Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weighted Vest Training

What about weighted vests?

Weighted vests are actually one vertical jump and speed improving gimmick or apparatus that science has shown to be quite effective.  However, the way a weighted vest should be used may be different then what youve heard. Rather than using a heavy weighted vest and performing all sorts of special exercises with it, the best way to use the vest is to simply wear one for 3 weeks with about 10% of your bodyweight all the time except for when you’re sleeping.  In fact, one study measured and analyzed the performance of 5 international level athletes during 13 continuous months of training.  Drop jumps,
average mechanical power output, and vertical jump with and without weight were used to measure their explosive power characteristics. The athletes did not show improvement in any of the variables studied after 12 months of intensive training. It was assumed that the subjects already had reached their upper limit of performance. However, after that the athletes underwent 3 weeks of training wearing a special vest filled with extra loads (11% of bodyweight). The vest was used from morning to evening. No changes in the ordinary training program were allowed. After they had worn the weighted vest for 3 weeks they
all experienced significant improvement in almost all the variables studied. Vertical jump performance was enhanced from 44.3 to 54.9 cm. (or about 3.5 inches).

The bad thing about this study is it also shows that when the vest is no longer used those improvements tend to disappear as well. So, basically, if you’re fairly close to your peak, you may gain a few inches in vertical leap by wearing a weighted vest, but if not, it probably wont do much for you.  If you choose to purchase one for best results you should dedicate yourself to wearing it all day which can be rather uncomfortable! For that reason its important to purchase a quality weighted vest such as the x-vest.