Ultimate Buying Guide: Weight Vest (to up your fintess game)
Ready to invest in a weighted vest? This complete guide will show you how to choose the best weighted vest, and take your training to the next level.
In Gravgear, we believe versatility and durability should be the key factors for a great weight vest. It should be compatible most of your workout styles with comfort, comfy and lasts through intense training session as long as possible.
Bodyweight exercises like calisthenics, running, martial arts, and sports are the best use cases for weighted vest to shine.
We’ll cover why, when, and how to use a weighted vest in this comprehensive guide.
What is weighted vest
A weighted vest is a vest that you secure around your torso, with weight.
The weight can be in many forms and material. Sand and iron nuggets being the most famous. The point of weight vest is that it can add extra resistance to your body while releasing your hands (barbell) or waist (dip belt).
It is a famous equipment especially to those who practice calisthenics or body weight training. We all know how lightweight our body can feel, after dropping the heavy stuff (like a bag) you carry for the whole day. Weighted vest works the same concept too.
Make your body adapts to the extra resistance for a period, reap the “lighter” effect after discarding the weight. Because you’ve just become stronger.
What makes a good weight vest
Knowing how to choose the best weight vest out of the flooding options is critical. We've listed some criteria below. Anything that checks all the boxes, is a good weighted vest. We’ll use Grav Weight Vest (obviously) to demonstrate all the following points. So these are what should you look for in a good weighted vest:
- Adjustable weight and optimal fitting
- Become comfortable parts of your body
- Versatile to all kind of workout
- Stick to body all the time
- Build to last a lifetime
1. Adjustable weight and optimal fitting
There is nothing wrong with fixed weight vest, it’s just that you cannot adjust the intensity to your liking to suit your capability. Say you want to practice some weighted pull-up, what you can do if you can’t manage the full weight just yet?
- with adjustable weight vest: remove some weight from the vest and continue.
- with fixed weight vest: you only can move down to easier progression, such as weighted Australian pull-up.
You bet, the one with adjustable weight is going to progress much faster.
You might not be aware, our body sizes change all the time. Especially when you are in the middle of major body transformation plan, gaining muscle or losing weight.
Grav weight vest features a belt with big range of adjustment. it can fit maximum of 160cm (you’ll have to hit at least 120kg to be this big) around the torso’s mid-section. And it can go as narrow as you want it to be.
2. Become comfortable parts of your body
We uses two factors to judge how comfortable is a weighted vest.
- It should not wear your down before your workout does.
- It should feel lighter when putting on the torso
Heavy padding shoulder straps are the key here. So you can be vested for an extended period without the straps cut in the shoulders.
Well-padded straps also increase contact surface on the shoulder, distributes the weight evenly throughout the whole body. This effectively trains the full body, instead of just exhausting the shoulder.
3. Versatile to all kind of workout
It is better to know what you are going to use the weight vest for, before investing in one. Why not get one vest and rule them all?
Grav weight vest is compact and short profile. It covers the upper portion of torso, the abdominal section remains unrestrained. The minimal design also helps a great deal in heat dissipation.
It goes well with aerobic exercises like running and martial art, or high-intensity strength training like calisthenics and CrossFit.
4. Stick to body all the time
We want the extra resistance to move along with our movement. It supposed to become part of our body. It supposed to attach firmly with snug fit.
Imagine doing dynamic workout like burpee. A loose-fit weight vest will keep on hitting on the chest and back. You don’t want that unnecessary momentum as it could risk injury. Not to say it will be distracting and annoying as well.
5. Build to last a lifetime
Good training equipment should be your training companion for life. Premium material and lifetime support make sure our weight vest stands the best chance to last their longest lifespan.
That’s why we use Cordura fabric to enclose the thick TPE foam with professional lining. You can train vigorously with the vest and it will still look almost the same even after years of usage (we’ve got a 2 years old vest that still going strong).
If something goes wrong with your weight vest (or any other product from us), and it is not due to wear and tear. Don’t fret, it is protected with our proud lifetime warranty. We’ll send you a new one!
What does a weight vest do
Okay, now you know what does it take to be a good weight vest. But what is the purpose of using one? Working out with weighted vest gives you bigger gain by training harder, in a shorter time. Burn fat, build muscle, skill progression, and more.
Make your trainings harder
The lesser the gravity has effect on you, the stronger you are. It is simple as that.
So training with a weighed vest is reverse-engineering the process. You add extra weight during a training session for a period. After that, you will immediately notice two things:
- Your muscles are exhausted at deeper extend.
- You feel lighter the first moment without the weight.
Weighted training not only makes your body adapts to the extra weight by working harder. It also squeezing the most juice from your muscle to overcome the extra resistance. Bigger strength gain is the only way out here.
Break fitness plateaus
Strength progression is everything when it comes to bodyweight training. Sometimes it lacks a good progression exercise in the middle of two movements.
For example, people suggest you have to at least able to do 15 pull-ups in a row before attempting muscle-up. But the strength from the 15 pull-ups might not be enough and you can hardly move the number up anymore. This is when you need to add some weight to the routine.
Throw in a weight vest and continue the pull-up. Your number will drop at the start, keep at it until you can do 15 weighted pull-up (which is a great feat!). You are very likely to score your first muscle-up by the time.
Shorter workout time and more efficiency
For a person who never try a weighted vest before, just wearing one and sitting still is already tiring after five minutes. Heart pumping faster, breath more rapid, shoulder and core starts to sore. This is the sign the body is triggered to accommodate the higher intensity you’ve put on.
Quality is everything in fitness. And intensity is the key to a quality workout. Weight vest is born for levelling up (any) workout intensity and saves you time. You can burn the same amount of calories while slashing half your workout time.
Promote better posture
Additional weight works wonder in exposing the weakness in poor postures, such as:
- rounded shoulder
- head held forward
You will notice the immediate discomfort the moment you put on a weight vest.
You might not notice this weakness because your body is used to them for a long time. The extra weight introduces the uneasy feeling and make your body adjust and combat it.
This is a perk many tend to overlook, having something constantly reminding you of the correct posture is priceless to any workout.