3 Weight Vest Exercises for Total-Body Power

Using a weighted vest is a great way to add resistance to simple exercises and help you build more strength and power.

The weighted vest is an excellent tool for developing total-body power and adding variety to your workouts. Among all the possible exercise out there, the following three will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Weighted Push-Ups

Push-Ups are a timeless exercise with well-known benefits for chest, shoulder and core strength. But unless you're a beginner, they can quickly become too easy. Adding a weighted vest will boost your push-up strength.

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Weighted Box Jumps

Jumping on a box develops jumping power and improves landing technique and muscular strength. However, instead of increasing the height of the box to the point where it becomes ineffective and dangerous, add a weighted vest. You won't believe how much harder it is to get in the air with just a few extra pounds. It will make you think twice before you eat the next package of cookies.

Weighted Rows

Whether it's a Barbell Row or a TRX Row, you can't go wrong. In the case of the latter, add a weighted vest and hold on as long as you can while pulling with your back muscles. Your mid-back, lats and traps will get stronger in record time while you possibly add size to the biggest group of muscles in your body.

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As a rule of thumb, add the weighted vest to your training sessions every 4th week. In other words, perform three weeks of regular training followed by one week of weighted vest training. Start with 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise and adjust depending on your personal goals and fit level.

A study from the Journal of Strength & Conditioning found that a vest weighing 5 to 10 percent of an athlete's body weight was enough to improve agility performance in young men. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a vest weighing between 10 and 20 pounds will be sufficient to help you make strength and power gains. All you need to do is perform your regular speed drills with a little added weight.

Now it's time for you to put on the vest and get to work. Enjoy your gains!


Rantalainen T, Ruotsalainen I, Virmavirta M. "Effect of weighted vest suit worn during daily activities on running speed, jumping power, and agility in young men." J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26(11):3030-5.