An Easy Way to Put Weights in a Weight Vest

Couple walking outdoors

Original weighted vests, which were designed for the fitness training of firefighters and athletes, didn’t allow for weight adjustments. At 50 pounds, the accessory was too heavy for the average person looking to simply achieve a normal level of conditioning to stay healthy. Nowadays, adjustable weighted accomodate as little as 4 pounds of weight and as much as 30 pounds. Weights may be easily placed into these adjustable vests.

Finding the Pockets

Adjustable weighted vests come in different designs, but they all have pockets to hold the weights. Locate the pockets on your vest and find the opening through which to insert the weight. Some vests have interior pockets while others have exterior ones. Turn the vest inside out if necessary to expose the openings.

Positioning the Vest

After you find the pockets’ openings, put the weighted vest on a clothes hanger with those openings facing you. Hang it on a rod that leaves space around the vest for you to reach into its pockets. A shower rod is better than one inside a closet stuffed with clothes. Another option is to undo any straps and lie the vest flat on the bed or another surface, with the openings facing out.

Putting the Weights In

After you determine how many weight units to put in your vest, distribute them evenly among the pockets available. Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, says it is generally recommended that you carry no more than 10 percent of your body weight in your vest’s pockets for safety and comfort.


In March 2007, “The New York Times” published a review of weighted vests. The reviewer, former racewalker Mark Fenton, took turns wearing five different vests while going on walks. He reported back to newspaper writer Sarah Bowen Shea regarding the positives and negatives of each vest he tried. Some of the negatives Fenton found were awkward fit, narrow shoulder straps, and uncomfortably positioned weights. Some positives included breathable fabrics, padded shoulder straps, and comfortable weight distribution. After your doctor confirms that weighted vests don't pose a threat to your health, try on different designs with the weights in place. Take a quick stroll down the store’s aisles. Finalize the purchase only after you are satisfied with the fit.