Best weighted training vest

Running is and always will be one of the most beneficial exercises humans can do. We’re anatomically and physiologically built to do it.

When you incorporate regular running into your exercise routine, you’re engaging your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems in ways that improve their performance as well as your overall health. However, one of the issues with running is the plateau that many people often experience. Once you’ve reached a certain level of running capacity, it can be difficult to push beyond it. When you hit this plateau, your body is no longer challenged.

One way to make running more challenging is to add weight to your body. Today we’re going to show you our picks for the top 5 best weighted training vest for running and walking.

If you’re familiar with weight vests, you’ll recognize some of these models. After all, there are a few that are easily among the best weighted vests for running your money can buy right now (for any purpose, not just running and/or walking).

After we go over our selections, we’ll dig deeper into the topic of weighted vests, how to select the right weighted running vest as well as what design features to look for. By the time we’re done, you should know everything you need to know to make a sound decision.

Best Weighted Vest for Running

RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest

Compared to the rest of our picks on this list, what RUNmax offers comes across as basic in many ways. Despite that, this vest does two things very well – it gets you a highly adjustable weighted vest, and it does so on the cheap.

Being one of the more popular models on the market means that it has proven its worth. The vest itself is made of durable materials that perform well under stress and offer decent resistance to wear. The weights are spread across the entire front panel of the vest in two rows. Speaking of weights, RUNmax offers these in versions ranging from 12 lbs. all the way up to 140 lbs.

In terms of comfort, you’re looking at basic padding in the shoulder area. However, one thing we appreciate about this design is the massive waist adjustment strap. It’s wide, robust and allows you to find a snug fit. Because of that, the entire vest moves very little during use. Running with this model is possible but uncomfortable. But, if you’re after a good weighted vest for walking, this is it!

Pros

  • A simple design that offers an affordable ticket into adjustable weighted vests
  • Comes in a variety of weight versions
  • Decent build quality all around
  • Features a media pocket in the front
  • Massive waist strap makes it easy to find the right fit

Cons

  • Less suitable for running than it is for walking
  • Could have used more padding in the shoulders area

Mir Short Weighted Vest

With that out of the way, it’s worth mentioning that this setup offers great bang for your buck. The entire mass of the vest is centered around the chest area, allowing you to control the weights with ease.

One thing that could’ve been done differently is the adjustment strap, which is fairly narrow and makes tightening the vest comfortably more difficult than some of the vests above. That said, the strap does come with good hardware that allows you to properly lock it down and prevents it from coming loose, irrespective of how long or fast you run / walk.

The overall comfort this vest offers is certainly sufficient for light to moderate use. There’s padding in all the right places but don’t expect to end your runs with zero fatigue or discomfort. Mir’s short weighted vest is a solid option, and if you decide to go with this model, you’ll have a well-rounded weighted training vest that you can use for a range of exercises beyond just running or walking.

Pros

  • A short vest that is easy to control in terms of weight distribution
  • Comes with plenty of adjustable weights
  • Well-made and durable
  • Great bang for the buck at this price

Cons

  • The adjustment strap could have been wider
  • Not the most comfortable choice if you insist on comfort

Hyper Vest: Elite

Made using unique fabric that incorporates heavy-duty Cordura, this vest is all about durability. With that said, it breathes well, offers decent ventilation and best of all – it’s odor resistant! Finding the right fit is extremely easy. They’ve used string adjustment systems and open side panels which means that you can comfort this vest to perfectly fit your body.

As far as weight goes, Hyper Vest Elite comes in 15 lbs. and 20 lbs. versions while there’s also a 10 lbs. version that goes under the name Hyper Vest Pro. One of the key design solutions that make this vest so comfy are small, evenly spaced weights that are fixed in place. Overall, this is one of the optimal weighted running vests out there.

Pros

  • Designed from the ground up for running
  • Made using highly durable Cordura and unique fabrics
  • Open side panels and an efficient lacing system ensures an optimal fit
  • Comes in several versions offering more weight for those who want a challenge

Cons

  • It is among the more expensive models on the market

BOX Weighted Vest

That’s not the only thing that makes it great for running. The pockets where all of the weights go are snug. Once you set everything up and tighten the vest to fit your body, nothing will move as you run. That’s very important since a loose-fitting vest can impact your gait and add variables to your body mechanic that you don’t want to deal with.

As far as build quality goes, BOX has done a great job in building this thing strong. They’ve used heavy-duty ballistic nylon paired with quality hardware to bring everything together. Weights come in 2.5 lbs. increments and max out at 45 lbs. That’s more than what you’ll ever need for running or walking. Also, the fact that you can adjust the weight in such small increments makes this a great choice.

Pros

  • Short stacked weighted vest with a high center of gravity
  • Made to last thanks to durable materials
  • Padding in all the right places
  • Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • It can be slightly cumbersome depending on your build

Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

It comes in the form of a harness that is made of neoprene, which in turn allows it to be malleable when it comes to fit and comfort. The actual weights are sewn into the vest, meaning that you don’t need to (or get to) adjust anything.

If you want more weight, you’ll have to get a separate vest. Fortunately, Aduro offers these in a number of versions, starting with the lightest at 4 lbs. and the heaviest 25 lbs.

Aside from being extremely comfortable, this vest is also very affordable. Despite that, Aduro went on to include a few features that they definitely didn’t have to. For example, the back panel contains a mesh pocket where you can store your phone during your run. Then there’s the padding underneath the chest strap hardware that greatly improves comfort. All in all, the Aduro Sport Weighted Vest is a great option for budget users.

Pros

  • A minimalist design that gets the job done at an affordable price
  • Very comfortable thanks to its low profile layout
  • Comes in a variety of weights
  • Offers interesting features that add to the whole experience

Cons

  • Completely fixed-weight design means you need different vests if you want different weights

Mir Short Weighted Vest

With that out of the way, it’s worth mentioning that this setup offers great bang for your buck. The entire mass of the vest is centered around the chest area, allowing you to control the weights with ease.

One thing that could’ve been done differently is the adjustment strap, which is fairly narrow and makes tightening the vest comfortably more difficult than some of the vests above. That said, the strap does come with good hardware that allows you to properly lock it down and prevents it from coming loose, irrespective of how long or fast you run / walk.

The overall comfort this vest offers is certainly sufficient for light to moderate use. There’s padding in all the right places but don’t expect to end your runs with zero fatigue or discomfort. Mir’s short weighted vest is a solid option, and if you decide to go with this model, you’ll have a well-rounded weighted training vest that you can use for a range of exercises beyond just running or walking.

Pros

  • A short vest that is easy to control in terms of weight distribution
  • Comes with plenty of adjustable weights
  • Well-made and durable
  • Great bang for the buck at this price

Cons

  • The adjustment strap could have been wider
  • Not the most comfortable choice if you insist on comfort

Best Weighted Vest At a Glance

1. BOX Weighted Vest

The vest itself is made of robust, reinforced nylon that is rated to withstand years of abuse. Stitching is good and reliable with triple stitching in key areas. Without weights, this vest weighs around 2.8lbs. You can push it all the way to 45lbs by adding iron weights in 2.5lbs increments.

As far as comfort goes, this is a one size fits all vest that features a simple hook-and-loop belt adjustment system. That way you’re sure to find your size. Straps are well padded, offering a decent amount of comfort even during prolonged use. It’s not the cheapest vest out there, however, if you follow the buy once, cry once ideology, you’ll love this rig.

Pros

  • Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty
  • Features rock-solid construction, robust materials and triple stitching
  • Available weight ranging up to 45lbs
  • Easy to adjust and comfortable design

Cons

  • One of the more expensive models on the market

2. RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest

As far as construction goes, this is a solid enough rig that is well balanced in terms of weight distribution. RUNmax has gone one step further and added a wide adjustment belt that offers a comfortable fit even when tightened down completely. There is also a media pocket with enough space to fit a larger smartphone, as well as a water bottle holder.

The vest comes in a huge range of weight options; from 12 lbs. to 140 lbs. Be aware that the 12 lbs. to 80 lbs. vest incorporates a slightly different design to the 100 – 140 lbs. vest and uses different sized weight bags.

Although the quality of materials is quite decent, this vest is held together by single stitching, which is probably its only flaw. At this price (generally ~$35 to ~$300 depending on weight), that’s something we can live with.

Something worth noting is that the 12 lbs. to 60 lbs. vest can be purchased with a lifetime warranty, depending on which seller you purchase through. For some of the weight range, it’ll cost you extra though (~$20 to $25). Otherwise, they all come with a one year warranty.

Pros

  • Features a utilitarian design
  • Well-made with a lifetime warranty (costs extra and is not available on all weights)
  • Decent weight range that is neutrally balanced around the vest
  • Optional shoulder pads for added comfort

Cons

  • It’s more expensive than most similar models

3. CROSS101 Adjustable Weighted Vest

They have the same weight range (12 lbs. to 140 lbs.), media and water bottle holder, and use the same adjustable weights. They also cost roughly the same amount irrespective of the weight chosen.

The only difference is really in the color. CROSS101 has stepped away from the all-black design and decided to add some color to the mix.

The vest comes in a variety of camo patterns, most of which mimic the well-known and decommissioned Universal Camouflage Pattern used by the US Military.

Comfort-wise, it’s about average. Some people will find that it can rub in certain places: Shoulders, scapula area, and biceps are common, but will depend on your particular body shape. Like the RUNmax, you can get optional shoulder pads for less than $10 should you need them.

Pros

  • A versatile vest that’s both functional and attractive
  • Offers a huge range of weight options
  • Comes with a bottle holder and a media pocket
  • Wide adjustment belt for a comfortable fit

Cons

  • Single stitching may not inspire complete confidence

4. Mir Short Adjustable Weighted Vest

Its compact size doesn’t mean that Mir’s short vest is compromising on anything. On the contrary, you can get these with anywhere from 20 lbs. to 60 lbs. of weight.

As far as build quality goes, Mir went all out on this rig. This vest is built to last. They’ve used high quality, heavy denier 1200D (the D stands for ‘denier’) reinforced nylon which greatly surpasses the durability standards of most of the military webbing in use today. Tearing fabric on this vest is highly unlikely.

The downside to such an over-engineered setup is the price, which puts this model among the more expensive options. Is it worth it, though? If you’re the type to give your exercise equipment a good thrashing, then absolutely.

Pros

  • A short, compact design that mimics plate carriers
  • High center of mass allows for greater mobility during your workout
  • Made tough using 1200D reinforced nylon
  • 20 lbs. to 60 lbs. weight range

Cons

  • Relatively expensive, but worth every penny
  • Adjustment strap lacks in padding, though it’s still acceptably comfortable

The Best Fixed-Weight Weighted Vests

1. 5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier

The TacTec is essentially a real plate carrier that takes medium and large Enhanced Small Arms Protective Arms Insert (ESAPI) plates. In other words, you can take this bad boy into battle should you need to (you shouldn’t need to). That said, the TacTec carrier is designed to be lightweight and comfortable, which makes it a great weighted vest for exercise training as well.

If you’re not planning on getting shot at while you workout, weight it up with Rogue’s USA Cast Weight Vest Training Plates (these won’t protect you against small arms fire).

5.11 has used their abrasion-resistant 500D nylon that has proven its worth numerous times. The plate carrier also features comfortable straps with yoke shoulder pads and plenty of mesh to keep your body breathing. Its fit is adjusted using the flexible side straps that also double as Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) panels. Speaking of which, both the front and the back of this carrier feature MOLLE webbing for any other gear you might want to add.

If you’re looking to train with a fixed weight vest, then you can’t go past a good carrier. And, the 5.11 TacTec is arguably the best plate carrier you can get.

Pros

  • Robust yet light vest made to last
  • Features plenty of padding in all the right places
  • Comes with MIL-SPEC MOLLE webbing
  • Takes medium and large ballistic plates
  • Comes in 7 color options

Cons

  • Just like most 5.11 gear, it’s not cheap

2. Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

Its minimalist layout is meant to offer the bare minimum of acceptable comfort and functionality at a price that makes it an absolute steal. With that said, Rogue has also added regular MOLLE webbing to this build. The carrier comes with lightly padded shoulder straps and standard side straps that use regular buckles.

The rig also comes complete with hook and loop panels for all your morale patches. Additionally, there are also loops built into shoulder straps that are designed to hold your camel back’s tube. The vest works perfectly with Rogue’s USA Cast Weight Vest Training Plates.

Pros

  • One of the most inexpensive plate carriers on the market
  • Minimalist design that is light and durable
  • Will accept medium to large ESAPI plates
  • Comes with an emergency drag handle
  • Standard MOLLE on front and back of the carrier

Cons

  • The minimalist design means a compromise in terms of comfort
  • Unlike most Rogue gear, this vest isn’t made in the USA

3. Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

Designed to give you additional resistance in the most comfortable way possible, this type of weighted vest uses built-in pockets of tiny iron pellets that are sewn into the straps themselves. Aduro offers these in several versions ranging from 4lbs to 25lbs. With two chest straps, this vest snaps into place and stays there no matter what kind of exercise you’re performing.

The vest is made of fairly durable neoprene that won’t fall apart on you even if you push it hard. The only thing to look out for is the stitching that could have been better. However, it’ll work well enough if you treat it with respect.

Finally, the vest comes with a mesh pocket built into the back panel where you can store your phone or other accessories.

Pros

  • An extremely stealthy vest that is light and comfortable
  • Made of durable neoprene materials
  • Filled with iron pellets instead of sand, meaning no odor issues
  • Affordable

Cons

  • All vests that don’t use solid weights suffer from the content starting to leak out in different places. This vest is no different.

4. Northgym Weighted Vest

With that said, North Gym has used 600D Oxford nylon, which is quite durable. Plus, they’ve added the MOLLE webbing to front, back and sides. The vest comes with two plates that total anywhere from 14 lbs. to 20 lbs. depending on which model you go for.

As far as comfort is concerned, North Gym has done a decent job with padding on the inside of the vest as well as on the shoulder straps. If you’re looking for a basic plate carrier that’s all about utility and which comes complete with weighted plates, this is the model for you.

Pros

  • The simple design meant to mimic combat plate carriers
  • Built from durable materials that will last
  • Comes complete with weighted plates
  • Comfortable fit that is easily adjusted for various body types

Cons

  • Slightly expensive, although it does included plates

Should You Get a Weighted Vest for Running and Walking?

Weighted vests are commonly used in strength training settings, as well as in cross-training (e.g., CrossFit), which frequently incorporates high intensity strength training exercises. For this reason, it’s very easy to find great weighted vests for CrossFit as well as those that are ideal for bodyweight training (a.k.a. calisthenics).

But what about running and walking?

Adding weight to any type of exercise increases the overload on your body, and generally stimulates both anatomical and physiological adaptations (e.g., your muscles grow larger and stronger, and your energy systems become more efficient).

We’ll go into more detail in the FAQ section, but generally speaking using a weighted vest while running or walking can have significant benefits. Studies have shown that sprint training with a weighted vest can, over the long-term, increase your sprint speed. Similarly, research suggests that wearing a weighted vest while walking can improve your cardiovascular health, as well as build strength and improved functioning in your lower body.

Whether or not you should get a weight vest for running and/or walking depends almost solely on your personal goals. If you’ve reached a plateau as a runner, adding some weight could bring back the challenge and help you hit new PRs. As a walker, a weighted vest can simply augment the already numerous health benefits you’re already likely to experience.

Not to mention you can always use weighted vests for next-level bodyweight exercises and more!

Choosing the Right Weighted Vest

Although they are a simple concept on paper, not all weighted vests are made equal. Finding the right one for running means that it will have to meet a very unique set of parameters. There is very little wiggle room when it comes to design, layout, and features. Let’s go over some of the key things to look for when making your choice.

Design

Running is a very dynamic activity. As we run, our body moves in ways that allow us to achieve the speed and balance necessary to move fast. Adding a rigid harness with a bunch of weights in it can easily put a wrench in that finely tuned mechanism. That’s why not all weighted vest designs work well for running and why slim weighted vests have a clear advantage.

What you’re looking for are vests which are either specifically developed for this type of activity or ones that focus the weight around your chest area. This is where all of the short stack vests come in handy.

Another design feature that’s a must is the ability to strap down the weights themselves. Any loose movement will induce sway and negatively affect your gait. The last thing you want is to fight your vest while running or for the whole time you’re walking. Not only is that uncomfortable, but it can be downright dangerous.

One more thing to keep in mind is your body’s physiology. We are all different in terms of body shape and size. Keep this in mind when you’re making your choice. There is a reason why weighted vests for women are a separate category. This is true despite almost every vest being marketed as a unisex design.

Materials

One of the more overlooked factors are the materials. While durability is a major concern with any type of fitness gear, that isn’t what we’re necessarily worried about when we talk about materials in the context of running.

We are much more concerned with how the vest endures the constant strain of swaying weights as you run. On top of that, how well does the material deal with sweat? Some vests aren’t meant to be machine washed, meaning that all of that nasty sweat stays locked inside the fabric and leaves your vest quite unsanitary, to say the least.

Our picks mostly meet the necessary requirements as far as durability and sweat resistance goes. We say mostly because there are few models that are better suited for running where different rules apply.

Features

Lastly, you might want to account for various features if that’s something you’re interested in. Some runners like to keep the unnecessary clutter to a minimum while others can’t go for a run without their favorite gadgets. If you’re leaning more towards the latter, you might want to check out vests that feature media pockets and other similar features.

Weight Distribution and Pocket Placement

Any time you are adding artificial weight to your body, you’re messing up with your natural balance and weight distribution. Because of this, it’s important that your vest has a well-balanced weight pocket placement so that you can maintain that balance. This is especially important if you intend to run with the vest.

Build Quality

Build quality is obviously important, however knowing exactly what to look for can help you weed out the subpar vests more easily. After all, you’ll definitely want your weighted training vest to be as durable as possible. Here are just a few things to look out for:

  • Stitching. Triple stitching is optimal no matter what kind of vest you’re looking at. It’s pretty rare, though. Your next best bet is double stitching which is much more common. There are several single stitch vests that work well, like the ones on our list, but most of them aren’t durable enough.
  • Type of Fabric used. Fabric makes all the difference when you’re out there sweating in the field. The last thing you’ll want is a vest that falls apart on you during a workout. Look for vests that utilize heavy denier reinforced nylon as that has proven to be the optimal choice for this application.
  • Hardware. Oftentimes overlooked, hardware can be the weak link that renders an otherwise robust vest, completely useless. Look for quality hardware, solid buckles and robust hook and loop panels.

Intended Use

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, it’s crucial to get clear on the specific use(s) you have in mind for your weighted vest as this will help you avoid wasting money on a weighted training vest that ends up being ineffective. For example, if you’re into running, selecting a bulky, heavy vest probably isn’t going to be the optimal choice. Instead, you’ll want something with a lower profile.

However, if you’re into bodyweight fitness, a larger vest may just be the perfect type for you. It’s okay to want to cover several different activities with one vest, but be cautious of which features you go for.

Adjustable Weight or Fixed Weight?

This is the next big question. Adjustable and fixed-weight vests each have their pros and cons. Let’s run through some of the most important ones.

  • Adjustable Vests: Adjustable vests are pretty straightforward. By being able to adjust the weight you’re harnessing at any given moment, you’re able to progressively improve yourself and your results. However, adjustable weights are more expensive for this reason.Additionally, weighted training vests are often bulky as functionality often times comes before comfort. Another pro with adjustable vests is the fact that they come with solid, iron weights, which means easy maintenance and great durability.
  • Fixed Weight Vests: Some of the arguments in favor of fixed weight vests are rather legitimate. Namely, you’re looking at a lower cost on average. More accessible gear will get you out there working out faster. Then there’s the fact that these vests are often times made to be as comfortable as possible since the weights are built into the vest itself. Of course, being limited to a single set of weights means that you will plateau much faster. Balancing out the pros and cons of each of these categories will lead you to a suitable solution for your needs.

Plate Carriers

With the increase in popularity of combat Crossfit, more and more brands are starting to produce plate carriers that can be used as weighted vests. If you’re into that kind of aesthetic, you’ll need to decide whether you want to get an actual plate carrier designed for actual combat use, or if you just want something that looks the part?

The use of plate carriers makes a lot of sense considering that various brands now produce ESAPI sized weighted plates. However, since actual plate carriers tend to get expensive, you’ll need to figure out where your priorities lie and make decisions based on that.

Similarly, there are plenty of fitness plate carriers that have all of the MOLLE webbing and other cool features but won’t accept actual ESAPI ballistic plates. Beware of what you’re getting if you plan to use these carriers for home defense or other similar applications

Frequently Asked Questions About Weighted Vests

Now that we know the basics of weighted vests suitable for running, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions. If you’re new to this type of equipment, you’ll probably find some of these answers useful.

Is it good to run or walk with a weight vest?

In short, the answer is yes.

As we mentioned earlier, studies in the field of sport and exercise science have found that weighted vests can lead to improved performance and health outcomes when added to running and walking programs.

For example, when used in sprint training, weighted vests can be used to improve an athlete’s force and power output (i.e., the muscles involved in sprint-running can work harder) as well as the technical efficiency of their sprinting action (i.e., their sprint technique gets better).

Similarly, wearing a weighted vest while walking will increase the metabolic requirements, loading of the skeletal system, and overall intensity of the exercise. This is turn will lead to improved fitness, maintained or increased density in the bones of the legs, and stronger and more capable leg muscles.

However, there’s a ‘but’ in there that we need to clarify. Weighted exercises certainly bring a number of benefits to the table, ranging from cardiovascular to musculoskeletal benefits. This type of training has also been standard in the military ever since we decided to use weapons and armor.

But, as is the case with most things in life, moderation and care are the keys to success. Rather than going Gung Ho and strapping 50 lbs. of extra weight to your body, you need to find the optimal weight that matches your current level of fitness and abilities. The last thing you want to do is load your body with more weight than it can handle. That can have negative effects on your joints, your heart and lungs, and your muscles.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re new to training with a weighted vest, then start with no more than 10% of your body weight and gradually increase from there. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re overdoing it, as this is almost always more detrimental to your health and fitness in the long-term.

How often should you run or walk with a weighted vest?

There is no definitive answer here. It will depend on your goals, motivation, and your level of fitness. That said, the vast majority of controlled studies that test the effects of training with a weighted vest use training protocols of 2 or 3 sessions per week, with at least 48 hours between sessions. This would be a good place to start.

Bear in mind that if you load yourself with heavy weights often and for long sessions, you risk suffering all kinds of injuries, most notably in your back, neck, hips, and knees. You’re best off starting light and relatively infrequent, and gradually building up to heavier loads and more frequent sessions.

Does running with a weight vest make you faster?

While you’ve got the weight vest on, no.

Adding weight on top of your own body weight will increase the amount of time your feet stay in contact with the ground, which will translate into lower running speeds. As we mentioned above, over the long term, using a weighted vest for sprint training can improve your sprint speed (especially over 10 – 40 yards).

Does running with a weight vest build muscle?

Running with added weight will stimulate muscle growth because you’re forcing your muscles to contract against higher levels of resistance. This is the basis for all weight training aimed at increasing the size and force output of muscles. It’s a simple equation that won’t fail you.

With that said, don’t expect to grow killer quads just by donning a vest and going for a run.

You’ll need to more focused strength training exercises like squats and deadlifts, and follow the core principles of muscle building, if you want to achieve said results.

If your primary concern is muscle growth, you’re better off putting your money toward an olympic barbell and a good squat rack than a weighted vest.

Does walking with a weighted vest burn more calories?

Absolutely! Your body burns calories according to its energy needs. When you add more weight to your body, it will have to consume more energy in order to handle the extra weight. Increasing calorie burn is one of the main reasons why people choose to run or walk with weighted vests.

What size / weight weighted vest should i get?

Finding the right size and weight is a completely subjective thing. The general rule of thumb is to go for vests that will add anywhere from 5-15% of your body weight. Naturally, this is very easy to set up if you get an adjustable weight.

It’s the fixed weight models you need to be careful with. Going overboard with weight can have a serious impact on your biomechanics, and put too much strain on your body. As far as size goes, most vests are one-size-fits-all. With that said, you’ll want to get something that is comfortable and isn’t impeding your freedom of movement.

Is wearing a weighted vest all day bad?

The jury is still out on this one. However, so far there is no conclusive evidence that wearing a weighted vest outside of your workout routine is either good or bad for you.

This also includes the so-called Hypergravity Training that is based around wearing weights for extended periods of time. Naturally, you are advised to exercise caution when using weighted clothing or weighted vests outside your workout routine as there are other risks involved aside from potential fatigue.

Are weighted vests bad for your spine?

Weighted vests aren’t inherently bad for your spine. As long as you are using reasonable amounts of weight during your training, you should be perfectly fine.

One scenario where you might be risking injury is if you’re wearing more weight than you can handle and decide to bend at the waist, thus putting a lot of strain on your back. Just like it’s the case with most other fitness equipment, you need to employ common sense when using weighted vests.

Does wearing a weighted vest build muscle?

Weighted vests alone aren’t enough to trigger muscle growth. Remember, the muscle needs sufficient stimulus to grow. Such stimuli come through pushing the muscle to failure and making it adapt to the new standards of stress.

Simply using a weighted vest just isn’t enough for that. With that said, using a weighted vest in order to introduce additional resistance to your Crossfit or bodyweight workout regimen, will be enough to stimulate muscle growth.


However, not all weighted vests are created equal. There are different types of vests out there that will work better for specific applications. Let’s touch upon that for a moment:

Weighted Vests for Crossfit

Crossfit is one of the most forgiving activities when it comes to weighted vest design requirements. That is why you will find a lot of different types of vests in this category. Just about anything out there can be used for Crossfit as long as it doesn’t restrict your range of motion.

Weighted Vests for Running and Walking

Running and walking are both activities that require vests you can strap down securely. There’s nothing worse than having the weight move around on you as you run. Vests from this category also come in a variety of shapes and forms.

Weighted Vests for Women

Although just about any vest on the market is designed to be suitable for both men and women, there are vests out there designed specifically for a woman’s anatomy. You’ll find that these vests offer more room in the chest area, thus making their use more comfortable.

Weighted Vests for Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training, like Crossfit, is rather forgiving when it comes to vest design. Since bodyweight fitness tends to be more static compared to Crossfit, you can get away with vests that aren’t as balanced. Again, there is a lot of overlap between the two categories.

Low-Profile / Slim Weighted Vests

Some weighted vests have a low profile that allows a much wider range of motion. These can also often be worn underneath workout clothing, thus making them much more discrete than most weight vests.

Conclusion

We did our best to find models that will give you a comfortable but efficient performance. In doing so we ran into various designs, each with its pros and cons. Finding the right vest for you comes down to recognizing these and understanding how they affect your performance. With that said, the list above should include a model that is perfect for you no matter what your needs are.