Weighted training is the latest craze to hit the fitness scene. Weighted vests are now commonplace in the gym and ankle weights have well-and-truly made a comeback; not to mention the myriad of other weighted clothing to hit the market running, from shirts and gloves to shorts and boots; the possibilities are endless. Is weighted training just another fad to hit the market or can it offer some tangible improvements to your functional fitness game?

The benefits of any resistance programme has been proven to provide some serious gainz in the health department; contributing to improved bone density, increased metabolism, fat loss, increased muscle mass, the list goes on however incorporating variation in the form of wearable weights has the added edge of being more functional, improving both speed and agility. It might just be your secret weapon to upping your calisthenics game! Let’s explore the benefits:

Donning a weighted vest can provide huge aerobic and resistance stimulus resulting in an improvement in both strength and endurance. A recent Texas Tech University study tracked a group of college American football players performing traditional resistance training combined with plyometrics and a second group performing resistance training and plyometrics in addition to weight vest training. After six weeks, both groups were found to have improved in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, and vertical jump, though the group supplementing their resistance training with weight vests produced significantly better results.

In another study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology. A group of endurance athletes were separated into two control groups, one of which wearing weighted vests, to investigate the effects of extra-load training on energy metabolism during exercise. The study found that “those experimental subjects who used the added load during every training session had a lower 2 mmol lactate threshold, improved running time to exhaustion, improved vertical velocity when running upstairs and an increased VO2 during submaximal running after the added load period.”

Added resistance, not only stimulates hypertrophy and increases in strength but also provides a top-rate cardiovascular workout, strengthening the lungs, lactate threshold and the body’s ability to consume oxygen (VO₂ Max). Increasing the load transmitted through your bones also increases bone strength and density.

The key to any successful workout regimen is variety so why not give wearable weights a try? In addition to providing a new, functional stimulus to propel your training to the next level you’re also guaranteed to look CAF on the pull-up bar! Keep an eye out for Gravity Fitness’ new weighted vest coming soon!

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