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  • February 03, 2021 3 min read

    A weighted vest will take any workout to another level, adding load and resistance whilst keeping your hands free. Most people use a weighted vest to burn calories and speed up fat loss. But weighted vests can also help you pack on muscle. Here’s how.



    The best weighted vests as reviewed by Origym.









    1 Press ups

    Press ups are one of the best “push” bodyweight exercises, but it’s easy to hit a plateau. Once you can do 20 or so with good form, how do you progress?

    Adding a weighted vest will increase the load, and help you build more muscle. Do push ups in a weighted vest and you’ll change a training variable and put more demand through working muscles and stabilisers.


    2 Dips

    The traditional way to add extra load to dips is with a dipping belt, but a smarter option is a weighted vest – because you can keep it on for your whole workout. Weighted vest dips are easy and practical, and can be combined with loads of other bodyweight exercises.


    3 Lunges

    We love doing bodyweight lunges in a weighted vest, because the weight is evenly distributed and your hands remain free (great if you’re working on balance). Try doing a variety of lunge variations in a weighted vest: forward stepping lunges, reverse lunges, or walking lunges.


    4 Air squats

    Doing air squats in a weighted vest takes them out of the realm of bodyweight exercise and turns them into a light weighted squat. Put these in a HIIT or circuit session and feel the difference.


    5 Pull ups

    Have you mastered pull ups? Take them to the next level by doing them in a weighted vest. This will help you build serious muscle through your back and arms.


    6 Bulgarian split squats

    We love a split squat for building muscle in the quads and hamstrings, but it can be difficult to add load without challenging your balance too much. A weighted vest solves that problem, distributing the extra load and leaving your hands free to help you balance.


    7 Triceps press up

    This press up variation is tough enough as it is, but if you want to build more mass in your triceps, do them in a weighted vest. You might need to scale back on the reps at first, but it’s a great challenge for more advanced athletes.


    3 WODs you can do in a weighted vest


    Murph Hero WOD

    “Murph” is one of the best-known CrossFit Hero WODs, named after a Navy SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan. You can do Murph in a weighted vest – just chip away at it and keep going.


    1 mile run
    100 pull ups
    200 press ups
    300 air squats
    1 mile run



    21-15-9 is a classic CrossFit rep range combination – here’s one to try in a weighted vest.

    Kettlebell swings
    Press ups
    Air squats


    Bodyweight WOD

    You can get a great workout in with no equipment except your weighted vest. Try this as an example:


    7 rounds for time
    7 burpees
    7 sit ups
    7 jumping squats
    7 press ups
    60 second plank hold

    Check out our range of adjustable 20kg weighted vests here.