Why you should invest in a weight vest

Do you want to look like a total badass? Like the police ready to barge into the drug dealer’s home? Make sure you invest in a weight vest. It will make you look bigger and meaner just by wearing it, instant result!

All joking aside at some point you have reached the limits of overloading trough harder exercises and adding more repetitions. Next to that adding more repetitions mostly builds up muscle endurance. Something that you shouldn’t neglect but muscle strength is just as important!

It might seem this article will mostly benefit the more advanced calisthenics athletes out there, but this will also benefit less advanced athletes who’ve might hit a plateau which seems hard to break through. Let’s get right into the reason why you should invest in a weight vest.

Exercises you can perform with a weight vest

You can perform almost every bodyweight exercise with a weight vest. The ones that might be harder with a weight vest are the ones you do upside down. The vest might slide down your torso and get in the way of performing the exercise correctly or performing it at all!

Usually, the push-up, pull-up, and the squat are the exercises people will be able to add the weight vest into their workout regiment first. These are three of the fundamental exercises in any routine.

Invest in a heavier weight vest

When you are considering buying an actual weight vest, I recommend purchasing a heavier one rather one than a light one. It is essential that the vest allows you to adjust the weight inside the vest. You don’t want to end up causing injuries because you are overloading.

The flexibility that comes with adjustable weight is excellent to enable progressive overload.

Budget or a more expensive one; which one should you choose

When taken care of properly a weight vest lasts for a long time. Therefore we advise going for a slightly more expensive one. Next to that the more expensive ones usually come with adjustable weights and a better fit.

Both of these reasons are essential to create the best workout environment. The weight vest will blend in perfectly into your workout regiment.

If you are on a budget, we suggest getting a weight belt instead of the weight vest.

An excellent alternative to consider

Even though calisthenics is all about using your body weight to perform exercises, adding extra weight to your workout routines can seriously step up your game in a short amount of time. Since you are interested in exercising the chances are you might have some weight plates lying around.

These plates bring me to a perfect alternative to the weight vest, and it’s a rather cheaper way of adding weight to your exercises. Apart from a weighted vest, something to consider is a weight belt. A weight belt allows you to add weight by using a belt and chain that goes around the hip.

Unfortunately, the weight belt doesn’t allow you to perform as many exercises as much as a weight vest does. But if you are on a tight budget, this might be a good option for you. You can pick up a weight belt from $15,- and if you don’t have any weight plates lying around you can easily find some second-hand ones online or at your local thrift shop.

Other weights you can use with it are things like kettle belts and sandbags as long as you can get the chain trough something attached to the weighted object, you are good to go!

To sum it all up

A weighted vest is an excellent addition to your calisthenics equipment. It allows growing more in strength, and it helps overcome plateaus.

When you are ready to invest in a weight vest make sure you go for one that is adjustable. Those weighted vests allow varying your added weight.

And remember you will instantly look like a total badass even before having done any exercising!




  1. Hi Peter,
    Never thought of a weighted vest as an endurance builder but it makes sense. Do you recommend any particular lines or brands that seemed to be a good value?

    I remember years ago when I was in the military…We had weighted vests that we wore when we went on long runs. I remember they were all one size and weight and they were awful.
    Thanks again for sharing great info! Tim

    • Hey Tim,

      Weight vests are unfortunately expensive especially one that is a comfortable fit.
      Personally, I use one very similar to this one: https://amzn.to/2OjRAoc

      Yeah, there is a lot of bad ones out there ones that slip and move a lot when running or doing any dynamic movements.
      Thanks for visiting EasyCalisthenics


  2. I’ve never tried to do a workout with a weight vest. The only weight which I used was a belt weight when I was swimming. But it seems so heavy and hard to exercise. I felt my body numb, very scary feeling.
    Do you think that the weight vest will give the same numbness feeling?

    • Hi Dany,

      Feeling numb sounds like a pinched nerve or vein.
      That is definitely not something that should happen.

      Yeah using a weighted vest is not for anyone just started exercising or someone that hasn’t for a while.
      I have very good experience with my own weight vest, it’s comfortable and gives me plenty room for moving.


  3. It sounds like there are a lot of benefits to a weighted vest. Do you have recommendations for weighted vests to purchase?

    • Hi Melinda,

      For someone practicing calisthenics, weights are usually not included.
      Unfortunately, at some point, a harder progression can only do so much.
      For most people, the legs are the first part of the body that need a harder challenge.
      Including a weight vest will create a harder exercise.

      I recommend one that is very similar to my own: https://amzn.to/2OjRAoc

      Thank you for visiting.

  4. Hi Peter,
    I have going to the gym for 2 years now, but have yet to invest in a weight vest or even weight belt.
    Sometimes when doing pull ups or dips I put a weigh between my legs, but that is by no way ideal.
    I do like the idea of a weight vest rather than a weight belt as it would be easier to use I’m sure.
    I know it would be a good investment and help to improve my workouts pretty quickly.
    I think now would be a good time for me to get one.
    Thanks for this post.
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Michael,

      There is a big chance your gym has either a vest or weight belt lying around. Did you ask?
      I prefer the weight vest but if you are really strong the weight belt might allow for that extra load.
      I do agree that is no ideal way and could lead to injury if you lose control of the weight and make a weird move.

      Please see the other comments for my recommendation.
      You’re welcome.

  5. I never thought anyone would ever write about weighted workout vests. What a great idea.
    I own one that I can take the weight plates in and out and it is pretty form fitting. I will do an entire Crossfit workout including running in it and ya, it works.
    You should add a photo of one so people who don’t really get what they are can see one.

    • Hey Stewart,

      Thanks for the tip, glad you enjoyed the post.
      I never tried one where you could put in a whole plate, I’m surprised it’s comfortable.

      I have high respect for anyone doing Crossfit it really is the complete workout!
      Crossfit and calisthenics are very similar on many points.
      Good luck with your training!

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