Are weighted vests good for working out

Are Weighted Vests Good For Weight Loss?

Blessed they are who can eat whatever they want but still remain slim!

But unfortunately, the vast majority of people out there aren’t blessed with a super powerful metabolism. Top that off with the modern lifestyle that’s drifting away from fitness with every passing day, and you are in a lose-lose predicament.

No wonder weight loss is one of the most common (and most unsuccessful) new year resolutions every year! Jokes aside, being overweight can land you in a quicksand of problems, from lower immunity to higher fatigue.

I am not surprised that so many new ways of weight loss are gaining momentum of late. And one of these recent trends is a weighted vest. But does it really work for weight loss?

Hello, weight-loss aspirants! I am Michael Shaw. And today, I want to help you understand if using a weighted vest will help you lose weight.

Without further ado, let’s break a sweat!

Can Weighted Vests Help You Lose Weight?

Let’s tackle this question head-on, without beating around the bush. If I had to simplify it as much as I possibly could, the answer would be “Yes, but not much.”

You see, there are some crucial factors you need to consider to ascertain if it will be a viable weight-loss option for you. Let’s look at these factors one at a time…

What is your current bodyweight?

If you are on the same boat as I was until a couple of months ago, that is, you are marginally overweight, a weighted vest can be your blessing in disguise. Why, you may ask? Because you are only looking to shed some additional pounds and do not have a big gut to get rid of. And that’s precisely what a weighted vest can do for you with immense ease!

What is your fitness goal?

fitness goals

Are you looking just to shed that excess fat or get a ripped core? If your target is more in line with the latter, let me stop you right here and tell you that a weighted vest isn’t going to cut it! You will need much more than that to get a drool-worthy physique.

Are you a passionate gym-goer or a workhorse that gets bare minimum time for any physical activity?

A weighted vest is going to be more beneficial for weight loss if you can workout regularly. Some people prefer going about their daily activities with a weighted vest on, which is not as effective as completing an entire workout session with one.

What are the different weighted vests you can use?

Weighted vests look a lot like battle armor and usually come in a one-size-fits-all variant. You can adjust the straps to loosen or tighten it. Some weighted vests come with a fixed weight, while others give you the flexibility of adding weight pouches.

As a rule of thumb, you should not use a weighted vest that weighs more than 10% of your body weight. So, if you weigh 170 pounds, the maximum weight of the vest can be 17 pounds.

Benefits Of Using A Weighted Vest

benefits of using a weight vest


Now that you know what questions you need to be asking before using a weighted vest, let’s look at the benefits you can derive from it.

According to a study conducted by the American Council of Exercise, the additional number of calories burned while walking on the treadmill with a weighted vest on is not too significant. 

Participants who walked on a treadmill when wearing a weighted vest equal to 10% of their body weight, burned 6.1 calories per minute. On the other hand, those who walked without any weighted vest burned 5.7 calories per minute. So, that’s only an extra 17.9 calories after 45 minutes. Not too impressive!

That’s why I recommend that you try to do entire bodyweight workouts while wearing a weighted vest. You will be burning a higher number of calories and building more functional strength at the same time.

Drawbacks Of Using A Weighted Vest

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You must understand how a weighted vest works. Unlike ankle or wrist weights, weighted vests are spread across your entire torso. But they put a lot of pressure on your shoulder, neck, and spinal cord too.

If you use a vest that weighs more than 10% of your body weight, you may end up doing more harm than good. I recommend going heavier than 10% only after using weighted vests for a few months when your strength has increased enough to handle that added pressure safely.

And that’s not all; anybody who is suffering from any neck or spinal cord issues should not be using a weighted vest at all. So, it is not feasible for everybody.

My Experience

Although my primary focus was to increase my upper back strength, I also wanted to shed the little excess fat I was carrying. And when I started going to the gym near my place, I sought help from my long-lost friend and fitness trainer, Jacob.

Jacob told me to wear a weighted vest roughly equal to 7.5% of my weight. All of my rowing sessions and body weight exercises were done with that additional weight on three out of five days every week. And after nearly two months, I was ready to move to a vest that was 10% of my weight.

My body fat was at 19.5% when I started, and I weighed a little under 197 pounds. After three months of using a weighted vest, I am down to 15.1% body fat and 179 pounds. That is quite impressive, in my humble opinion.

But I wasn’t just walking on the treadmill wearing a weighted vest. And don’t forget, I had the privilege of getting a lot of expert help and attention from Jacob.

Final Words

With that, I have reached the end of this brief and informative guide about weighted vests. But before I sign off and head to the gym, I want to tell you that weighted vests can certainly help with weight loss. The only caveat is that you must know how to use them optimally. And if you want to buy a weight vest for CrossFit right now, go checkout the guide by clicking on the link.

Furthermore, nothing will work for weight loss if your diet is not in check. I mean, what difference will it make by bearing the burden of a weighted vest if you are going to eat junk every chance you get? You know what I mean, right?

There is no substitute for a consistently healthy nutrition plan and regular workouts.

And on that note, I’ll let you go. Till next time, keep hitting the gym!

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