Finding the best weighted vest for running may not be that easy especially for those who are just starting out. I have written this buying guide to help you find the perfect weighted vest. You may consider buying more than one vest so you can test which one will suit you best. For beginners consider buying a lighter vest
What is a Weighted Vest?
A weighted vest is a vest designed to carry varying amounts of weight with built-in pockets on the chest, back, and torso. You can add and remove weight depending on your preferred fitness level.
The vest can help improve your performance and overall strength. This added tool for fitness fanatics and athletes can also help increase the calories burned. The vest gives support during your workout periods whether that includes running, walking, training, jogging or different types of exercises.
- Read more on: Calisthenics Equipment For Home Exercises
The Benefits of a Weighted Vest for Running
To some people who think that buying this supplementary tool is a waste of money, here are some of the benefits of using a weighted vest for running.
Increased Leg Strength
Based on a study cited in Journal of Applied Psychology, those who wears a weighted vest during their workout had a steady level of performance. The leg strength was increased by 30% and during cycling and running it was increased by 11 to 13%. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Carrying additional weight during exercise needs more energy and strength. This can drain all your stored energy. In any kind of exercise the more weight used, the more muscles you need to adapt – this will help build the strength and muscle endurance.
Helpful Tool for Variations
A weighted vest is a helpful tool for variations. It can help you improve your workouts. This new exercise method enables you to throw your systems off whenever needed.
Based on a study that involves the use of the weighted vest, wearing one that weighs around 10% of the body weight improves the performance. The participants of the study wore the vest for four weeks the whole day and while doing their workouts
After completing the study, the participants who focused on strength have improved their ability to use oxygen as they exercise. They were able to run a long distance without getting tired right away. Also, their skill in using twitch muscle fibers fast has changed a lot.
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research on 2012 showed that using a weighted vest all day except during workout can help improve one’s agility. This is seen in men who wear the vest 50% of their daily activities for four weeks. Likewise, running four times a week with a weighted vest on that weighs 10% of your body weight helps you move faster during sports like basketball, tennis, and soccer.
Increased Burn Calories
An individual that weighs 125lb and runs at 6mph can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes. A person that weighs 155lb running at the same speed, time, and distance will burn 375 calories. The rationale for this is that the bigger the body, the more calories will be burned when you run.
So if the 125lb individual wants to burn more calories, he can simply put on the weighted vest and add more weight to it. Just remember never wear a vest that is more than 10% of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds, do not wear a vest that is more than 16 pounds.
Find more benefits on this video:
Characteristics of a Good Weighted Vest
Design and Distinctiveness
A weighted vest used for training and running was designed differently. You need a looser version of weighted vest if you will use it for resistance and bodyweight training. This will give you more freedom to move.
For running, you need a snug fit vest. If you use a loose vest it will move up, across and down as you sprint or jog. A loose vest used in running may cause pain and discomfort.
Choose a weighted vest that you can adjust so you can increase or decrease the weight based on your fitness level and goals. When running, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed, if not it will affect your performance negatively. Consider also the weight increments.
Some weighted vests let you increase the weight by 0.5 lbs while others allow you a 2+ pounds rise. Although 2 lbs. might not sound that much, it can still affect your performance if you are trying to run 3 miles.
The price may vary depending on where you purchase it. I suggest that you check different distributors first before buying. Keep in mind that an expensive vest may not be the best for your needs.
Top 5 Best Weighted Vests for Running
Here are five weighted vests that you can consider buying:
The Cross101 Weighted Vest is a good product to use if you want to add resistance to your workout. The vest looks really good that girls might find you very attractive on it. This vest is not just for running, you can also use it during your cross and strength training.
This product has a short design that measures 15 inches in length from your collarbone down and 13 inches in width. The size of the vest is enough so you can move freely as you run and do your other functional training. Your weight is distributed evenly across the back and front of the vest. Thus it is very comfortable.
- 13-inch in width
- Includes warranty from the manufacturer
- Maximum weight is 40 pounds
- Offered at a reasonable price
- One piece vest with belt attached for easy setup
- One size fit most
- The package includes additional weights – 10 x 4 pounds Iron Ore Weights
- You can adjust the weights into four-pound increments
- It does not strap as tight as others which resulted to rub spots due to vest movement.
- Lack padding in the shoulders
- Shipping cost is not included in the vest price
- The iron-ore included in the package is actually sand in black plastic bags and not metal
The ZFOsports is designed to fit and stay tight to your body even under the most rigorous workouts. This is designed for both men and women and is ideal for first-time users who want to have a reliable vest at a reasonable price. It fits your body well and allows you to move and breathe easily as you do your workout.
If you want to adjust the weight, you can do so by removing or adding weighted bags until you achieve your desired weight. The product is fastened tight to the torso. A custom fit weighted vest eliminates weight shifting as you do your workouts.
The vest adds resistance to training routine without affecting biomechanics. The product is made of high-quality materials that last through your longest runs.
- All weights are removable with 2.5-pound increments
- It fits the user comfortably
- It is durable because it is made of high-quality material that can survive even the most rigorous workouts. (why, you support it by something here)
- The maximum weight limit is 40 pounds
- The package includes 40 pounds weight
- The instructions are not clear
- One size fits most
- If you want to return the product, it will cost you a lot
The manufacturer has created a very sleek and versatile weighted vest made of high-quality material. The Hyperwear vest is based on a patented design using patented fabric. The stretch fabric wicks sweat well, which is perfect for runners.
Hyperwear’s unisex design has side lacing for highly adjustable fit, thus it fits everybody. The product has a thin profile for full range of motion. You will be able to burn a good amount of calories. Hyperwear is a simple, powerful gear.
- Tested and approved by athletes
- Professional-grade weighted vest
- Includes a 10 pounds of high-density steel weights
- The capacity of this vest is 64 pounds perfect for starter since it will meet your needs as you grow
- You can move freely because it has thin design
- Odor resistant
- The sides are open for ventilation making the fabric cool and comfortable to wear
- Stretch fabric wicks sweat
- Distributes weight perfectly
- Very flexible it can fit all body shapes and sizes
- Some users reported that the weights fall through the fabric after a year of using it
- Buying additional weights can cost you a lot.
- It only includes 10 pounds of weight.
If you are in search for a heavier weighted vest, ZFOsports is a good vest to consider. It includes 60 pounds adjustable weights. Inside the vest, you will find 40 pounds of weights. You can remove the weights if you want to. This weighted vest is also adjustable in 2.5-pound increments.
ZFOsports features a unisex design and is available in one standard size designed that will fit all. It will fit the user perfectly, which prevent the vest from moving around as you do your workouts. You can use it in running and during your workouts. This is a great way to improve your resistance on your workout.
The vest can help increase your speed and strength. It can accelerate weight loss and improve respiration. You can achieve your goals fast and you can even double the results with ZFOsports weighted vest.
- Fits the user perfectly
- Includes a 40-pound weight
- The maximum weight limit is 40 pounds
- All the weights included in the vest are removable
- You can adjust the weight in 2.5-pound increments
- One size fits all
- Instructions in assembling the vest is not clear.
- You can watch YouTube video to as you assemble it
- If you are not happy with the product, you can return it but it will cost you a lot
The Perfect Fitness vest can hold up to 20 lbs in 1-pound increments. It has a slender design but it will not affect your mobility. The vest includes a breathable shell for comfort as you do your workouts any time of the year. It is available in highly reflective material that will keep you safe on the roads.
This weighted vest has a contoured pocket so you can place your MP3 player or phone on it. The dual band enclosure gives the vest a personalized fit. It also has a padded shoulder for better comfort. If you want a heavier Perfect Fitness, you can choose the one with 40-pound weight.
- The vest has pocket to hold your MP3 player or phone
- It comes with a reflective material
- The slim design will give you better mobility
- Some have smaller frames and lack straps for stability
- Some find it uncomfortable to use if worn longer
- It moves a bit as you do your workout
It does not matter which among the 5 best-weighted vests for running you choose. They are all rated well because they are made of good quality materials. I am sure that you will be satisfied with what it can add to your training.
I own two of the above-mentioned products, the ZFOsports (60lbs), and Cros101. These two weighted vests help me improved my overall strength and I love them. The only difference between the two is the weight included and the price. But when it comes to durability and versatility, they are the same.
Definitely, these weighted vests will take your workouts and your overall strength to the next level. You will feel the benefits of using these vests and everybody will see it. If you find this post helpful, you can leave your comments below.