Beginners Weighted Vest Workout to Build Strength

man running outdoors with prosourcefit weighted vest

Adam Riemer |

Beginners Weighted Vest Workout to Build Strength

When you have plateaued in your exercises and routines, use a weighted vest to perform the same exercises and routines you love doing!  The extra weight helps build strength, stamina, muscle tone, and most importantly, increases the intensity of your workouts so you feel them again. 

But there’s also another type of fitness enthusiast that can benefit from using a weighted vest.  The beginner stuck in the middle stage where beginner workouts are too easy and intermediate exercises are too hard.  That’s why we created the options below. 

Here you’ll find a beginner’s weighted vest workout that can be done anywhere from 30 minutes to 45, depending on how long your stops are in between sets or if you add additional reps.


Weighted Lunges

3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Besides burning calories, lunges work several muscle groups at once including your glutes, hamstrings, calf muscles, quadriceps, abs, and back muscles.

 man using prosourcefit weighted vest during lunges

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right leg and shift your weight forward. 
  3. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical.  Your right knee should not go past your toe.
  4. Step back so that you are standing up straight again.

Bonus Movement: Hold a medicine ball in front of you with your arms extended or do curls with dumbbells to get an arm workout in. 

Weighted Ab Walkouts

3 sets of 5 reps

Similar to ab wheel rollouts, ab walkouts are slower and more controlled.  This works out your abs, delts, hamstrings, and triceps.

 man doing walkout push-ups with prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
  2. Shift your weight onto your hands and begin to walk them forward keeping your arms straight.  Do not bend your elbows.  Keep your back flat as your “walk” forward.
  3. Walk until your hands are beneath your head. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
  4. Reverse direction until you are back to your hands in front of your feet.

Tip:  Don’t let your hips sag down or get too high as you “walk”.

Weighted Prisoner Squats

3 sets of 10 reps

This is a strength exercise that targets the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

 man doing prisoner squats with prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift up both of your arms and place both of your hands behind your head.  Your elbows should be pulled back and your chest lifted.
  2. Bend your knees and lower yourself down into a sitting position.
  3. Straighten back up.

 Weighted Mountain Climbers

3 sets of 10

Mountain Climbers are sure to get your heart beating fast while using almost every muscle group in your body -- deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abdominals, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip abductors.

 man doing weighted mountain climbers with prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Start in a plank position.
  2. Pull your right knee into your chest.
  3. While pushing your right leg back, pull your left knee into your chest.

Tip:  Keep your body in a straight line.

Weighted Push-Ups

3 sets of 5

Push-Ups are a popular exercise that work your pectorals, deltoids, triceps, serratus anterior, and abs.

 man doing weighted push-ups with prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Push yourself up in the air until your arms are straight.
  3. Lower yourself down until you are the width of your fist away from the ground.

Tip:  To make this exercise more challenging, place your feet on a Plyometric box.

Weighted Burpees

3 sets of 5

This is one of the few exercises that builds muscle and improves your cardio at the same time.  With this exercise, you use your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, lats, glutes, erector spinae, hip flexors, abs, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

 man doing weighted burpees with prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Lower yourself into a squat until you can place your hands flat on the ground in front of you.
  3. Thrust your feet and legs backward until you are in a plank position.
  4. Do a pushup, tuck knees back into chest and return to standing.

Weighted Dips

3 sets of 10

A dip is an upper body strength exercise that trains the triceps, deltoids, pectorals, and rhomboid muscles. 

 man doing dips with chair wearing prosourcefit weighted vest

  1. Sit on a chair and place hands behind you
  2. Lift your body off the chair slightly with knees bent
  3. Slowly lower your body down until your arms are bent 90 degrees.
  4. Push back up.


Weighted vests help improve your performance, fitness, and strength.  By boosting the intensity of your workouts, you boost your gains and achieve your fitness goals faster. Wearing a weighted vest is a great way to get stronger and have a more enjoyable workout that can follow you through all your fitness stages! 

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