How to get better at push ups using a weighted vest

How to get better at push ups using a weighted vest

Doing push ups using a weighted vest will accelerate muscle growth and mastery of the movement 

Want to master weighted vest push ups? Start here with our guide to dominating push ups and push up WODs in a weighted vest.


Why do weighted vest push ups?

Push ups are one of the best upper body bodyweight exercises, but once you can do a set of 20 or so unbroken, you’ve hit a plateau. The only way to kickstart progress is to change a training variable – tempo, intensity, load, volume. It’s difficult to alter intensity or load without physically adding more weight. Using a weighted vest is a simple and convenient way to make push ups more challenging.


Do push ups in a weighted vest and you’ll place extra demand on your working muscles (plus stabilising muscles), and make your CV system work harder too.

Put simply, weighted vest push ups are the obvious way to progress bodyweight push ups.


5 big benefits of weighted vest push ups

1.) Build upper body strength – push ups in a weighted vest mean more work for your arms, shoulders, chest, and lats, helping you build strength and mass in those muscle groups.

2.) Bust through a bodyweight plateau – everyone will reach their limit with push ups, adding a weighted vest means you have further to go with the exercise.

3.) Burn more calories – more weight means more work, which means more calories burned!

4.) An extra training tool – once you have a weighted vest, you have the option of doing bodyweight push ups or weighted vest push ups, it’s good to have the choice.

5.) Make faster progress – push ups in a weighted vest will help you make faster progress in performance, physique changes, or muscular endurance.


How to use your weighted vest for push ups

Doing push ups in a weighed vest might feel strange at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. Here’s how:

Get a comfortable and well-fitting weighted vest. BeyondRX vests are designed by CrossFitters, to be comfy to wear during WODs. You can burpee and devil’s press and do push ups in our vests – no problem.

Make sure it fits snugly, and won’t sag or flap as you lower yourself down in a push up.

Scale your weighted vest push ups by starting from the ground (like the second part of a hand-release press up). This will help you get used to the feeling of having extra weight on your body.

Once you are happy with how it feels to do a weighted vest push up, build up to sets of 8, 10, or 12 – just as you would with regular push ups. Then start incorporating them into bodyweight circuits or CrossFit WODs!

One great way to use weighted vest push ups as a training tool is to do a certain number of push ups in the vest, then take it off and do more – like a dropset.


The best WODs for weighted vest push ups

These are some of our favourite benchmark and Hero WODs for weighted vest push ups.


Aplin: 20 rounds for time – 6 strict pull ups, 20 push ups

Capoot: for time – 100 push ups, 800m run, 75 push ups, 1200m run, 50 push ups, 1600m run, 25 push ups, 2500m run

Cindy: 20 min AMRAP – 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats

Michael Esposito: 21/15/9 reps for time – overhead squats, hand release push ups

Olaf: 5 rounds for time – 5 squat cleans, 25 push ups

Shawn: for time – 5-mile run, after every 5 minutes do 50 air squats, 50 push ups

Our weighted vests are designed for multi-exercise workouts and ideal for push ups. Check out the range here.






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