How To Start Exercising Again – With a Weighted Vest

Exercise is a hard habit to build and an easy one to lose. Let’s look at how to get started again and how a single piece of equipment, the weighted vest, can boost your workouts.

Explain To Me – What Is A Weighted Workout Vest?

A weighted vest is exactly what it sounds like. It looks like a fisherman’s or bulletproof vest but is used to create more resistance for exercise. 

Here's a sample picture of a weighted vest.
This is one style of weighted vest.

The rest of the article will outline some tips about getting back into a workout routine, selecting a weighted vest, some of its most common uses, and a few workouts to try while using a vest. 

Getting Back Into Working Out – Some Tips

Getting back into the routine of working out after time off can be a challenge. Developing new habits and dealing with muscle soreness is an uphill climb. 

I will discuss strategies to start exercising again and how using a weighted vest can be an excellent tool for beginners and more experienced athletes. 

Start Slow

It’s no secret that most New Year’s exercise resolutions fail. Starting any new habit is difficult, especially with discomfort, like exercise. 

Head back into exercise slowly. Training is not an all-or-nothing activity. Gradually add exercise to your weekly schedule in small increments. Workout two days a week to start, and then slowly increase the time and duration of your sessions. 

It’s About Becoming, Not Doing

Think of training as part of your identity, not something you will do. Visualize the person you want to become over the next year and begin to act like that person now. Exercise is not negotiable and is a vital part of your development. 

Find A Partner or Community

Finding a workout partner or joining a training group are great ways to create accountability and stick with your program on days you feel like sleeping in. 

Lastly, decide why it is you want to start exercising again. Nail down your reason and your motivation so you have a reason to keep training on those days when it gets complicated. 

Defining your “why” is a powerful exercise that connects your training to who you want to be and provides a purpose beyond looking fit or pleasing others. 

Pick The Right Weighted Vest

Weighted vests have a wide range of price and quality. The most expensive options are nearly $500, while the least expensive can be found for less than $40. There are a few things to consider to find which is right for you. 

The Fit

Except for the price, the fit is the most important thing to look for in a weighted vest. The less expensive models will have the same weight but will usually be a bit bulkier or restrict your breathing. 

Neither one of these things is a huge deal when trying it on for five minutes, but when you are doing an hour-long workout, it will affect your training. 

Make Sure It Feels Good

Make sure you can breathe well and keep your vest in place through a full range of motion. Doing a few burpees in the store will make you look out of place, but it may save you from making a poor investment. 

Plus, you get to work those core muscles for a quick ab workout.

Weighted Vest versus Plate Carrier

A weighted vest is exactly what it sounds like, a vest with added weight. The [Hyper Vest Pro] is the high-end version of an adjustable weighted vest. 

A plate carrier is similar to a weighted vest but functions primarily to hold removable weights. Plates come in increments of five to 20 pounds and can be combined for more weight, or lessened so that there is not too much weight on the wearer. 

One of the more popular brands of plate carriers is [Go Ruck]. 

How To Train With a Weighted Vest?

There are countless ways to train and endless materials to use. Bars, kettlebells, battle ropes, and sandbags are all popular options. Weighted vests are an excellent choice for people training at home and wanting a flexible and effective workout. 

Bodyweight Movements

The most common way to include a weight vest in your training is to combine it with bodyweight movements. Push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, and even running are more difficult with a vest’s added weight. The extra 10 to 20 pounds increases resistance and makes every movement more challenging.

Any Movement or Exercise

Weighted vests can be added to nearly every movement making them a great resource. Everything from running to rope climbing is made better and more complex, with a weight vest without overcomplicating anything. Simply strap on the vest and get to work. 

Go On Weighted Vest Walks and Hikes

Weighted vest walks and hikes are similar to rucks which involve carrying a backpack. Walking is a great, low-impact exercise contributing to weight loss. Adding a weighted vest to walks increases the challenge and burns even more calories. 

Weighted vests are also more comfortable than backpacks on long hikes. Backpacks place all the weight on a person’s shoulders when loaded correctly. 

Often the weight of the backpack will ride lower and be supported by the lower back. This is more than uncomfortable; it can cause serious injury, especially in children or adolescents who are still growing. 

By comparison, a weighted vest distributes weight evenly among a person’s torso. The muscles in the shoulders, lats, deltoids, posterior chain, chest, and core all work in conjunction to share the load. 

Weighted vest training causes less fatigue and has a lower risk of injury while creating the same fat-burning effects. 

Do Bodyweight Exercises With a Weighted Vest

Many people have switched to at-home workouts in recent years. Gyms were closed, and access to weights and gyms was limited. Body weight workouts grew in popularity. Bodyweight exercises or calisthenics are a great way to improve your endurance and build lean muscle mass. 

Burpees

Combining these movements with a weight vest is a surefire way to get a great workout. Burpees are everyone’s favorite exercise to hate. Burpees and an added weighted vest are all you need to create a complete workout. Every major muscle group is recruited, which results in faster weight loss and the development of lean muscle mass. 

Challenge Yourself With a Burpee Workout

For a quick and challenging workout, perform what is called death by burpee pull-ups. In the first minute, perform one rep, two in the second minute, three in the third minute, and so on.

Keep doing more reps until you can no longer finish a rep in the given time. This is a great workout with a weighted vest to come back to every few months to measure your progress. 

a burpee workout is only as hard as you make it

Challenging Weighted Crossfit Workouts

Crossfit is loved or hated depending on who you ask. What is not up for debate is the ability of their benchmark workouts, called girls, to test your strength and endurance.

There is nothing uniquely Crossfit about these workouts, and anyone wanting to improve their fitness level would benefit by including them in their routine. 

Angie

One particular exercise is called the Angie and consists of 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 air squats. It is a challenge without a vest and becomes an absolute beast with one. 

Start with 25 to 50 reps of each exercise, then slowly incorporate the weighted vest until you can perform all the movements with good form. 

Murph

The Murph is the standard for weighted vest workouts. It is an incredible challenge combined with a great tribute. Murph is named for Lt. Michael Murphy and consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run. 

The Murph is traditionally done every Memorial Day but is a great challenge anytime. 

Bambi 

Bambi training is three rounds of 800-meter running, 40 air squats, 30 walking lunges, and 20 burpees.

These workouts will raise your heart rate and challenge you physically and mentally. Crossfit workouts are not the only way to take advantage of the benefits of a weighted vest. Cycling can be another excellent choice. 

Ride Your Bike While Wearing Your Vest

Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout. Spin classes and road riding offer a smooth, low-impact workout sure to raise your heart rate. 

Wearing a weighted vest while cycling is another option for anyone wanting more of a challenge. The extra weight will challenge your core and upper body and could improve your posture. 

If the class or route includes hills, the extra weight of the vest will add more resistance and challenge your quads, calves, and hamstrings to work harder. Rising out of your seat to pedal harder with a weighted vest is another way to tax your muscles more and burn more calories. 

Wear Your Vest While Doing Household Chores

Weighed vests are not only for high-intensity workouts, wearing a vest around the house while vacuuming or cleaning is also effective. 

Every person has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) or “metabolism”. The metabolism accounts for how our body burns energy while in a primarily rested state. Wearing a weighted vest during regular activity boosts the body’s natural BMR and increases caloric burn, resulting in more significant fat loss. 

Benefits of Weighted Vest Workouts

Weighted vest workouts are a great way to build muscle, burn fat and improve overall body composition. They are, for the most part, low-impact and easy to do wherever you are. 

Weighted vests are also easy to move around and adjustable. Similar to removing or adding weight to a bar, a weighted vest can be loaded to meet the needs and abilities of the athlete. 

Benefits for People with Autism

Weighted vests also benefit people with autism. The added weight can provide comfort to the individual and aid in sensory integration. The sensory bonus of a weighted vest can work well, even if the person does not exercise. Even children can wear a small, weighted vest.

Weighted Vests and Daily Activities

There are numerous advantages to adding a weighted vest to your routine, both in daily activities and your training. Our weighted vests guide is a great resource with loads of information to get you started on the right foot. 

Conclusion

Weighted vests are an excellent choice for all ranges of athletes. People looking to get back into the routine of working out after a long layoff benefit from a weighted vest’s adaptability. A good training program should be versatile and easy to stick to. Weighted vests check all the boxes for a challenging workout you can build into a regular habit. 

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