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  1. #1
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    Question Any Run ever run with a 20lbs weight vest?

    I was thinking about purchasing one for my hill days and my long run days. Speed days probably not; so has anyone ever run in one? Benefits?

    ...staring at Srt and GrayPatriot for answer

    You two are the ones I look to for these answers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcioccke View Post
    ...staring at Srt and GrayPatriot for answer

    You two are the ones I look to for these answers.
    Oh well.

  3. #3
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    Dude I want everyones opinion. Please share your thoughts brother. You have been around for a bit and have valuable information.
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  4. #4
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    I've never run with a "weight vest" per se, but I have logged quite a few miles with an interceptor vest with full E-SAPI plates and camelback, probably about 25-30 lbs of gear.

    Like you said, its not the best for speed training days. But when I was into some hard core training, I would 1 long run a week, with the my body armor, and it would smoke me. After a while, I got bored and started running every so often with my vest and ALICE pack loaded with some sandbags. That hurt!!!

    I'm not a fitness expert, but I noticed that after running with weights, my legs and upper body were getting much stronger, and the days I ran without weight I would be faster. On the flip side, I hurt myself more than once. I rolled my ankle and had to stop training for almost 2 weeks, I also pulled my back being stupid and trying to do weight + stairs.

    I had alot of fun with it, and it seemed to work well.
    I make my living on Irish welfare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcioccke View Post
    Dude I want everyones opinion. Please share your thoughts brother. You have been around for a bit and have valuable information.


    I like the weighted vest (I have a 20 lb one myself) for some conditioning things like sprints (or hill sprints) and burpees. It really helps ramp up the intensity. I would not recommend long endurance types of runs in them.

    Also, it would increase resistance for bodyweight training, especially if done in circuits (for example, back to back sets of pullups, pushups, body rows and dips).

    I think it is a nice tool to add to increase difficulty/intensity, but I wouldnt use it daily.

  6. #6
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    As brownj21 said, they can add intensity to short sprints or basic hill repeats. I would not wear one for longer speedwork sessions over 100 meters and definitely never for a standard run. I actually recommend this to cops and firefighters because it helps simulate a "work" load while doing exercise that is similar to what you'd encounter on the job.

    Here's two preferred weight vest work-outs:

    1) Descending ladder drill. Set up cones at 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m and 50m. From a standing start (to simulate real life more accurately) sprint out to the 50m line at roughly 95% intensity. Rest 50 seconds. Sprint back to start. Rest 50 seconds. Sprint out to 40m. Rest 40 seconds. Back. Sprint to 30m and rest 30 seconds. So forth and so on. This drill builds launch strength and efficiency. It will also kick your butt in short order.

    2) "Hill Crashers". Find a hill that takes about 30 seconds to sprint up. At the base, lay down on your stomach facing up hill. At the "go", jump up and sprint to the top of the hill. On a normal hill repeat, you'd then jog down the hill, but when you're carrying an extra 20 lbs, that can cause some issues on it's own. Instead, rest for 30 seconds at the top then lay down on your back with your feet aimed down hill. At the "go", get to your feet by crunching up, then run (not sprint) down the hill. During the descent, bend your knees deeply to absorb the shock, concentrate on a mid-foot strike, and allow gravity to pull you down the hill. If you're doing it right, you will remain perpendicular to the hill side and will accelerate on the way down. Make sure this descent is controlled but barely. At the bottom rest 30 seconds and reset. Do 4 to 6 repeats of these. This drill teaches control and flexibility on the way down and strength and endurance on the way up.

    Side note: both of these workouts should only be done after a thorough warm-up routine.

    Final note: If you're looking to increase cadence and "lighten" your step during your runs, try adding ankle weights to an EZ mid-distance run. Make sure they're not too heavy and only do it once every couple weeks. The heavier feet will activate more muscle fibers that will lead to a faster turnover rate when not weighted.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
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    Everyone Thank you so much. I'm glad you warned me about the long runs- thats when I thought I should wear it.
    Much appreciated!!!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcioccke View Post
    Everyone Thank you so much. I'm glad you warned me about the long runs- thats when I thought I should wear it.
    Much appreciated!!!
    I know of people who have run long with one of these vests, but the added weight can cause your form to get screwy, especially once you tire. Once your form gets sloppy, injuries aren't far behind. Plus, the vests themselves tend to be a bit uncomfortable and ride weird while you're running. Putting any real distance in while wearing one will tend to cause hot spots, abrasions, and definitely sore shoulders. Its ok during the short events, but any kind of distance will magnify the potential issues of wearing one.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

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    would 2 kids in a double jogger (aprox 80lbs) count????
    The sooner you understand that all your base are belongs to me the better off you will be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHNSP_ADMIN View Post
    would 2 kids in a double jogger (aprox 80lbs) count????
    That's actually a great way to add additional weight to a long run. I've known several competitive runners who bought a jogging stroller who didn't have kids. They'd load sandbags into it and push it around town on a run. Because the weight is in front of you and on its own wheels, it doesn't have the negative impact of a heavy vest bouncing up and down on you as you run.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

  11. #11
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    That's actually a great way to add additional weight to a long run. I've known several competitive runners who bought a jogging stroller who didn't have kids. They'd load sandbags into it and push it around town on a run. Because the weight is in front of you and on its own wheels, it doesn't have the negative impact of a heavy vest bouncing up and down on you as you run.
    I occasionally load up a wheelbarrow and push it around our block like this.

    I also do "sprints" pushing my Wrangler (by the spare) while my wife steers, amuses herself by braking.

    M-11
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-11 View Post
    I occasionally load up a wheelbarrow and push it around our block like this.

    I also do "sprints" pushing my Wrangler (by the spare) while my wife steers, amuses herself by braking.

    M-11
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    Agreed for sure on the distance running. Your knees will get trashed quickly. Try the hills and plyo jumps instead to build speed and explosive power. I do my plyo jumps with a 10-25 dumbell in each hand and it really dials up the intesity. I know a few guys who spar in their weight vests every once in a while. It is rough on the knees if you go too long or try anything that involves turning style kicks. Have fun with it.

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    Yeah, everyone got here first with their comments about avoiding using it on long runs.

    Like Brownj21 and SRT were saying use a weighted vest for, pull ups, sprints, or burpee type exercises after you become proficient with them.


    I have a drag sled (Sled with a harness that you can put weights on) and I used it for sprints. I would take it off for the last few sprints and I felt like I was flying like Usain Bolt - except older, whiter, and a whole lot slower :-)

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    I've not use a weight vest. However, I have held a 5 pound weight in each hand while running on my treadmill. They add a whole new dimension of difficulty to running!

  16. #16
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    I have a drag sled (Sled with a harness that you can put weights on) and I used it for sprints. I would take it off for the last few sprints and I felt like I was flying like Usain Bolt - except older, whiter, and a whole lot slower :-)
    Read that last sentence and literately spit out water on the screen from laughing so hard.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcioccke View Post
    Read that last sentence and literately spit out water on the screen from laughing so hard.
    Really? I found the one below it funny... I pictured the poster a female the 5lb weight in each hand her tatas.. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
    I've not use a weight vest. However, I have held a 5 pound weight in each hand while running on my treadmill. They add a whole new dimension of difficulty to running!

  18. #18
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    I've probably mentioned it in a different thread so I don't want to bore everyone... But, I'm undertaking the Goruck Challenge (http://goruckchallenge.com/events/new-york-city/) on 9/10 @ 0100hrs. The challenge is 10hrs and 20 miles long and was inspired and is led by Green Berets. It's completed while wearing approx 25lbs of bricks in a back pack, plus your water, food, and other gear - approx 35lbs. It's meant to be a team event and along the way you do indian runs, pushsups, buddy carry's, and even jump in the Hudson river for flutter kicks...

    I started training w/ my bricks a few months ago. I wrote about my first "brick" run on another website, so I'm just going to copy and paste that here...

    "I took 4 red bricks and duct tape them together. Then I took an old towel and rapped them up and duct taped that too. I put it in my backpack and went for about a 4 mile run. I'm not sure exactly how far I went b/c I also went down to the beach and ran on the sand for a little.

    It took a little to get used to, but I think I figured out the trick. Once the backpack is on make the straps as tight as you can. If it's too lose it bounces around and you really feel the weight on your lower back and pulling on your shoulders. When it's tight as can be, the weight is high on your shoulders and doesn't move at all. It also feels a lot lighter and doesn't hurt your shoulders. It really wasn't that bad. I felt it the most in my calves - that's also probably b/c there's a lot of hills where I live... "


    So... In addition to my regular workouts I've been doing weekly runs up to 6 miles w/ my backpack on. One thing I noticed is my legs are a lot stronger when I don't have my backpack on. I went for a 5 mile run the other day and I was cruising. Usually when I "run" its more of a jog, but this time I was actually running!!

    Anyway, in response to your original question I wouldn't recommend it for longer (10+ mile) runs, but for 6-7 miles like I have been doing its great. I've seen a definite increase in my leg strength. I've also been doing a lot of other stuff in preparation for my challenge..., but I definitely think this had a lot to do w/ my improvements.

    By the way, here are some pics of me in training for the event (I'm the guy w/ the dark blue on) - https://picasaweb.google.com/Sandon3...eat=directlink
    Last edited by sln78; 08-29-2011 at 08:04 PM.

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    I'm certainly no exercise expert, but I've always been under the impression that running with ankle weights is bad. It can cause shin splints and creates extra strain on your lower joints that shouldn't be there. Since you're recommending them on shorter easier runs and only every other week or so, it may be ok. Is that why you're recommending using them so sparingly? I've always wanted to use them but I didn't want to hurt my legs any more than they already are. My knees are almost constantly in pain. If they could help me, I'd gladly pick up a pair.

  20. #20
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    Dren if your knees are constantly in pain you have maybe one of 3 things going on.
    1-Bad sneakers
    2-You are not stretching enough- Had that problem
    3-Your not taking enough rest time

    There are more issues biut these 3 things at one time or another were my issues back when I started.
    MDRDEP:

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sln78 View Post
    I've probably mentioned it in a different thread so I don't want to bore everyone... But, I'm undertaking the Goruck Challenge (http://goruckchallenge.com/events/new-york-city/) on 9/10 @ 0100hrs. The challenge is 10hrs and 20 miles long and was inspired and is led by Green Berets. It's completed while wearing approx 25lbs of bricks in a back pack, plus your water, food, and other gear - approx 35lbs. It's meant to be a team event and along the way you do indian runs, pushsups, buddy carry's, and even jump in the Hudson river for flutter kicks...

    I started training w/ my bricks a few months ago. I wrote about my first "brick" run on another website, so I'm just going to copy and paste that here...

    "I took 4 red bricks and duct tape them together. Then I took an old towel and rapped them up and duct taped that too. I put it in my backpack and went for about a 4 mile run. I'm not sure exactly how far I went b/c I also went down to the beach and ran on the sand for a little.

    It took a little to get used to, but I think I figured out the trick. Once the backpack is on make the straps as tight as you can. If it's too lose it bounces around and you really feel the weight on your lower back and pulling on your shoulders. When it's tight as can be, the weight is high on your shoulders and doesn't move at all. It also feels a lot lighter and doesn't hurt your shoulders. It really wasn't that bad. I felt it the most in my calves - that's also probably b/c there's a lot of hills where I live... "


    So... In addition to my regular workouts I've been doing weekly runs up to 6 miles w/ my backpack on. One thing I noticed is my legs are a lot stronger when I don't have my backpack on. I went for a 5 mile run the other day and I was cruising. Usually when I "run" its more of a jog, but this time I was actually running!!

    Anyway, in response to your original question I wouldn't recommend it for longer (10+ mile) runs, but for 6-7 miles like I have been doing its great. I've seen a definite increase in my leg strength. I've also been doing a lot of other stuff in preparation for my challenge..., but I definitely think this had a lot to do w/ my improvements.

    By the way, here are some pics of me in training for the event (I'm the guy w/ the dark blue on) - https://picasaweb.google.com/Sandon3...eat=directlink
    That's awesome and good luck. When I have more time I am going to come back and read thie link info.
    MDRDEP:

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dren View Post
    I'm certainly no exercise expert, but I've always been under the impression that running with ankle weights is bad. It can cause shin splints and creates extra strain on your lower joints that shouldn't be there. Since you're recommending them on shorter easier runs and only every other week or so, it may be ok. Is that why you're recommending using them so sparingly? I've always wanted to use them but I didn't want to hurt my legs any more than they already are. My knees are almost constantly in pain. If they could help me, I'd gladly pick up a pair.
    First up, if you've got constant pain in your knees, you need to address that problem before doing anything else. Pain in the knees is not normal running pain. Quite frankly, a proper running regimen should actually make poor knees feel better than ever. As jcioccke said, one of the major reasons for knee pain in runners is bad shoes. Shoes are only good for about 400 miles (less if you're heavier) before they need to be replaced. Further, shoes need to be fitted to your running style properly. For example, if you have severe pronation issues and run in a neutral cushioned shoe, you'll be putting significant torque on your ankles and knees.

    The other major cause of general knee pain is bad running form. Many people heel strike as they run. When you strike on your heel, you send impact transients through your shins directly into your knees and eventually into your hips. This usually manifests first as shin splints and front knee pain. Eventually, it can develop into stress fractures and rotational knee issues. You should land on the balls of your feet, followed gently by the heel before lifting off the ground.

    Having said all that, my advice to you would be to immediately stop running and go see an orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine. As I said, knee pain is not a normal pain and you should have it thoroughly investigated before you cause any more damage. It may be simply be an overuse injury in which case its no harm, no foul. However, it could very well be something much more serious that if not treated may take you out of the game permanently.

    Lastly, in reference to the ankle weights, I recommend them only as an adjunct to a cadence workout, especially if you have trouble achieving the optimum 180 foot-falls a minute. Do not run long distances in them and don't do it very often because the added weight can impact your form and strike negatively, especially once you get tired. I also don't recommend this for novice runners (I actually don't recommend any speedwork for novice runners). This is only intended for serious runners with a strong mileage base under their feet. If you haven't properly developed your leg structures to endure the strains of running, adding extra weight to your feet will be a bad idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

  23. #23
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    Oy vey! Stretching is my bane. I run 3 days a week on a MWF routine. I usually stretch 2 days before I run and maybe one time after I run. I'm a hardcore believer in the proper running shoes though. Running in steel-toed boots that didn't have any ankle support in the Navy convinced me of that. I've gone to a running store for the last 6 plus years for my shoes. I do run sporadically however. I'm not a regular runner. I do hike and mountain bike though.

    I have taken the last week off and my knees/legs feel so much better. I have patellar tendonitis in my right knee and compression syndrome in my left calf. I've been trying to prep for a K-9 tryout this fall, so 6 months of not running is not an option. I'm just trying to keep what I've got so I don't screw up the run. Rest can come later.

    I've only been running about 2 miles per run, so it's not like I'm tearing up the pavement or anything. I'm not increasing my mileage more thatn 10% each week. I'm trying to do all the right things, but I'm no spring chicken either. Age and not regularly running are definitely factors. I do the 30 steps in 20 seconds thing. Why does this have to be so complicated? Why can't I just run without pain?

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    Oh, SRT936, I've had 2 different people at the running store tell me that my form is pretty good. That's surprising to me. I consider myself a mini-clydesdale. I'm not a huge guy but I feel like I clop when I run. I try not to land on the heels of my feet. From your and jcioccke's suggestions, it looks like I'm doing all the right things. Or at least most of them. Sigh.

    My main source about the ankle weigts is a former shipmate of mine. He is former EOD (former for throwing his LT off the RIB). He's the one that warned me against ankle weights. I understand what you're saying though. Everything in moderation.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dren View Post
    Oy vey! Stretching is my bane. I run 3 days a week on a MWF routine. I usually stretch 2 days before I run and maybe one time after I run. I'm a hardcore believer in the proper running shoes though. Running in steel-toed boots that didn't have any ankle support in the Navy convinced me of that. I've gone to a running store for the last 6 plus years for my shoes. I do run sporadically however. I'm not a regular runner. I do hike and mountain bike though.

    I have taken the last week off and my knees/legs feel so much better. I have patellar tendonitis in my right knee and compression syndrome in my left calf. I've been trying to prep for a K-9 tryout this fall, so 6 months of not running is not an option. I'm just trying to keep what I've got so I don't screw up the run. Rest can come later.

    I've only been running about 2 miles per run, so it's not like I'm tearing up the pavement or anything. I'm not increasing my mileage more thatn 10% each week. I'm trying to do all the right things, but I'm no spring chicken either. Age and not regularly running are definitely factors. I do the 30 steps in 20 seconds thing. Why does this have to be so complicated? Why can't I just run without pain?


    Stretching my Brother will get rid of a lot of that, I wish you luck!!! I think you should have one long day (mile) even if your practically walking it just to build up the muscles and endurance. Good Luck with K9
    MDRDEP:

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