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Training w/ Added Weight


Alright, I'm completely confused.

When training with extra bodyweight, for example using an X-vest, the recommendation is to not use more than 10-12% of bodyweight for anything with a heel strike.

I'm under the impression that walking/hiking involves a heel strike.

If this is true, then what about people who actually hike with heavy packs (40-70lbs)? Or the military who run and hike with heavy packs? Or people who carry a baby in a backpack?

Is this unreasonable? Or is it just placing them at a higher risk for injury? Or am I mistaken and heel strike is only running and jumping?

I want to order a X-vest and use it to walk around with during the day. I also want to go for quick fitness hikes and sometimes longer fitness hikes. Yet I want to use 40lbs to really get a nasty workout. However, I only weigh 135lbs so this would be completely over the top as far as percentage of bodyweight.

Is this something that can be done or am I really inviting injury? Any thoughts would be helpful and if John Davies is around and could comment that would be great also. Thanks.


No this is not scientific.. But from my experience,

Ive been backpacking/mountaineering for years with a very heavy pack (60+lbs). Ive never had any problem. Of course the thing you going to have to look at is the footwear worn.

For backpacking I have some pretty beefy gortex asolo's with quite a bit of ankle support. And for mountaineering I have a plastic double boot.

It is pretty well known in the backpacking world that very long times with only regular shoes or trail running shoes can cause problems with your feet in the future. But I guess it all depends on the frequency of the event. I mean if you think about it, It would be no different then you gaining weight and still walking (mind you weight gain is more gradual most of the time).


I was in the Marines from 93-97 so I have some experience of what you're talking about. I advise against using it for any sort of running as it really tears up your knees, but for hiking you should be aok as long as you get some footwear with good ankle support.