In 2015 when I was training for my first Spartan Race, I read all I could on obstacle course races and training. When it came to running and the steep inclines I was trying to figure out what could take me to the next level so I did quite research on wearing a weight vest. Everything I read suggested by adding weight to my run that I would see an improvement in leg endurance and strength. I was on a hunt for the vest I could use not only for runs but in other parts of my workout as well.
I discovered the Hyper Vest Pro on one of the Spartan Race updates which piqued my interest. What drew me to the Hyper Vest Pro are several factors. First, putting it on is as simple as putting the vest like a jacket and zip it up. There are not the various Velcro straps that require one to strap and unstrap to get the right fit. Also, the sides have adjustable nylon pull strings so you can synch it to fit even more snug for those exercises where your lower body is higher than your upper body not allowing it to ride up. Who likes a vest falling into your face around your head while you are trying to focus on technique and it just gets in the way.
Second, the weight is adjustable with smaller incremental increases and more even placement. As you increase weight you can do so slowly. The optional 5-lb Booster Pack comes with 45 1.78-ounce ¼” plates allow you to position the more to your midline in front or back where as other vests allow for larger weight jumps and off center placement feeling too much weight on one side. All vests come with 10-lbs to start and vary in how much additional weight can be added. I like this feature as adding 2.5-lbs to a workout can be a lot of extra weight depending on the exercises chosen.
Third, the Hyper Vest Pro material is more pliable, breathable, quick drying and not stiff or as abrasive compared to the nylon and Velcro material of other vests. The vest sits comfortably without chaffing. It fits more like clothes to your body shape and type wearing well under a t-shirt or other clothing like a running jacket or other protective layers.
Now I do need to mention what some may call the downsides of this particular vest. First, it’s a bit pricy compared to other options but its unique in design and fit. Second, while most vests offer single plate or 2.5-lbs weight blocks to increase load, the weights themselves are small 1.78-ounce weights that fit into small pockets and there are a lot of pockets. Taking them out to wash the vest is definitely time consuming and not quite as easy as I would like. And finally, while the material is more pliable and breathable, it does wear faster than say a 500D Nylon vest. I have corners around the weights wearing thru but I have used my vest (picture above) 3-times a week for various types of exercises running and on the floor or for added resistance during my HIIT workouts since I have owned it which is going on 2-years.
When it comes to deciding on a vest the Hyper Vest Pro wins in my book. The comfort is superb; it’s versatile and has the potential to improve functional body strength and athletic performance for your next obstacle course race.
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