Weight vest vs weight in pack

CaseyL26

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Any ideas on whether training with a weight vest would transfer over to better performance with a pack?
 

5 shot group

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I would think so. Your body doesn't know the difference if the weight is in a pack, or around your gut.

Training with a weighted vest would be better then training without when it comes to backpack hunting.

A benefit of training with your pack though, is you learn how to adjust it, how it feels with differing weights, how it fits your body, ect.
 

Coach Chris

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To
A weighted vest can lead to lower back stress based on the fact that the weight is being supported by your traps/shoulders. With a good pack, the weight is primarily supported on your hips/legs.
To add to this, breathing with a weight vest on is a real bear. Restricted breathing doesn't enhance performance it just limits training capacity which has a negative effect.
 

Poser

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I suppose the question would be why. Why would you train with a vest instead of a backpack since you’ll be wearing a backpack and not a vest in the mountains?

A backpack is going to load your body differently, transferring much of the force into the hips. A vest is going to load your body more vertically, but also be more cumbersome to breathe with and hot, too. I’d see no reason to train with a vest unless your job requires it or you compete in Crossfit where certain workouts require it. Otherwise, you’re just having a less productive workout vs. not wearing a vest or should be training with a pack for the mountains where you’ll be wearing a pack, but I’d be interesting in hearing a rationalization.
 

zacattack

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Any ideas on whether training with a weight vest would transfer over to better performance with a pack?
Yes weight is weight but it won’t be as effective as using your pack. With a vest the weight is closer to your body and more evenly distributed, front to back and side to side, it also doesn’t move or shift. The packs place the weight emphasis more on your legs and hips, the weight can shift and it’s not as evenly distributed around your body. You’ll work different muscles with one versus the other.

You’ll also learn how to correctly fit and pack the thing the more you use it. The is my first year having a pack and I can say that regular workouts with it have really helped me tune it in.
 

TrlRunHunter

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I definitely second LaHunter’s comment. I’ve tried hiking with a heavy vest. It’s just a killer on my shoulders/traps and doesn’t translate into how a pack feels. I save the vest for supplemented body weight workouts (squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, etc)... great to build up leg/core strength when you aren’t jostling all around on uneven terrain. It does make it a lot hotter and tougher to breathe, but as a flat lander I can use all the suck I can get before going to 10K feet above sea level.

What I also recommend is taking the weight packs out of the vest (if your vest is adjustable) and sticking those in your partially loaded pack to simulate a heavy carry on your training hikes. That’s a really easy way to dial the weight up or down without messing with sand.


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YouDoYou

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I wondered the same thing. I was given a vest but the first time I used it, it just felt like it wasn't applicable to hunt training at all. Back to the weighted pack.
 

zog

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I have a whole different reason for not using a vest - I had one and everybody thought it made me look like a terrorist. A more practical reason, though, is usefulness - you can carry water and a rain jacket and whatever else in the pack as well as the weights. Can't carry much but lead in the weight vest, and I found it difficult to put my daypack with water and stuff over the vest.

I third what the others have said, too - your back and shoulders are happier with a 50 lb pack than with a 50 lb vest. I don't understand the physiology behind it - but I do understand more pain.
 
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chrisspike

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If you have a vest cool, I like the pack since I get used to the connecting points and pressure areas.

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Poser

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What if you just want to run with like 10 to 15 pounds? That sounds like a pack would suck.
As does running with a vest.... or just running in general. Fact of the matter is, running is not a very effective way to train for rucking nor is running with weight on your body. So ineffective in fact, that if you want to run with weight, it really doesn’t matter if you use a pack or vest because your body will adapt to the demands of running with either, neither of which simulate rucking in the mountains well enough to make you more efficient at that task. So, if you want to be good at running with a vest, then run with a vest. If you want to be good at running with a pack, run with a pack. If you want to be good at rucking with a pack, then ruck with a pack.
 

Dos Perros

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There has got to be some transfer. If'n I were to take two dudes, one who sat on his ass all day, and one who ran with a weighted vest, and asked them both to ruck, the dude who runs would obviously outperform.
 

GregB

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There has got to be some transfer. If'n I were to take two dudes, one who sat on his ass all day, and one who ran with a weighted vest, and asked them both to ruck, the dude who runs would obviously outperform.
I think the type of running is a factor too. Running on a flat road vs. trail running with hills makes a difference.
 

Dos Perros

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I get @Poser's point. He probably has a study to reference. One thing I think that is overlooked often though, is a lot of dudes here don't have access to 500 foot vertical gains. We have to make do with what we have, and sometimes that calls for getting creative. I've adapted my training over the last five years and I think I'll always be adapting as my needs and age and general fitness change. It's a delicate calculation of the best spend of time money effort at home in preparation to yield the highest probability of killing something come elk season. (I also bake in some general fitness health goals, too, that may impact my hunting fitness but that's not the point of the goal and it's supporting activities.)
 

Poser

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There has got to be some transfer. If'n I were to take two dudes, one who sat on his ass all day, and one who ran with a weighted vest, and asked them both to ruck, the dude who runs would obviously outperform.
True, but we’re not comparing X vs. sitting on one’s ass and the transfer of “cross training” for conditioning is significantly less transfer than most people seem to think. There’s something intuitively Inviting about the idea of making training more complex and gimmicky and getting results because of those factors. Personal trainers and the fitness community at large tend to capitalize off of dangling complexity in front of the faces of clients as the magic pill. However, Conditioning tends to be very specific and, comparing it to doing nothing notwithstanding, you need to do the actual thing that you are going to do in order to prepare for it. While you may not have mountains in backyard, you can find something closer to heavy rucking than running with a vest on and even if you just really want an excuse to buy a vest and go running with it, perhaps your results for hunting and general health would be better if you just focused on strength training, which is actually a general adaptation and will allow you to carry heavier loads, and then hiking with a pack for your conditioning as your season approaches.

So, if you really want to run with a vest on, knock yourself out. It’s certainly better than doing nothing, but I believe the intent of the original conversation was “is a vest a suitable substitute for a pack”, in which case the answer is “no”. Better than nothing? Yes
Better than hiking without a pack at all? Yes.
Substitute for preparing to hike with a pack? No.

You have finite training resources. Use them wisely.
 

Dos Perros

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Do you have evidence to suggest strength training correlates to hunting results? I'd bet the correlation there is even less than weighted vest running to rucking.
 

Poser

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Do you have evidence to suggest strength training correlates to hunting results? I'd bet the correlation there is even less than weighted vest running to rucking.
Strength correlates to everything. It is the most common way in which you interact with the world: you apply external force to walk, get up from the toilet, push a chair across the room, pick up a box off the floor, run, hike, carry weight, pick up a pack. There is no way in which you interact with the physical world that doesn’t require some measure of strength.

Strength training is a general adaptation in that strength doesn’t tend to be so exclusive to individual tasks. Either your muscles are strong enough for the task or they are not. And, generally speaking, They stronger you are, the longer your muscles can complete a sub maximal task. So, for example, spinal erectors do all sorts of tasks, but their main job is to protect the spine. Your spine by itself probably can’t support a 100 pounds of axial loading without snapping, but the spinal erectors, with proper training, have been proven to withstand over 1000 lbs of axial loading.
To the specifics of the question, I’m sure the research exists, but if you need convincing that glutes keep you upright and stronger glutes keep you upright under more stress, then the research is irrelevant. It should be obvious that the body only adapts to the stress you actually apply. Being stronger than you need to be to complete a task is an asset, being weaker is a liability. Quads do one task -they extend the knee. The stronger the quad, the more stress the quad can endure to continue extending the knee. The same applies for every muscle in your body and, more importantly to how strength applies in the real world, your body as a whole since real world tasks are often multi joint, complex movements such as walking, running, climbing, crawkijg, throwing, pushing, pulling etc.

basic strength training employs the most fundamental human movement patterns: squatting , pressing & pulling and trains the movements in an extremely stressful manner so that the body adapts by getting stronger performing these fundamental movement patterns. You’re going to need a body strong enough to carry the weight you want to carry and move how you want to move in the mountains regardless of how you achieve that outcome so, at some point, it becomes a question of return on investment for your time and No matter what you believe about fitness, you are going to need to be strong enough to interact with the demands of rucking in the mountains. If you’re not strong enough, you won’t be able to do it. So, then consider what the most efficient and effective way to get strong is.

Off the couch, The longest, most inefficient aspect of conditioning is getting the muscles strong enough to do the task (running, hiking, whatever). If you’re muscles are already strong, then it’s more a matter of making that specific adaptation to doing the task over and over again for sustained periods of time. My experience as a devout strength trainee who does multiple endurance based sports quite extensively throughout the year is that conditioning takes 3 weeks of sport specific training. It takes 3 weeks of ski mountaineering to get in shape for ski mountaineering. It takes 3 weeks of cycling to get in shape for Mtn biking. It takes 3 weeks of scouting (rucking) to get in shape for Mtn hunting. Outside of that 3 week window and actually doing the sport themselves in season, I put all of my resources into strength training because it has the longest lasting training effect, is the most practical use of the most amount of training time and has the most general application to interacting with the world, be it walking around doing day to day activities, longevity, or specific athletic pursuits.
 
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