When you feel you've hit a plateau on bodyweight workouts or cardio, weighted vests can add needed resistance for every pushup or run.
The affordable equipment can add an extra challenge to any workout any time of the year, but they're most commonly used on Memorial Day for the legendary CrossFit workout called Murph. The full-body fitness test combines a grueling workout with honoring a fallen war veteran. Originally called "Body Armor," Murph became an official CrossFit challenge in 2005, and continues to push people to the limit to this day.
CrossFit athlete Chris Holt wore a 30-pound vest while doing two Murphs back to back last Memorial Day. Hunter McIntyre, the 2020 Murph world record holder, can perform the arduous workout in only 34 minutes while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest. In other words, if you want to prove you're as strong as a Navy SEAL with the equivalent of a small dog on your back, invest in a weighted vest.
Some variations of the burdensome fitness gear is designed to be similar to body armor and comes with small weights packed inside. Some vests can also have additional weight added to them for an even more demanding workout. For anyone who wants to increase their workout intensity without requiring a gym's worth of equipment, weighted vests give a simple solution that'll ramp up the challenge while allowing you to keep your hands free. The vests can be used for hiking, cardio and weight training. Home workouts will rival any trip to the gym if you have one on hand.
Weighted vests can help you build strength and endurance and take regular workouts to the next level. Below are our recommended 15 weighted vests to test your muscle.
GORUCK Training Weight Vest
If digging into your shoulders is your vest concern, GORUCK is dedicated to solving it. Using the same material from their Rucker backpacks, this gear is comfortable for any workout–even if you're shirtless. The gear comes in black or tan, and can have training plates added if you're feeling particularly masochistic.
Henkelion Weighted Vests
Available in a number of weights from four to 20 pounds, Henkelion offers light weights for beginners at a decent price. The vest comes in a variety of colors including black, gray, and blue.
TRX XD Kevlar Weight Vest
You might see the name "Kevlar" and think this vest has a different purpose than adding weight to your training—but this formidable piece of gear is only meant to help you 'bulletproof' your body through rigorous workouts. Coming in 20 and 40 pound variants, the vest uses a unique cross-strap design to keep your movements locked down.
Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
Minimalism is key with this vest from Aduro. You won't be able to pack on the load you can with some of the other options (this maxes out at 20 pounds), but what you give up in weight, you'll gain in mobility.
ZFO Sports Weighted Vest
Are you a stickler for hydration? Stow your water bottle in the specialized pocket before you strap on the belt mechanism that keeps the vest snug.
5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier
You can add your own plates to this vest from 5.11, which boasts a streamlined design to keep your workout from getting too bulky. Don't worry about getting too sweaty — it's also covered in a water-resistant coating.
Hyper Vest PRO Adjustable Vest
We like this vest so much, we named it the best of 2017 on our Gear of the Year list. Each size comes pre-loaded with 10 pounds, and you can add to up to 32 pounds. to that in the largest version.
RunMax Pro Weighted Vest
If you're looking to go basic, this Amazon best-seller from RunMax is a great no-frills choice. The 20 pound. version is all you need for the Murph, one of CrossFit's toughest WODs.
Cross101 Camo Weighted Vest
This adjustable vest maxes out at 40 pounds, and its available in multiple camo patterns. For long rucks, there's a water bottle holder attachment.
CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest - 50 LB
Ramp up the weight on your hikes and runs with the 50 pound version of this padded mesh vest from CAP. You won't get bored, either — there's an integrated pocket for youR phone to stream music while you work out.
MiR Adjustable Weighted Vest - 60 LB
This compact vest proves that looks can be deceiving—it can hold up to 60 pounds of weight. Your bodyweight workouts will feel like you have an extra person strapped to your back, and your gains will only grow.
Powerhandz' Powersuit is a patented weighted suit, not just a vest. It's made of neoprene and has six flexible rubber weights, ranging from 1.25 pounds on the upper body to 2.5 pounds on each thigh for a total of 10 pounds sewn into it.
Prodigen Running Weight Vest
Prodigen's neoprene weighted vest was designed with running in mind. It has elastic on the waist as well as elastic on the edges for more flexibility. It also has reflective strips on both sides of the vest to keep you visible in all weather conditions. away from traffic accidents in all weather conditions(rain, fog, dark) at day or night. It comes in weights: 8, 12, 16 and 20 pounds.
Goplus Weighted Vest
Goplus's neoprene weighted vest is filled with iron sand and river sand and comes in weights: 12, 16, 20 and 30 pounds. It has adjustable straps marked with reflective stripes, and also has a convenient mesh pocket in the back to store your phone, gels or keys.
MOVSTAR Weighted Vest
This 10-pound neoprene weighted vest has removable weights so you can adjust how much you want for every workout. It has a super-thick Velcro belt around the waist to keep it in place and offer extra support throughout your workout.
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