Franco Columbu, who was Arnold Schwarzenegger's best friend, a stand-alone bodybuilder champion, and a competitor in strongman and powerlifting events, had his own views on adding weight to bodyweight exercises and famously said, "Never add weights to your move – UPS. "
If you can do multiple sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of a chin-up with different grips and perfect form, that was what you had to do, and adding weight was a distraction from the end goal and not necessarily helpful.
However, there is research into the use of weighted vests (WV) in training, and the recommendations indicate that some thought is required to include WVs in training protocols, but in some cases they produce results.
Regarding the effects of sprinting with and without a weight vest on speed and repetitive sprinting ability in male soccer players, the researchers found no conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of WV training, but recommended it be considered as an additional addition to normal training due to improvements the ability to sprint repeatedly.
However, in The Effect of Extra-Load Conditioning on Muscle Performance in Athletes, the researchers found that the WV experimental group improved their jump heights on squat jumps with and without additional loads. their heights in drop jumps and their mechanical performance in 15 second jumps.
On the other hand, researchers at Weighted Vest Exercise Improces Indices of Fall Risk in older women found that postmenopausal women benefited from lower body resistance exercises that increased resistance through the use of a WV.
So I'm not going to advocate or deny the value of a weight vest. When it comes to athletic or athletic performance, there are so many reasons to shy away from making final statements because the fitness percent is not like the rest of us. So there is no point in comparing yourself.
And based on research on older populations, WV training is certainly useful, so there is likely a middle ground usage criterion that can be applied to most trainees.
The weighted Zelus beginner vest
That brings me well to the Zelus WV I got to review for Breaking Muscle. The product used here is the 12 pound version that we called the beginner. However, because the vest is available in lighter weight configurations, this may not be the case for you.
Judging from the research, you could be post menopausal, starting at 4 pounds and that could be hard enough to start you off. 12 lb might not sound like a lot, but you can feel the weight no matter how fit or strong you are.
The picture at the top of the article shows how this vest compares to a heavy vest weighing 80 lb WV. There is a world of difference and not just weight. Zelus & # 39; WV is comfortable and suitable for quick movements. It wraps around your back and shoulder, fits well and stays tight. It is definitely a great choice if you plan to use it for a long period of time.
I would prefer to carry a set of dumbbells if I want to do a laden carry over a long hike or use a heavier vest that is much heavier, but if it was a sprint or a jog, Zelus & # 39; WV a no brain. Again, it depends on whether you believe a weight vest will help or hinder sprinting.
It is marketed as a CrossFit friendly product. There are certainly plenty of people out there who enjoy adding WVs to traditional WODs like Murph. You may also want to wear a weight vest to do your shopping and if you do it will be a great solution for you and is likely to go unnoticed just as a fashion statement.
What I am really saying is that this is a pretty nice addition to the WV company owner. It's a good design. It fits well. I haven't had a chance to use it in over a year so I can't tell you how reliable it will be, but I can't see anything to suggest it isn't well done.
I actually didn't care about the detachable zippered pocket that you can use to store your phone, keys and other things. But to be honest, it's irrelevant to the product. When I want to take my wallet and $ 700 cell phone to the gym or on a sweaty run, no one has invented a bag that hits the mark, at least not in my experience.
On the positive side, I have the vest near my desk and can do a few push-ups with the computer on every time I get off the computer. I'm home right now but I could keep one in my desk drawer at work which is kind of cool.
Zelus Weighted Vest Features Comfortable material, two storage pockets, adjustable straps, reflective stripes, rear mesh pocket, detachable front zip pockets for personal items and phone weight
20 lbs / 16 lbs / 12 lbs / 8 lbs / 6 lbs / 4 lbs
Price $ 36.99 (Amazon)