Weighted Vest is not just a vest, it’s actually much more.
Most people have the notion that weighted vest are only worn by army officials or the SWAT team. But it can also be used by normal people like you and me. You can benefit a lot from wearing a weighted vest even when you don’t do strength training.
If you are a serious body builder or a person who in the process of losing body fat and gaining muscle, you have probably heard of weighted clothing. If you have not, you are in for some surprising news. Weighted clothing will change your world.
In this short article I will be talking about the various benefits of weighted vest (walking, running or weight loss).
Before we get into the benefits of weighted vest , let us just look briefly as to what is a weighted vest is.
A weighted vest is essentially a vest with many pouches. These pouches ( can be closed) are made to hold sand bags. You can add or remove these sand bags as per your comfort level. So weighted vest actually increases your effort in doing any activity.
So if it takes x effort to do a sit-up then it will take up more than x effort to do the same activity. This effort is also depends on the weight of weighted vest.
What is Weighted Clothing?
To understand the benefits of weighted clothing, you have to break it down to the very basics of building muscle mass.
Perhaps when you began working out, you were 25 pounds overweight. Therefore, when you did any physical activity, your body used extra fuel (fat) to provide the energy you needed. For example, a person who weighs 200 pounds will use 106 calories when they walk one mile. However, a person weighing 175 pounds will only use 93 calories when they walk the same mile. It takes more energy to move a heavier person.
Weighted clothing is exactly what it sounds like. It is clothing that has varying amounts of weight sewn in to provide more resistance to the person who is exercising.
Now, assume you have lost the 25 pounds of extra fat. You still want to reduce body fat and at the same time increase muscle mass. However, walking now uses fewer calories so you're reduction/muscle program stalls. You have a couple of choices.
1. You can walk more than a mile to use more calories.
2. You can walk faster which increases the heart rate and use more calories.
3. You can put on a weighted vest that adds additional pounds to your frame.
By wearing a vest (or other weighted clothing items) your body responds just as it did when you were at a heavier weight. The heart rate goes up and the energy it takes to walk the mile increases. At the end of your walk, you have burned 106 calories and increased your muscle mass to make it possible to move your heavier frame.
If your goal is to build muscle and you are happy with your weight, you will need to consume enough food maintain your weight. Since your goal is larger and stronger muscles, you will consume more protein. Protein repairs and grows muscle.
#1 It helps to up your Endurance
So if you use a weighted vest while doing workouts be it strength or cardio it will make it difficult and puts an extra load onto your muscles. The best part is that you can use it for any exercise you can think of.
Whether you are running, cycling, sit ups , push ups or just walking it increases the difficulty of the task. Actually what happens when you wear a weighted vest is that it increases the load on your muscles, this way your muscles will grow faster.
So let’s say you can easily do 50 push ups in one go. But doing the same 50 push ups wearing a weighted vest is a more difficult task. So you are actually forced into work harder which a great thing, ain’t it.
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#2 It helps to up your Endurance
Do you want to lose weight?
Well everyone wants to look fit and healthy. But it ain’t that simple, is it.
The problem is with your lifestyle. Most people only take in calories but not burn them. So, if you are not burning that fat, you eventually will become fat. A great way to burn calories is to workout.
Most people misunderstand the word " workout ". No, I am not talking about strength training here, no need to lifting. Normal cycling or sit ups will also do.
If you want to take your workout to the next level, you can use a weighted vest. Weighted vest essentially will put a greater load on your body thus more calories are burnt. This means you will be able to lose more weight too.
#3 Increased Bone Strength
Another great feature is that weighted vest can also help to increase your bone strength. Well it's only possible in the cases where you put load on your body. Like cycling, running, squats or push ups. The load helps to increase the strength as well as the density of your bones.
Similar to muscles when you put extra load on the bone it grows.
Author at FitandMe says -
Putting an increased amount of weight on your bones causes your osteoblasts to lay down more bone matter. The more you put your weight on your bones, such as during a run, the more your bones will create new bone mass, thus making your bones stronger, bigger, and denser all at the same time.
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#4. Variable Weights
One great advantage of weighted vest is that you can easily add and remove weights. This way you will be able to do different exercises at different intensities. So if you are bored doing the same exercise again and again you can do the same the exercise using a higher weight in the weighted vest.
This will help to get most out of you in the same amount of time. So a weighted vest can really save a lot of your precious time.
#5. Cardiovascular Benefits
Another benefit of a weighted vest is that it improves your cardiovascular system. Just make sure you do a cardio exercise to reap the benefits.
When you use a weighted vest during a cardio exercise ,it forces your muscles to work harder, thus also requiring your lungs and heart to work harder to supply those muscles with oxygen blood. This helps improve your heart as well as your lungs.
#6. Musculoskeletal Benefits
So what does musculoskeletal means?
According to Wikipedia -
The musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body.
To all those runners who wear a weighted vest, It helps in will increasing the load transmitted through the bones. It helps to produce osteoblast which secretes the substance of bone. In simple words running while wearing a weighted vest helps to improve bone strength hence improving overall strength of your body.
So if you do lot of cardio excercises, consider getting a weighted vest for yourself. They won’t cost you a fortune.
Now, let’s assume you are preparing for a marathon, race, or simply want to increase your endurance. Using the same exercise (in our example, walking) and the same amount of distance and space you can increase your endurance. How? By adding more weight to your weighted vest.
If walking a mile carrying an extra 20 pounds was enough to get you to where you are today, imagine what adding an extra 50 pounds will do. This is not something you want to do in massive amounts. You want to gradually add weight to your clothing and you need to allow your body time to repair between workouts. The advice of a professional trainer is advised.
Mix things up
You may be interested in running or biking or whatever. But your body is made up of muscles throughout. You must makes sure all of your muscles are worked. Even professional athletes throw different activities into the mix. Take up dancing. That moves your entire body and allows you to learn total control. It does not take a lot of equipment and it is fun. You can read more about that by clicking the link.
Using weighted clothing will allow you to get the best results from your workout and help maintain your health.
Hope you guys liked the various benefits of weighted vest. If you are interested in buying a weighted vest then read our Buyer's Guide on Best Weighted Vest.