Best Weighted Vest
My best weighted vest on the market in the UK (January 2021).
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Weighted Vests – A Buyer’s Guide
Everyone exercises a little differently, but if there’s one thing which really drives performance and calorie-burning, it’s intensity. Intensive workouts can burn more fat and can really work up a sweat. That’s why you see so many exercise machines with variable intensity settings. However, one of the best ways to really add intensity to your workout is to wear a weighted vest. Weighted accessories and gear can help to make basic exercise and movement more strenuous, which of course means that you are using more energy to move around. Weighted vests are not for the faint of heart, however, and they are certainly more appealing to people who regularly exercise or who push themselves to their absolute limits.
But could weighted vests help you in your daily exercise routine? Where are they most useful? Can you wear them while riding an exercise or spinning bike? There are plenty of questions you may want to ask. Don’t worry, however, as we are here to answer as many of them as possible. Weighted vests are sought-after by gym enthusiasts and home exercisers alike. But what exactly should you be looking for when shopping around?
In this buying guide, we will make sure to break down everything you need to know before making a concrete decision. Weighted vests are, naturally, going to be big purchases! Stick around for our frequently asked questions at the end of the guide to find out more.
Why Buy a Weighted Vest?
To some people, it may seem strange that you would ever want to wear clothing or gear which weighs heavy on you. But it can hold a lot of health benefits! Weighted vests are popular with people who want to really push themselves. While intensive cardio and weightlifting can burn plenty of fat and calories, and can help to build muscle, adding a weighted vest into the mix only helps to push that intensity even further.
Vests come in various shapes, sizes and, of course, weight loads. Some are great for beginners, while others are recommendable for seasoned gymgoers. You should always consider your health and fitness levels before you invest in a vest. If you worry about what a weighted vest could do for your health, make sure to ask the guidance of a doctor or medical professional. Do be aware that any and all advice we offer here is general support – you shouldn’t use it in place of medical guidance and tailored advice!
You can wear weighted vests while doing a wide range of exercises. However, some vests will be better for some activities over others.
Factors to Look For
Knowing which weighted vest to buy is part of the struggle when shopping around for the first time! It’s easy to think that all vests do the same thing. However, as mentioned above, they arrive in different styles, weights and for different purposes. What may not work well for you could work well for someone else. To help break things down even further, here’s our quick look at what you should be comparing.
There are, generally, two styles of weighted vest to choose from. Some people choose a full body vest, which, as the name suggests, will apply weights to your chest, front, shoulders and back. These are ideal if you are looking for all-over endurance. These vests are also great if you want maximum comfort and security while working out. They are perfect for cardio, though you will need to look for lighter loads depending on the intensity of your exercise and your own physical capabilities.
Shoulder vests, meanwhile, can help to keep you a little more flexible. These are often lighter, too, which means they may be a better choice for beginners. However, that’s not to say they won’t work well for seasoned gymgoers. They are perfect if you want to do a variety of exercise without being too ‘locked-in’. Do obviously choose a style and system that suits your workout strategy.
Of course, this is always going to be a variable you need to consider. Weighted vests stagger in terms of how heavy they can get. Lighter vests can weigh anything from 2kg to 5kg, however, they can get seriously heavy. It’s worth considering a lighter vest if you are going to be doing more cardio. However, this is all going to depend on your own body profile and your fitness levels. What may be best is to try vests on before you buy, where possible, so you can get a feel for what to expect.
Some vests will let you switch weight up towards a heavy goal, which means you can vary what you carry on your person. This may be beneficial for someone who wants to work their way up to a heavier load. Look for vests which have variable weight in this case.
Security and Comfort
Of course, you are going to need to find a weighted vest that is comfortable for you to wear. Most vests will size up depending on your chest size. However, as with clothes in general, it is worth looking at one size too big rather than aiming too small! This way, you can at least be sure that you’re getting a good fit.
Many vests have security options and comfort aid which means you can safely strap in without feeling too restricted. Bear in mind that most exercise is, naturally, going to revolve around your freedom of movement. Choose a vest that isn’t going to constrict you too much, and which appeals to your own personal levels of comfort.
Look and Style
People obviously want to look good when exercising! Naturally, weighted vests will fit over the top of your everyday clothes. This means you should make sure to go for a vest that suits your style as well as your needs. Some come in different colours and patterns, while others carry a specific aesthetic. Not all weighted vests are dark in colour or chunky in design. You may find that some weighted vests built for cardio or crossfit are more likely to look a certain way and are more likely to be a little brighter in colour and flexible in design.
As always, take a look around. You will probably find that most vests come in a range of colours and styles. Choose one that suits your personality the best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Weighted vests aren’t always the most common of purchases, so it makes sense that many people will have questions that they’d like to ask before throwing their money behind any one model. Here are just a few of the more common queries shoppers pose when looking for their first weighted vest.
What Are the Benefits of Weighted Vests?
As mentioned, weighted vests can really add to the intensity of an exercise. This means that, even with simple cardio, you can expect to burn more calories and even build more muscle. However, they may not work for everyone, which is why it is always worth looking into them with an open mind.
Are Weighted Vests Recommended for Everyone?
In some cases, weighted vests may not be recommended. If you are prone to injury, or if you suffer from weakened joints or muscles, you may find that a vest can add unnecessary pressure to your body. If you are not careful with your vest, you could injure yourself or make matters worse. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult your GP, and/or to speak to a fitness professional, who will help you to make the right choice.
How Much Do Weighted Vests Cost?
Weighted vests can generally cost anywhere between £20 and £60. However, the more you pay, the more adjustable and flexible your accessory is likely to be. You may also expect to pay more money for more weight. Therefore, do have a flexible budget in mind. There is no real guide for what you should be paying overall, as the vest you choose is going to revolve around your fitness goals as well as your comfort. Try and follow what other people buy – if they have similar fitness profiles to you, it may be a good bet that you should go for a specific type of vest at a given weight.
Are There Weighted Vests Built for Crossfit?
Yes. Crossfit vests are really useful if you are going to be doing plenty of different movements and exercise. Therefore, make sure to buy a vest that is light in weight, and which offers free movement for arms and shoulders. These vests are less restrictive than full body systems on the whole, which means that you should probably look towards shoulder-free vests as standard. However, those vests which are made for crossfit will likely market to you as such.
For many people, weighted vests can really change up their whole exercise routine. It can be tricky to get the level of intensity you need while working out, however, a weighted vest could help you to burn more calories and build lean muscle. Always consult a GP before starting new or strenuous exercise for the first time.