Best Weight Vest For Running

The Best Weight Vests for Running

Is your morning run becoming a little more tedious? Do you find it boring to get up and jog instead of feeling the usual excitement the moment your running shoes hit the ground?

Workouts can certainly get boring over time and you might end up losing motivation in the long run. It is the natural course of things and before you know it, you have started skipping your workouts and morning runs and slowly returning to becoming a slob.

But your morning run need not be so much of a chore anymore. To up the ante and challenge your body, you can add a little something to return that zest for running.

A little something called a weighted vest.

There are quite a lot of benefits that come with including a weighted vest in your usual routine. Are you ready to take on this new challenge?

Let us help you choose the best weight vest for running!

Best Weighted Vests for Running

1. Cross101 Adjustable Weighted Vest with Shoulder Pads

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 20:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

The weighted vests from Cross101 were great but they could be a bit painful when they start digging into your shoulders in the middle of your workout. It is a good thing they decided to upgrade those vests to a product with shoulder pads, which should ease some of that discomfort and help you focus more on your workouts.

These weighted vests come in a camouflage color and are available in one size only, which the manufacturer assures will fit most people. You can purchase a vest with a maximum weight of 20, 40, 50, and 60 lbs. but these weights can be removed and placed back to tailor the load to your workout and needs. The weights are made of sand and it is not recommended to use this vest underwater.


Pros
  • Quality material
  • Added shoulder straps for comfort
  • Easily adjustable weights
  • One size fits most and is adjustable
Cons
  • Bulky design
  • No waist support
2. HumanX 20-Pound Vest

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 22:28 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

This is a 20-pound weighted vest that is adjustable in 1-pound increments so you can tailor the load depending on your workouts or your needs. The weights are made of sand.

The manufacturers boast of its FLEX weight design (patent pending) that allows this vest to contour to the body while exercising. This exact design also ensures a compact fit that will not hamper your movements as you exercise.

The HumanX weighted vest comes in one size only, which the manufacturers guarantee should fit most frames, even for smaller women. The wide Velcro strap will allow you to adjust it accordingly to fit your torso.

However, this vest is not perfect—it has no shoulder padding and could get a bit uncomfortable if you wear it strapped directly to your skin, especially when running. It is highly recommended by some users to wear at least a shirt underneath to avoid the material chafing your skin and breaking your focus on your training.


Pros
  • Compact fit with unique FLEX weight design (patent pending)
  • Good mobility even with dynamic exercises
  • Wide Velcro strap allows the vest to fit snugly even in smaller frames
  • Adjustable weights
Cons
  • Absence of shoulder or any sort of padding
  • Reports of sand leaking from the weights
3. Empower Weighted Vests

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 20:39 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

I must admit that the sleek design of the Empower Weighted Vests for women is actually one of its most attractive features. Unlike most bulky weighted vests, these ones from Empower clearly had their target customers in mind when they designed it. The vest has two closures at the sides, which makes it easier to fit a woman’s body snugly. The crossed front also prevents the vest from pressing uncomfortably against a female chest.

This is an ideal recommendation for those who are starting out with weighted vests. It comes in an 8-pound model, which is a good weight to start with. Another model comes in 4 pounds with reflective accents and LED lights that make the wearer easy to spot when jogging at night.

The vest is made of a soft and stretchy neoprene material that ensures the comfort of the wearer.


Pros
  • Sleek design made to fit a woman’s frame
  • Soft and stretchy material
  • Reflective accents and LED lights make jogger easier to spot in the dark
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Weights are not adjustable
  • Some units started fraying from a few uses
4. SKLZ Weighted Vest Pro

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 20:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

If you are looking for an upgrade for your weighted vest, you might want to check out the SKLZ Weighted Vest Pro. At first glance, it certainly looks like a tanker and it can be converted into a sandbag to boot.

The vest comes at a maximum of 10 pounds of weight with removable cubic weights that are a half pound each. The pockets for the weights go all around the vest so you get an equal distribution of weight all around your body. The only problem with this is there are weight pockets that are situated right under the armpits. If you place some of the weights in there, it could become very uncomfortable during the course of your exercise.

Overall, it provides a good fit with good mobility, with belts that can be unlocked as well as adjusted all around. The high-waist design certainly makes it easier to move but it could end up looking like a bra.


Pros
  • Quality material
  • Adjustable weights in half-pound increments up to 10 pounds
  • Can be converted into a sandbag
  • Good fit and mobility
Cons
  • More expensive than other weighted vests
  • Stitching may fray after some use
5. OneFitWonder WODmaster Weighted Vest

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 21:00 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

This weighted vest from OneFitWonder is designed to go head-to-head with the most grueling workouts known to the fitness world. In fact, they called it WODmaster and it has been tested to survive not only running but burpees, pushups, thrusters, and a variety of pull-ups.

The vest has four points of closure so you can adjust it to fit snugly to your body as you go through your exercise routine.

However, this vest is not recommended for beginners or those who are only starting out with adding load to their routines as it comes fixed at 20 pounds and could put quite a strain on those who are unused to the immense weight. For the pros, you can bring it on with this one.


Pros
  • Built like a tank to survive grueling workouts
  • Great material
  • Has 4 points of closure to ensure a snug fit
  • Comes in two sizes: Medium/Large and Large/Extra Large
Cons
  • Weights are not adjustable
  • May not fit smaller frames

Benefits of Wearing Weighted Vests

Running is one of the best cardio exercises, especially when you are trying to lose weight. If you add more weight to your routine, you also add a host of other benefits so you get the most out of running.

1. Cardiovascular Benefits

We know that running in itself has great effects on the cardiovascular system but did you know that increasing your load with weighted vests can give you additional benefits beyond those of running without weights?

Increasing the resistance by increasing the weight you carry in running will subsequently increase the cardiovascular demands of your workout as well, which will make the exercise more effective in cardiovascular terms.

2. Increased Calorie Burning

Working against resistance will push your body to burn more calories than working out without the added load. Whenever you exert even the slightest effort, your body burns calories to fuel it. The harder you work out, the more calories you will burn.

You might feel like you are making slower progress with the increase in load but as you work harder, your body burns more calories as it pushes against the resistance. Although it seems like you are running slower than others with the weight bogging you down, you are burning more calories compared to those who are running without the added resistance of weights.

3. Musculoskeletal Benefits

Try working out with additional weights such as weighted vests for some time and then try doing the same routines without the added load. You will feel the noticeable gains of your previous training with the added weight, I assure you.

While we all know that training with weights will increase muscle mass and make you stronger over time, did you know that your bones will also benefit from strapping on a weighted vest on your morning runs?

Training with the added weight not only makes your muscles stronger as they push against the resistance day after day, it will also result in an increase in bone mass and density. This is due to the fact that the increased demands the extra weight places on your skeletal frame will stimulate the cells called osteoblasts to produce more bone material.

4. Increasing Strength and Endurance

When I was little, we used to watch Dragon Ball Z, a Japanese animé wherein the lead character, Son Goku, was forced to train in a location with an exaggerated gravitational pull. At first, he could barely take a step due to the immense weight he felt. As days went by, his training progressed and when he finally came out of the training grounds, he was stronger and faster.

The same can be said of training with weights. The first few days of running with a vest might make you feel like you are hardly making progress at all. With regular use, your body will develop the strength and endurance it needs to push against the resistance so that when you try running without the vest, you will accomplish more without fatiguing as quickly.

In a study by Rusko and Bosco published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, they compared the energy metabolism of athletes with weighted vests versus those without weighted vests training for four weeks. By the end of the month, those in the group wearing vests had a lower lactate threshold, improved running time to exhaustion, increased velocity when running up the stairs.

In another study by Barnes, et al., they concluded that warm-ups with a weighted vest will improve running performance as it was found to have a priming effect on leg stiffness and running economy. It is also hinted in the study that the associated effect on peak treadmill speed will also translate into an increase in endurance.

5. Exercise Variation

Over time, exercise routines can be a bit boring. Morning jogs can be so routine that you will feel that it is more of a chore when a few weeks back, you looked forward to that briskness as soon as you wake up.

If you find yourself feeling glum about your next run, you might want to liven up your workout by strapping on a weighted vest. Having the additional load will push the body to work harder than you usually do and pose a new challenge to your boring routine. If you want more, you can combine with a jump rope gadgets to get better for your legs.

6. Equal Weight Distribution

Unlike other weighted mechanisms you can add to your workouts, like ankle weights and wrist weights, which can pose a bit of strain on your joints, the great thing about wearing weighted vests is the equal distribution of the weight over your body. Although they do exert a certain amount of strain over your lower body, forcing your legs to work harder, there is less pressure and discomfort on your joints.

If you have never used weighted vests before, you can try something a bit lighter, no more than five percent of your body weight. Experts recommend that you use weights no more than 10 percent of your body weight or you will risk altering your running style, resulting in lower and shorter strides.

And if you don't want to working outside, you can combine it with a Treadmill machines to exercise running at you home.

Choosing the Best Weight Vests for Running

Whether you have been wearing some sort of weights to up the ante in your workouts or you are new to the concept of wearing weighted vests, there are certain considerations to make when you choose the best weight vest for running.

For one thing, your needs and your budget will vary but take heart! There are tips in this article to aid you in your quest, you intrepid fitness explorer, so that you will be like the fabled Son Goku in no time.

1. Quality and Durability

Exercise equipment can be a bit pricey but I am willing to shell out more if I am pretty sure it is worth my money. After all, the last thing you need is your equipment breaking apart in the middle of a routine when you have hardly used it at all.

Weighted vests are no different. You have to choose one that is made of sterner stuff. One that can take the punishment brought about by your workouts and still come out fresh as daisies. I’m just kidding but I hope you get the idea that weighted vests are more subjected to wear and tear, especially when they are worn regularly.

When checking out a weighted vest, make sure that the weights are adequately protected from rust. One way to do this is to use a coated metal that makes the weights resistant to rust. Another is to enclose it in a neoprene material.

Another trick is to look for the words heavy duty and tear-resistant. And oh, customer reviews can be quite reliable, too, especially when they have racked up an impressive number of fans. Sure, a few people could be paid to write raving reviews but if the product sucks, it will usually have an angry mob right behind it.

2. Material

My dad used to tell me to always bring my own towel to the gym because you never know somebody else’s sweat and germs could be lying there, waiting for the next susceptible gym rat to latch on to. He was a germophobe, alright, but he was right.

There is nothing that bacteria and fungi like more than a warm, moist environment—get your mind out of the gutter, y’all—and exercise equipment are the perfect breeding ground for these creatures. All that sweat is certain to make these disease-causing microorganisms happy.

Which is what brings me to our next criteria for choosing the best weight vest—material. Although it is partially covered above under Quality and Durability, your weighted vest should ideally be sweat-resistant to deter those microbes from getting too happy lodged in your vest or flush to your skin.

All that exercise is bound to leave your pores wide open for these little demons so an antimicrobial¬ or anti-bacterial material will also be ideal to prevent that nasty gym rash or breakout.

3. Adjustability

When starting out with weighted vests, you should choose one that is around 5 percent of your body weight. As you progress, you could increase the load to up to 10 percent of your body weight. Any more than that will hamper your form and running style.

If you are invested in running with weights, then you should seriously consider purchasing one with adjustable weights to suit your needs. Some people like to vary the weights the use from one exercise routine to another, so adjustability is a great plus factor.

Another thing to consider is just how easily adjustable the weights are going to be. If you are going to spend at least an hour reducing or increasing your load, that is going to be a major drawback especially if the exercise routine requires you to adjust weights within short periods of time.

So consider adjustability and the ease with which you can adjust your weights carefully.

4. Fit and Comfort

If I am going to wear something during a grueling workout, it had better be worth the time and effort it takes to put it on. If it is only going to hamper my movements or ruin my form, then it is an absolute deal-breaker for me.

While it is understood that a weighted vest might take some getting used to the first few times, it should fit well and be comfortable enough as to not compromise your form. Try running with a weighted vest that keeps bouncing around and then you tell me if you think you had an effective time.

It is a common misconception that gym equipment should not be comfortable. In fact, they must fit well and be comfortable for you to truly focus on your workout and get the most out of it.If you can, try to fit the vest before purchasing it.

If not, as in the case when you purchase stuff online, try to search pictures of people wearing the actual product and see if it is a good fit for you.

5. Weights

This is probably one of the most important criteria when you are choosing a weighted vest. Using a weighted vest that is too light will make your workouts ineffective and you might be better off running without a vest in the first place. However, running with a vest that is too heavy for you will not only hamper your form and alter your running style but it could also cause injury.

Ideally, you should start out with a weighted vest that is around 5 percent of your body weight and work your way up to a maximum of 10 percent of your body weight.

6. Accessories

Now, we come to the fun part!

If you are anything like me, then you enjoy a nice morning run with some music breaking the stillness. In that case, I suggest with going with a weighted vest that has pockets or compartments for your phone or music player.

Those who prefer night runs might also want to check out a vest with reflective strips so you won’t get accidentally run over in the dark. You could also check out a brightly colored vest to make sure you stand out from the surroundings and are easier to spot. 

The One Vest to Rule Them All

The Cross101 Weighted Vest with Shoulder Pads certainly hit all the points with being adjustable and comfortable, as well as durable and made of quality material. It is also not so pricey as to run your bank account aground with a single purchase and can be tailored to suit your workouts and your needs. It is also easily adjustable and the shoulder pads are certainly a great touch.

Last update on 2018-11-12 at 20:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Workouts should be enjoyable as well as challenging and the Cross101 vest certainly makes it that.

Did you enjoy this article and find it helpful in choosing the best weight vest for running? Are there other brands you want to add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

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About the Author Mike R.Bowen

I am Mike R.Bowen, founder of Fitness On The Weekend dot Com and my aim is to help busy people find time for fitness. We will give you actionable advice on how you can keep fit and healthy even on those busy days!

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