The word ‘exercise’ simply equates to health and fitness for some. For some others, it is a grueling task every day that they endeavor to reap some benefits—weight loss, muscle building, or more.
When we have different exercising options to benefit every muscle and body part or walking is an all-in-one solution to overall health, what’s the need for extra accessories such as wrist weights or weighted vests? Indeed, to achieve greater benefits in a shorter period.
We might feel there are no shortcuts to exercise, but using appropriate accessories can enhance exercising experience creating enhanced results.
But for this, we need to invest more and workout harder too, which makes us wonder—are weighted vests worth it?
But first, let’s see what the weighted vests are.
What Are Weighted Vests?
A vest is a garment worn on the upper part of the body, while a weighted vest is a garment worn with a certain amount of weight contained in it.
We have sometimes seen macho men and strong women in gyms/fitness centers working out vigorously with such vests, which gives them and others seeing it an army-man kind of look.
A quite new accessory, these vests increase resistance (pivotal concept around which exercising revolves) using weights, which help in burning ample calories, increasing stamina and balance, and making the individual more flexible. Read more weighted pull-ups benefits here.
For those wondering whether weighted vests are worth the efforts in a scenario where we do have weight-based workouts and supplements that promote muscle building, your thoughts do seem logical.
But you should read through for a thorough understanding of this accessory and the list of benefits it showers upon you.
Are Weighted Vests Worth It? A Sneak Peek Into Their Benefits Helps You Make a Better Judgement
Sometime back, one of my gym trainers suggested that I wear a heavy backpack when I go for a walk to achieve greater benefits while walking.
A weighted vest could have been an ideal choice as the weight here is evenly distributed, which makes it more comfortable.
The weights that sit comfortably within this vest gives you the extra resistance needed for you to push yourself more, work hard on the muscles, and bring about higher workout benefits.
You might be into cardio or strength training, but these accessories have no bias—they work great on any kind of exercise that you pursue.
We become quite comfortable with our exercise routines over time, and adding a weighted vest brings in the principle of progressive overload.
This concept helps to keep your workouts challenging and fruitful.
Wearing them when you reach a plateau exercise stage is an instant performance enhancer, which boosts your calorie-burning abilities—by increasing heart rate, forcing the cardiovascular system to work harder, and increasing endurance levels.
Let’s look at the benefits of investing money and efforts in a weighted vest.
1. It Makes the Workouts Challenging
Some people often complain of never losing weight though they invest 100% effort while exercising.
These guys have reached the workout plateau and need to vary their exercises, frequency, reps and sets, and resistance and decrease rest time between sets.
Wearing these accessories brings about changes in your resistance levels and makes it challenging for the user, thereby breaking the plateau.
2. Adds Strength & Endurance
Exercising helps to keep your body fit, flexible, and strong.
Adding extra weights while exercising makes it hard for the body initially—your muscles start working harder, trying to adapt to this increase in weight.
You gain better strength and endurance levels with the extra resistance that’s forced onto your body.
3. Weight Loss
This is not too hard but never simple too. You need the right momentum, intensity, and frequency to burn fat without burning muscle mass.
Health experts recommend pursuing high-intensity exercises such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for enriching fat loss benefits.
In HIIT, the training individual performs short bursts of high-intensity exercising such as sprinting or jumping jacks coupled with normal workouts such as jogging.
This cycle of alternating between high and medium-intensity might be tiresome initially, but such routines must be in place to avoid a workout plateau.
Imagine wearing a weighted vest while jumping or sprinting—whoa! This burns ample calories and removes excess fat as rapidly as possible.
4. Muscle & Bone Mass
Resistant exercises are a boon to the musculoskeletal system as they specialize in increasing bone mass.
Putting on a weighted vest makes this extra beneficial—it not only makes you stronger, healthier, and increase muscle size, but also triggers body cells to produce new bones.
All desire healthy bones and muscles but only acquired by some with the right techniques in use.
Collect your muscle/bone benefits that come to you with a weighted vest.
5. Cardiovascular Health
Cardio workouts, as the name suggests, are advantageous to your cardio system besides helping in burning calories.
Cardio workouts are a sure-shot way to increase heart rate, boost lung functionality, and improve metabolism (an ideal way to bring about rapid weight loss).
Increasing resistance levels with a weighted vest promote all these benefits even more.
Disadvantages of Using Weighted Vests
You might be impressed by the benefits of using a weighted vest, but there are certain downsides of using it too.
1. Increases Injury-related Problems
Many individuals suffer from back pain or shoulder injuries.
A weighted vest might be unsuitable for use on such people as it surely aggravates their pain.
It worsens their injury when extra weights are placed on their body parts.
This is even more true in people who suffer from core muscle problems.
Avoid using this accessory when suffering from such problems, but if you are too inclined to do so, never resort to it before seeking medical advice.
2. Inappropriate Fit Leads to Injuries
Many manufacturers boast of designing a one-size-fits-all vest to boost sales volume.
This makes people buy a piece of the vest without properly testing it on themselves first.
For maximized benefits, you need to purchase one that perfectly sits on you.
Failing to do this might put you on a potentially dangerous situation as larger vests have loose weights that bang against your body while exercising.
This takes off the momentum of exercising too.
Make sure to buy fitting vests or those that come with adjustable straps so that they stay comfortably on your body.
Else, be sure to lose balance and momentum. You might end up falling and injuring yourself.
Are You Fit for it? Weighted vests add benefits to those who are into fitness and exercise regularly.
Beginner trainers are recommended to avoid until they get the hang of exercising routines.
Vests also cause stress on the heart, and hence, all individuals are requested to get assurance from their physician before starting to use a weighted vest.
Factors to Consider Before Investing in a Weighted Vest
Every kind of vest produced is marketing with pomp and glamour, but it’s upon us to choose the best for our body.
The below-given factors should be considered before choosing a weighted vest.
Any vest that you wear must add comfort while exercising rather than making you more uncomfortable with it.
For this, you need to choose the one that fits you well (like the vest has been measured and made for your size).
At the same time, it shouldn’t be too tight that you feel difficult to breathe.
Choose one that doesn’t wobble up or down while working out. Jackets could be made of lightweight or breathable material or could be a bit heavy too.
Whichever model you might choose, ensure that the weight is evenly distributed across the vest failing, which could ruin your total workout experience.
Don’t be overenthusiastic and choose a vest that rests like a bomb jacket on you.
It is up to the user to choose his/her ideal weight choices. Weighted vests come in different weights, and most have the option to load/unload weights.
Some others have a certain weight loaded into them, which cannot be altered too.
Through exercises such as running could do with fixed weight vests, it is ideal to choose a vest that comes with adjustable weights for reaping maximized benefits from changing resistance levels.
Never are high-quality vests always expensive, nor are low-quality accessories trash.
But many manufacturers sell low-quality products at a cheap cost to lure buyers.
Beware of such products as the weights are not evenly distributed, nor do they fit properly.
Good products could be high priced, but if you are looking for optimal benefits, don’t think twice before buying them.
They are more durable and comfortable to use.
Before investing in a weighted vest, please consider the purpose of your purchase.
Vests are made for different purposes—some for cardio, running or walking, and some others for weight training.
Cardio workouts make you sweat, and hence, the vest that you buy must be made of moisture-wicking materials.
Once you are sure about your purpose, it’s time to set your goals—is it for bodybuilding, weight loss, muscle mass, or regular exercise routines?
If your purpose is to lose weight and burn fat, don’t hesitate to invest in a weighted vest.
It burns calories faster than you could imagine.
Every vest meets different goals, so aiming to reap maximum benefits, it’s necessary to invest in one that suits your purpose.
Once your needs and goals are set, decide upon a vest that best suits your pocket and design requirements.