How Many Extra Calories Does A Weighted Vest Burn?

  • by Weng Hui Foong

Throughout the years, there have constantly been depictions throughout the media that physical endurance training whilst being hindered with additional weight provides additional stimulus to building muscle mass and increasing blood circulation. Memories of Luke Skywalker performing flips with Master Yoda strapped to his back, or Son Goku revealing himself to be wearing immensely dense weighted clothing prior to his final battle with the ultimate “big bad” have accentuated that you (the protagonist of your story) undergo a strength and stamina combination increase through such training.

But what separates the facts from fiction?

Studies in recent years have proven that an individual may burn up to 12% additional calories whilst training with a weighted vest.  This simple addition to an individual’s training regime could prove to be the key in weight loss and/or cardiovascular programs, specifically.

How much would you burn? 

That simply depends on how much you exercise, and how much weight you are willing to strap on.  Carrying your standard day backpack as you galavant around the city, for example, would be more beneficial than carrying nothing at all.  You may burn up to 50 calories per hour doing so.  However, increasing your carried weight and undergoing a more elevated trail would inevitably increase the amount of calories (100 or even more) burned whilst maintaining the same pace.

There are positives to wearing a weighted vest, but you must be aware that these positives come with certain conditions.  If you are unwell or not in “fit fighting” shape, the addition of the weighted vest should be a gradual climb and comfortability in wearing one will take some time to get used to.  Heroes are not created overnight (despite what you may have seen from the fantastic Marvel Cinematic Universe): they are built. 

If you have a history with neck or spine discomforts or injuries, a weighted vest might not be ideal for you as the added pressure may aggravate any potential dormant issues.  Remember - the aim of exercise is for self-improvement, not to intentionally hurt yourself.  The intent is to walk, before you gallop into a sprint.

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