Weight vest training

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by kjos8035, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. kjos8035

    kjos8035 White Belt

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    Hello,

    I've recently been upping the intensity of my workouts with weight vests and such. What I'm curious about is if there's a point that this will become more harmful than helpful for my joints and such. Currently I'm 6'0" 150 lbs., and I'm doing every workout with a 16lb weight vest, which isn't bad at all. I do full body workouts 2-3 times a week, and go pretty hard with stations and no rest periods whatsoever. When doing specific upper body exercises however (wide, middle, close grip pullups, dips, sledge hammer, etc.), I have been throwing in another 25lb dumbbell between my legs or a backpack with 30 lbs., making the total around 40-50 lbs.

    I've read doing exercises with weight that exceeds a certain percentage of your body weight can be detrimental for long term joints (namely shoulders, elbows, etc.). Is this true? Or should I keep pushing myself hard by upping weight?


    Thanks for any advice

    Btw; yes, I am working on gaining weight. inb4gainweightnoob
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    If you're building up, your joints feel ok and you aren't slamming yourself about, I would say you'd be ok.

    What are your goals in training in such a manner?
     
  3. kjos8035

    kjos8035 White Belt

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    I'm going with a goal of total fitness (and gaining weight). Pretty generic I know, but it's really what I'm after. This is the reason for doing full body workouts with no rest compared to splits or something like that. I'm a big fan of equalizing push/pull as much as possible, and I like changing things up often as well to keep my body from plateauing, and I'm seeing good results. The only problem I'm having is gaining weight, but I'm a pretty standard case of an ectomorph body type. Sitting around 6-7% body fat at 150 lbs. right now.

    My current workout looks like:

    Warmup-
    Kick boxing with pads
    T-pushups with 5lb weight
    leg lifts
    weighted stair climb
    wide pushups
    Static lunges

    Stations-
    -Station 1-
    Flat bench
    weighted wide, middle, close grip pulls

    -Station 2-
    Close grip bench
    21 curls (7 lower half, 7 upper half, 7 full)

    -Station 3-
    Skullcrushers
    Shoulder press
    Squats

    -Station 4-
    Deadlift/bent rows (not sure if there's a real name for these)
    Incline hammer curls

    -Station 5-
    Weighted Dips
    Weighted crunches and bycicles
    Planks
    Sledge Hammer (1 minute per set, alternating sides with no break)

    I do each station 3-4 times.
     
  4. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    How are you defining total fitness?

    -Ability to perform work (GPP)
    -Ability to shift x amount of weight in y time.

    And how are gauging your progress? That you can perform more reps/sets of the same work out?

    Just probing as see that your overal training seems a bit.....well, no offense, a mis mash.
     
  5. kjos8035

    kjos8035 White Belt

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    The way I see it, muscle without cardio = dumb. Cardio without muscle = dumb. High intensity helps to merge the two, and makes for quite difficult and fun workouts (granted I'm not replacing cardio exercise with this workout). Yes, gauging progress by being able to do more reps/sets with higher weight is noticed, but only as visible progress. Once things start becoming too easy or I'm too used to the routine I switch things up.

    I appreciate the constructive criticism. What about my current routine seems to be a mis mash?
     
  6. modena1983

    modena1983 I

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    I did walking for sitance with added weight i think 65 or so pounds iirc i think walking makes it easier on the joints. I never had an issue. *shrugs shoulders*
     
  7. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    The common consensus is that it is more time effective to train one or the other in a given session (cardio or strength/cns).

    What you seem to be training is strength endurance and one or two types of energy system.

    To be honest though, I'm coming from a sport specific muscular endurance background, so I was/am a do cardio and specific sport based stuff in the ring/fighting gym and do strength work in the gym.
     
  8. kjos8035

    kjos8035 White Belt

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    Well like I said I'm not substituting weight lifting for cardio. The idea of sitting around 5 minutes in between sets like a good majority of bros in the gym just bothers me. If you could be engaging in active rest, or doing a whole separate lift immediately after a set, why not? Can't hurt conditioning...
     
  9. Carongt

    Carongt White Belt

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    It just all depends on what your goals are. If your looking for maximal strength and are doing 90%+ for your sets then trust me you need those 5 minutes. I'm not sure what the bros in your gym are doing but I'm on a 5x5 routine and I NEED and LOVE my 5 minutes of rest.
     
  10. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    The point of my post was that you need that extra rest because maximally taxing the CNS is...well....taxing.

    If you can do another exercise straight afterwards, you're not lifting enough/volume is too low.
    Think of a sprint. After you've sprinted a 400m, you can't walk properly, let alone consider doing burpees, nor should you if you are trying to decrease your 400m time. The rest allows the 'imprint' of the exercise to solidfy (that sounds so wishy washy).

    Conditioning on the other hand is when you do keep going, because you aren't interested in if you can perform the (in keeping with the above example) 400m sprint in the same time again, but that you can keep taxing yourself without fully recovering (ie how much pain can you take when it comes to incomplete rest intervals).

    *edit*
    What you are doing is a pure conditioning circuit. The amount you can lift is reduced due to the cardio/muscular endurance aspect.
    All well and good if that is what you need to work on
    *edit*

    I hope my attempt at explaining the difference between cv and strength and how you need to seperate the sessions makes more sense then before.
     
  11. kjos8035

    kjos8035 White Belt

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    Hmm. Interesting. I didn't think that doing the circuit was reducing the effectiveness of strength training in a specific area. I completely understand that many different muscle groups are used in alot of the compound exercises, but does going from bench pressing straight to pullups and back to bench really reduce the amount one can lift? Or in another case, close grip bench to curls? Obviously when I say no rest periods there is some time in between sets working a different muscle group, spotting my mates, etc.

    When I first started this style of lifting I had previous been doing 5 day splits. This kind of workout was absolutely brutal, and I couldn't even finish the workout the first few weeks. Gradually I became more accustomed to always having a weight in my hand while I rest in between sets. The workouts typically last 1.5-2 hours for me and a buddy.

    edit: Also, if I were to separate this circuit training with exclusive heavy weight days, what would be the best way to work it in? Right now I'm doing these workouts twice a week, and I feel as if I could stick one more day in. Would it be beneficial to do strength training (not this conditioning previously discussed) twice a week, and conditioning once? I'm not sure how many days I should be doing the larger compound exercises as to not over train, but I want to go hard.
     
  12. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    To make it easier I've just stuck numbers in there

    1) You've got to think, even though you're doing a bench press, everything in the upperbody is being utilised in the lift. At the bottom portion of the lift, the lats are heavily utilised (they help getting out of the hole), which will be further fatiqued during the pull up portion, meaning for your next bench press stint they will not be as strong as the first. Remember as well, the shoulder girdle will be heavily used during both and the core is activated in controlling you in both.

    2) That will be because your strength endurance (muscular stamina as well as cardio, being the ability for your heart to do work) will have gone up. Not surprising, it's all about the adaption.

    3) Again depends on what you want.
    I would probably do it in blocks though, so you do say 1 block of 2:1 lifting to conditioning (which is what I would use over cardio to be honest like you have) which lasts say 6 weeks, have a week off/low volume and then change it around to 1:2 conditioning to lifting.
    You can then mix and match what you do for conditioning, keep it ticking over during the lifting block, but also make gains in the lifting.
    The 5, 3, 1 scheme which is popular (well, it was last year, not sure about now), allows you to play about with the volume and runs in waves/blocks, so you can use that to increase your lifting ability, tie it in with conditioning blocks and alter the volume so you don't overtrain.

    Hope that's been helpful. I'm sure at some point someone with another opinion will jump in.
     
  13. SignalZero

    SignalZero Blue Belt

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    What kind of vest do you have and where did you get it? I want to start using one as well...
     
  14. ExtremeStandard

    ExtremeStandard Yellow Belt

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    I find if I'm concerned with any joint injury when trying out new weights of any kind I will do one rep slowly watching for any weakness in form throughout. So you could go for a heavier vest and try exercises slowly at first watching for any weaknesses that could turn to injury.

    Listen to the body.
     
  15. SignalZero

    SignalZero Blue Belt

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    I just bought a 25lb vest and the only place I plan on using it is on turf for the sake of my joints. In fact, i'll probably wear it when I mow the lawn...
     
  16. h7jb7sg1e

    h7jb7sg1e Blue Belt

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    Kudos for using a weight vest.

    You can use it for cardio and sprints. Using it on a bike will be significantly less effective than using it on a treadmill/track. For strength training you can do calisthenics or compound barbell movements. Isolation exercises have their place, but may not be the best choice when using a weight vest (or back pack).

    If you are using your vest for cardio you can do it everyday. If you are using it for sprints you should limit it to two days a week. For plyometrics use no more than +20% of your bodyweight and you can do it up to three days a week.

    Always build up progressively. I use a Heart Rate Monitor when I use my vest to make sure I don't train too much and confirm that I'm fully recovered before beginning my next set. Also, do some prehab work for your ankles and knees including joint rotations and dynamic stretching prior to training with your vest.

    I got my weight vest from Ultimate Weight Vests for fitness training.. Their prices have dropped substantially but they no longer have the all black style. They do have a 150 lb model.
     

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