If you are someone who goes to the gym regularly, you will often see people, especially those who are already quite fit, using a weighted vest while working out. If you have no clue about these vests, we are certain you may have wondered what does a weight vest do, how does it benefit the body, and why people use them.
These are all legitimate questions. It is important to remember that the basic point of a weighted vest is to improve your physical form with resistance training. Are you curious to learn more about weighted vests? Let’s talk about them at length below.
What Is a Weighted Vest?
A weighted vest is a piece of workout equipment that you can don upon yourself. This vest is capable of adding extra weight that will give you more resistance while you perform any form of workout. Most of these weighted vests are adjustable, which means that its weights can be changed in increments.
This vest can be used for all the central exercises such as crunches, lunges, push-ups, and squats. The weighted vest is an ideal piece of workout equipment for those who have already made phenomenal fitness gains and want a new way to make certain body-weight exercises more challenging.
In such cases, adding a weighted vest to your workout is a great option. With that said, if you are a novice or an intermediate fitness enthusiast, then this isn’t something that you should try on for now.
What Does a Weight Vest Do?
In the most basic sense, a weight vest will add to your existing body weight, as we mentioned earlier. The real question here is what is its exact purpose. Find out more about that below.
● Helps Improve Jumping Height and Speed
Take a look at martial arts films. You will notice pretty instantly that in some of them, the masters tend to wear some sort of supplemental bodyweight equipment. This is not necessarily a weight vest; it can also be something like an anklet or a bracelet.
The basic logic behind them wearing this supplemental bodyweight equipment is that it tricks the body into performing at a level that supports the extra weight. Once this weight has been taken off of the body, you will instantly notice that there is a considerable difference when it comes to the height of your jumps and your speed.
● Increases the Heart Rate
If you have ever carried a heavy grocery bag, you realize that there is a spike in your heart rate. This applies to wearing weighted vests as well.
When you wear a weighted vest while running, walking, or while performing any other strenuous exercise, there is a substantial increase in your heart rate. This is because the body needs to use more oxygen and therefore has to pump more blood to support all the muscles getting utilized to carry that additional weight.
● Improves VO2max
VO2max refers to the volume of air that you are inhaling and exhaling at any given point. As mentioned earlier, when you exercise while wearing a weighted vest, your heart rate increases, more blood gets pumped, and there is an increase in the oxygen flow all around the body.
This is basically where the improvement of the VO2max volume comes in. You will notice that over time, you can take much deeper breaths and can even last much longer in between.
● Improves Endurance and Stamina
Along with the increase in heart rate and more oxygen flow in the body, there come even more advantages. In this case, your body will end up releasing enzymes and hormones.
These are essential for the body as they help it heal and recover much faster from all the stress that comes from carrying the additional weight. Ultimately, this will improve stamina and endurance in the body and thus release adrenaline much faster.
● Improvement of Metabolism
When there is an improvement in your VO2max and an increase in your heart rate, it all means that your body now needs much more fuel to burn than before. This means that your metabolism needs to catch up so as to fuel the body better, especially during heavy-weight workouts.
● Helps in Losing Weight
We know how odd and contradicting this may sound as you are adding more weight on your body to lose your weight. However, you are not just adding extra weight to your body and doing nothing about it.
The extra weight, along with your body weight, makes your workout routine more challenging. This results in a faster heart rate and a quicker metabolism as well. All of these will help you lose weight much faster.
● Development and Toning of Muscle
When you wear a weighted vest, it tends to apply a lot of pressure on the back and shoulder muscles as they do most of the heavy lifting. This means that the vest helps in developing these muscles as it takes the most strain.
In addition to developing them, the vest will also help in toning them. This is a great way to prevent backaches in the long run as well.
How to Pick the Right Weighted Vest for Yourself?
There are different brands on the market, and each of them offers different types of weighted vests. Some tend to be unisex; others are available in a one-size-fits-all size; the rest are vests that have adjustable straps.
The one with adjustable straps is considered to be ideal for many people. That’s because these straps allow you to adjust the vest exactly as per your body shape.
Keep in mind that a good weighted vest should fit snugly around the body and should, at no point, bounce around while you work out. Several weighted vests also give you the option to add or remove weights so that you can change the overall load.
If you are not sure about which weighted vest to settle for, we recommend you check out our detailed reviews of some of the best weighted vests.
Do you now know what does a weight vest do? A weight vest offers a ton of benefits that help you reach your fitness goals faster. With that said, we would like to reiterate that these are ideal for those who have already been working out for a while and want to push themselves further.