What Is Weight Vest Training For?
Weight vest training has been a tool for performance enhancement for a very long time. Training with extra weight has been used since the time of the ancients. Carrying weight up hills, lurking around gear in the armed forces. Understanding the weight vest pros and cons will help you to decide what is best.
There are tonnes of examples of the use of training with an extra load to be better prepared for combat or the sport they are training for. Weight vest training brings many advantages and we will go over that in the weight vest pros and cons.
The concept is simple. Wearing a vest that sits on the center of gravity allows it to be generally and evenly distributed across the entire body. This naturally makes it feel like you have to increase your bodyweight. The goal is that once the weight vest comes off, everything that you usually would be doing will feel just that much more comfortable.
Using a weight vest is also an excellent way to increase your calories burned during a workout. If you are looking to cut weight, adding a weight vest that is about 10% of your body weight will increase your bodies ability to burn calories. The amount will differ between individuals.
Who Should Be Using Weight Vests
Weight vest training is not for everyone. It would depend highly on what sport you are competing in. That will determine if they would even be useful for you to use. When you are deciding to use, a weight vest takes a look at if it only serves to take away from the sport you play or compete in. For example, a weight vest is going to be extremely useful for those who fight in combat sports. Not so much for those who compete in golf.
The point of any wearable weight is to increase your bodies own ability to produce force. You want to be competing in a sport that will not be significantly affected technique wise by adding an external load on top of it.
Much like weighted footballs are great for long-snappers but horrible for quarterbacks. The nature of the movements themselves determines if using an external load is appropriate or not.
If your sports benefit from significant increases in force production that do not directly effect technique. You should strap a weight vest on. If your sport requires a significant amount of it to be done with precision. If add the weight takes merely that technical accuracy away from you then it is probably not worth strapping one on.
All of that being said, if you are using weight vest training for something that is not sport specific. Just for general fitness and wellness then anyone can use them. Sticking with vests that are at or under 10% of your body weight is perfect for dropping weight. They can be used outside of the sport specific movements 100%.
Weight Vest Pros and Cons – The Pros
Automatic Increase In Intensity
- Adding a weight automatically and instantly increases the intensity of the exercises you are trying to complete. Especially bodyweight movements.
Burn More Calories
- Adding extra weight to your person will instantly increase your bodies rate of calorie expenditure.
- Adding in a weighted load increases your ability to produce force. The moment the weighted load is removed will increase the speed of the unweighted body or limb.
Prevent Bone Loss
- Studies have shown that using external resistance is a great way to help prevent osteoporosis.
Weight Vest Pros and Cons – The Cons
Increase Joint Stress
- Having an external load added to your body will increase the stress across the body. If your body is not sued for the increase in load, it could cause some future problems.
- If you step in the wrong way or move in a certain way, you increase your risk of possible injury because of the extra load.
- Those who have respiratory or heart issues should avoid the external load of a weight vest training.
Review the weight vest pros and cons and make a decision on what you think will be best for you.