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!