For a couple months now, I have played around with the idea of incorporating a weighted vest into my workouts. The one I finally decided to pick up was the ZFO Sports 40lb Weighted Vest, and this my review of it. First of all, “why does anyone even need a weighted vest?”
The purpose of using a weighted vest is to add resistance to your workout. For me, I noticed that I was starting to plateau with P90X2. I have been doing P90X2 for about 6 months now and have got to the point that I do a really high number of reps with almost all the moves that rely only on your own body weight. I needed to get in that 8-10 rep range and reach “failure” on each set to get the most out of each exercise for what my current goals are and a weighted vest just might be the way to go.
Choosing A Weighted Vest
So when I was ready to pick one of these up…I read many reviews, watched many youtube videos, and clicked through several blog posts (just like this one) to find one that would suit my current needs/budget. I noticed that there are several different brands, several different weight options, some with weights included and some without, and several different price options as well…some cheap and some REALLY expensive.
My requirements were…
1. Must be less that 100 bucks
2. Must be able to run in as well (must be a snug tight fit)
3. Must be able to adjust weight
4. Must be durable
5. Must be in the 30-50lb range
I finally decided on the ZFO Sports 40lb Weighted Vest as it met every single requirement that I initially had.
I purchased the ZFO Sports 40lb Weighted Vest from Amazon for $57.95 because I caught it during a 50% sale which was awesome! However the added shipping charge (40lbs worth) will keep your total cost just under 100 bucks…It shipped fast and I received it two days later.
It shipped in an actual MiR box (MiR being the gold standard of weighted vests from what I’ve read and much more expensive as well). The reason for this is because it is made by the same company, MiR. ZFO basically just puts their name on the MiR vest through some type of agreement, so you are basically getting an MiR vest with only the ZFO logo attached and at the lower ZFO price, which is really cool!
Durability And Setup
These vests are heavy duty and are built to last. There is thick canvas construction everywhere, heavy stitching, metal buckles, and the toughest velcro I have ever used with anything. You feel bulletproof in this thing! They are used by the military, sports teams, and other ahtletes as a very high end quality vest. For the 40lb option, the weights come in 16 (2.5lb) sand bags that fit in various pockets throughout the vest and make adjusting the weight quick and easy.
The instructions on the vest were a bit vague, there are a couple tricky straps, but you can figure it out in about 10 minutes or so. If you have trouble, you aren’t the first! Just do what I did and search for instructions on youtube and you will have it on in no time at all! :)
The first night I used the vest, I only ran about a mile with 10lbs in the vest and the run was smooth with only minimal vest movement and bouncing. I later noticed, that as the weight increases so does the bounce, but I guess that is to be expected. I don’t really plan on running with more than 25lbs in it so it shouldn’t be an issue.
The second night, I did Insanity Asylum Speed and Agility with 20lbs in the vest and that was one, if not the hardest workouts I have ever done. It worked well, but I did have issues with range of motion when doing push ups and bear crawls. Nothing big, but I just noticed it actually “being there” more so then than any other time as it sort of “rides up” to a degree in a plank type position.
The third night, I did P90X2 Chest + Back + Balance with all 40lbs and was COMPLETELY gassed half way through the workout. It put me right in the rep range I wanted to be in with push ups, but the pull ups were killing me after only 2 sets of just a couple reps a piece.
All in all, I am happy with the ZFO/MiR Weighted Vest. I think that it is going to be an asset to me for all my training in the future and was definitely a good investment. Are there better vests out there? Sure, but in my opinion, this vest is the perfect combination of a high quality vest at a very reasonable and affordable price. You can find other reviews on this particular vest from amazon here.
So if you are looking for a very versatile vest to add some resistance to your workouts and you don’t want to break the bank, then give the ZFO Sports Vest a go. It appears to be a keeper!
Fitness Support Blogger and P90X/Beachbody Coach
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