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Effect of Weighted Vest Suit Worn During Daily Activities on Running Speed, Jumping Power, and Agility in Young Men

Rantalainen, Timo; Ruotsalainen, Ilona; Virmavirta, Mikko

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 11 - p 3030–3035
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318245c4c6
Original Research

Rantalainen, T, Ruotsalainen, I, and Virmavirta, M. Effect of weighted vest suit worn during daily activities on running speed, jumping power, and agility in young men. J Strength Cond Res 26(11): 3030–3035, 2012—Previous weighted vest interventions using exercise in addition to hypergravity have been successful in improving postural balance and power production capacity. The purpose of this study was to investigate if hypergravity alone in daily activities excluding sporting activities is effective in improving neuromuscular performance in young adults. Eight male subjects (age = 32 [SD: 6] years, height = 178 [5] cm, and body mass = 81 [8] kg) wore weighted vests 3 d·wk−1 for 3 weeks during waking hours, excluding sporting activities. Control group comprised 9 male subjects (age = 32 [6] years, height = 179 [5] cm, and body mass = 83 [9] kg). Performance was assessed with countermovement jump (body mass normalized peak power), figure-of-8 running test (running time), and running velocity test at baseline and at the end of the intervention. At baseline, the groups did not differ from each other (multivariate analysis of variance [MANOVA] p = 0.828). A significant group × time interaction (MANOVA F = 5.1, p = 0.015) was observed for performance variables. Analysis of covariance indicated that the intervention improved the figure-of-8 running time (p = 0.016) (−2.2 vs. 0.5%), whereas normalized peak power (0.0 vs. 1.6%) and running velocity (1.3 vs. 0.1%) were unaffected (p ≥ 0.095). Wearing weighted vests was effective in slightly improving agility-related performance in young men. Because the effect was small, applying hypergravity only during exercise probably suffices. It appears that a proper volume and intensity of hypergravity could be in the order of 5–10% body weight vest worn during up to 50% of the training sessions for a period of 3–4 weeks.

1Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland

3Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

4Department of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Address correspondence to Timo Rantalainen,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.