Does Running With Weights Do Anything

Running with weights has become a popular trend in the fitness world, with some people swearing by its benefits while others question its effectiveness. As a fitness enthusiast who loves to experiment with different training methods, I decided to delve into the topic and find out if running with weights really does anything.

Understanding the Concept

When we talk about running with weights, we’re referring to the act of carrying additional weight during our runs, usually in the form of weighted vests, backpacks, or ankle weights. The idea behind this practice is to increase the intensity of our workouts and challenge our muscles in new ways.

Proponents of running with weights argue that it can help improve our overall strength, endurance, and speed. The extra load forces our muscles to work harder, increasing the demand for oxygen and energy. This, in turn, can lead to improved cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.

However, it’s important to note that running with weights is not suitable for everyone. It requires a certain level of fitness and should be approached with caution. If you’re a beginner or have any underlying health conditions, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified trainer before incorporating this training method into your routine.

The Potential Benefits

While the topic of running with weights is still debated among experts, there are potential benefits that some individuals may experience:

  1. Increased Strength: Carrying weights while running can engage more muscles in your body, leading to improved strength and muscle tone. This can be particularly beneficial for those who want to build lower body strength.
  2. Enhanced Endurance: Running with weights can push your cardiovascular system to new limits, improving your endurance and stamina over time. This can be especially beneficial for athletes who participate in endurance-based sports.
  3. Calorie Burn: Adding extra weight to your body increases the demand for energy during your runs, potentially leading to a higher calorie burn. However, it’s important to note that the calorie burn may not be significantly higher compared to regular running without weights.
  4. Improved Running Form: Carrying weights can change your center of gravity, forcing you to maintain proper running form. This can help improve your posture, balance, and overall running technique.

Potential Drawbacks and Considerations

While running with weights may offer some benefits, it’s crucial to consider the potential drawbacks and risks associated with this training method:

  • Increased Injury Risk: Carrying weights places additional stress on your joints, muscles, and tendons, increasing the risk of injuries. It’s important to start with light weights and gradually increase the load to allow your body to adapt.
  • Loss of Running Efficiency: Carrying weights may alter your natural running form and biomechanics, which can lead to decreased running efficiency. It’s essential to focus on maintaining proper technique and listen to your body to avoid any negative impact on your performance.
  • Added Strain on the Cardiovascular System: Running with weights increases the demand on your cardiovascular system, which can be challenging for individuals with underlying heart conditions or high blood pressure. It’s crucial to consult with a medical professional before attempting this training technique.

My Personal Experience

As someone who enjoys trying out different training methods, I decided to give running with weights a try. I started by incorporating a weighted vest into my runs, gradually increasing the weight over time. I noticed that running with weights did provide an additional challenge, particularly in terms of muscular endurance.

However, I also experienced some drawbacks, including increased muscle soreness and joint discomfort. It became evident that running with weights requires a careful balance between pushing your limits and listening to your body’s signals to avoid injury.


Running with weights can be a way to add variety and intensity to your running routine, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. The benefits and drawbacks vary from person to person, and it’s essential to consider your fitness level, goals, and any underlying health conditions before incorporating this training method.

If you decide to try running with weights, start with light loads and gradually progress. Listen to your body, pay attention to proper form, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a certified trainer or healthcare professional.

Remember, the most important thing is to find a training method that works for you and helps you achieve your fitness goals. Whether it’s running with weights or any other form of exercise, consistency and a balanced approach are key to long-term success.