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What Is a Weighted Vest?

May 10, 2010

For those who are just venturing into the world of fitness and physical activity choices, a lot of options, including a weighted vest, are competing for your attention. Knowing more about different kinds of fitness tools will help new fitness enthusiasts to make decisions that won't leave you light in the wallet, and pursue avenues that will help you to shed pounds or reach other fitness goals.

What is a Weighted Vest?

A weighted vest is a tool for a specific kind of fitness workout that focuses on burning a lot of calories and building body response. This is sometimes called a "power workout" in contrast to more subtle physical workout routines aimed at increasing attributes like flexibility, balance or stamina.

The weighted vest is simply a fitted vest that is loaded with precise amounts of weight, so that when you put it on you feel the immediate addition of carrying extra weight.

The idea behind the weighted vest relates to a very central concept in fitness and body building, called resistance. Resistance is a force that acts as a challenge to the body. Gravity is a form of resistance, and the person who is wearing the vest is challenged by a great amount of resistance because of the additional weight. With a vest, the weight is properly distributed just as it would be if the individual weighed more. However, with a vest, the user gets to work against a greater weight for the duration of a session, and then take that weight off. That's what some fitness participants like about the vest: the feeling of shedding those extra pounds and walking off leaner, stronger and fitter.

Using the Weighted Vest

Those who choose a weighted vest to amp up fitness sessions go about their routines as they always do--but with a bit of extra resistance, as noted above. The weighted vest can help give more work to the muscles involved in diverse activities from running to lunges, squats and more. With balance challenge activities, the vest can help bring a better workout to the core, the muscles responsible for supporting the spine and body. Various fitness trainers use the weighted vest for running, weight training, or other activities as preferred.

The weighted vest is good for many people who want a bigger impact for their workouts. However, those with certain limitations may not be able to handle the added weight. Older individuals or those with bone or joint conditions may not want to stress their frames with this tool. For some very obese people, the added weight may also be too much of a stress. Talk to your doctor about whether a weighted vest can help you reach new heights in your search for better fitness and health. Remember, adding challenges to a workout can help burn more calories.

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