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Running With A Weighted Vest: Pros/Cons Explained

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In recent years, running with a weighted vest has become a trend. Adding weight to your training can certainly make it more intense and provide more advantages. However, to prevent injuries, it’s essential to understand how to use a weighted running vest.

Running with a weighted vest can intensify your workout, improve your stamina and strength, and also increase your calorie expenditure. It is crucial to use the weighted vest for running properly to avoid injury and gradually increase the weight.

Running With A Weighted Vest Main

Running With A Weighted Vest – Description

By jogging with a weighted vest, your workouts will certainly be more intense. It is a renowned training approach taken by athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to challenge, push themselves to their limits, or just improve their performance.

There are certain models that also let athletes regulate the weight of the vest according to their convenience, unlike most of the vests that can directly hold 1 or 2 solid plates. Some vests have bags in them that let you gradually increase the weight by a few pounds, making them a great option as well.

Weighted running vests are available in various weights and sizes, designed to sit properly on your body, and prevent unnecessary movement or bouncing while exercising. To provide a comfortable and secure fit, they often have customizable and adjustable straps. Some of these models also come with extra features like pockets for small items.

weighted vest running

Maintaining proper form and balance while wearing the vest requires additional effort from your body which results in increasing your overall strength and stability. Your heart rate and oxygen intake may both rise, giving you a more intense cardio workout and increasing the number of calories you burn.

To prevent injury, it’s crucial to wear a weighted vest properly while running. Start with a lower weight and gradually raise the weight only when your body adapts to the previous weight and can handle it. Wearing a weighted vest all the time while running can put too much stress on your joints and also increase the risk of injury.

Overall, running while wearing a weighted vest is a great method to push your body and raise your level of fitness substantially. Just remember to run cautiously and sensibly while wearing a weighted vest, focus on the form, and always check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness program.

5 Benefits Of Running With Weighted Vest

What are the benefits of running with a weighted vest? Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions, starting with the benefits of weighted vest training.

✅ Increased Workout Intensity

By adding extra weight to your body while running, a weighted vest will increase your workout intensity. Your body may have to work harder as a result of the extra weight, which will make the run more difficult overall, and you’ll also be tired pretty soon. But running while wearing a weighted vest will force your body to work harder and help you get fitter more rapidly. You may be able to push through limitations and plateaus, which will increase your running and athletic performance.

✅ Improved Endurance

While you’re running with a weighted vest, your body is under more stress and it will surely help you improve your endurance. Your heart and lungs work harder to pump oxygen to your muscles. Because of this extra cardiovascular demand, your endurance will improve over time. You can push your body to its physical limits and excel more at endurance sports like long-distance running or cycling by training with a weighted vest.

✅ Strengthened Muscles

Running while you’re wearing a weighted vest can assist in building your muscles by increasing resistance and making your muscles work harder. The additional weight adds more stress to your muscles, which can improve lower body strength and promote muscle growth.

Running enthusiasts who desire to develop stronger legs and enhance their overall athletic performance may find this part to be extremely beneficial. By gradually increasing the weight of your vest, you may keep your muscles guessing and notice gradual gains in your strength and endurance.

✅ Increased Calorie Burn

Because your body will be working harder and these workouts are so intense, you will burn more calories compared to a regular run. Your body is put under more stress as a result of the additional weight, which will increase calorie expenditure and improve body composition.

This can be highly beneficial if your objective is to reduce weight or change your body composition because it will make your progress faster and more effective. To prevent damage and injuries, it’s crucial to wear a weighted vest for running safely and correctly and gradually increase weight over time.

✅ Enhanced Cardiovascular Fitness

Your cardiovascular fitness levels would be improved when you integrated weighted vest running workouts into your fitness routine. Your heart and lung functions will be enhanced here, improving your endurance, energy, and your overall health. This would also increase your overall athletic performance, but again, always use the vest safely and appropriately for the best results.

4 Drawbacks Of Running With Weighted Vest

Now, does running with a weighted vest help? It surely does, but there are some drawbacks as well.

❌ Increased Risk Of Injury

Running while wearing a weighted vest can make you more likely to get hurt if you’re not utilizing your vest properly. Your body, especially your joints, muscles, and bones, may experience additional stress because of the extra weight, thus, increasing risk of injury.

Knee soreness, ankle sprains, and lower back pain are common ailments related to jogging while wearing a weighted vest. To avoid negative effects and ensure safe and efficient training, it’s crucial to utilize a well-fitting and adjusted vest and to gradually raise the weight over time.

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❌ Added Stress On Joints And Ligaments

When you are running with a weighted vest, there’s already an additional strain on your muscles and joints. When your body can’t handle this stress, it could be a problem. It could lead to an increased risk of tendinitis, joint soreness, and other overuse injuries. To use the weighted vest properly, don’t overtrain, and. always listen to your body.

❌ Uneven Weight Distribution Leading To Postural Imbalances

Wearing a weighted vest while running can also lead to postural imbalances due to the situations where the weight distribution is uneven. The extra weight can cause your body to compensate and adjust to maintain balance, which isn’t a good thing. It can lead to changes in your posture and gait.

Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances, which will increase the risk of injury and gradually impact your athletic performance and daily life negatively. Therefore, it’s important to use a properly fitted and adjusted vest and to slowly increase the weight over time to avoid postural imbalances and maintain proper form during these kinds of workouts.

❌ Risk Of Cardiovascular Disorders

Running with a weighted vest is an amazing way to up the difficulty level of your workouts and push your fitness levels to the limits. But what does running with a weighted vest do?

Well, weighted vest workouts have great benefits, including building cardiovascular endurance, but does running with a weight vest build muscle? It sure does! Moving on, let’s take a look at a tailored weighted vest running workout.

Weighted Vest Running Workouts

Here’s a sample weighted vest running workout to try:

  1. Warm-up: Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up jog at a comfortable speed.
  2. Interval Run: Run at a moderate speed for 2 minutes, followed by 1 minute of sprinting. It should totally last for 20 minutes.
  3. Incline run: Find a steep hill and run up it for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest for a total of 10 minutes. You can use an inclined treadmill instead.
  4. Cool-Down: Finish it off with a 5-10 minute cool-down jog at a comfortable speed.

Choose a vest with a weight that you can use for the entirety of the workout. In simpler terms, it should be according to your fitness levels. It would be best to start slow and increase the weight as you become better at it. Also, pay attention to your form to avoid injury.

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The vest has a front hook-and-loop webbing for easy shoulder strap adjustments and to easily attach or remove the pads. Overall, it’s an amazing running vest that should definitely be tried out.


Can Running With A Weighted Vest Build Muscle?

Running with a weighted vest can surely build a good amount of muscle, but the muscle growth isn’t as substantial as it is in activities like weightlifting. The muscle mass will increase due to the extra resistance from the vest, which will strain your muscles even more. So, it would be best to combine this activity with other strength training activities.

What Is The Risk Of Running With A Weighted Vest?

If the vest isn’t worn properly while running, it could cause injury. Although the extra weight puts pressure on the bones to stimulate the growth of new bone cells, it might also put more pressure on the knees and ankles.

So, it could sprain your knees and ankles. Inappropriate form can also cause injuries, so start with a light weight and work your way up as you advance. Don’t overexert, and always warm up and stretch properly before beginning.


As we saw, there are countless benefits of running with a weighted vest, so it’s always going to be a great workout for you that will be very fruitful. But, there are some drawbacks of running vests, so the only thing to remember is to be cautious and have proper form. If you have any more tips, do let us know in the comment section.

Also read:


  1. A Quick Look at Running Injuries // Sports Podiatry: sports/pributruna.pdf
  2. Running With A Weight Vest: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks? Is It Safe? How Do You Get Started? // BetterMe: running-with-a-weight-vest/
  3. Your Guide to Exercising with Weighted Vests // Healthline: /fitness/weighted-vest-benefits
  4. Weight Vest Pros and Cons // Ofwchiro: weight-vest-pros-and-cons/
  5. Training for Cardiovascular Fitness // Ucdenver: /librariesprovider65/clinical-services /sports-medicine/ training-for-cardiovascular-fitness.pdf
  6. Benefits of Running and Working Out with a Weight Vest // Healthline:
  7. Wearable weights: How they can help or hurt // Harvard /staying-healthy /wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt
  8. Disadvantages of using weighted vest // Weekand healthy-living/article/ disadvantages-using-weighted-vest-18062414.php
  9. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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