Does Running With A Weight Vest Increase Speed

Running with a weight vest has become a popular training method among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Many claim that it can improve speed and overall performance. As an avid runner myself, I decided to delve deeper into this topic to determine the effectiveness of running with a weight vest.

The Theory Behind Running with a Weight Vest

The idea behind running with a weight vest is that by adding extra weight to your body, you are increasing the resistance and forcing your muscles to work harder. This, in turn, is believed to improve your strength, power, and ultimately your speed.

Proponents of this training method argue that when you remove the weight vest and run without it, your body will feel lighter, allowing you to move more effortlessly and quickly. They also claim that running with a weight vest can help build endurance and improve your running form.

Evidence Supporting Running with a Weight Vest

While there is limited scientific research specifically investigating the effects of running with a weight vest on speed, there is some evidence to support its potential benefits.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running with a weighted vest improved sprinting performance in a group of collegiate soccer players. The participants who trained with the weight vest showed greater improvements in their 10-meter and 20-meter sprint times compared to those who did not use the weight vest.

Another study, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, examined the effects of weighted vest training on sprinting and jumping abilities in young basketball players. The researchers found that adding weight to sprint training improved both acceleration and maximum speed.

Considerations and Potential Risks

While running with a weight vest may have its benefits, it is important to consider some potential risks and limitations. First and foremost, it is essential to start with a light weight vest and gradually increase the intensity. This will allow your body to adapt to the added load and reduce the risk of injury.

It is also crucial to maintain proper running form while wearing a weight vest. The additional weight could place extra strain on your joints and muscles if your form is compromised.

Additionally, running with a weight vest may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with pre-existing joint issues or injuries should consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this training method into their routine.


Based on the available evidence and personal experience, I believe that running with a weight vest can indeed enhance speed and overall performance. However, it is important to approach this training method with caution and gradually increase the intensity.

Remember that running with a weight vest is just one training tool among many. It should be used as part of a well-rounded training program that includes proper rest, nutrition, and other forms of strength and endurance training. If you decide to incorporate a weight vest into your running routine, always listen to your body and make adjustments accordingly.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of running with a weight vest may vary from individual to individual. It is essential to find what works best for you and consult with a coach or fitness professional if needed.