Getting the most out of your weighted vest
Calisthenics, bodyweight and skills training are three forms of training that require skill, discipline and patience. There may come a time when you reach a goal and want to push yourself that little bit further. You might have reached a plateau, or you can’t quite get the strength to reach the next level of one of your goals.
With your calisthenics; Adding a weighted vest to any calisthenics routine will help you create more resistance and push you on through to the next stage of your training. You can build strength with progressive overload – adding more weight to the weighted vest in gradual amounts over your training cycle in exercises, or you can scale the weight back to focus on your range of motion and form, whilst providing more resistance than bodyweight. A perfect all-round way of getting what you need from your training, with less equipment and in a smaller space too!
With your cardio training; Add a weighted vest to your training when you’re performing any cardiovascular work, for example if you do any skipping, running or other cardio based activities, you can push your cardiovascular system to the next level. It will also help you to increase your endurance and help you get more from shorter bursts of speed or shorter distances, making it a perfect kit addition for those who are keeping themselves extra busy!
With your statics; Adding a weighted vest to your statics training can see you make incredible static hold progress. Are you working towards a pike hold on the rings? A better L-sit false grip? Or towards a fabled Iron Cross? Or do you just want to improve scapula strength on your dips? A weight vest can definitely help you to add resistance to those holds, building strength and power without creating any imbalances. You can scale the weight for performing any holds according to your skill level, whether you’re having a lower weight week, or whatever other variable life can throw at you.
With your skills training;Adding a weighted vest to your skills training can help you push your time under tension in a particular form, again, adding to progressive overload. Or you can use the weight vest in any accessory exercise to help compliment your power and form for a particular skill. Once you add a weighted vest to your training, the sky’s the limit.
With a weighted vest, you can easily scale any program to include multiple rep ranges and intensities just by adding or removing weight. For example, I like to scale my push and pull days by doing strength and power rep ranges at the beginning with the max weight I can take in the weighted vest. Then, by removing weight, upping the rep range and number of sets, I can quickly transition into more hypertrophy work. It makes programming far more enjoyable and versatile.
Take this little programme example below, adjust the weight for you and apply it to any exercise you can perform with a weighted vest – whether it be a regular squat, a pull up or a muscle up;
STR + PWR (strength & power) – 20kg x 5-8 reps x 1 set
HYP (hypertrophy)– 10kg x 10-12 reps x 2 sets
FORM + ROM (form & range of motion) – 6kg x 12-15 reps x 3 sets
Repeat x 4
(After performing the above, move on to the next exercise – push up, pull up & squat, for example. Perform the grouping above for each exercise 4 times)
It’s great for my clients to be able to use a weight vest too, knowing that there’s less injury risk from adding weight that’s evenly spread. And with more advanced clients you can really push them further into the minute details of their training goals, as weight can be adjusted by such small margins.
Overall the weighted vest is a fantastic tool for anyone who takes their bodyweight and calisthenics training seriously, and wants to up their game. I highly recommend investing in one to push you further and to help you get stronger!
by Guy Joynson for Gravity Fitness