When engaging in sports, speed is always a factor. Even if you don’t have an opponent that you’re trying to outrun or outmaneuver, competing against yourself usually means finding ways to improve your time so that you can reach higher personal levels. So, how do you effectively increase your speed? One option is to wear a weighted vest when training.
By adding more weight to your upper body during your training sessions, you’re also increasing the amount of resistance your muscles must work against in order to move around. This makes them grow bigger and stronger, ultimately improving your speed once you take the vest off and engage in your physical activity without it.
Weighted Vest Training Tips
Here are some tips to help you train more effectively while wearing a weighted vest:
- Wear the weighted vest only during portions of your training sessions. To wear it every session and the entire time wouldn’t allow your muscles to experience and use the gains in speed at all, therefore slowing you down versus speeding you up.
- Don’t skip the vest and try to use hand or leg weights instead. This isn’t the same type of training as it doesn’t require the same muscles to engage as a vest. In fact, doing this could also slow you down instead, making it more of a hindrance to your speed than a help.
- As far as the weight of the vest, research has found that wearing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is optimal, but this amount could change depending largely on what type of activities you’re doing while wearing your vest. For instance, you’re likely to be able to handle more weight when using your leg muscles than your arm muscles since they are generally bigger and stronger.
Do you have a weighted vest? If so, what kinds of speed increases have you noticed?