One of the recent trends I have notice is the increase use of weighted vest especially for cross fit. Whether that is something good depends on how you train in it. Let’s look at how best to make use of this piece of fitness gear.
Weighted vest benefits
Have you ever seen Dragon Ball, the anime? Even in that series, the main character uses weighted vest during training such that he becomes stronger and faster in real fights when the vest is off. This same login explains why many athletics will tend to use weighted vest in some point in their training routine.
Besides enabling to perform better, another benefit of a weight vest vs something like dumbbells is its flexibility. The former allows you add weight to any movement while the latter requires you to constantly hold on to it, which is impractical in many situations such as running, sports and even push ups.
How you should ease into it
As a beginner, it is important to master the basic movement set of your workout routine before attempting to add any weights. Having a solid foundation is important to prevent injuries that arise form incorrect posture or movement, especially when the weights are on.
Once you get the basic movement down, ease into the weighted vest carefully. Don’t maximise out the total number of weights the vest can hold in your first attempt. What I suggest is to add a couple and train in them for a while. If you find that you are not exerting more efforts, add a few more or vice versa. Never force yourself to continue in any current weight condition if you find your body tiring out fast. This is a sure tell tale sign that you are carrying too many weights for your current fitness levels.
In the market, there are different types of weighted vest that differs by how much weight it can hold. The more weight capacity a vest has, the heavier it is to wear. In general, the rule is to carry weights that are around 10% of your body weight. If you are a beginner, a 10 pound weight vest will be the right level.
Tips of using weighted vest
A weighted vest need not be used only during exercising. To help you get the best out of your vest, here are a couple of tips that I used personallly:
- Wear it for outdoor recreational activities: If you are into hiking or other outdoor stuff, wearing a weight vest can be useful in helping your body adjust to the increase weight, without putting too much stress on the body via a full workout
- Riding a bike: When you are riding in off road tracks where you need to do a lot of upper body movements to balance the bike, wearing a weighted vest increases the effort your body needs to put in.
- Do household chores: Household chores requires a minimum level of exercising that can be suited for a beginner adjusting to wearing a weight vest. Just be mindful that you are carrying more weights now so you might need to adjust certain postures to avoid back or shoulder injuries.
- Focus on speed: When using the weight vest, focus on doing things faster, rather than endurance. This is because wearing the vest longer may tired the muscles out and can compromise your form
- Avoid jumping: Jumping with additional weights can easily cause back injuries so avoid that as best as you can
- Rest!: Finally, learn to rest at regular intervals to avoid over straining the muscle group, which can lead to higher chances of getting an injury
A weighted vest, when used correctly, can help to increase your speed and strength. However, be careful on how to use it as it can easily lead to injuries or compromise of your form.