Looking for a secret weight loss weapon? Well you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to spend some time talking about one of the best ways to lose weight- the weight vest.
The weight vest has been gradually gaining popularity and mainstream acceptance over the years, and now it’s almost at the point of being commonplace, thanks to functional fitness making it a training prerequisite.
Don’t let all those functional fitness freaks intimidate you or scare you off though. They’re all in on the secret too, or they wouldn’t be sweating up their weight vests all the time.
So what is it about weight vests that have propelled them into the fitness limelight?
A Weight Vest Burns 12% More Calories
Yeah that’s right. When you wear and train with a weight vest, you’re going to burn 12% more calories. Who doesn’t want a 12% caloric burn bonus, raise your hand?
I didn’t see any raised hands for good reason. Please read on.
A landmark study came out in 2013 proving the effectiveness of weight vest training in regards to weight loss.
The principle finding determined:
“When walking at 0% grade, there is no significant difference in metabolic costs of wearing no vest and wearing a 10%BM (i.e., 10% of person’s body mass) weighted vest. While walking at 2.5 mph (0% grade) an untrained female would have to wear a weighted vest of about 15%BM for a significant change in caloric expenditure. This would elicit a 12% increase in kilocalorie expenditure.”
Your body mass index (BMI) “is a measurement of a person’s weight with respect to his or her height.”
Calculate your BMI by taking your weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI may be an indication of a high level of body fat.
What Does this Mean?
If you wear a vest that equals 15% of your BMI and walk at a 2.5 mph clip, you’re guaranteed to lose an extra 12% worth of calories.
Have you walked at 2.5 mph lately? That’s nothing. It’s practically a crawl. So just by putting on a weight vest, you can shed those pesky calories like nothing.
So for every 10 calories burned, you’re burning an extra 1.2 calories. For every 100 calories burned, you’re burning an extra 12 calories.
By not training or exercising with a weight vest, you’re saying no to extra bonus calories lost. That’s like saying you don’t want to put money in the bank to make interest.
This means that if you’re looking to lose weight, you probably want to put more on first with a weight vest. This is the one time being weighed down isn’t a bad thing.
Double Down on Caloric Burn
Not to sound like a cheesy infomercial, “but wait, there’s more!”
Although this seems like a curtain call for Captain Obvious, the same study found that “the gradient has the greatest effect on caloric expenditure. Regardless of vest weight (0%BM,
10%BM, or 15%BM), walking up a grade meaningfully increases energy expenditure.”
The researchers went on to show that the “average (0%BM, 10%BM, 15%BM vest combined) caloric value for gradients (walk speed 2.5 mph) are as
0% Grade =3.56 kcal/min
5% Grade = 4.93 kcal/min
10% Grade = 6.9 kcal/min
15% Grade = 8.7 kcal/min”
By making the workout harder with a higher grade, you’re going to burn even more calories. And that’s already on top of the 12% bonus we spoke of earlier.
Basically, by training with a weight vest, you’re giving body fat a one-two punch that really does make it a secret weight loss weapon.
Just by adding a 5% grade to your workout, you benefit with an extra 25%+ caloric burn.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) does an excellent breakdown of the study in laymen’s terms over here. ACE notes 2 big takeaways.
The first is that the findings apply both to men and women.
“Because energy patterns are comparatively similar for unfit men and women,” explains Dr. Kravitz, “these same recommendations can be applied to both genders.”
The ACE article goes on to say:
“Walking at 2.5 mph at a 0% incline with a weighted vest of about 15% BM elicits a 12% increase in the number of calories burned over not wearing a vest. ‘This is a very meaningful increase in caloric expenditure,’ says Dr. Kravitz. ‘And it can be very important in the real world, where some clients don’t own treadmills. For example, older adults who get their exercise walking at the mall can see real results from wearing a 15% BM weighted vest.’”
The Secret Weight Loss Weapon Won’t Be For Long
As mentioned earlier, weight vest training is becoming more accepted and popular. It won’t be secret much longer, because everyone knows about it.
This is evidenced by the number of peer reviewed journal studies being done on weight vest training.
Weight vest training for the elderly has gained lots of attention. This 2018 study came out showing the effectiveness of this training modality for seniors, when combined with dietary restrictions.
The study found that weight vest exercise can improve lean muscle mass and lower body strength while dieting. These findings likely led to a new area of study.
This current, ongoing study is looking at the impact of weight vest training on obesity. The study “will also measure appetite, physical activity and insulin sensitivity to further examine the potential beneficial effects of loading.”
Based on the aforementioned studies, you can imagine the benefits that this one will find.
We actually saw this coming quite some time ago. We were touting the benefits of weight vests being the secret weight loss weapon 9 years ago in this blog.
What are Other People Saying?
We’re not alone in promoting the effectiveness of weight vest training. Some people have gone so far as to suggest that weight vest training may turn you into a real life action hero.
We can’t guarantee that you’ll be following in the footsteps of Keanu Reeves, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone, but if you train hard enough, you might just feel like them.
Well take it from the people over at GQ. They’re big believers in weight vest training and put their chips down when they did this piece last year with our founder Dirk, to learn more about the secret weight loss weapon.
The article answers your frequently asked questions about weight vest and finishes with suggested exercises you can do.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this vid from the guys over at Critical Bench.
They provide some of the basics and qualified guidance from a certified strength and conditioning coach.
Ready to Suit Up?
If you’re interested in learning more about our Hypervest Elite, check out this review by Joel from As Many Reviews as Possible.
He’s one of the better reviewers out there and tells it like it is.
If Joel’s review isn’t enough, we’ve got more good press on our resume that you can have a look at.
2019 has been a quality year for us, and we’ve still got a ways to go.
In the meantime, check out this vid that throws a bunch of love our way.
Put the Secret Weight Loss Weapon to the Test
Of course training is only a small part of the battle. If the weight vest is the secret weight loss weapon, then the war is won in the kitchen.
Your training will be useless if your diet isn’t balanced and disciplined.
We want to know what you think. Please tell us about your experiences and share with us why you think weight vest work great or maybe not.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Until our next installment, stay awesome people, train hard and grab all those gains!
Thanks for reading and have a great day.