Boost Your Workout With Weighted Vests for Strength and Endurance

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Nov 12,2023|16 min| 2041

Build Strength and Endurance with Weighted Vests

Many times when it comes to your training routine, you do not think of using weighted vests. However, these vests are becoming increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts as they provide an excellent way to intensify your workouts. Let’s go over all you need to know about weighted vests, including how they work in building strength and endurance, as well as look at the key benefits of training with a weighted vest and things to consider while buying one. Not to mention, we will cover some must-try weighted vest workouts that will help you build strength and build muscle mass, boost endurance, and burn calories effectively. Lastly, we'll answer the question on everyone's mind: Is it beneficial to workout daily using a weighted vest? 

So let's dive in and get started on building your strength and endurance with weighted vests!

Understanding Weighted Vests

Weighted vests are a great functional tool to help you gain strength and challenge your body for better results. By adding extra resistance to exercises, they increase workout intensity and allow you to achieve better fitness. Weighted vests come in different types, offering a range of options to suit your needs. You can also use things such as bulletproof vests or plate carriers, which can be extra beneficial if you are into tactical fitness.

Whether you're doing bodyweight exercises like pull ups or engaging in cardiovascular health, weighted vests can be a valuable addition to your routine. From core work to mobility training, these vests provide a better option for long-term progress. Weighted vests are a versatile tool that can take your workouts to the next level, even with minimal equipment.

How Weighted Vests Work in Building Strength

Weighted vests are a great tool for building strength and improving overall fitness. They provide additional weight for strength training, allowing you to challenge your muscles and increase their endurance. For example, as you do pushups they add extra resistance to the chest, the triceps, and the shoulders. Then with pull-ups, weighted vests can add extra resistance to the biceps, lats, and forearms. 

Additionally, these vests help improve core strength, as the extra weight forces your abdominal muscles to work harder to maintain stability and balance. Incorporating weighted vests into your routine can also enhance your cardiovascular health by adding a weighted cardio workout to your regimen. 

The Science Behind Weighted Vests and Endurance

Weighted vests are not just a trendy fitness accessory to keep in your gym bag alongside things like a quality weightlifting belt and pair of weightlifting shoes; they have a scientific basis behind their effectiveness in enhancing endurance and strength.

By wearing a weighted vest during your workouts, you can increase cardiovascular fitness and improve aerobic capacity. The additional weight adds resistance and challenges your heart rate, leading to better endurance over time. Weighted vest workouts also help in developing stamina, allowing you to push your limits and go the extra mile. So, whether you're aiming to improve your performance in sports or simply boost your overall cardiovascular health, incorporating a weighted vest into your training routine can be a valuable tool. 

Key Benefits of Training with Weighted Vests

Now that we have established what exactly weighted vests are and what they do, let’s take a look at the benefits of using these things.

Enhances Strength and Endurance

Weighted vests are a great tool to enhance both strength and endurance. By adding resistance to bodyweight and cardio exercises, these vests challenge the muscles and increase the intensity of the workout. This leads to better strength gains and improved upper body strength and an enhanced cardiovascular system. 

Promotes Effective Calorie Burn

Burn more calories by incorporating weighted vest workouts into your routine. These vests increase the calorie burn of cardio exercises, helping you achieve your weight loss goals faster. The added resistance from the weighted vest also boosts your body's metabolism, leading to more effective calorie burning during bodyweight exercises. Whether you're doing squats, push-ups, or lunges, the weighted vest maximizes the calorie burn and enhances the overall intensity of your workout. 

Boosts Posture and Body Balance

Believe it or not, you can actually improve your posture by incorporating weighted vest exercises into your routine. Weighted vests promote better body alignment during workouts, or just when you are wearing them around, helping you maintain proper form and posture. By adding an extra load to your body, you enhance your core strength and body stability, leading to improved posture and balance. The added weight also challenges your muscles to work harder, strengthening the back and core muscles essential for maintaining good posture. 

Things to Consider While Buying a Weighted Vest

When purchasing a weighted vest, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, it is crucial to choose the right weight capacity that suits your fitness level and goals. Additionally, the comfort of the vest's straps and shoulder pads should not be overlooked, as these will greatly impact your overall experience while wearing the vest. Look for a vest that offers adjustable weight options, allowing you to gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves. Consider the range of motion with the vest on to ensure it doesn't restrict your movements during exercises. 

Finally, pay attention to the weight distribution of the vest to ensure it is evenly balanced and does not strain any specific areas of your body. By taking these factors into account, you can find the best weighted vest that meets your needs and enhances your workouts.

Type of Weighted Vest Best Suited for Your Needs

When it comes to finding the type of weighted vest best suited for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s take a look.

Comfort and Safety Aspects

When choosing a weighted vest, it is important to consider the comfort and safety aspects. Look for a vest with adjustable straps and buckle closures to ensure a secure fit. Check that the vest fits comfortably around your torso without restricting movement or breathing. Another thing to consider the materials used, such as velcro and shoulder straps, to ensure durability and comfort. 

Additionally, pay attention to the weight distribution of the vest to ensure a balanced and comfortable workout, you do not want a vest with the weight in all one spot. To further enhance comfort, look for a vest with shoulder blade padding. By considering these aspects, you can find a weighted vest that provides both comfort and safety during your workouts.

Important Features to Look for in a Weighted Vest

When choosing a weighted vest for your workouts, there are several important features to consider. First, look for adjustable weight increments that allow for progressive training. This will allow you to gradually increase the resistance as you build strength and endurance. Additionally, secure straps and a buckle are crucial for ensuring a snug fit during exercises, preventing any movement or slippage. Comfortable shoulder pads are also essential, as they help reduce pressure on the upper body while wearing the vest.

Furthermore, durability is key for a weighted vest made from high-quality materials with a high weight capacity to ensure long-term use. Finally, consider the weight distribution of the vest. A well-balanced weight distribution will provide better workout performance and prevent any strain or discomfort. By considering these important features, you can choose a weighted vest that best suits your needs and goals, enhancing your training experience.

Weighted Vest Workouts

Now that we have established that incorporating weighted vest training into your strength training routine is a great way to challenge yourself and take your workouts to the next level, let’s take a look at some great weighted vest workouts. 

Intensified Bodyweight Exercises with Weighted Vests

Enhance your bodyweight exercises by incorporating the extra weight of a vest. Not only does this intensify your workouts, but it also helps increase muscular strength and endurance. You can really challenge your upper body with exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and dips, all performed with the additional weight of a vest. For an improved core strength, incorporate plank variations such as weighted plank and plank shoulder taps. 

If you are looking to boost your cardiovascular fitness, try bodyweight exercises like burpees and mountain climbers with a weighted vest. With a weighted vest, you can take your bodyweight exercises to the next level, making them more challenging and effective. So why wait? Start incorporating a weighted vest into your routine and see the difference it makes.

Agility Exercises Using Weighted Vests

These vests add an extra challenge to agility exercises like ladder drills, making you work harder and improving your footwork and coordination. Try exercises like high knees and lateral shuffles with a weighted vest to enhance your explosive movements. And for quick direction changes, the 5-10-5 drill is even more effective with the added resistance. Whether you're using an agility ladder or performing single-leg squats and lateral lunges, the additional weight of a vest helps increase your body control and balance. 

Running or Walking with Weighted Vests for Better Endurance

Boost your endurance and improve cardiovascular fitness by incorporating a weighted vest into your running or walking routine. Gradually increase the weight of the vest to challenge yourself and build stamina. Weighted vest cardio workouts, such as weighted vest sprints, can help you improve your aerobic capacity and overall endurance. Additionally, wearing a weighted vest during long walks or hikes can increase the intensity of your workout and enhance calorie burn. By adding resistance to your cardio exercises, a weighted vest can provide a more effective and efficient way to boost your endurance and achieve your fitness goals.

Performing Lunges with Weighted Vests

Performing lunges with weighted vests can be a great way to take this leg day exercise to the next level. Start with bodyweight lunges and gradually progress to weighted lunge exercises with a vest. Engage your core, torso, and shoulder blades during lunge exercises with a weighted vest to increase the challenge and target additional muscles. You can further intensify your lunges by adding weight plates to the vest, focusing on the lower body. This will help improve your muscular strength and endurance, particularly targeting the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Remember to pay attention to proper form, knee alignment, and weight distribution while performing weighted lunges for maximum effectiveness.

Doing Pull-ups and Push-ups with Weighted Vests

Increase the intensity of pull-ups by incorporating a weighted vest into your workout. With the added resistance, you'll target your back, shoulder, and arm muscles more effectively. Push-ups can also be made more challenging with a weighted vest. The extra weight will engage your chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles, helping to build strength and endurance. Gradually increasing the weight of the vest will ensure continuous progress and keep your upper body muscles challenged. Including pull-ups and push-ups with a weighted vest in your strength training routine is a great way to improve upper body strength and muscular endurance. To perform these exercises safely and securely, choose a vest with shoulder straps for a snug and comfortable fit.

Step by Step Guide to Weighted Vest Exercises

To get started with weighted vest exercises, begin with a light weight vest and gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. It's important to secure the straps of the vest tightly, ensuring a snug fit during exercises. Choose exercises that target the upper body, core, and lower body for a well-rounded workout. Remember to maintain proper form and range of motion while performing exercises with a weighted vest. Incorporate weighted vest exercises into your fitness routine two to three times per week for optimal results. 

Is It Beneficial to Workout Daily Using a Weighted Vest?

Working out daily with a weighted vest can improve strength and endurance over time. However, you do not need it for every workout or every exercise. For example, you would not bench press with a weighted vest on, nor would you do bicep curls with one on. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, adding a weighted vest to your workout routine can significantly enhance your strength and endurance levels. The additional weight challenges your muscles and cardiovascular system, leading to improved performance and overall fitness. Weighted vests also promote effective calorie burn, helping you achieve your weight loss goals faster. Additionally, they aid in boosting posture and body balance, making you more stable and less prone to injuries during workouts. 

Will you be giving these pieces of equipment a try?

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