T Nation

Conditioning Weight Vest Training


The 84 lb XVest is a fine piece of training equipment. It wasn't really until Dan John's article about Loaded Carries that got me inspired. In the Gym I was doing 10-15 second Zercher carries. On other days, I powerwalked up hills geared in the X84 Firefighter model.

If you read Jim Wendler's weight vest experience, you might not be convinced. Personally I find that the weight vest supports a healthy body composition (including muscle, abdominal strength, connective tissue and bone density.

I am seriously considering moving upwards into the 150lb vest model by the Weight Vest company. My only point of concern is how well my spine adapts to the stress.

After 45 minutes powerwalking hills, take off the vest and find yourself in post exercise bliss (because the opposite of agony is bliss). I could eat 1,000 calories in the next hour and be leaner than before.

Dan John: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_secret_of_loaded_carries
Wendler: http://www.elitefts.com/documents/weight_vest.htm


I was looking to purchase one of these vests for walks around my neighborhood in the early AM before school/work. That's awesome though that it's working for you, I'm just trying to narrow it down to which one to buy, something durable obviously but not terribly expensive either.


I went ahead and bought a weighted vest. An XLR8 18KG(40lbs) model. I went for a 1 1/2 mile walk and have to admit I was glad to finish it. My traps really did feel the brunt.

Will be interesting to see where I can go with this and how it will affect conditioning and body comp


Training with weight vests always reminds me of DBZ... I am such a nerd.


Walking with a rucksack cured my insomnia, I imagine the same with the weighted vest. You can move up to 150lbs pretty easily there are a lot of guys who ruck with about that much but they work up to it progressively. Hell it should be easier with a vest because the weight is actually centered. Just add 10lbs every two-three weeks and squat heavy. Your body will adapt. Just give it time and nutrients.


These are great for cardio, either outside or crank the treadmill up and feel the calves and traps burn


invested in the x-vest 40lb model, and have been using it for 1-2 mile walks. the past few days i've used it with the treadmill at 2.5-3mph and on high incline, and it's fantastic


Heck yea, I just got back from another walk around the hood with my Xvest.

Did deadlifts 5RM for two sets at gym, drank glutamine/bcaa/carbs on the way home, then put on the xVest for 25 minute walk. Traps, abs, and spine got some nice stimulation thats for sure.

Glad to see more people using the vests. I know there is a certain amount of hype attributed to the vests, but for the TIME spent training, these vests do major work.


sandbags are also a cheap option


Also chains, if you got them already.


Just wanted to update this thread...

I've been a big fan of the XVest-84 lbs firefighter model obviously, just recently purchased and have been training with the V-MAX 150 lbs weighted vest from weightvest.com. Have been training power-walks and hill repeats mostly.

What I've noticed so far from the 150lbs vest...

-Stronger feet/ankles, this seems to be the first adaptation. My initial 1 mile walk with the 150lbs vest fatigued the feet muscle significantly, but after over a month I noticed the feet/ankles are very strong.
-Upper back strength, the traps are taxed quite a bit but haven't noticed much growth from the vest alone. The mid-upper back postural muscles are definitely popping out in different kinds of ways and I can feel it after a long walk.
-Core strength, needless to say walking with 150 lbs requires a lot of core stability. The endurance transfers nicely to keeping tight during squats.
-Conditioning, burning lots of calories for sure. Plus regular activities I have a lot more energy for which is a very nice benefit.
-It is painful. There's no denying that. Major downside is the nerve compression in the shoulders... I am going to have to weigh my options and see how it goes for the next few months.
-Makes me feel like I have overcome very challenging physical activity -- confidence in my strength/conditioning.

Longest walk so far was 2.2 miles including major hills. The first 5 minutes sucks because body hasn't responded to the weight, quads cramping abit -- could use a better warm up maybe. Then halfway through (on the way up the biggest hill) my lower back starts aching. Once I pass that sticking point, it seems like all the endorphins kick in and I'm just autopilot all the way home one step at a time.

I really can't say that complete benefits of using a weighted vest in this fashion. All I can say is that I'm testing it out and seeing what it does for me. I definitely have more mental fortitude from enduring these heavy walks (and now I know what it feels like to weigh 350lbs and powerwalk 2 miles). Overall the abs seems to be developing nicely and my squat continues to improve so I am happy.

Will keep updating in the next few months...


very cool. I have the 40lbs x-vest, is it possible to just buy more bars to make it 84? I don't think mine fill all the slots when its got them all in.


I'm not sure about the 40 lb vest. Although you might be right about more slots. MY Xvest84 seems to have more room possibly up to 100 max.


A walk in the life of a 350 lb man! aka ME!! LOL Do those come in my size? I could see what a 500 lb man goes through!!


One size fits all, it's got a pretty versatile strapping system. If need be, I'm sure they could customize the dimensions a bit since most of the vests are made to order.

It's crazy intense though, try 70-100 lbs first maybe.


I have seen a few 40LB ones I was thinking about buying one and checking it out... Even with that I'd be hauling around about 390 lbs...