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How Weight Vest Wednesday Could Become Your Favorite Workout of the Week



Wednesdays and weight vests go well together, no matter whether you’re doing an upper-body, lower-body or Murph-type workout.

Here is what we did this Weight Vest Wednesday:

Warm up with a half pyramid of pullups and pushups and a short run. The weight vest is optional for the warm-up section.

Pushup and Pull-up Pyramid 1-10 (run 100 meters between sets)

— 1 push-up, run 50 meters away from pullup bar, run 50 meters back to pullup bar, do 1 pullup

— 2 pushups, run 50 meters away from pullup bar, 50 meters back to pullup bar, do 2 pullups

— Keep going to 10 pushups and 10 pullups (55 total reps of each)

— Then run 1 mile with or without a weight vest of 30-40 pounds.

Workout: Here is the upper body circuit that requires a weight vest or backpack of 10-20 pounds, depending on your abilities to do pullups and dips with added weight. Most military fitness tests that include weighted pullups add 20-25 pounds to simulate wearing body armor.

Goals to shoot for: Can you do double digits on weighted pullups? You can try to make hanging knee-ups harder by doing leg tucks or toes to the bar or use a vertical knee raise device if you need to make them easier.

Repeat 3 times

Weight vest pullups: max
Weight vest hanging knee-ups: 10-15. Keep shoulders flexed and avoid dead hang position.
Weight vest plank pose: 1 minute

Lightweight shoulders

Repeat 3 times

Weight vest pushups: 20+. Add TRX atomic push-ups if you want an additional challenge.
Heavy dumbbell rows: 5-10

Repeat 3 times
Bicep/military press: 10
Weight vest dips: max
Dumbbell shrugs: 20

Run 20 minutes for max distance: Make this a max distance run without a weight vest. How far can you run in 20 minutes? We usually do a 10-minute run away from our starting area and see if we can negative split the run on the way back and beat 10 minutes on the return trip.

Optional: 40-minute Swim Challenge for max distance. How far can you swim in 40 minutes? Can you maintain a yard-per-second pace with or without fins the entire time? 40 minutes = 2,400 seconds. Can you get 2,400 yards or more in a 40-minute time period? There’s no weight vest for this swim.

Looking to invest in a weight vest? What type of weight vest is right for you? Check out this weight vest review where I tried out several brands such as the Raptor Weight Vest, VForce from WeightVest.com, 5-11 Plate Carriers from Rogue and a few generic brands I purchased on Ebay.com.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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