Running With Weighted Vest: Benefits, Drawbacks, and FAQs

Adding weight while running seems like a new way to spice up training sessions.

Is a weighted running vest a real thing or a fad? After reading this complete guide for runners and fitness enthusiasts, you will decide.

Include a great tool in your workout for a whole new level of your health journey.

How Does a Weighted Vest Work?

Wearing a weighted vest now becomes a trend as resistance training equipment that stimulates combat situations.

During their functional fitness training, you can see this worn by armed forces, even a CrossFit athlete.

Weighted vests work by priming your body to spend extra force to run during workouts and training.

When running without the weighted vest, after you get accustomed to wearing it, your body will keep disbursing the force required to run at your regular pace with more weight.

Most runners attest that this is an efficient way to lower their pace at running.

Adding weight through the weighted vest can enhance your running posture and elevate speed.

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What Are the Benefits of a Weighted Vest?

Let’s head straight to the many benefits of using weighted running vests in your fitness regime.

1. Cardiovascular

Based on some runners’ affirmations, running with a weighted vest can increase your heart rate and boost cardiovascular health.

This sounds logical since your body is working out at high intensity, and it’s hard to move. So, your heart exerts extra effort to pump blood through your veins.

When you add weight and resistance, your body needs to work harder. Your lungs will be stronger and enhance your running time to exhaustion.

You will notice that when you take off the weighted vest, you can run faster with an extended distance and longer period, for your body has been primed to do extra work.

2. Muscular Endurance

Incorporating weighted vests in your training can elevate bone density and build strength.

Running benefits your joints and toughens tendons and ligaments. It even lessens the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Your body needs to adjust to the extra weight, so your muscles must work harder. Thus, elevating the effect.

This is not just about running; it will enhance your sprinting and weight training.

3. Balance and Posture Improvement

One of the benefits of running with a weighted vest is improving your balance and promoting good form.

You will be more conscious of your posture, and taking in more weight indicates that you must wrestle and stay upright.

Plus! When running, the vest will aid in finding your center of gravity.

4. Lose Weight

The logic of losing weight when running with a vest is simple. It takes place through burning more calories.

Running is challenging, and placing an added weight vest will boost cardio workouts.

The weighted vest will step up aerobic training, and the high-intensity training follows a relative increase in burning calories.

If one of your personal goals when wearing a weighted vest is to lose weight and for physical fitness. Then, you are on the right track.

5. Resistance Training

Adding more weight indicates you are up for resistance and endurance. This, in turn, helps build muscle mass.

The benefits of resistance training are vast. You can increase your power, body mass, and strength.

Research suggests that a weight vest leads to better performance and progress.Read more at

What Are the Drawbacks of a Weighted Vest?

Using weight vests is not all good as it may seem for your fitness journey. For they also have several disadvantages.

1. Impact

Running and jumping are high-impact workouts, particularly on landing.

This impact will likely cause injury to the feet, ankles, and knees. With the weighted vest, you add force on landing.

Thus, making the workout challenging, and the risk of injury may also increase, surpassing the benefits of exercise.

So, you must avoid physical damage unless you want to see your sports medicine doctor.

2. Injury and Poor Posture

If you are MISUSING the vest, you are risking yourself.

Too much weight can put you off balance, which means you must alter the pressure on your joints, which can cause strains and sprains.

Another thing, if you choose a vest that is not proportional to your body weight, you will tend to slouch and get shoulder problems.

3. Uncomfortable

Running with the vest on may be uncomfortable, particularly if you jump and bend.

The materials in the vests, such as elastic straps and metals, can shove your torso when you bend; even the longer ones can rub your thighs, which can be a bit uncomfortable.

4. Temperature

Weighted vests are thick nylon and canvas that engulf your whole torso.

You usually feel hot and sweaty when you work out, but when you spend more time wearing a weighted vest, it can leave you steamy, leading to overheating.

So better drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially when you are working out outdoors.

5. Additional Cost

Added weight means additional cost for you.

The typical vest is CHEAPER, from $20 to $40. You may be tempted to follow your personal preference of choosing the high-end vests costing $350 above.

The low-end ones may disappoint you with their poor materials. So it’s either maximize the high-quality ones or go for something that may compromise exercise.

How to Run Safely With a Weighted Vest?

If you’re eager to run wearing a weighted vest, take note of how to train safely.

  1. Secure your weights in proportion to your body. If your weights drift while you’re on the move, it will tend to make you off balance and cause damage.
  2. Start slow with little weights and gradually build up in the following workout.
  3. Develop weighted vests that are 20% of your body weight.

If you want to carry that load, you should consult your doctor and confirm if your heart is healthy for strength training.

Things to Consider When Running With a Weighted Vest

Have a minute to think.

Do you want extra weight when running? If yes, you have much to consider when running with a weighted vest.

1. Safety

When using weighted vests, don’t try wearing too much weight than you can manage. The heavier load can lead to injury risk.

If you are used to running 5 miles per day for four days each week with ease, it will not be the same when you wear weighted vests.

Particularly if you strive to run at the same distance and speed, you will overburden your body, resulting in soreness and chronic strain.

2. Style

Consider the style of your weighted vests to aid you with comfort and lessen the pressure on breast tissue, especially for women.

There are THREE STYLES of weighted vests:

  1. The shoulder holster shapes like a hydration pack, along with a buckle in the front. It can dispense the weights in the front through the straps and the upper back.
  2. The tactical vests, like a military-style covering, utilize steel plates placed in the vest’s front and back openings.
  3. The torso-covering vests only shelter your chest and use velcro straps to secure the vest.

3. Start With the Regular Strength Training

Before you wear a weighted vest, work first to have a more muscular body with stable strength and recovery.

Evaluate your training goals if you would like to use a weight vest. Suppose you want to escalate mileage for a long-distance event.

Balancing strength and recovery will help you with the goals, but your recovery may compromise if you add stress like the vests.

4. Be Prepared

When you train and carry more weight, ensure you’re holistically prepared.

Running with extra weight heightens the stress and may even put you to risk if your joints are not ready.

For you to be capable, it is recommended to start hiking or walking with a weighted vest and then shift to increase intensity.

5. Careful With the Tracks

Be careful when running downhill because you add load to your body weight, and it has more force when you land.

With the extra weight, you will have increased mass accelerating due to gravity.

So be careful and listen to your body if you need to unfasten the vest to work your way up.

The 3 Best Weighted Vests for Running

Of course, we will give you items from which you can select the best-weighted vest for your next trail running.

1. Aduro Sport Weighted Vest Workout Equipment

The Aduro weighted vest will increase your resistance and efficiency in cardio and fitness training.

It will not fall over during your activities so you can guarantee safety.

Aduro accommodates different body types. That’s why it has an adjustable front and back neoprene material.

They also added a mesh pocket on the back to give you space for added weight pockets.

Very well made at an affordable $65.99, which you can buy at Amazon.

2. RUNMax Adjustable Weighted Vest with Shoulder Pads

If you’re looking for a flexible weighted vest with essential features, then RUNMax will suit you.

The RUNMax has an extra shoulder pad if you want added comfort and pockets in the front and back of the vest for equal weight distribution to avoid back strain.

If you want to listen to music while you run, this vest has a phone pocket and water bottle holder for your convenience.

Add this to your cart at Amazon with a price range of $35.71 – $439.99.

3. Zelus Weighted Vest 

The Zelus Weighted Vest is made from premium materials for endurance, running workouts, muscle building, and weight loss.

Get comfortable with its cushioned shoulder straps and non-chafing fabrics. You can also adjust the tool, as it has elastic straps and reflective stripes that will work anywhere.

As an added feature, it has detachable front zipper pockets to keep your valuable items secure. You also get a rear elastic-mesh pocket.

The best thing? Zelus weighted vest is evenly filled with iron sand for stable weight. So the force is equally distributed, unlike the ankle weights.

You can wear this vest for only $25.99 – $72.99 at Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still hesitant about wearing a weighted vest, we added some information to help you decide.

How Heavy Should a Weighted Vest Be?

The weighted vest should not surpass 10% of your body mass. That’s the general rule.

If you weigh 150 lbs. don’t surpass 12 lbs. on the vest.

Look for one that permits you to begin at a lower weight and gradually add load. Try various styles that evenly allocate weight on your trunk and torso.

Will Running With a Weighted Vest Build Muscle?

Yes. Runners with added weight on the body can build muscles. This means that your muscles will need to adjust to the load.

However, it will be lower than other resistance training, such as weight lifting.

Though the added load will help your muscles get stronger and can be an efficient way to build muscle mass.

When Can I Start Running With a Weighted Vest?

This may depend on your goals, but start with regular training, so you will not overwhelm and put yourself at risk of injury.

Begin at an agreeable pace and progress gradually. Train first without the vest and start with smaller weights and shorter exercises.

Generally, you can’t break down from running with a vest for a few weeks, but this depends on you if you want to adjust your pace.

Is Running With a Weighted Vest Good for Weight Loss?

Yes. Like other types of exercise, such as walking and lifting weights, running with a weighted vest can add load and stress, which is an excellent way to burn more calories.

Note that your diet, lifestyle, and body composition are factors in long-term weight loss.


So are you convinced to add an extra challenge to your workout session?

Probably. If so, grab a weighted vest with the best deal.

Remember to always consider your safety, be prepared with the intensity of the training, and assess your goals.

Get ready to hit the tracks!