How Many Calories Burned Running with a Weighted Vest?

How Many Calories Burned Running with a Weighted Vest?

Using a weighted vest for fat burning and strength training has become fairly popular over the past few years. This rise in popularity left many asking the question: how many calories burned running with a weighted vest?

While the major purpose of wearing a weighted vest is to augment your workouts, it also proves to be beneficial when used while running. Now, before we can answer the question presented above, allow us to define what weighted vests are first.

What is a Weighted Vest?

A weighted vest is just like any other vest in that it is worn. However, unlike most that are used for fashion, this vest is specially designed for exercise. It is made from a durable fabric and comes with pockets that are filled with small weighted objects to increase its heft.

More often than not, the weighted objects packed in these vests are sandbags, tiny rocks, metallic bars, and the likes. Most weighted vests allow for weight adjustments by simply removing or adding these objects. In that way, you can customize it to your personal preference and fitness goals.

Who Can Wear a Weighted Vest?

If you are a complete novice in the world of health and fitness, then a weighted vest may not be for you. At first, they were mainly intended for experienced athletes and weightlifters who want to increase their stamina, endurance, and power in a shorter period compared to training without the added weight.

Then again, we are not saying that you are not allowed to wear one. What’s more important is to give your body enough time and practice to adapt to a regular—and somewhat tough—physical training regimen before wearing one.

Still not convinced? Well, to understand the science behind it, you must first educate yourself about how it works. In that way, you will know if it is something that you wish to try for yourself.

How Does a Weighted Vest Work?

As we have mentioned above, the main purpose of a weighted vest is to add extra weight to your body to take your workouts to the next level. When you carry an additional weight while working out or running, your body compensates and thereby boosts your power.

Similarly, the additional weight in the vest also stimulates your lower body muscles and force it to exert more energy against the ground. As a result, you will have improved endurance and overall strength.

How Many Calories Burned Running with a Weighted Vest?

The process of finding out how many calories burned running with a weighted vest hinges on multiple factors. First, you must understand that the heavier the weights you are carrying, the more effective it is in burning calories and eliminating fats.

For instance, a 125-pound heavy person running at 6 MpH for 30 minutes will burn much fewer calories in comparison to a man weighing 144 pounds, running at the same speed and same duration.

In that sense, we can conclude that a man wearing a heavier vest will have greater calorie loss. Aside from that, the speed with which you run also plays a part in the number of calories burned while wearing a weighted vest.

Generally speaking, using a weighted vest that weighs roughly 10% of your body weight may help increase calories burned by 8%. For that reason, it is recommended to wear a weighted vest that is about 5% to 10% of an individual’s total body weight in order to achieve the best results.

In addition to more calories burned, do you think there are other advantages to wearing a weighted vest? Let’s find out.

Other Benefits of Wearing a Weighted Vest

Depending on the quality and brand, most weighted vests do not come cheap. So, it is only natural that you would want to find out if there are more benefits to wearing one than just a rise in the number of calories burned.

Here are some other reasons why you should invest in a weighted vest:

  • A Rise in Fortitude and Strength

Working out while wearing a weighted vest puts extra pressure on your muscles and respiratory system, making them work harder than ever and forcing them to adapt to the pressure. As a result, you get an increased muscle endurance that would help you run for longer distances without getting exhausted easily.

  • Good for Heart

Though you might not believe it, weighted vests are actually good for the heart. When you run, you experience a rise in your heart rate that causes shortness of breath. But since wearing one increases your resistance, your cardiovascular system goes into overdrive.

As a result, your body becomes better equipped in its ability to consume oxygen, therefore fortifying your cardiovascular system. Those who wear it while running and working out also have a lower lactate threshold, which then results in a significant improvement in their total running time.

  • Great for Variation

Weighted vests are not necessarily used for running only. It can be worn while doing other forms of exercises such as weight training, sports-specific training, and more. Therefore, a weighted vest gives variety to your otherwise boring and monotonous workout regimens.

Besides, an exercise program that lacks variation may cause your body to adapt to it easily. This means that your body is not getting the most results. Thus, a weighted vest is used.

  • Musculoskeletal Benefits

In addition to strengthening your muscles, weighted vests can be highly beneficial for your bones as well. The added load promotes the development of cells called osteoblasts, which sets down the new bone material.

In turn, your body gets higher amounts of bone mass, which it uses to make stronger bones. A stronger musculoskeletal system also helps in decreasing your recovery time from when you do intense workouts or suffer from muscular injuries.

  • Increase in Agility

Yet another widely acknowledged benefit of wearing a weighted vest is an increase in agility. This means that you can puff up the results of your workout if you wear a weighted vest.

So, if you run four times a week while wearing a vest that is up to 10% of your own body weight, then you can perceptibly improve your overall agility and reflexes.

Final Words

And, there you have it! Not only does wearing this remarkable workout gear increases how much calories burned running with a weighted vest, but it also accelerates it. For that reason, athletes and regular individuals alike use it for their everyday exercise routines.

So, do you think you want to give it a try? After all, you now know how effective it is in getting rid of excess body fat. If yes, then start preparing your body now by practicing regular exercise and, in time, you will know you are ready to take it up a notch by wearing a weighted vest.

4 thoughts on “How Many Calories Burned Running with a Weighted Vest?”

  1. This is a very informative article, as a lifelong athlete, I have never thought about running with a weighted vest. However, after reading about all the benefits that you mentioned here, I may have to give this a try. You said that it will increase your fortitude and strength. This is something that all athletes can benefit from. Are there any negative effects to running with a weighted vest?

    • Hi, WMP and thank you.

      All over I believe it´s not so many which know about this possibility but it is very effective. And good to have too in mind that in fact, many people do not just use them while running, but also when lifting weights or doing aerobics.

      On the negative side of using the weighted vest, the most important thing to have in mind is that not use more weight than you can run with. It is like when you are in the gym if you have too many weights on the bar, it is very bad for your body. So it is important, like in the gym, to start slowly and build you up with the weight in mind. 

  2. Prior to developing lower back pain and sciatica, I used to love to go for a 6km run, 5 days a week, for the past 15 years. I would of loved to have added a weighted vest to have increased my strength and endurance. Now that I am forced to go power walking instead, I am curious to know if I would still get the same health benefits, wearing the vest, power walking? What do you think?

    • Hi, OCTeam and thank you.

      Yes, you will get the same benefit. Too many people underestimate how much benefit you get from using walking as a training method.  And all the benefit you get from running with a weighted vest, the same benefit you get of power walking. And even better for your legs as a bonus.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.


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