Here’s another guest article from Miguel at MuscleProgress.com. You can read his last article about high intensity interval training here.
Weighted vests are a very versatile piece of equipment. They are used by many professionals around the world, from sprinters to mixed martial arts fighters. If you are thinking about training with a weighted vest on, you are doing yourself a big favor regardless of what sport you practice.
The Pros – Improving Almost Everything
I personally think that every athlete should use weighted vests to workout at some point in their life, I’m not just talking about professional athletes, but also regular guys just like you and me. The fact is that working out with one of these vests can help a great deal with reaching new levels of performance, and reaching your fitness goals in general. Here are the main benefits of training with a weighted vest:
- Good for developing strength: It’s logical that if you workout with more weight you will become stronger, because your body is forced to develop more strength to succeed in what you are doing. You can build strength in this way even if you are doing an aerobic workout.
- Good for resistance: Performing aerobic exercises with these vests will improve your resistance. People who perform aerobic workouts with light dumbbells know what I’m talking about here, because is the same principle, and as with the strength example, even if you only perform strength exercises your resistance will improve.
- Exercises many muscle groups: There are few things better than a full body workout, where you train almost all your muscles. Well, training with a weighted vest on will force your body to involve more muscles on the exercises, and to work them better.
- Speed: This is one of my favorite benefits, as I really like developing explosiveness. Performing the same moves over and over again with a weighted vest on is one of the best things you can do to improve your explosiveness. Improvements to your speed and reflexes are some of the best benefits that you can gain using this simple piece of equipment.
- Burn more calories: This is why it is so good for weight loss too. When you do your workout you will burn a certain number of calories. But if you do that same workout with one of these vests on, you can be very sure that you will burn significantly more calories. This is simply because it makes the body demand more energy to perform the same tasks.
- Can prevent osteoporosis: There is some research that claims weighted training can improve bone and even muscle density. This is why running is such a good exercise, as it loads the leg bones and strengthens them over time.
The Cons – Watch Out Beginners!
- Puts more stress on the joints
- Not recommended for people with respiratory problems or heart disease, where a gentler form of exercise may be more beneficial (but only with the express permission of your physician).
- Injuries if misused: Back injuries can happen especially easily, and this can be a typical problem for fitness beginners who want to try everything without really knowing what they are doing.
As you can see, for inexperienced people it can be bad to perform a workout with a weighted vest on if they don’t use it correctly. For example, this can be the result of putting on too much weight or bad posture when doing certain exercises. Because of that weighted vests are best used only by experienced athletes and not by novices, in my opinion.
Something to bear in mind when training with one of these vests is that any pain you can feel on your body is probably a sign of incorrect posture or training, and you should stop immediately to reassess what you are doing. Remember that your safety using weighted vests depends on doing the exercises correctly, not on how much weight, or how fast you can do them.
If you know what you are doing when working out and you want to experience better results, I highly recommend purchasing a weighted vest, or even making a homemade one. You can be sure you will reach new levels of performance.
Author Bio: Miguel has been a fitness enthusiast for a long time, and now is sharing his knowledge and experience about all kinds of fitness topics, especially building muscle and weight loss on his site MuscleProgress.com.