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Weighted Vest With P90X

Just about all of you know that I have been doing P90X for a little over two years now, and that I’m constantly looking for ways to keep the muscle confusion going so I can continue to see results. As I have talked about in past blog posts, the ways to keep seeing progress is by making adjustments to both your diet and workouts. With the workouts, you can switch to a different amount of reps, use heavier weights, and do different, unique exercises for continued muscle confusion. Currently, I can do somwhere around 22-28 pull-ups for each exercise, and have hit a plateau for about a month now. In order to get beyond that plateau, I have decided to switch up the workouts a bit, and I’ve done so by adding more weight to most exercises. One way to do so is by using a weighted vest with P90X.

I actually didn’t know these were available until about 3 months ago when I was talking to one of the coaches on my team about building up my back a little more. He mentioned that he uses a weighted vests for his pull-ups, and I have done something similar in the past by putting weights in a backpack, but never used a weighted vest. The backpack ended up tearing and it was near impossible for me to balance the weights on my back when I was doing push-ups, so a weighted vest made much more sense than my homemade method. I haven’t gotten the chance to go out and purchase one yet, but it’s the next thing that I plan on doing.

Why would a weighted vest be so beneficial? Like I mentioned above, the way to continue seeing results is by making adjustments to your workouts, and one way to do so is by adding in additional weight. With a weighted vest, you will now make most exercises much tougher, confusing the muscles, and helping you get beyond any plateau. With pull-ups, for example, you will be lowering your rep count, but you also have an extra 20-40lbs strapped to your chest, which is adding more resistance for your back muscles. I added some 20lbs weights to a backpack again 2 days ago to see how I did, and my back is EXTREMELY sore today, which, obviously, is a good thing. The same can go for push-ups as well. If you used to go to the gym and bench press, the way to make progress was to move up in weights, and that’s the exact same with push-ups as well. You will reach a certain point where you can’t pass a certain number of reps, and that’s the point where you need to start switching things up, and the weighted vest is a good place to start.

One other benefit of a weighted vest would be during cardio workouts. Let’s take Plyos, for example. How do you think your body is going to respond when you’re doing Rock Star Hops or Jump Knee Tucks with a 20lbs vest strapped to your chest? Your heart will be PUMPING and you can be sure you will be sore the next day! Not only will you be getting in a better cardio workout, but you will be working your legs quite a bit as well!

The only place that I have been able to find weighted vests is at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and they have 20lbs and 40lbs available. 40lbs might be a bit much for most people, so it would probably be better to start off with 20lbs. However, make sure you talk to your doctor before adding in weight like this! The last thing you want to do is injure yourself!


  1. Mark /

    I actually have one myself and i agree it’s very beneficial. I bought somewhere online ebay or amazon i’m thinking and it has adjustable beanbag weights of 2.5 lbs and goes up to 60 pounds. I use it for a few things like chair dips for triceps, chin-ups, push-ups. I use it alot for my legs because i real like to go for a lower rep range and this helps greatly, especially with calf raises because holding 40 pounds in your hands only does so much. Also while doing legs and back i use for most of the first half of the workout and you want intesnse then this is a great way.

    Great post!

  2. Brandon /

    You can also get them at wal-mart for 50 bucks! all I have seen there is 20lb weighted vest though.

  3. Charlie /

    I bought a 20lb weight vest (Golds Gym brand) at Walmart a while back for when I did cardio at the gym. It uses small 1 pound sand bags, so you can actually adjust the weight from 1-20 pounds if you wanted. Having the option of starting at 5 or extra pounds before jumping right to 20.

  4. Josh /

    Thanks man! I will check it out.

  5. Josh /

    Thanks man!

  6. Josh /

    Thanks man! I’m looking for a 40lbs vest though.

  7. Josh /

    Yeah, I can’t wait to pick mine up!

  8. Mark /

    If you are looking for a 40lb vest Target has one. “TKO Adjustable 40-lb. Weighted Vest $149.99”

  9. Logan /

    I just bought the V-Force from ; I love it, it is awesome. I bought the 50 lb. narrow shoulders. These vest are expensive but are well worth the investment if you are serious about fitness. Go check out the site and see for yourself.

  10. Logan /

    Also you can adjust the weight in 2.5 lb increments up to 50lbs for my vest.

  11. Will do. Thanks man!

  12. James /

    If the concern is pullups, a simple “dip-belt” or “weighted belt” should to the trick. probably a lot < $150. I know people that have strapped over 100lbs to themselves for dips….so if you want to build a bigger back and you have reached a plateau, then try a negatives-only approach to your pullups with a ton of weight hanging off of you, load it on! that should stimulate a shock!!!

  13. Thanks for the tips!

  14. I’m not sure if this will help since the last post but… I’d pass on the vest from Dicks Sporting Goods. I bought the 40lb version last week and within 4-5 workouts it is already tearing. The denier is ripping by the lower front row of weights. A buddy of mine who bought the vest a few days afer me is having the same issues.

    Workouts have been mainly CrossFit WOD.

    I did some searching and just purchased the V-Force short/narrow shoulder vest (50lbs). It’s more expensive, but will last a whole lot longer. I went with 50lb because it is the base platform to go heavier but at the same time of course you can take out the weights to go as light as you’d like. I believe in 1lb increments.

    Hope that helps.

  15. @Rob. I actually haven’t had an issue with the vest tearing yet, and hopefully I don’t anytime soon either.

  16. I’d pass on any of the import vests–they don’t hold up, stiching unravels, poor quality etc. I have been using my V-Force 75 lbs. weight vest intensively for years and it is still just like new and has no signs of wear/tear. Granted, it is made in the United States. Costs a bit more up front compared to cheap imports, but is cheaper in the long run to buy the best available. And, buying made in the US appealed to me as a patriot. I got mine at Good luck, Dom

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