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5 Ways to Use a Weighted Vest

Have you heard about weighted vests? If you haven't, this is the time to try adding one to your workout for an additional fat burning edge. Get-Fit Guy explains how.

By
Ben Greenfield,
Episode #214
Man training with weighted vest

Tip #3: Ride Your Bike With a Weighted Vest

Hitting the trail with your bike while sporting a weighted vest is another great strategy. It works especially well on a trail with rolling hills and when you alternate frequently from a standing to a seated position to get an upper body workout component. You can also wear a weighted vest when riding an indoor stationary bike.

For example, whether outdoors or indoors, you can put on your weighted vest and do the following:

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • Alternate standing to seated for 30 seconds standing, 30 seconds seated, 10 times through
  • Finish with 5 minutes of standing, then ride for 1 mile as hard as possible in a seated position
  • 1 mile cool-down

Tip #4: Do Weighted Vest Chores

Whether you’re doing laundry, gardening, walking up and down the stairs in your house while cleaning, or any other household chore, you can get some “free” calorie burning by adding a little extra weight to your frame.

For this type of activity, you can even amplify the benefits of a weighted vest by wearing ankle weights or wrist weights. So if you’re concerned about getting funny looks for wearing your weighted vest at the gym, you can still sport a little extra weight in the comfort of your own home while doing activities you’d normally be doing anyways – without anyone noticing!

Tip #5: Lift Weights With a Weighted Vest

You can add an intense twist to just about any weight training routine by putting on a weighted vest.

For example, I’ll often do my latest favorite workout, a “5x5” routine, while wearing a vest. This routine - which involves 5 sets of 5 deadlifts, squats, bench presses, barbell rows, and barbell cleans – gets seriously amplified when it’s done wearing a weighted vest. The main thing you’ll notice is that your core, low back, inspiratory and expiratory muscles have to work way harder at the same time as all the other muscles you’re working, which gives you an added calorie burn and challenges your small postural and core muscles.

Use Caution With a Weighted Vest

Finally, it's important to use caution with a weighted vest.

For example, one problem with some weighted vests (especially the heavy ones) is that they can place a large amount of pressure on your upper back and shoulders, and for very long walks or upper body movements such pull-ups or push-ups, this can cause muscle knots in the neck and upper back, skin chafing, and even joint injuries.

In addition, for very intense workouts, weighted vests can cause constricted breathing and overheating due to the heavy, non-breathing materials like nylon and neoprene often used in the construction of the vests. This means you need to hydrate more or be prepared to take more breaks. A weighted vest can be a great way to amp up the difficulty of your workout, just pay attention to your body!

Do you have more questions about how to use a weighted vest? Head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and ask your questions or join the conversation there!

Ankle weights image courtesy of Shutterstock. Weighted vest image via Flickr/DennisSHurd

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About the Author

Ben Greenfield
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