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How heavy should your weighted vest be?

March 27, 2021 3 min read

Understand how heavy your vest should be depending on your goals

A tactical weighted vest can revolutionise your workout sessions. However, it can be difficult to know which type of vest and weight is best to buy, with most beginners wondering how heavy their weighted vest should be. Read our guide to find the answers to all of your weighted vest questions.

What are your strength and body goals?

Wearing a weighted vest is great for both weight loss and building muscle mass. It will make your body work harder during cardio or calisthenics exercise sessions by burning more calories, which will help improve your overall fitness levels.

For non-sporty adults, the use of weighted vests will improve your balance while also enabling you to work on your cardio capacity and improve your bone density. These are all important health considerations as we get older.

No matter what your goals are, if you want a challenge then try a weighted workout vest to see how it improves your exercise sessions.

Is a 40kg weight vest too heavy for a beginner?

Even professionals used to high-intensity training sessions will usually find a 40kg weighted vest a challenge, and so this weight should never be used for running as it creates a lot of stress on joints.

Instead, beginners should start with a more lightweight vest and slowly build up to using heavier weights. This will help your fitness levels steadily improve whilst also reducing your injury risk.

When should weight vests be used?

Some professionals will recommend that you should not use a weighted vest when running but use it instead during squats and other resistance training. During this type of training, you can often push the total amount of weight added to your vest.

When can you use your weighted vest?

  • During cardio workouts
  • Weight training
  • During weight lifting exercises

A lighter weight vest can be safely used for walking and running sessions to help improve your speed but should be used with care.

Buying considerations

Considerations to help you choose the best-weighted vest.

Try on different sizes

A weighted vest can come as either one size fits all or in various size options. So you must try on a few to find the best fit.

You want your weighted vest to be a comfortable fit, so it doesn't move about when you exercise. The weights should also be evenly distributed and securely fastened when running.

Certain types of weight vest can also restrict movement, which might affect your workout. Look for a vest that allows you to move freely, and ensure that you can still do pull-ups and gym exercises while wearing it.

Never go above 10% of your body weight

The recommended weight range for a weighted vest is between 4 to 10% of your body weight. This will enable you to improve your workout performance without increasing your injury risk.

If you choose a vest that is too heavy, it can put additional strain on your joints, especially when running or walking. Some people will choose vests that are heavier for bodyweight workouts but this is usually not recommended by professionals.

Final thoughts

When first starting with your weighted vest, as with any sports equipment, start lighter and slowly build-up to get the most benefit out of your vest. You will be surprised by the number of ways that a weight vest can be used to improve your workout gains.

If you use your weighted vest safely, it can be a useful addition to your training and help speed up the time it takes to reach your goals.

Alex Nicholas
Alex Nicholas



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