If you want to add intensity to a workout, grab a weight vest – it will definitely do the trick.
Standard weights: Weight vests come in all shapes and sizes, but there are some weight standards to keep in mind. In most benchmark WODs where a weighted vest is prescribed, men wear a 20-lb vest and women wear a 14-lb vest. Any added weight is going to make every movement more challenging, so scale appropriately for your fitness level.
Appropriate usage: On some WODs, you should skip the weight vest. When, for instance, you’re doing a WOD with moderate-to-heavy Olympic weightlifting (like “Amanda”) or are trying to hit a one rep max (like during the “CrossFit Total”), just say no! to the vest—it’s not the right time. It’s perfect, however, for workouts that include mostly bodyweight exercises—like the infamous “Murph” In fact, the prescription (Rx) for “Murph,” like a number of other Hero WODs, is that you wear a weight vest throughout the whole WOD.
If you ever see a workout call for “body armor” (military equipment) a weight vest is a good substitute.
Fit: A good fit is critical when it comes to wearing a weight vest. Wearing one that doesn’t fit your body is torture. The weight vest should feel tight against your torso—almost like a second-skin. Adjust the straps and get a close fit that lets you breathe. If you’re about to tackle a WOD with a weight vest, The Box Magazine has some good thoughts on the weighted vest and how to train with it.
Grab a well-fitting weight vest and try out some of the weight vest WODs below!