Weighted vest

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08/08/2012 at 12:42

I am considering buying a weighted vest to train in - the logic being if I can run at 7 minute/mile pace with it on, I may be able to trick my body into running faster - due to being lighter. The vest weighs 12kg.

Any advice, experiences had would be appreciated

08/08/2012 at 13:06

Bit of a silly idea really, unless you were specifically training for an event which involved having to carry 12kg on your back, and even then you're increasing your risk of injury.

You're not really fooling your body anyway.  Let's say you could run at 85% effort running in a weighted vest @ 9mins/mile.  Suppose you could then run at 70% effort for the same pace without the vest, or 7mins/mile @ 85% without the vest.  Now let's suppose that one of your training goals is to be able to run a long distance race at 7mins/mile.  You'd be better off doing lots of training at 9mins/mile / 70% with some additional training at 85% to get used to running at 7mins/mile.*

*Other less crude training programmes are available.

Edited: 08/08/2012 at 13:08
cougie    pirate
08/08/2012 at 13:21

+1 with Phil.  You never see elite athletes training in them do you.


Get some wrist and ankle weights instead...



08/08/2012 at 13:58

Simple question for the OP: when you run without the vest how will your legs know that they can turn over faster?

08/08/2012 at 15:06

dumb idea, why not just train faster.

08/08/2012 at 17:50

Interesting question Craig a weighted vest can be a huge advantage to someone who is training for a marathon or other running event. Training with a weighted vest builds up the body capacity, so that when the user takes it off, you feel lighter and ready to go. Lots of runners prefer to use a relatively light vest, at least at first, so as not to overwhelm the joints or overtax the lung and cardio system that is already working strenuously. Hope this helps. 

08/08/2012 at 18:00

@Roger Stanley 2 - you are a troll and I claim my £5.

09/08/2012 at 08:48

I wonder home many skinny elite African runners run in weighted vests? 


09/08/2012 at 11:12

Simply eat a massive amount of food, and your body will develop its own 'weighted vest' effect.  Much more fun than buying one.

09/08/2012 at 11:14
Dachs wrote (see)

Simply eat a massive amount of food, and your body will develop its own 'weighted vest' effect.  Much more fun than buying one.

This is like Viz top tips for running!

09/08/2012 at 13:02

Having not posted in this section before I was unsure of the quality & quantity of responses I would get.

My initial thoughts are why did I bother? With the exception of a couple of posts, I believe that people need to look up the definition of the word 'Forum' - without appearing to critise anyone, a one word reply of 'No' is hardly a heated debate!!

Also I can not believe how negative or immature people are on here. All I am doing is looking at a different way of training - After all, several years ago people never considered compression clothing, now you can't move with athletes with little bands of tape all over them!!!


Anyhow, using the power of Google today I came up with the following information - although I've been a runner/triathlete for many years, entering events at all distances, this guy is apparently a scientist, so may know more than me!!!

(And if you think my tongue has been placed firmly in my cheek whilst writing this response, you'd be correct!!!)


A famed Finnish exercise scientist recently reported some fascinating new research results for runners, part good news, part merely strange. The good news is that you can boost your leg-muscle power and speed in just four weeks. The strange news is that no special workouts are needed. In fact, what you wear when you run is far more important than how you actually train.

This doesn't mean you need to slip into polypro pants, a paisley singlet or energy-return shoes, however. According to the new research, simply wearing a weighted vest will do the trick. If this sounds a little offbeat to you, perhaps it's because you're no rocket scientist. Those who are, the NASA experts, have long realized that weightless space travel weakens leg muscles, while jumping around on Jupiter (the planet with the most gravity) would build leg power.

Finnish Researcher Helkki Rusko didn't have a large enough budget for interplanetary travel, so he opted to test the gravity-leg-strength connection by strapping weighted vests onto his subjects, 12 well-trained athletes. Each vest weighed 10 percent of the subject's total body weight, forcing leg muscles to work harder, even during routine activities like standing and walking. Rusko's subjects wore their vests all day long for four weeks and during at least three of their eight weekly workouts.

The initial results were negative. After four weeks: the runners needed more oxygen to run at a given pace (that is, their running economy had deteriorated). Similarly, their leg muscles were producing more lactic acid, a possible sign of muscle fatigue.

Fortunately, Rusko didn't give up at this point. For the next two weeks, he asked his subjects to take off their vests and continue training as usual. A retest at the end of this two-week period produced far different results.

This time, lactate threshold was 2 percent higher (meaning that the runners produced less lactic acid), and max V02 had also increased by 2 percent. Two other important measures also improved: Endurance while sprinting soared by 25 percent, and stair running speed, a good indicator of leg-muscle power, increased by 3 percent.

These improvements in speed and power occurred because weighted-vest running altered the test subjects' basic running mechanics and activated the fast-twitch muscle fibers in their legs. Only the group's running economy remained slightly depressed.

The bottom line? Wearing a weighted vest has the potential to strengthen your leg muscles, make you faster, improve your kick and make you a better hill runner.


Awaits the fallout from the 'serious runners' !!!

09/08/2012 at 13:16

That test shows that four weeks later the athletes were fitter, and it doesn't at all confirm that their fitness improved because they were wearing heavy jackets.  That's like saying that if you take a homoeopathic sleeping pill for two days you'll fall asleep.

I note he's got nothing in PubMed for peer review, and his experiment (as you describe) lacks a control group.

cougie    pirate
09/08/2012 at 14:44

These people wore weighted vests for 4 weeks ? Bit unrealistic that any 'normal' person could do this. 

Also a test of just 12 people is tiny and doesnt prove anything. I've been involved in exercise studies and I wasnt impressed with the methodology. Sounds like he got the result he wanted to see. 

By all means OP go ahead and try the weighted vest - but there arent any serious studies showing they work. 

And compression kit (again unproven) and the kinesiology tape (again unproven) are two different things altogether. People will buy anything if they think it will help - and if they believe it will - then thats the key. Belief. 

09/08/2012 at 15:45




Edited: 09/08/2012 at 15:47
09/08/2012 at 16:09

You can't jump around on the surface of Jupiter, it's a gas giant.  I would have thought NASA should know this.

cougie    pirate
09/08/2012 at 16:42


09/08/2012 at 16:46

I'm looking forward to the study where they test the effects of wearing weighted shorts on Uranus.

12/08/2012 at 17:31

I think Craig has gone.

08/01/2013 at 16:17
I've recently starting using a 10kg vest. I run with a friend and I have the drop on him and i had forgot what is was like to work hard. With the vest I can ran at same pace but with 10 beats average higher heart rate.
So I'm happy with a hard work out and feel I'm making the most of my time.
08/01/2013 at 16:22
One of the recent Talk Ultra interviewees - can't remember his name, lives on Orkney? Trains in a weight vest and has won many ultras at all kinds of distances. Was interesting to listen to but not something I'd fancy - still trying to get rid of my inbuilt weight vest!
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