This 2-Move Weighted Vest (or Backpack) Workout Builds Muscle and Smashes Through Calories

David Morton

From Men's Health

As we near our third full month in nation-wide lockdown, gyms are steeling, sterilising and polythene-boxing themselves for reopening. But unless you want to queue for your turn in a clingfilm chamber and sweat it out in a face mask every single day, home workouts are still going to factor into your weekly training plans.

But if bodyweight-only sessions or endless reps with lighter weights are not giving you the same buzz they were earlier in the year, you simply need to get loaded. Adding weight to movements as rudimentary as running and press-ups will crush through any plateau and turn a standard burner into an out-and-out strength session.

This workout, designed by Scott Britton, co-founder and relentless driving force behind the functional fitness charity movement Battle Cancer, challenges you with a descending ladder of metres of running and reps of press-ups. Get hold of a weighted vest from WIT or chuck something solid into a sturdy backpack and get going on two full rounds of the below.

“Rest as and when but always break on the push-ups before you feel you need to,” says Britton. “Smaller sets with a few breaths in between is always better but sit up straight on your knees, to give your chest and shoulders a break from the weight of the vest.”


Run, 800m

The weighted vest will, obviously, make your upper body feel heavier. But maintain your arm drive (A), ensure your strides are consistent (B) and keep your chest up, so you can suck in some deep breaths.

Press-Ups, 60 reps

Keeping your core tight (A), lower your chest to the floor (B), then press up. Squeeze your glutes and abs to stay strong as you start to fatigue. Break this up into smaller sets.

Run, 600m

OK, 600m this time. Focus on your maintaining a strong core to stop the vest bearing down on your chest. Again, maintain your arm drive (A), and keep driving forwards with your head up (B).

Press-Ups, 40 reps

Keeping your core tight (A), lower your chest to the floor (B), then press up. Changing your grip helps, so do a set with arms wide, then the next in the normal position.

Run, 400m run

Your last run for this round, so get this done at a decent pace. Drive with your arms (A), and focus on your the recovery phase with your lower body (B). If you feel like you're plodding, you most likely are.

Press-Ups, 20 reps

The last push. Lower your chest to the floor (A), then press up (B). It's still a good idea to break this up as you did with the larger sets, as you've got another full round to do after this one. Good luck!

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