My thoughts and input of weight vests.
A few of you, ok a lot of you, have been asking about what kind of weight vest you should buy. They are more of a personal item that you can sweat in. We have a few in the back and you’re welcome to use them. But, think about using someone else’s knee sleeves… “Hey man nice job on filthy fifty, can I borrow your knee sleeves?”
Let me first start with this.
Before you go out and buy or start training with a vest you should consider the following:
- If you’re trying to drop bodyweight weight… lose the weight and then train with a weight vest
- Why would you want to add more weight to yourself and risk injury?
- You should be annihilating all of the class WOD’s RX, strict pull-ups, unbroken sets of pushups and fast efficient run times before you should think about training with a vest.
- If you put a Vest on it shouldn’t inhibit your ability to go Rx and keep your Full Range of motion.
- This is a training tool it should be used as such, like the stones, PIG, GHD Machine and heavy med-balls; your fitness level dictates whether or not you should be strapping on more weight. Weight vests seem really “cool” while they’re lying on the floor or while you’re watching Regional Athletes Compete in them. But an untrained, not properly adapted body will end up in injury. Knees, ankles, and shoulders are usually the affected joints.
Ok now that the scolding is over let’s talk about vest types.
You have a standard “weight vest” that you can buy at Walmart, Amazon and yes Rogue Fitness. They are priced all over the board and come in various weights. A vest is easy to wear and distributes the weight evenly. They’re usually breathable and some are women specific. The weight can be added and subtracted as needed. And they often time come with pockets for phones and iPod.
Then there is a Plate Carrier. Its purpose is lightweight (an oxymoron in the military) modular body armor, designed to carry protective ballistic plates. They usually have MOLLE attachments for gear. As far as price range goes… As much as you want to spend. I personally have a Condor Plate Carrier.
Here’s the breakdown. Plate Carriers are not built with exercise in mind they are built to protect from projectiles in austere environments. However, Rogue created some very nice steel plates that can be used to train with. The Plate carrier doesn’t distribute the weight evenly. In fact, it often times feels like it is squishing you; the flat design of the plate doesn’t allow for your diaphragm to expand like a true weight vest, there are usually no fancy pockets, just the MOLLE attachments that can be adapted. The fabric is Cordura or something of that nature that is tough and abrasive against your skin. They do tend to bounce and move less than a traditional vest because you want that thing as tight and snug to your body as possible.
In conclusion, when choosing a weight vest, think about your application of the tool; how does it suit your needs? If you’re LEO or military consider a plate carrier since you are already wearing some type of protection. If you are a woman, consider something woman specific. Whatever, your choice just know once, you don that vest/carrier… it’s going to hurt.
Troy in a Standard Vest, Julie in a Woman’s Specific, Bryan in a Plate Carrier
Paul enjoying a weighted WOD in 2008