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Running With a Weight Vest: Pros and Cons for More Successful Workouts

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running with a weighted vest

One way to work out more effectively is to use a weight vest. In fact, doing so adds additional weight and resistance to your body. This extra challenge can give you a way to achieve your fitness goals, like weight loss or muscle building, faster. There are many pros and cons to running with a weight vest you may want to consider before you decide to wear one.

You can wear one when doing cardiovascular exercises such as running, walking, or aerobics classes. Wearing a weight vest can prevent you from running as quickly as you would otherwise and cause running-related injuries. But as long as you educate yourself and are careful, you can avoid problems you could potentially have.

On the bright side, a weight vest can help you amp up the intensity of your training runs, be comfortable, and stay motivated to exercise regularly. You can improve balance, boost strength, and enhance endurance, among other things. Consider reading on to learn more about some running with weight vest pros and cons you can benefit from when you exercise. 

Is Running With Weight Vest Good or Bad?

Running with a weight vest can be good for yourself and your workouts if you know how to use it the right way. On the other hand, it can be a bad thing if you don’t inform yourself of the potential risks for your own safety. But gaining experience over time can make wearing one a lot easier. 

Firstly, does running with a weight vest build muscle? Indeed, the force of the weight vest causes every muscle to work together to give you a full-body workout, improve muscle gain rate, and strengthen the muscles. Other benefits include increased cardiorespiratory function, improved bone density, being simple to use, and adjustability of the vest itself.

Here’s an inspiring quote from Ronald Rook to motivate you to be a better runner: 

“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” 

-Ronald Rook

Despite the various benefits of wearing a weight vest, you could experience muscle tearing, a heightened risk of injury, or spinal compression. Besides this, weight vests can hurt athletes with preexisting conditions such as tendonitis or high blood pressure more than help them. For instance, those with high blood pressure can be at higher risk of having a heart attack.

How Often Should You Run With a Weighted Vest?

man wearing weight vest while working out

Beforehand, it’s important to learn about how to properly use your weighted vest. For one thing, running with one for an excessive period of time can result in injury. But wearing one for appropriate amounts of time can be rewarding. 

You might be wondering, “Should I run with a weighted vest?” To answer this question, it would be helpful to consider the pros and cons discussed in the previous section. For one thing, you should think about whether any preexisting conditions you may have can make wearing one dangerous to your health. Consulting a doctor could make your decision easier. 

No matter what, you still need to practice self-control in terms of how often you run with a weighted vest. First of all, only keep it on for up to one to one and a half hours at most. Moreover, if you run every day, it’s best to wear one every other day to give your body a break.

Running With Weight Vest Calories Burned

Does running with a weight vest make you faster? As a matter of fact, wearing one can increase your speed. In a small study, after 11 runners had weight vest training, their speed was increased by 2.9%. Currently, researchers have limited knowledge of the benefits of weight vests. That said, there’s plenty of potential for their use.

Depending on the individual, the number of calories burned can vary. Your body weight plays a major role in this. Based on a chart from the American Council on Exercise, a 180-pound person burns 17 calories per minute. Plus, consuming a healthy diet can be helpful. Eating one extra cookie can undo the calories you already burned. 

Tip: You can burn up to 12% more calories by wearing a weighted vest!

Wearing a weight vest can help you burn additional calories while exercising. According to a study conducted by the University of New Mexico’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory, you can burn 12% more calories by wearing a weighted vest that equals 15% of your body weight. This can also give you a boost of motivation to get moving and stay fit. 

All things considered, understanding the running with weight vest pros and cons can be beneficial to your health and overall exercise routine. After all, knowledge gives you power over how the types of garments you choose to work out in can affect your body. Therefore, next time you exercise, you can figure out whether a weight vest is right for you. 

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.