Weight Vests. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to get back into shape after being on the sidelines from an Achilles tendon injury last year. Because I have arthritis in one hip, I’m not supposed to run or jump so it’s hard for me to get my heart rate up on a treadmill or elliptical. So I decided to look for ways to make my workouts more difficult and decided to wear extra weights. I started out using a 15 pound weight belt that I had, but it was only good for walking because the weights aren’t distributed well and you have to be really careful not to get off-balance or move in a way that can cause injury. Then I started looking into buying a weighted vest. I shopped sports stores but could not find a vest that I felt confident I wouldn’t get injured. The weights were large and clumsy and when I bend over, the vest swings out from my body. The vest moves around freely as it basically just hangs from the shoulders. I was most concerned about injuries since the weights were not secured against my body, the weights didn’t feel evenly distributed, and the vest was awkward overall.
Then I found this Hyperwear weighted vest searching online for “best weighted vest.” I ordered the vest even though it is expensive—2 to 3 times as much as the ones I found in stores. But it is worth every penny! The vest is extremely flexible and the weights form-fit to your body. It is short, so you can bend and move freely at the waist. It is great for crunches. The weights are in the front and back. It laces on the sides that are very easy to adjust so that the vest fits really snug. The laces also make it very easy for both my husband and I to use this vest without the frustration of difficult resizing. You can move your arms freely without rubbing against the vest. What is so nice is how the weights are very small making the vest thin and flexible instead of the bulky soap-bar sized weights in other vests. The vest is also hand washable. I bought the vest using their sizing chart and the vest fits perfectly. I can even resize it as my core tightens up always keeping the weight close to my body to prevent injury.
In addition to the treadmill and elliptical, this would be great in step classes, on a stairmaster or other similar cardio classes.
The only downside for me is the weight against my breast. I don’t like that smushed-in feeling. If I wear a very good support sports bra it isn’t as noticeable.
I want more than 10 pounds of weight so I’m going to buy the Booster Box of additional weights and boost the weight up to 15 or 20 pounds. I think the 10 pound weighted vest would be fine for preventing osteoporosis and for most women. Men would probably like a little heavier weight. Once you get the vest on, the weight is so well-distributed it feels light.
Review Follow up – May 2012
I’ve been wearing this vest for several months now and still love it. The vest came with 10 pounds of weight and I ordered the extra weight and filled up the empty pockets which put the vest at 13 pounds. That is plenty of weight for me to really get my heart rate up while doing circuit training. The great part is my body fat has dropped 4%. I do lots of squats and lunges (front, side-to-side and walking) with the vest on and my legs are really toned. Hope this helps you get the right vest for you.
Full Disclosure: I paid for this weight vest, it was not furnished by the company that made it. The company had no input on this review.