Want to ramp things up? Try a DIY Weight Vest, Backpack or Belt

Are you looking for a way to get more out of your workout? If so, you may want to use a weighted vest. Unfortunately, purchasing a weighted vest can be expensive. If you take a look at the best weighted vests for CrossFit, you will see that they can easily cost more than a hundred dollars.

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to spend this type of money to own a weighted vest. You can make your way to the best at home!

As to why you might want to do this, here are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • You can use a weighted vest to get more out of each repetition of your workout.
  • A weighted vest can help you with both strength training and endurance training.
  • You can make a weighted vest at home with a few items that are easy to find, helping you save a lot of money.

If you are ready to make your own weighted vest at home, take a look at a few tips below, and push your workout to the limit!

Why Exercise With A Weighted Vest?

Weight Vest WODS

Crossfit workouts are already hard enough. Therefore, why should you exercise with a weighted vest? The easy answer is that you can get stronger, faster, but there are a few specific benefits that come with exercising with a weighted vest.

A few of the top benefits include:

  • You can burn more calories. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, putting on a weighted vest can do wonders. Your body will have to work harder during every repetition, meaning that you will burn more calories. You might have an easier time losing weight.
  • Exercising with a weighted vest can also help you improve your cardiovascular endurance. If you go for a run with a weighted vest, your heart rate will increase dramatically. Then, if you can maintain that pace using a weighted vest, you can improve your cardiovascular endurance. You may find that you can run farther and faster when you take off the weighted vest.
  • Exercising with a weighted vest can also help you increase your strength. Regardless of whether you are doing push-ups, pull-ups, or squats, you will be adding more resistance to your muscle fibers. Therefore, they will have to work harder with every repetition, helping you build more strength.

Ultimately, these are a few of the biggest benefits that come from exercising with a weighted vest. How can you make your own weighted vest, and why should you do so?

Related: Check out these WODs that are perfect for scaling with a weight vest

Why Make Your Own Weighted Vest?

Even though you can purchase a weighted vest at the store, you might be able to make your own. Some of the biggest reasons why you should make your own weighted vest include:

  • You can save a lot of money by making your vest at home.
  • You know exactly what goes into your weighted vest, which is particularly helpful for individuals who may have sensory issues.
  • You can customize your weighted vest to meet your needs.

With these benefits in mind, take a look at what you need to do if you want to make your own weighted vest.

Make A Weighted Backpack

If you are looking for a cheap alternative to a weighted vest that does not require a lot of arts and crafts skills, then you may want to make a weighted backpack. This is an exceptional substitute for a traditional weighted vest because just about every house already has the required materials to make a weighted backpack.

The materials are very simple. All you need is a few free weights and a backpack. Even though you can choose just about any backpack available, you should try to find a backpack that has two straps you can type. That way, you don’t have to worry about the backpack moving around and falling off during your workout.

Making a weighted backpack is very easy. All you need to do is open the backpack, drop the weights inside, and zip it up again. Make sure the zippers are completely closed, or the weights could cause the backpack to drag open.

There are several benefits of using a weighted backpack. These include:

  • You can make a weighted backpack using materials you already have at home.
  • This is arguably the cheapest alternative to buying a professionally weighted vest.
  • You can customize the weight of the backpack easily by adding and removing weights.

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks as well. These include:

  • The feeling of a weighted backpack is not the same as a weighted vest.
  • If you want to add more weight to the front, you’ll have to move the backpack to the front, which can get clunky.
  • Not every backpack is durable enough to hold a bunch of weights.

If you plan on exercising with a weighted backpack regularly, you may want to designate a backpack for this purpose.

You can also take a look at a video of someone making another weighted backpack here.

Make A Weighted Belt

If you do not want to use a backpack, you might want to create a weighted belt instead. This is exactly what it sounds like. You can make a belt out of the materials you have at home, using it to augment your workouts.

To create a weighted belt, you will need several materials, including:

  • A durable bag of some sort that has handles
  • A few weights, either pilates weights or dumbbells
  • Some nylon straps

If you cannot find nylon straps, you might be able to get away with some rope instead; however, you do not want to give yourself a rope burn by tying it around your body for an extended amount of time.

Making a weighted belt is relatively straightforward. The steps include:

  • First, take the straps and make sure they pass through both handles of the bag. Make sure the bag is hanging in front of your body.
  • Then, tie the straps around your back. Make sure they are tight enough and will not fall off when you add weights to the back.
  • Next, take the weights and put them in the bag. You may want to use a bungee cord or a shoelace to tie off the bag at the top, but this is not always necessary.
  • Finally, make sure the belt is snug. Then, you can use it to start exercising.

Some of the benefits of making a weighted belt include:

  • This might not be able to hold as much weight as a typical weighted vest.
  • It is very inexpensive.
  • You can probably make this using items you already have at home.

Some of the drawbacks of this option include:

  • Even though you can perform some exercises, the belt may get in the way of others.
  • You may have a difficult time finding a bag that is durable enough to hold weights for multiple sessions.
  • You might have a difficult time getting the belt to stay in place.

A weighted belt can work well for some exercises.

If you want another option for a weighted belt, take a look at this video here.

Make A Weighted Vest

If you would like to make a true weighted vest, you will need to purchase some additional materials; however, you can save money.

Some of the key materials you need to have include:

  • A grip plate, which you can customize to meet your needs
  • Old hockey or football shoulder pads
  • Some straps to tie down the grip plate
  • A piece of plywood
  • Bolts and washers
  • Some nylon straps (or straps from an old backpack)

Once you have all of the materials, the steps you need to follow include:

  • First, take the nylon straps and pass them through the holes on the grip plate.
  • Take the straps, grip plate, and fasten them to the plywood. You may need a tool to drill holes in the plywood.
  • Once you have passed the straps through the plywood, anchor the grip plate to the plywood by pulling the straps tight.
  • Tie off the straps using the bolts and washers. Pass the straps through the washers, and anchor them using the bolts.
  • Take the nylon straps and fasten them to the old shoulder pads. You should wrap the nylon straps completely around the pads. You can use bolts and washers to anchor the plate to the pads.
  • If you would like to add another plate to the front of the pads, you can repeat the process on the other side.

Once you are done, you can put on the pads with the plates and go to work. This is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to make a weighted vest at home.

Here is a video showing another option for a weighted vest.

Get More Out Of Your Workout With A Weighted Vest

If you want to force yourself to work harder during your next workout, consider making a weighted vest. Even though you can buy one online, you can save money by making one at home. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and select the best one to meet your needs.

Tim Rollins, Editor

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