T Nation

Weighted Vest Workouts


#1

Well..I ordered a MiR 50lb short weighted vest...should be here middle of next week. Anyways,I was curious to the experience of others who have(or currently) use weighted vests for conditioning. What kind of workouts do you use your vest for? Running/Walking? Bodyweight exercises? Etc??

I know Google could be my friend right now...but I want feedback. Thanks.


#2

I use mine for GHR's and sprints and box jumps ... I'll put it on for some plyo stuff too. It's a great addition for my outside stuff.


#3

It can be used for anything as long as you have an imagination. I would advise going less than 10% if you plan on running with the vest, otherwise, it can hamper your form!!!!


#4

Yeah..I'm already a big guy. I don't plan on running with it and putting more stress on my joints. I have considered walking hills...or even sprinting hills with it since that would be less stress than pounding pavement.

But I primarily will be using the vest for bodyweight exercises and maybe adding it to my deadlifting/front squatting.


#5

Burpees!


#6

NO!..lol.


#7

I would do pushups/pullups/bodyweight squats, and take it from there.


#8

Yeah,I plan to start out simple.....although I don't know about using them for pullups just yet...I do good to get my own 300lbs bodyweight up..lol. Although if I use a jump stretch band..hmmm.


#9

I've been using a backpack full of sand bags myself for the last 6 months. Use it to hike the mountains around town 2-3 times a week for 1 1/2 to 3 hours each. I have several routes of varying steepness. Has done wonders for both fat loss and conditoning. I just have to watch going down real steep areas, if I'm not careful my knees let me know the next day.

Started with 20#, now topped out at 50#. Good Stuff


#10

Big Boss, Jim Wendler wrote an article the exercises (strength & conditioning) he uses the weight vest for over at elitefts.com.

www.elitefts.com/documents/weight_vest.htm

I've got a 40 lb. X-Vest also but I won't run with one on. I'm 6'1" 240 lbs and my shins and ankles would rebel for days if not weeks. I have walked long distances and done stairs at the local stadium with it though. Hell of a workout.


#11

This was the first thing I found...I need one of these vests.


#12

Thanks,man.....I thought about the X-Vest,but that damn thing is expensive...you must of received a pretty good deal on one. And I figured it would have hindered my movement for certain things I plan on using the vest for.


#13

ive got a cheapo 40lb vest i use with sledge work, box jumps, tire flippin and my diy sled/prowler. It will really make you hate yourself for doing it, but it helps a lot.

i got my vest on liquidation so i wasnt worried but next time around i'll def spend more on higher quality vest.


#14

Well my vest came in...let the fun begin. I'm gonna have to lighten it up for a while..this bitch is heavy. At least to me...I'm a weighted-vest virgin.


#15

Hey Boss. I love working out with a weighted vest. I customarily run keep-it-simple-stupid style workouts with it on. Such as Deadlift > Dips > Chins or Squat > Horizontal Row > Push-ups, performed in circuit fashion. Nothing to write home about, but pretty effective to run every other day.


#16

My son and I used our 20 lb vests for everything from sprints to 1-on-1 basketball games to plyo stuff (box jumps, etc).

We also do bodyweight circuits with them with including everything from pull-ups, push-ups, bw squats, walking planks (walking on your hands and feet in the up part of the push-up position), and yes, even burpees. :slightly_smiling:


#17

All good suggestions. I throw mine on when cutting the grass and walking the dog.


#18

I will be giving the burpees a try tomorrow. If you don't see a response from me in a few days,you'll know why. I dead.


#19

I use one all the time. I'm looking to buy one that weighs 100lbs and work up to much heavier weights on the bodyweight exercise circuits.


#20

Things a vest is good for:

  • pushups (dive bombers rock), dips, pullups, rows (put a barbell low, lie underneath it and pull yourself up) and squats (there are lots of these, probably more variations than any other exercise). Single-legged squats work better since the vest balances the free leg. Single-legged deads are pretty good too, but be able to do them without a load first.

  • whole body exercises, like burps (a burpee is where you stand up, a burp is where you stay on all 4's and just contract/expand), jump squats, jumping jacks and the like.

  • some types of plyo leg work, e.g. box jumps, hops. Plyo upper body work is a no-no with a vest on, e.g., hand-clap pushups (Boxers and MA-ers love these because they make your hand fast.) The higher load means your hands have to be in a very specific location and being off a bit can be very bad for you, as in faceplant + shoulder dislocation.

  • tabatas! I love squat tabatas with a vest on, as well as pullup or pushup tabatas. Be seriously prepared to toss your cookies the first time through if you've never done tabatas before.

  • walking. Very good for walking. Backpacks put the load in the wrong place for a longer walk, so a vest is better.

Things I would not use a vest for

  • Anything that requires genuine agility, e.g., footwork drills. My direct experience with doing a whole bunch of these with my Xvest topped out at 40 lbs. is that they threw my timing way off. I certainly felt more powerful, but agility has a timing component and if you mistrain this it is very bad. Same reason I don't practice punching with weights. Your body learns to put the foot down to support the weight, so when the weight comes off, the floor effectively can avoid you. Argh!

  • Swimming. (Srsly!) Maybe if I was more dedicated, but...

  • Biking. In the case of biking, just stick stuff on the frame. All I found was that my palms got sore and I got a backache because, again, I had to support a load that was not in an anatomically good position.

  • Running. Sprints with one on would be great as a total body exercise, as long as you make sure you have a very nice, straight level place to do it, because with the load higher on your body, what would be a minor mis-step can end up putting you down hard with a faceplant. I tried jogging with it lightly loaded and definitely noticed ankle and knee pain. So endurance cardio is a no-no. Treadmill sprints are not a viable substitute since you posterior chain mostly shuts off as the belt pulls you through the motion.

  • Rolling and falling (I am a martial artist). Oh doing it with a plate held at the hip is good training, but with a vest on, ouch on rolling over the weights. Got nicely black and blue first 9and only) time I tried it.

-- jj