Weight Vest Pros and Cons: A Detailed Guide

weight vest pros and cons
Athletic Training Power

Putting on a weighted vest will automatically increase the intensity of a workout, especially those that rely on body weight for resistance. In a normal scenario, you would assume that donning a weighted vest will help you with gaining more muscle and losing more weight. While all of that is true, there could also be a downside if your body is not ready for it, which is why knowing weight vest pros and cons is ideal before you buy one.

Not everyone has a good understanding of when to use a weighted vest. Hence, we decided to help our readers by explaining to them how weighted vests can benefit workouts and when it can potentially be dangerous. Let’s find out more about it below.

What Is a Weighted Vest?

A weighted vest is typically used by someone who has already been working out for a while and wants to push their body further to achieve better results. These vests have weights in them that, upon wearing, will add more weight on to the existing weight of the body.

Typically, one of the most common designs for a weighted vest is the life jacket. These vests come with many small pockets in the front and the back. All of these pockets can then be filled with steel weights, sand, and so on.

These pockets and the items that will be inserted into them are specially designed to fit inside. This is mainly to ensure that the weight does not shift or move around when you are doing intense workouts like heavy-weight lifting, running, and others.

Weight Vest Pros and Cons

Now that you have a better understanding of what a weighted vest is, let us discuss its pros and cons in detail. We will talk about its benefits first.


Similar to any type of workout equipment, a weighted vest comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Below are the benefits you’d enjoy if you wear a weighted vest when working out.

  • More Intensity

One of the obvious benefits of using a weighted vest is that it can considerably increase the intensity of your workout routine. Since a weighted vest is meant to add more weight on top of your existing weight, it also ends up adding weight to your core. This will allow you to do a wide and dynamic range of motions that will make your workouts even more challenging.

  • Fully Customizable

As mentioned earlier, most types of weighted vests allow you to put in or take out the weights in them. This feature lets you determine how much extra weight your body is capable of taking on when you work out.

It goes without saying that, as you use weighted vests regularly, over time, you will get stronger. To build more resistance, you can keep adding more weight into your vest.

This design allows you to increase the intensity of your workout constantly so that your training remains consistent as you progress. This extra weight can easily be purchased from the same company you bought your weighted vest from.

  • Easy to Carry Around

Even if you don’t intend to wear a weighted vest in the gym, there is no denying how easy to carry around a vest is, especially when compared to other traditional equipment such as kettlebells and dumbbells.

One of the major advantages of a weighted vest is the fact that you can wear it. This allows you to do different forms of exercises while wearing the vest. This means that you no longer have to carry around this heavy equipment. What’s also great about it is that you can easily fold it, put it in a suitcase, and bring it with you when you travel.

Because of this portability, you can work out easily even when you are on holiday. This also means that there is no limit as to how much training you can do with it. It can make cardio exercises, such as cycling, walking, and running, more intense.

  • Convenience

Weighted vests are great in case you have an injured wrist or finger. Since the majority of the equipment you find in gyms will require the use of hands, a weighted vest will work great when your fingers, hands, or arms are out of commission. At such times, you get a chance to recover as well as keep your muscles active.


While a weighted vest does have a ton of benefits, it does have certain downsides as well, which are important for you to be aware of.

  • Worsening Existing Injuries

A weighted vest works great if you only have an injury in the hand area. However, it can backfire if you have issues with your core muscles. These may be shoulder injuries or backaches.

In such cases, a weighted vest can significantly increase the risk of that existing injury to become worse due to the additional weight. If you still want to use a weighted vest even with existing injuries, it is advisable to speak to a medical professional or reduce the amount of weight it is carrying.

  • Injury Due to Poor Fit

One aspect of the weighted vest that some people don’t consider is the fit. While a brand may claim that their vest is a one-size-fits-all vest, it is essential to you use one that fits you perfectly.

If you end up using a larger vest, it can be potentially dangerous. This is because the loose weight will end up disrupting your momentum while you work out.

Typically, weighted vests are either made from a stretchy material or have adjustable straps that can be altered to fit the body correctly. Ensure that your vest fits you perfectly and is tight against your body. Otherwise, you will end up losing your balance and falling while exercising.

  • Not for Everyone

Weighted vests are recommended for people who already work out and want more from their workouts. It is not ideal for someone fairly new to exercising.

Do note that weighted vests can be quite stressful for the heart and cardiovascular system, which is why they work in the first place. Even if you work out regularly, we recommend speaking to a doctor before wearing a weighted vest to know that you are fit to handle the extra weight.


Knowing the weight vest pros and cons can help you avoid any unnecessary injury. Always remember that a weighted vest is a piece of workout equipment, and it can be as dangerous as a dumbbell. Hence, use it with caution.

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