How to Make a Heavy Weighted Vest

Updated May 11, 2018

Wearing a heavy weighted vest during your exercise routine can increase the intensity of your workout. You can wear a weighted vest to make resistance or endurance exercises such as push-ups, squats and dead lifts more strenuous to improve the results of your workout. Wearing a weighted vest while running or doing other cardiovascular exercises can help raise the number of calories you burn. A wide selection of commercial weighted vests is available, but the vests can be expensive. Some models sell for up to £260. Save money by making your own heavy weighted vest by using one of a variety of vests and some basic materials.

Start with a basic military tactical assault vest. You can buy one at a military surplus supply store. They cost about £16 to £48. These vests typically contain at least four magazine pockets and at least two utility pockets. Fill the pockets with small flat weights. Buy the small weights at a sporting goods store or a fitness retail outlet. Make sure the pockets are closed securely.

Use a hunting vest with a game pouch in the rear as an alternative. A game pouch is a compartment that allows hunters to carry rabbits, squirrels or other kinds of small game while they are in the field. Buy this type of vest for £13 to £39 at a hunting supply store. Place flat weight plates in the pouch and secure it tightly.

Use a hunting vest that contains pockets with multiple shell loops for shotgun shells as an alternative. Buy one for £13 to £39 at a hunting supply store. Instead of shotgun shells, fill the loops with small weights and close them securely.

Use a high-quality backpack with waist straps, chest straps and compression straps as an alternative. This will work fine for any exercises that do not involve bouncing. Place a large weight plate or several small weight plates in the backpack. Fasten the backpack tightly to your back and proceed with your exercises. This will mimic the effect of a heavy weighted vest that has the weights in the rear.


Use small, sturdy plastic bags filled with sand or rocks and closed tightly instead of the small weights. Commercial weight vests can carry a wide range of weight, from less than 2.27kg. to more than 90.7kg. Adjust the amount of weight in your homemade weighted vest according to your fitness goals.

Things You'll Need

  • Vest
  • Small, flat weights
  • Backpack
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About the Author

Steven Wilkens has been a professional editor and writer since 1994. His work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines, including "The Honolulu Advertiser" and "USA Today." Wilkens received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.