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What is a running vest?

A running vest is a piece of specialised fitness equipment designed to enhance your running. Running vests come with built-in pockets or compartments to hold removable weights, allowing you to customise the intensity of your workout. The purpose of a running vest is to challenge your muscles and make your workouts more demanding, thus maximising the benefits of your training.

When should you wear a running vest?

To amplify your running routine and experience significant fitness gains, incorporating a running vest strategically can make all the difference. 

Whether you're looking to build strength or enhance speed, wearing a running vest during specific training scenarios can be a game-changer. In this section, we'll explore the ideal moments to don your running vest and how it can propel your fitness journey to greater heights.

Strength training

Incorporating a running vest into your strength training routine can take your workouts to new heights. By wearing the vest during exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups, you add resistance to these movements, effectively engaging additional muscle groups. 

This stimulates muscle growth and improves overall strength and power output. As a result, your body becomes more adept at handling the added load, translating into enhanced performance in various activities.

Endurance workouts

To boost your cardiovascular endurance and stamina, try wearing a running vest during longer runs. The added resistance challenges your cardiovascular system, forcing it to adapt and become more efficient. 

Over time, this leads to improved aerobic capacity, enabling you to run longer distances with less effort. Whether you're training for a marathon or just aiming to improve your overall endurance, a running vest can be a valuable tool in achieving your goals.

Speed training

If you want to increase your speed and explosiveness, incorporating a running vest into your speed training sessions is a game-changer. Interval training and sprints with a weighted vest force your muscles to work harder, leading to improved power and faster running times. 

The resistance provided by the vest creates a greater demand on your muscles, making them more efficient and capable of generating force. As a result, your acceleration and top speed will improve, giving you a competitive edge in races.


Running vests are not limited to running alone; they can be integrated into various cross-training exercises for a comprehensive full-body workout. 

Whether you're doing bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, agility drills, or strength training routines, wearing a running vest adds an extra challenge. Cross-training with a running vest not only improves your running performance but also enhances your overall fitness and athletic abilities.

Benefits of wearing a running vest

Are you eager to supercharge your running routine and maximise your fitness potential? A running vest is more than just an extra layer; it's a dynamic fitness tool that offers a plethora of advantages

1. Increased intensity

Running with a weighted vest immediately elevates the intensity of your workout. The added resistance challenges your muscles to work harder, leading to an increased heart rate and enhanced calorie burn. 

As you become accustomed to the extra load, your body becomes more efficient at utilising oxygen, improving your overall cardiovascular fitness. This heightened intensity allows you to push your limits and achieve greater results in your training.

2. Strength and power development

The additional weight provided by the running vest forces your body to engage more muscle fibres during your workout. As a result, you'll experience increased muscle activation and growth. 

The extra load places greater stress on your muscles, stimulating them to adapt and become stronger. This improvement in strength and power is not only beneficial for running but also for other physical activities and sports.

3. Calorie burn and weight loss

Running with a weighted vest can significantly increase your calorie burn during a workout. The added resistance demands more energy from your body, leading to a higher metabolic rate. 

Consequently, you'll burn more calories than during a regular run without the vest. This increased energy expenditure can support your weight loss efforts and help you achieve a leaner, more toned physique.

4. Bone density and joint strength

The impact forces generated by running with a weighted vest are not only beneficial for your muscles but also for your bones. The additional load stimulates bone remodelling, leading to an increase in bone density over time. 

This can be particularly advantageous for individuals at risk of osteoporosis or looking to maintain bone health as they age. Furthermore, wearing a running vest also strengthens your joints, ligaments, and tendons, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing overall joint stability.

5. Improved running form

Running with a weighted vest promotes proper running mechanics and posture. The added load encourages you to engage your core and maintain a more upright position. This improved alignment allows for better distribution of forces throughout your body, reducing the risk of injuries caused by poor form. 

As your running form becomes more efficient, you'll experience smoother and more comfortable runs.

6. Mental focus

Training with a running vest not only challenges your body but also tests your mental toughness. As you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you'll develop greater mental resilience and focus. This mental fortitude is invaluable in running, especially during races or challenging conditions where mental strength plays a significant role in performance. 

By training with a weighted vest, you'll be better prepared to overcome mental hurdles and push through physical fatigue.

7. Specificity and performance enhancement

One of the unique benefits of a running vest is its ability to replicate race conditions or challenging terrains. By training with the extra weight, you prepare your body for the demands of carrying extra load during competitions or running on difficult surfaces. 

This specificity in training translates to improved performance and adaptability, allowing you to excel in various running scenarios.

8. Versatility as a training tool

A running vest is a versatile fitness tool that can be incorporated into a wide range of exercises beyond running. Whether you're engaging in bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, agility drills, or strength training routines, the added resistance of the vest enhances your workout. This versatility makes it a valuable investment for individuals looking for a dynamic and effective full-body workout option.

Different types of running vests

There are different types of running vests available, each catering to various fitness levels and training objectives. Lighter vests are suitable for beginners, while more advanced athletes may opt for heavier vests to intensify their workouts. 

Some vests come with adjustable weights, enabling users to increase or decrease the load as needed.

Choosing the right weight for your running vest

Selecting the appropriate weight for your running vest is crucial to ensuring a safe and effective workout. Beginners should start with a lighter weight, gradually increasing it as their strength and endurance improve. It's essential to strike a balance between challenging yourself and avoiding overexertion to prevent injuries.

Running safely with a running vest

While a running vest can provide numerous benefits, it's essential to use it safely to avoid injuries and maximise its effectiveness. Here are some guidelines to follow when incorporating a running vest into your training routine:

Gradually introduce the running vest

If you're new to running with a weighted vest, start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it as your body adapts. Overloading your muscles too quickly can lead to soreness and potential injuries. Allow your body time to adjust to the additional load and progressively challenge yourself over time.

Maintain proper form

Running with a weighted vest can alter your posture and mechanics. Focus on maintaining proper form and technique to minimise the risk of injury. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and maintain a natural stride. Avoid excessive leaning or swinging of the arms, as this can lead to imbalances and strain.

Stay hydrated

Running with a weighted vest can be more demanding on your body, so it's crucial to stay hydrated and listen to your body's signals. Take regular water breaks during your workout and pay attention to signs of fatigue or discomfort. If you feel overly fatigued or experience pain, stop and rest to prevent overexertion.

Choose a properly fitted vest

Select a running vest that fits snugly but comfortably around your body. The vest should not bounce or shift excessively while running, as this can lead to chafing and discomfort. Look for adjustable straps to customise the fit to your body shape and size.

Warm up before running

As with any workout, it's essential to warm up before running with a weighted vest. Perform dynamic stretches to activate your muscles and prepare your body for the increased workload. After your run, engage in static stretches to promote muscle recovery and flexibility.


Keen to try a running vest?

A running vest is a powerful tool to elevate your running routine and overall fitness. By adding resistance to your workouts, you can experience a multitude of benefits, from increased intensity and strength development to improved running form and mental focus. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced athlete, a running vest can take your training to new heights and help you achieve your fitness goals.

Ready to take your running and fitness to the next level with a running vest? Head over to Rebel Sport and explore our wide range of high-quality running vests that are perfect for athletes of all levels.