Ultimate Guide to Weighted Vests: Top Workouts, Models & Selection

Are you seeking ways to enhance your workout routine? Incorporating a weighted vest into your training can offer a demanding and efficient approach to developing strength and stamina. Our extensive guide covers the finest exercises you can perform with a weighted vest, the leading models available, and crucial aspects to contemplate before buying. Whether you are an experienced athlete or a beginner, this guide has all the information required to optimize your weighted vest workouts.

The Benefits of Weighted Vests for Workouts

the benefits of weighted vests for workouts
Photo credit: Freepik

If you want to take your workouts up a notch, a weighted vest may be just what you need. A weighted vest is simply a vest with pockets or pouches where weights can be added or removed to adjust the overall weight of the vest. These vests can help add resistance to various exercises and movements, providing greater muscle intensity and challenge.

One of the main benefits of using a weighted vest during your workouts is that it can help increase strength and endurance. In addition, the added weight can make bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and squats, more challenging by increasing the resistance on your muscles. 

This forces your muscles to work harder than they would otherwise, increasing strength and endurance over time. First, however, choosing the right weighted vest for your needs is essential. 

Many different models are available on the market today, ranging from fixed-weight vests to adjustable ones with varying levels of customization. Choosing a poorly made or ill-fitting weighted vest could lead to injury or discomfort during use. 

Therefore, it’s essential to do some research before investing in one to select one that is effective but also safe and comfortable for you in the long run. With these things in mind, let’s explore some top workouts you can do with a weighted vest and some popular models currently available on the market today. 

Top Workouts with Weighted Vests

Running and Jogging: Add Resistance to Your Cardio

running and jogging: add resistance to your cardio
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Running is one of the most popular forms of cardio, but it can become monotonous after a while. A weighted vest can help add resistance to your runs, increasing the intensity and challenging your body. 

Start with a light weight and gradually increase as you get stronger. Jogging with a weighted vest is also great for building endurance. 

It’s an excellent way to burn more calories, tone your muscles, and improve your fitness. In addition, you’ll notice a difference in your running form and speed once you take off the vest. 

Bodyweight Exercises: Push Your Limits

weighted vests for workouts
Black weighted vests for workouts. Photo credit: Freepik

Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges are staple exercises that can be challenging independently. However, when you add a weighted vest into the mix, it takes it up a notch! The added resistance makes every repetition more difficult by engaging more muscles in your body. 

Squats become deeper, push-ups become harder and lunges become more intense when wearing a weight vest. These exercises target multiple muscle groups at once, increasing strength gains throughout the body while burning more calories. 

Plyometric Exercises: Explosive Movements

plyometric exercises: explosive movements
Choose the best weighted vests for workouts. Photo credit: Freepik

Plyometric exercises like a box jump or burpees are explosive movements that require power and quickness from your muscles. With an added weight from a weighted vest, these moves become even more challenging but incredibly effective at increasing strength. 

The extra resistance provides an additional challenge for athletes who want to jump higher or move faster in their sport. In addition, incorporating these moves into training will increase endurance which will help athletes perform better during competition. 

CrossFit Workouts: Enhance Your WODs

crossfit workouts: enhance your wods
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CrossFit workouts are already intense without adding extra weight, so that a weighted vest can take it up a notch. In addition, incorporating a vest into your WODs (Workout of the Day) can help improve your strength, endurance, and overall fitness level. 

The variety of exercises in CrossFit, from weightlifting to cardio, means plenty of opportunities to incorporate a weighted vest. For example, CrossFit athletes can use the vest for box jumps, air squats, overhead lunges, or running between stations. 

HIIT Workouts: Short and Intense

weighted vests for workouts
Photo credit: Freepik

High-Intensity Interval Training workouts are designed to burn fat fast by incorporating short but intense bursts of exercise followed by short rest periods. Adding a weighted vest during these workouts creates an extra challenge raising the heart rate and increasing calorie burn. 

Bodyweight exercises like jump squats or mountain climbers become more challenging with added weight while improving muscle tone and conditioning throughout the body. HIIT workouts with a weighted vest will leave you feeling exhausted but accomplished after finishing one round. 

Models of Weighted Vests

Adjustable vs. Fixed Weight Vests

When choosing a weighted vest, one crucial aspect is whether you prefer an adjustable or a fixed-weight vest. Adjustable weight vests are perfect for those who like increasing or decreasing weight during workouts. In addition, these vests feature removable weights, so you can start with a lower weight and gradually increase it as you build strength. 

On the other hand, fixed-weight vests have a set amount of weight that can’t be changed. As a result, they’re great for beginners who can keep the load the same. 

Different Weight Options

Weighted vests come in different weights, so choosing the appropriate one for your fitness level and workout routine is essential. For those starting, lighter-weighted vests ranging from 4-8 pounds are recommended. Intermediate users can opt for 10-20 pound vests, while advanced athletes can go for heavier options up to 50 pounds. 

Materials Used in Construction

The materials used in constructing the weighted vest determine its durability and comfort level. Most weighted vests are made from heavy-duty nylon material that guarantees long-lasting use even with frequent washing and wear. For extra comfort during workouts, look for models made with moisture-wicking fabrics that help keep you cool and dry during intense exercises. 

Additional Features (Pockets for Weights, Ventilation)

Aside from basic construction features, some weighted vest models include other features such as pockets for weights or ventilation systems. Pockets allow you to add more weight while maintaining balance and stability during running or jumping jacks. 

Ventilation holes, on the other hand, improve air circulation, preventing overheating during high-intensity workouts. Overall, when looking at different models of weighted vests, be sure they suit your particular needs since each model has unique features. 

Things to Look for When Choosing a Weighted Vest

Comfort and Fit

When choosing a weighted vest, comfort and fit are essential factors. A weight vest that does not fit well or is uncomfortable will hinder your workout progress and cause injury. 

Therefore, it is crucial to try on different models of vests before making a purchase. A good weighted vest should have adjustable straps around the shoulders, waist, and chest for a customized fit. 

Moreover, the vest’s material should be breathable to prevent excessive sweating and overheating during workouts. The best way to ensure your comfort when wearing a weight vest is by choosing one made from lightweight materials like neoprene or nylon. 


Durability is another critical factor when choosing a weighted vest. You want a weight vest that can withstand wear and tear from regular use without falling apart quickly. Vests made from high-quality materials like reinforced stitching, heavy-duty fabric, and metal weights tend to last longer than cheaper alternatives. 

Additionally, check reviews online before purchasing any model; many customers will share their experiences with durability in their thoughts. It is also helpful to look for models with warranties or guarantees that can reassure you of the product’s quality. 

Ease of Use and Adjustability

The ease of use and adjustability factor is essential when choosing the best-weighted vests for workouts. You want something easy to put on without needing assistance whenever you need to gear up for exercise. 

Choose vests with adjustable straps around the waist area so you can secure them tightly against your body; this prevents them from bouncing during movements like jumping jacks or jogging. Also, check if there are pockets where additional weights could be added if necessary. 

Price Range

The price range is also essential when choosing the right weighted vest. Different models come with varying prices, and choosing one that fits your budget is necessary. 

However, keep quality for the price. The best way to approach this is by researching and comparing different models’ prices from several vendors before making a purchase. 

The more expensive vests may be worth the investment as they last longer, have more features and are safer in the long run. Ultimately, you want to balance affordability and quality when purchasing a weight vest. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Weighted Vests

1. How much weight should I start with?

When adding weight to your workouts, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase the weight over time. This is especially true when using a weighted vest. 

If you’re new to using one, start with a vest that weighs around 5-10% of your body weight. Then, as you get more comfortable with the added weight, you can gradually increase it by 5-10% increments until you reach your desired level. 

Remember that wearing too much weight too soon can lead to injuries such as joint pain, sprains, or strains. Therefore, it’s always better to start small and work your way up rather than risk injury by trying to lift too much too quickly. 

2. Can I wear a weighted vest all day?

While some may be tempted to wear a weighted vest all day for added resistance throughout their daily routine, this is not recommended. Wearing a weighted vest for extended periods can put unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles, which could lead to pain or injury. 

It’s essential to only use a weighted vest during exercise routines where it can be adequately controlled and monitored. Wearing one for extended periods during the day could also lead to postural imbalances or changes in gait, which could cause additional problems down the line. 

3. Are there any risks associated with using a weighted vest?

While using a weighted vest can effectively add resistance and intensity to your workouts, some potential risks are associated with its use. As previously mentioned, wearing too much weight or wearing it for extended periods could cause joint pain, sprains, or strains. Additionally, the extra weight could throw off balance and cause falls or other accidents if not properly adjusted and secured during exercise routines like running or jumping. 

This is why choosing a vest that fits properly and can be adjusted according to your specific needs is essential. Overall, weighted vests can be an excellent tool for increasing the intensity of your workouts, but it’s necessary to use them responsibly and with caution. 


Recap of the benefits of using a weighted vest during workouts

Using a weighted vest during your training can provide numerous benefits. It increases resistance, which can help to build muscle and burn more calories. It can also improve bone density and increase endurance. 

Weighted vests are often used in HIIT workouts, CrossFit, and running to help push your body to the next level. If you want to improve your fitness routine and challenge yourself, consider investing in a weighted vest. 

Start with lighter weights and work your way up gradually over time. With consistent use, you’ll notice significant improvements in your strength, speed, and overall fitness. 

Final tips on choosing the suitable model for your needs

When choosing a weighted vest, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost is comfort – ensure it fits snugly but doesn’t restrict movement or cause discomfort during exercise. 

Durability is also essential – look for vests made from high-quality materials that will withstand intense workouts. Adjustability is another critical consideration. 

Some vests come with fixed weights, while others allow you to add or remove weight as needed. Think about how much weight you want to begin with and if you want the option to increase it over time. 

Price is an essential factor for many people when purchasing a weighted vest. While focusing on quality and essential features is necessary, affordable options are available at various prices. 

Incorporating a weighted vest into your fitness routine can take things up a notch and challenge you physically. With so many different models available on the market today, there’s sure to be one that meets your unique needs and preferences!

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