Increase your upper body strength by adding resistance to this simple but classic move. Using a weighted vest can increase the metabolic costs, exercise intensity, and loading of the skeletal system thereby increasing your Vo2 max and muscular endurance for race day performance!
Try the Conor Hancock method: set a timer for 10 minutes and perform 10 pushups every minute, on the minute.
Wearing your vest while holding a plank will ensure you keep your core tight and whole mid-section braced to prevent your hips dropping to the floor thereby building a rock-solid set of abs, glutes and lower back!
Squats and Lunges
Use your vest to supercharge your squats and lunges – be performing these your legs will adapt to the added resistance and requiring more oxygen so when it comes to training without your vest you will see gains in muscular endurance helping you run faster for longer!
We are all going to have to climb over a wall at some point during an OCR, so pull-ups and pulling exercises are essential. Performing reps of pull-ups wearing your weighted vest will let your body get used to lifting up a heavier weight, so when it comes to pulling only your body weight (and maybe a little added mud) over an obstacle, you will feel light as a feather.
In addition to your pull-ups, if you are lucky enough to have access to an indoor rock-climbing centre (or a nearby mountain to climb) then wearing your weighted vest can show massive gains in grip strength as well as benefits for full-body muscular stamina and lung capacity.
While these will need to be performed very carefully as plyometrics by their very nature put a lot of strain on the body, a few initial reps of box jumps and any explosive movement using an added load can drastically increase the metabolic needs and oxygen consumption of your muscular system, not to mention that taking the vest off will then make you feel like you’ll be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Sprint training with an external load such as a weighted vest has been shown to have benefits on posture, technique and overall power output in sprinters when training with as little as 5% of their bodyweight added. 2-3 sprints wearing a vest followed by 2-3 maximal sprints without will help you see increases in your speed.
Wearing a weighted vest to increase the difficulty of running up a steep incline can aid in training your body to run more efficiently, maintaining an upright posture and strengthening your legs. As with the flat sprints, 2-3 loaded efforts followed by 2-3 unloaded will be plenty to notice a difference.
Tests of weighted vests worn during daily activities measuring the effect on running speed, jumping power, and agility in young men proved successful in improving postural balance and power production capacity as well as improving agility-related performance.
When it comes to simply walking, wearing a vest will not interfere with your normal gait (like other methods eg. ankle weights can) or the way you impact the ground, yet still add enough of an external load to increase the intensity and benefits from the exercise.
You didn’t think we were going to leave out burpees did you? Performing full burpees with a weighted vest will massively strengthen your core as well as power output from your upper and lower body. It is important to take your time and maintain strong core stability during this exercise as well as landing softly to prevent any unwanted strains!
Remember These Simple Rules
- Spend extra time on a thorough warm up before any training session using a weighted vest.
- Mainly use your weighted vest for speed & power within training – not long endurance work, the endurance will cross over from the speed & power sessions.
- Don’t wear them during every training session – no more than 50% of your training sessions should utilise a weighted vest to prevent over-exertion or strains from occurring.
- Make sure it fits and is on tight!