A man doing a pull up using a weighted vest.

Are Weighted Vests Good For Building Muscle?

Have you ever considered taking your workouts to the next level by incorporating a weighted vest? Don't worry, you don't need to be in the armed forces to use one! This handy piece of exercise equipment can really spice up your body weight routines and give you that extra challenge you've been craving to improve your strength and endurance.

But I bet you're wondering, are weighted vests good for building muscle? And if so, how long will it take to see results? Well, let's dive into the science and get some answers!

What Are Weighted Vests? 

Before we look at if weighted vests are good for building muscle, we must first understand what weighted vests actually are. 

Weighted vests are exactly what the name suggests - a vest specifically designed to distribute added weight evenly across your torso. As a relatively low-impact equipment option, weighted training vests are an ideal choice for burning calories, building muscle and increasing bone density. (source

To achieve these benefits, weighted vests work by adding additional resistance to your existing body weight in the form of weighted plates to increase the difficulty of bodily movements. 

While weighted training vests are fantastic for taking your body weight workouts to the next level, it's important to know that they come with a few risks. Since the vest adds weight to every exercise you do, it can increase the impact on your body, especially when you're jumping or landing. This can really take a toll on your feet, ankles, and knees, so it's important to be careful and mindful during those exercises.

What Are The Benefits Of Weighted Vests

Now that we understand what weight vests are, you might be asking yourself, “How are weighted vests going to help me? And does using a weighted vest build muscle?”. 

Well the research has shown that weighted vest exercises have numerous benefits across a wide range of bodily functions, this includes:

  • Endurance and strength training - working out with extra weight will increase the forces of resistance that your muscles experience, making them work harder and grow back stronger (which also means bigger!) (source).
  • Walking and running agility - Studies have shown that weighted vests can significantly improve the stamina and endurance of runners and walkers (source).
  • Losing weight - A harder working body, means more burned calories and fat (source).

This list of benefits of wearing weighted vests is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to get the full scoop on all the amazing perks of incorporating a weighted vest into your workouts, you should definitely check out our blog "Are Weighted Vests Any Good?" Trust us, you won't want to miss it!

A man running in a weighted vest.

Weighted Vest Workout Ideas To Build Muscle 

Weighted vests are a great tool for building muscle, in this section, we will cover the types of exercise that weighted vests are suited for along with some weighted vest exercises to start building muscle and reaping the benefits of this workout tool. 

Some types of exercises that weighted vests are good for include:

  • Walking 
  • Running
  • LISS (Low-Intensity Steady-State Training) 
  • HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) 
  • Strength Training
  • Callisthenics 

Now moving on to weighted vest exercises that are easy to perform:

  • Pull-ups/Chin-ups: Weighted vests during this exercise will help you build your back, biceps and forearm muscles faster than using just your body weight.
  • Bear Crawls: For a full-body workout that is challenging enough already, bear crawls with weighted vests will take it that much further. 
  • Walking Lunges: Incorporating a weighted vest into this movement will force your leg muscles to adapt to the new weight and will help with building stabilising muscles. 
  • Planks/Push-ups: Put your chest, arms and core to the test with weighted vests when doing planks or push-ups.
  • Squats: Place more resistance on your quads, glutes and hamstrings when using weight vests when carrying out squatting movements.
  • Box Jumps/Step-ups: using weighted vests for this exercise is a great way to strengthen and build your quad and glute muscles whilst greatly improving coordination. Make sure to leave ample space to avoid any falls or slips. 

So, you're ready to take on the challenge of using a weighted vest in your workouts? Awesome! If you can safely perform exercises while wearing a weighted vest, the exercises we suggested above are a great jumping-off point. 

Once you get comfortable with the added resistance, don't be afraid to kick things up a notch and try out some more challenging exercises. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself with what you're capable of!


Does walking in weighted vests build muscle?

Yes, walking in weighted vests can help build muscle. When you add weight to your body, your muscles have to work harder to move it, which can increase muscle activation and growth. 

However, it's important to note that walking alone might not be enough to see significant muscle gains. 

To really build muscle, you should incorporate strength training exercises into your routine as well. That being said, adding a weighted vest to your walking routine can still provide a great workout and contribute to overall muscle development.

Is it bad to wear a weighted vest all day?

While wearing a weighted vest for short periods of time during exercise can be beneficial, wearing a weighted vest all day can actually be harmful to your health. The added weight can put undue stress on your joints and muscles, potentially leading to discomfort or injury. 

Additionally, prolonged use of a weighted vest can alter your natural movement patterns and throw off your balance. 

If you want to incorporate a weighted vest into your daily routine, it's best to limit use to shorter periods during exercise and make sure you choose an appropriate weight for your fitness level.

Check Out Our Range Of Weighted Vest And Weight Plates From Exersci!

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this article. What do you think? Can weighted vests be used to build muscle? 

If you’re eager to find out we sell our very own one-size-fits-all tactical weight vests in a wide variety of colours. You can also purchase additional weight plates to customise the load and increase resistance.

If you have any questions about weighted vests or can’t find what you’re looking for? Please contact us at contact@exersci.co.uk or call us on 0330 175 6260 - We’re more than happy to help! 

View our weighted vests collection here