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Can Weighted Vests Help Speed?

Weighted vests are a popular choice among the countless number of calisthenics training gears used by fitness enthusiasts when it comes to adding resistance to their workout routine.

Available in many types, most weighted vests are made of strong nylon, held with elastic Velcro straps and by inserting or removing metal bars, they are weight adjustable.

It’s common for the army, police or boot campers to use weighted vests in their training to induce progression of course, apart from emulating fighting situations. However, there is a mix of opinions when it comes to noncombatants training with a weighted vest.

Running with a Weighted Vest

Running with a weighted vest is unlikely to improve your speed, at least not directly. It adds intensity and difficulty to your workout for sure, so this translates to burning more calories and strengthening your leg muscles and bones. According to this study, a weighted vest can also improve your running posture.

Therefore, the advantages you’ve gained from running with a weighted vest would help you become a better runner. This in turn will increase your running skill to run further and faster.

Unless you’re keen on having the weighted vest on to increase running speed, there’s a way to do it. You can start by sprinting with a weightless vest on. Ensure it fits your body tightly and monitor how it affects your form. Add small amounts of weight gradually and maintain your current sprinting speeds and reps.

Improving cardiovascular health is another benefit from running with a weighted vest as your heart will work slightly harder to pump blood, spiking the heart rate. Your bone density too could gain from this additional force. This study says that working out with a weighted vest can prevent hip bones loss and most importantly, osteoporosis.

Last but not least, balance. When you run with a weighted vest, the posture and form would always be at the back of your head. With time, this may improve balancing as you run.

Is Training with a Weighted Vest Risky?

It can be risky if you are not used to it, don’t have a proper form intact or if it’s used excessively.

Another cause of injury would be lack of basic knowledge in doing standard pullups or having saggy hips during pushups (with a weighted vest on).

Tight muscles, poor posture or having the history of back pain could also pose risks so it’s best to build your strength and form first, before committing to using a weighted vest.

Weight training

Wearing a weighted vest when weightlifting means you work against gravity at a greater rate so this too may contribute to improved bone density.

Cardio exercise

Boxing or using gym equipment such as the treadmill, ellipsis machine or stair-steppers could induce more calorie-burn when using a weighted vest. For those of you who are working hard towards reducing weight especially, you may try this method.

What to consider before getting a weighted vest?

  1. Choose a vest with at least 10 percent of your body weight.
  2. Get a vest to start at a lower weight and add more weight gradually.
  3. Try different styles and shapes of vests until you find one that fits your body.
  4. Get a vest with even distribution of weight over your trunk and torso.

Safety First

Workout with additional weights always imposing risk to injury, weighted vest is not an exception. Therefore, you have to be very honest with how your body fits into it and if the weights are secured and proportioned equally. Avoid from letting the weights shift while moving because they can disrupt your balance.

Start with less weight and increase it gradually when you’re ready. It’s better to preserve your body than being crowned the hardcore king with a broken bone! Check with the doctor to ensure your heart is healthy enough before bearing increased endurance and cardiovascular exercise.

Most importantly, if you have a joint problem or even osteoporosis, consult your doctor before running or working out with a weighted vest.

The Verdict

It’s certainly encouraged to add in extra effort to increase efficiency in your running or workout routines. As for weighted vest workouts, the impact can be seen profoundly in bone density and balance.

In the case of running or sprinting, it truly depends on the runner. Some enjoy running with a weighted vest in Singapore, while others see it as some sort of a hindrance. Ultimately, observing your diet and altering your running form are perceived as more effective ways to increase speed in running.