Staying fit means you need to constantly remain on your toes and make changes since your body soon becomes accustomed to any given exercise.
If you want to maintain your training progress, often it’s necessary to mix things up and to make things harder going. The more you push yourself, the more you will advance.
For a quick and easy way to supplement your home gym equipment, a weighted vest is a smart move. They are inexpensive, easy to store away when not in use and should last for years.
We will look today at the top 5 weighted vests for running and walking reviews so you can buy with complete confidence. Whether it’s exercising outdoors or using a treadmill, the increased effort required when wearing a weighted vest will really max out your workout.
Before that, though, some general information about weighted vests and what to look out for when buying one…
How Does a Weighted Vest Work?
A weighted training vest is nothing more than a heavy vest you wear on your upper body while exercising.
They differ in terms of design but their core purpose is always the same: to be as heavy as possible! Made from a bulky material and containing pockets to be filled with sand or metal bars, these vests are ideal for piling on some resistance to your workout without any compromise on biomechanics.
Most vests come with handy adjustment straps and they are nicely contoured around the body. With most vests, you can make tweaks to the weights giving you an extremely versatile piece of kit.
Weighted vests are not principally for building muscle or losing weight but they can help with agility and accelerate gains.
So really, all you need to do is strap yourself in and go about your training but with a ramped-up difficulty level.
5 Ways To Use A Weighted Vest
There are a whole range of ways in which you can make full use of a weighted vest and we will give you a swift snapshot of 5 of these right now…
- Cardio: Running: Go out for a jog in the park or hit the treadmill for a few intense minutes. However you choose to run, doing so wearing a weighted vest will jack up the difficulty level and enhance your gains. It might take some time to get used to cardio encumbered by a bulky vest but you’ll soon get used to it
- Cardio: Walking and Hiking: An easy way to turn a gentle stroll into far more of an endurance test is to strap on a weighted vest. While working out on machines can be dull for some, taking a walk outdoors is far more stimulating. Go for a heavier vest of at least 25 pounds for walking. If you plan to tackle serious hills, don’t go over the top with the weight
- Circuit Training: Circuits are a perfect way to get your body into full fat-burning mode. When you are first starting out with weighted circuits, you’ll probably find it pretty hard going. Soon, though, you’ll notice your endurance and strength increase and the going will get easier
- Weight Training: As long as the vest is not overly bulky, you can easily supplement your lifting by wearing additional weights on your upper body. Try some bench presses, squats, deadlifts, cleans and rows – the big five – while wearing your vest for a real Spartan workout. You will target all major muscle groups along with the core and secondary muscles for a true complete body workout
- Mix It Up: Household Chores: Whether it’s gardening, laundry or vacuuming, carrying out everyday household chores while wearing one of these vests is a wonderful way to get in some bonus exercise without needing to go the gym!
Although a weighted vest is a very simple product, there are a few things to keep an eye out for when you decide to invest in one…
The Buying Guide
Price is a factor with any purchase and it’s no different when you are looking for weighted vest.
Fortunately, as far as fitness gear goes, these vests are really not so expensive.
If you start your research by fixing a budget, you’ll immediately narrow down your options.
Buy the best you can afford but do not overstretch yourself. Stick to your budget.
Not all weighted vests are created equal.
There are 3 main styles:
- Fixed Weight
- Adjustable Weight
- Weighted Shirt System
If you want maximum flexibility, shoot for one that you can adjust easily.
Think, too, about weight distribution. The weights should be nicely balanced between the front and the back of the vest.
Everyone has different training needs so be honest with yourself and buy the most suitable vest for your personal requirements.
Think About How You Will Use The Vest
Clearly, you will be using your weighted vest to add some resistance to your workout but how will you train?
You might be running, walking, lifting weights or circuit training.
If you plan to go running and buy a bulky vest, it might not be comfortable enough.
Equally, for a weight lifting session, you’ll want something with adequate resistance so you’ll be selling yourself short with a lightweight option.
It’s horses for courses. Focus on how you will use your vest and you can’t go far wrong.
Top Weighted Vests for Running and Walking
CAP Barbell Adjustable
CAP Barbell is a company well known for producing top-tier exercise equipment.
The beauty of this adjustable weighted vest is that you can choose from 8 varying weights starting out at 40 pounds up to a staggering 150 pounds.
Once you have decided which one to go for, you can then add weights 2.5 pounds at a time allowing you to tailor this vest to your precise requirements.
Everything about this vest feels solid from the heavy stitching and ultra-durable Velcro fastenings through to the quality of the steel shot weights themselves.
If you plan to run or walk with your loaded vest, the breathable mesh and Neoprene padding make sure you can do so pain-free. Reflective safety stripes mean you can stay out of harm’s way and remain fully visible. A handy pocket will house your cellphone or MP3.
Finished in a sleek black with a fully adjustable strap, if you want to ramp up the intensity of your cardio workout, look no further than this superb weighted vest.
- 8 weight options from 40 pounds to 150 pounds for total flexibility
- Fully adjustable in increments of 2.5 pounds so make small tweaks with ease
- Brand you can trust
- Thick Velcro straps and solid stitching: superb build quality
- Ideal for all fitness levels
- Not cheap
RUNFast Max Pro
Next up is another extremely fast-selling vest from RUNFast.
As with the CAP Barbell above, you can choose from an assortment of weights:
- 12 pounds
- 20 pounds
- 40 pounds
- 50 pounds
- 60 pounds
These weights are made from iron ore which is a very heavy grain weight.
The waist strap is not internal. This means that you bear pretty much all of the load on your shoulders with your hips unable to help out. Take this into consideration.
You can also decide whether or not you want the shoulder pads so think about how you will use the vest and which variant would work best for you.
If you’re looking for the quality weighted vest and operating on a budget, the RUNFast Max Pro takes some beating.
- Choice of 5 weights for your convenience
- Shoulder pads optional so get the design that suits you best
- One size fits most users
- Very good value for money
- Dual straps for maximum security
- Breathable material great for exercis
- External waist strap means all load goes on shoulders not hips
- Universal size might not fit very small or large users
Cross 101 Adjustable
We’ll look now at a nifty camouflage adjustable weighted vest from Cross 101.
If you are finding your walks or runs not quite demanding enough, with this vest
you can pack on up to 40 pounds of extra weight. The supplied iron ore weights come in 4 pound sizes.
The striking camoflauge design sets this vest apart from a raft of black and muted alternatives.
One thing to watch out for is the weights jiggling around and causing the vest to rub if you plan to run at high speed. Think about precisely how you’ll use the equipment and whether this will be an issue for you.
If you want a cheap weighted vest that doesn’t compromise on quality, pop the Cross 101 on your shortlist.
- 10 removable iron ore weights to help tweak your workout
- 4 pound increments allow you to customize the weight of the vest
- Eye-catching camo design
- Very reasonably priced so suitable for all budgets
- Extremely simple to adjust: perfect for nearly all shapes and sizes
- 1-year limited warranty
- Weights can bounce a little and rub when running very quick
We present another great bargain, this time a 40-pound adjustable vest from ZFOsports.
Most weighted vests come with 4-pound weights which might not seem much but can be a steep increase in difficulty when you add one to the belt. This model comes with 2.5-pound weights so you can fine-tune your workout to a greater degree.
Although this is a heavy vest, it’s not too bulky. If you plan to run, walk or hike, you will not have your mobility impeded. With its nice snug fit, you’ll find that your body can breathe and move with ease.
If you are just venturing into the world of weighted vests, this makes a great starting point.
- Able to adjust weights in 2.5 pound increments which is better than most other vests
- Almost universal sizing. If you are extremely small or very large, make sure the vest fits you before purchasing
- Style does not interfere with your mobility so ideal for walking or running
- Great value for money
- Velcro belt keeps everything nice and secure
- Full torso vest can be uncomfy for those with short torsos
Tone Fitness (CAP Barbell)
This is another CAP Barbell product marketed by Tone Fitness.
Considering the stellar reputation of CAP Barbell, this vest comes in at an extremely attractive price point.
Like the heavier version featured above, you’ll get a useful pocket to house any valuables or electronics and some safety strips so you can jog or walk at night even in dark areas.
A combination of the Neoprene material and the design of the vest means that you’ll be able to move around without feeling restricted.
The vest does include phthalates so check these chemicals out and make sure you are OK with this.
You can buy with absolute confidence as you can return the vest for up to 15 days after purchase for a full refund. So give it a try! You’ve got nothing to lose.
- Very cheap for such brand heritage
- Electronics pocket for your complete convenience
- Reflective strips allow you to run outside at night more safely
- Neoprene nicely breathable
- 15 day money back guarantee
- Limited weight of 12 pounds
- Product contains phthalates
We hope you have found this examination of the weighted vests for running and walking has answered any questions you might have about maxing out your workout.
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Now strap on that vest and get to work!