Start running with a weight vest – we will tell you why

Running with a weight vest
Running with a weight vest

Running with a weight vest is getting more popular among commoners. In the past, it was a military training method to exercise with a weighted vest. Recently, it became a way to remember and pay tribute to a fallen hero. Today, the Crossfit training and endurance training methods include this vest exercise. Here is everything you need to know before you start this style of exercising.

Are you ready for running with a weight vest?

You will be running with a very heavy vest attached to your torso. It needs a considerable versatility and physical power to perform every the simplest exercise while on the weighted vest. Before we get to the benefits of running with a weight vest, check whether you can perform the activity within a time cap, without exhausting yourself, without a vest. If you perform EMOM, it is best not to wear a weighted vest and lose your body position. Thus, the best way is running with a weight vest. Here are the advantages of using a weighted vest.

Improve endurance and strength by running with a weighted vest

It is simple science that carrying an additional 5 or 10 pounds while you run would add more intensity to the exercise. When you push through your limits, your body will require more oxygen for the cells. This method adds more strength and endurance to your muscles. If you are someone taking resistance training, running with a weighted vest is a good choice.

Running with a weight vest is a variation

The best way to avoid a plateau is by taking up variations. Plateau is a term for stagnation in the progress of your weight loss or strength training. A weight vest will put your body above the threshold of adaptation. When you perform the same exercise for a long time, your body adapts to the movement, causing no added benefits. A little variation would go a long way.

Running with a weight vest is good for your cardiovascular system

When you are pushing your body to the limits, your cardiovascular system goes into overdrive. It leads to improving the VO2 Max, the ability of your body to intake oxygen. It also leads to the intensity where there will be lactate accumulation in your blood. In simple terms, the weighted vest exercise will improve your heart’s ability to pump adequate blood and oxygen to the body. In turn, it also improves your muscle’s ability to absorb oxygen.

Musculoskeletal advantages of running with a weight vest

Similar to the muscles, the bones also get trained during a weighted vest running session. You will be inserting a heavy load on your bones. Over time, your system will initiate osteoblast. The osteoblast is a mechanism in which your body adds bone material to your skeletal system. Thus, your bones get denser and stronger as you increase the intensity of your weighted vest exercise.

Improve calorie burning by using a heavy vest

The most exciting advantage of using a weight vest is improving the calorie-burning limit. For instance, a man weighing 125 pounds can burn 300 calories if he takes up a running session for half an hour at 6mph. If you add a weight vest and become 155 pounds, you will burn 375 calories.

Improve your balance by running with a heavy vest

An individual who is training with a weight vest will have a better balance. Women over menopause age have a risk of falling. Thus, such resistance training is a good exercise regime for women.

Better than hand and ankle weights

If you wish to add resistance or intensity to your workout, any weight will suffice. However, exercise, especially running with wrist or ankle weights, could add direct stress to your knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows. It would affect your posture, balance, and also can lead to injury. If you are wearing a weighted vest, you will be balancing the weight with your entire body.

Improving the strength of tendon and cartilage

A 2008 journal named ‘Essentials of strength training & conditioning’ explained that weight vest training would stimulate ligament, cartilage, and tendon strength. Thus, you are reducing the probability of experiencing an exercise injury. The main reason why muscles heal faster than tendons and ligaments is the blood supply. The blood supply to ligaments and tendons are very less. Thus, the rate of healing is slower. By running with a weight vest, you are improving the blood flow to these parts.

Safety precautions to know before buying a weight vest

You should make sure that the weight vest is equally around your body. The maximum weight allowed is 20% of the body weight. However, it is imperative to start small and add more in pieces of five pounds. If you have any medical conditions related to heart or bones, it is best to talk to your doctor to know whether weight vest running is right for you. There are different models of weight vest in the market. It is important to choose the model and size that will fit your body.

When to add more weight to the vest?

While you are exercising with a weight vest, keep track of the time taken to complete the specific exercise. If you could replicate the speed with that of exercising without the vest, it is time to add additional weight. Do not blindly add more weight. A five-pound weight might look weightless, but it would be over-exhausting when you are running or exercising with an additional five pounds.

Apart from running, you can also use weight vests to do body weight-based exercises like pushups, squats, reps, lunges, and others. Before you start the exercise for the day, work out for 2-5 minutes without the vest to warm up. If you wish to try a less intensive weighted vest training, you can try cycling, hiking, or doing regular chores while wearing a weighted vest.