strengthen. By wearing a weighted vest, you can lose weight quickly and keep your body in shape.

As per one research, weighting vests can reduce weight in the body. In the clinical study, 69 people were examined with a BMI between 30-35, the lowest level of obesity. The participants were instructed to wear a weighted vest for eight hours daily for three weeks. Participants were assigned to each group by drawing lots, but all wore weighted vests. Light vests weighing 1 kg were worn by the control group, whereas heavy vests weighing 11 kg were worn by the treatment group. Over the three weeks, the heavier vests’ wearers lost 1.6 kilograms, while the lighter vests’ wearers lost 0.3 kilograms.

Weighted vests are also useful for improving posture and balance during exercise routines. The extra weight on your upper body makes it easier for your body to balance when wearing a weighted vest. The gravity pulls your upper body towards the ground when you move it in any direction, which forces your body to drive the correct balance. It’s really important to have good posture, especially as you get older, because constantly slouching over and having a bent back can cause serious back pain.

Some Precautions While Using Weighted Vest

There are some precautions to take before using any fitness tool. Before training, check with your physician to ensure that your health is in good standing and that you can perform the exercises. If you intend to use a weighted vest or body weight, be sure to take your fitness level into account. If you do not master proper form, you cannot perform movements with added bodyweight.

Additionally, you should notice the increased resistance immediately after adding weight. First-time users should go lighter with weighted vests, especially when training for cardio. It is also important to consider whether weighted vests or body weights will be necessary for your workout. For example, a weighted vest won’t help you train bicep curls or bench presses for the upper body. Additionally, technique, bar placement, and other factors should be considered when exercising. Body weights and weighted vests should be used to enhance training, not hinder it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Weighted Vests

What are weighted vests used for?

The purpose of a weighted vest is to increase the intensity of a specific exercise or fitness regimen. The weighted vest can be worn while walking, working out, biking, or performing chores. Adults and children with autism can sometimes wear weighted vests to increase focus, concentration, and self-regulation. As a result of the deep pressure provided by weighted vests, the brain receives proprioceptive input, creating feelings of calm and increasing focus.

Can weighted vests help you sit up straighter?

While sitting at your desk, you won’t benefit from wearing a weighted vest. However, if you wear one while exercising, you will train your muscles to sit straighter naturally. As you perform bodyweight exercises, weighted vests engage your core muscles by distributing the weight across your shoulders and back. Since you have to counterbalance the extra weight of these vests with your body, you can develop better balance.

How much do weighted vests cost?

Depending on the quality and weight capacity of the vest, weighted vests can range from $50 to $500. Other weight-bearing alternatives may be a better choice for those who are not quite ready to invest in a weighted vest. Consider wearing a heavy backpack or wrist or ankle weights during your exercise. After you have gained some experience with weight, you can then buy a vest. You can start experimenting with different exercises and routines after you’ve selected the right weighted vest for you.

When should I use a weighted vest?

Start with one or two sessions a week as a beginner. As you get stronger and more conditioned, you can use the vest three or four times a week. Using it too much or wearing it all day isn’t a good idea. As a result, you may experience overexertion, exhaustion, skin irritation, and soreness.

Can weighted vests enhance cardio workouts?

The extra weight on your body makes your lungs and heart work harder to deliver oxygenated blood to your muscles. As your lungs and heart work hard under healthy strain, exercising strengthens them. Physical performance and maximum oxygen intake (VO2 max) increase as your body pump more oxygenated blood to your body.

Are weighted vests helpful in running fast?

Weighted vests offer several distinct advantages when running. Weighted vests can help you improve your balance since they emphasize your body position and foot landing. A review of 11 studies examining the effects of weighted vest training on sprint performance. Researchers found that vests increased blood lactate thresholds, enabling runners to sprint for longer periods before becoming fatigued. For longer distances, lighter vests, such as those using only an empty vest weighing approximately 2.27 kg, were also beneficial.


How do weighted vests work? Well there is only one goal of all workout exercises, machines, benches, and accessories: maximizing your results by intensifying your effort. 

The use of weighted vests is another example – they ensure that your workout is as intensive as possible to achieve your goals. The weighted vest will enhance a workout routine regardless of whether you spend most of your time on the treadmill or working out at home.

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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