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Old 15 July 2017, 11:38
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Weight Vest Work Outs

Does anybody have any good circuit training routines using a weight vest and not encompassing any plyometrics or running?

I will soon hit the big 6-0 (got the knee tendonitis/no acl and back surgeries to prove it) and am looking for a good controlled circuit training routine for overall body strength and conditioning.

I currently like to wear a vest while doing the cross trainer...and it helps with light calisthenics and stretching too. Would like to mix this with my stationary bike work/rowing/cross trainer aerobics.

"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 18 July 2017, 23:23
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Tycon Tycon is offline
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Stairs. Slow, single-at-a-time. Working into two-at-a-time as you get stronger and more flexible. SLOW good form is better. Half the battle is finding a good place to do a few floors, and have it to yourself. I've been loading a small pack with water bottles, but I like the weighted vest idea.
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Old 19 July 2017, 10:26
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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I'm just getting into this experiment (working out with a weight vest on) and am tinkering with a few ideas. Why do this??? because I don't have to do as many reps!!! plus I like the feel of some of the stretching aspects that the added weight puts on the body.

Thinking about incorporating some of the following exercises in a routine:

1. TRX squat
2. TRX row (or combo with squat)
3. TRX curls
4. Standing alternate toe touch
5. Standing 'Wood Choppers'
6. Dumb bell squat/curl/overhead press
7. Pushups (modified or with single arm row)
8. Plank?
9. Atlas Stone 'Air Ball' (Made this up....basically lifting a large exercise ball like the strong men competitors do lifting those atlas stones and adding a slight over the shoulder type twist to alternating sides upon standing). This gets me in a really low squat lifting position and feels good all the way through.
10. Lunges either straight away or combo'd with curls or overhead press.

Repeat a couple of times with the exercises of your choice.

Everything done with good form of course and relatively slowly. Spent a lifetime doing all sorts of training for sports/strength/ am focused on making my body feel good and finding out that adding a weight vest while going through some basic body movements does that.

One could make this pretty challenging.
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 3 August 2017, 11:39
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Ok...I've pretty much gone 'full potato' here as I've added 5lb ankle weights with the 20lb weight vest routine. That adds a degree of difficulty and some new exercises. If there are wrist weights...I'll probably play with that at some point.

I like to take each section and do 'giant sets' in various combinations before moving on to the next there can be a lot of reps depending how I feel. I'll combine some of the calisthenics/stretching where I see fit. There is no stopping (only a short break here or there to catch your breath/water). All movements are deliberate and done at a controlled modest pace. The idea is for core strength/flexibility/strength development that elevates the heart rate.

Yesterday's Full Potato Work out (Weight vest/Ankle weights)

1. TRX warm up (stretch/squat-row) 25x (multiple sets/various reps)
2. TRX Lunges (with butterfly/overhead arm movement) 10x (found that when you take your front foot off the ground after the lunge, it makes the return a LOT harder)
3. TRX Curls/push up 10x
4. TRX Suplex Stretch (like a wrestling throw, hold the body arch, stretch hips up) rowing 6-10x Try to get your nose to the ground

5. Standing Alternate toe touch 10x (I like these, good hamstring/obilque careful!)
6. Standing ‘woodchoppers’ 10x (arch back on return, stretch hips)
7. Side bends/trunk rotation
8. Standing hand walk to push up plank position 10x (throw a push or two in there, then ‘Up dog’ stretch at the end of each set)
9. Divebomber pushups 10-15x (multiple sets) all the way up! followed by kneeling stretch at set's end
10. Opposite leg/ arm straight hold from kneeling position (for back and trunk strength)

11. Alternate leg curls (laying on belly) 10-15x
12. Leg abductions 10-15x (Laying on side)
13. Leg adductions (laying on back, legs V out and back up overhead) 10x
14. Alternate leg extension (laying on back, one bent knee, one doing the extension) 10-15x
15. ‘Atlas Airball’ squat to stand or Air squats 15x + or Dumbbell Squats with curl or squat press over head) Max

17. Ab Crunch (laying on back, bent legs/knees to elbows, or legs starting at 10 o’clock) MAX #

18. Seated leg stretch with twist (legs spread in ‘V’, stretch each side, the upon recovery twist trunk opposite way behind you, chest to deck, alternate sides)

Pretty much smoked after this because even the stretching/calisthenic portion requires effort. There are a variety of other exercises one could add...season to taste.

I follow this with a 30-40 minute stationary bike ride to recover.

Try it…..Interested in any or all feedback.
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes

Last edited by 19MIKE; 3 August 2017 at 11:50. Reason: added stuff
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Old 4 August 2017, 06:29
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Correction: Ankle weights are 10lbs each

Yesterday did 40 min on the cross trainer with wv and ankle weights (+40lbs)

Atlas Airball 10x (low squat to standing like lifting the stone using exercise ball)

Sit ups (straight/with twist) seated on large exercise ball 100x
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 8 August 2017, 18:07
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Put the wrist weights on (8 lbs) + vest and ankle weights today...about 50 lbs's like exercising on Jupiter.

Used ankle weights (5 lbs) for the first time riding the stationary bike....I liked the way that felt and will do it again.
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 24 August 2017, 06:57
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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I’ve been reversing the order of exercises the last couple of workouts because I wanted to make sure that my core and leg work got properly warmed up before I hit the large movements.

Started with shoulder circles, front/side bends, and ab work and specific leg work (ab/adductions, leg extensions/curls like the trainers have you do when recovering from leg injuries). Anywhere from 15 to 25 reps each. Took about 20 minutes before moving on to upper body stuff…. morphing into squats/pushups/calisthenics/TRX. Took about 50 minutes total workout time.

I find that doing leg curls with the ankle weights (25 reps x 2) while lying flat on the floor really gets to the small of the back for those of you with back issues. Also made sure that I do some back exercises (opposite leg/arm extensions from floor) before I get into the larger 'gross' movements (dive bomber pushups etc.)

I took the stairs idea and expanded on that by starting with single step walkup/down, then climbing every 2 steps (like a bench step up). Gotta be careful backing down. Also used the stairs (albeit with my feet only one step up) to do some decline shoulder presses.

Since your entire body is weighted (ankles, vest, wrist/arms) ANY movement requires effort….the object is to keep moving throughout. (If your legs need a rest after squats, then stand and do arm circles or lateral arm raises or some form of ballistic stretching)

Cooled down with a 25 minute stationary bike ride. Total workout time: 75 minutes
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 4 September 2017, 13:28
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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I’ve been refining the sequence of exercises so that it flows from standing to floor work and back up again. If it works for you, or if portions work for you, great.

Remember I'm older now, have had multiple knee injuries, have an L3-L4 fusion with rods attached, have a history of a really bad neck injury with arthritis setting in amongst a litany of other assorted boo-boo's acquired through the years. I really don't want a barbell across my back anymore, or to sit in some static gym machine.

I wanted to develop a program for myself that combined strength, flexibility, core balance and conditioning that was low impact yet overall very challenging. If you find any of this helpful....great!

A few insights however….

1. When doing the STAIRS portion of the workout (8 steps up, 8 steps down in my basement , I vary the number of step ups from 1 to 2. I have to really concentrate on the ‘negative’ when backing down the stairs. My ACL’less knee is less stable then the dominant one, so I really have to concentrate on lowering myself and have that knee take the stress. Be careful…hold the railing…don’t want to fall down the stairs backwards attached to 50lbs of weights. That would be bad

2. I added a new wrinkle by incorporating a ‘rope climb’ into the workout. Basically took a kids climbing rope that I had laying around, attached it to the clip of the TRX (attached to an overhead beam in my basement), and while laying on my back, starting pulling up to the standing position. Used a decline bench as well as an alternate device for more stability. The bench gave me some more control and I varied the progression.

3. My knee’s been really sore the last couple of days because of the weather/tendonitis. I was able to do this workout anyway and eliminated the squat/leg extension/stairs portion of the routine and did more upper body stuff.

4. I need to find a better wrist/forearm weight system as I don’t currently see any that are made on the open market and I’m just improvising with what I have using ankle weights.

5. Been performing the ‘Warm up Section’ (20 min) of this work out before stepping on the cross trainer (25 min) on my aerobic days again, fully potato’d up with ankle/forearm/weight vest on.

6. I use the large rubber ball for other exercises too besides the ‘Atlas Lift’. I back stretch EVERYDAY on it, (many days multiple times). You can do dumbbell flys on it too, or rotational exercises for your spine.

SECTION I & II take about 20 minutes. SECTION III & IV takes about 25-35 minutes. (Yesterdays workout went 60 minutes). In the future I might just boil it down to a 25-30 min workout doing mostly the big (squats/pushups) movements to max. I like to end by taking everything off and maxing pushups.

Depending on how I feel, I usually combine sections. i.e. If my upper body needs rest from the pushups, I’ll immediately go to the stairs or take a stretching exercise or something from SECTION I.

The important thing is to keep moving and have fun.....don't stop!! (a little water break here and there or to catch your breath is OK). Find what works best for you and what you need to work on based on your current physical condition, history of injuries, and how hard you want to push yourself.

Here are some of the exercises that I’ve been incorporating into the workout. Not all are used in a given workout. Add/delete as you see fit.

SECTION I; Warm up – repeat when necessary
1. Arm circles (front/back)
2. Standing Front and side bends
3. Straight leg toe touch (tap floor/thighs/chest/hands overhead, reverse order back down)
4. Woodchoppers
5. Standing Alternate toe touch (really works the obliques/hammy's)
6. Hands walk out (from standing to pushup position and ‘updog’ yoga stretch and back up)
7. ‘Bridging’, ‘Airplaning’, other back exercises
8. Atlas stone airball (from deep squat to standing, gotta pretend you’re actually lifting a 250# stone)
9. Seated spread leg toe touch and trunk twist (stretching)
10. Crunches (legs up)
11. Flutter kicks

SECTION II; Leg Portion- (floor work laying down) I repeat Exercises 1-5 2-3x
1. Straight single leg lifts
2. Adductions (laying on back, legs ‘V’ out and together overhead)
3. Side leg lift (abductions)
4. Leg curls (laying on stomach, slow and steady,)
5. Leg extensions (laying on back)
6. Atlas Air Ball (deep squat to standing)
7. Leg overs (lay on floor, one leg all the way over to opp. side and back to other side)
8. Stairs (various combos)
9. Free squats (on alternate days)

SECTION III; Upper Body Exercises– repeat when necessary, combo with other sections.
1. Dive bomber (judo) pushups.
2. Shoulder press (from ‘down dog’ position, forehead to floor)
3. Regular pushups (really have to keep the ab/glutes/hip/leg area ‘locked’ when performing this)
4. Table (facing up from seated position, straight arm planted, stretch up, butt off the ground)
5. Bear crawl
6. Dumbbell Squat/curl/overhead press (one exercise)
7. Dips (from weight bench)
8. Rope climb
9. Weighted Burpees???? (not quite yet, experimented with it however)

1. Squat to standing row
2. Rowing
3. Pullover
4. Single leg lunge w/buttlerfly/overhead movement
5. Curls
6. Push ups/flys
7. Tricept extension
8. Squat ‘snatch’ (hands go side ways overhead when in squat position)
9. ‘Suplex’ stretch to row

Additional equipment used besides weight vests: Large exercise ball, TRX, kids climbing rope, 25lb dumbbells, decline weight bench, stairs..... all done in my basement.

Have fun with know you gotta go, Full Potato!! :)
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes

Last edited by 19MIKE; 4 September 2017 at 13:40.
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Old 22 September 2017, 09:35
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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So just for shits and giggles....I added my SCUBA weight belt to the mix midway through the workout yesterday.

Ramped up the intensity on Squats and TRX stuff...pushups got tougher too with the added weight around the hips.

I like the feeling of the weight on the hips while squatting....less pressure on my back and kind of balances things out. Been using the exercise ball wedged into a corner for some of the support and control when you're 'bottoming out'. (Exercise ball is great for doing 'flys' or biceps curls or combo/over head press too).

Bear crawls around the house, up and down stairs get your heart pumping.

Woman at a pool party I attended last Saturday said I looked 'jacked'. (Of course I did a little mini 'small potato' workout before I went).
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 24 October 2017, 08:28
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Mondo Potato

Added a few new wrinkles to the exercise program. I’m always trying to find ways of combining movements so I can get more done in less time. Still I’ll look to put in a good 45-55 minutes. If I don’t have a lot of time, a 25 minute work out combining the ‘big exercises’ works.

Here’s my latest:

1. I took a Lat bar (one we made in high school! that I still had laying around), and attached it over head with a rope. While standing, the bar hangs just below the solar plexus. This allows me to get into a deep squat with my arms fully extended overhead. I then use it like the TRX system, but it gives me more stability and adds some different exercise variations. I use the bar to combine ‘row/squat pullups’ or ‘curl/row (palms up)/squat chin ups’ in various combinations. Most times I look to pre exhaust my legs before combining that with the ‘squat/pullups’ or ‘curl/row/squat chin ups’. I’ll do a ‘giant set’ like that with the vest on, then put the SCUBA belt on to do 2 or 3 more sets. This becomes the meat and potatoes of the workout.

2. Exercise Ball: Since I have some knee issues, when fully kitted up, I take a light bar, put it across my back (no weights, just for stability, you could use a broom stick) and go thru a squat sequence (ball is wedged in a corner). While ‘bottoming out’ the ball compresses and helps take the pressure off the knees, at the finish point (standing) I press my legs back into the ball looking to contract my quads and entire leg muscles.

3. I’ll also do a set or two of squats holding the exercise ball out in front of me while getting my rear end to touch the 2nd step on my basement stairs. Gets the heart pumping.

4. Exercise ball flutter kicks. I’ll lay on my back with the (inflatable) exercise ball (on the ground) above my head against a wall, and press into it while doing weighted flutter kicks so that you’re getting ‘isometrics’ and some upper body/core work while doing the exercise.

5. Modified push ups: After maxing out on regular ones (12-20 depending how I feel), I immediately finish with modified ones. From the knees do a push up, then finish by pressing back into a yoga ‘childs pose’ multiple times until toasted. I also use this (modified version) as a warm up to make sure my shoulder joints are lubricated and ready to go.

As we get older, it’s not the muscles that get weak as much as it is the connective tissue in our joints that gets inflamed, so you gotta be careful. That’s why proper warming up is so important.

The goal of this program is exercising to feel good and heal the body thru a variety of strengthening/flexibility/stamina controlled exercises. I’ve seen weight vest workouts with the more high speed cross fit athletes, but that’s just inviting injuries as far as I’m concerned. It's important to modify this program to your own specific needs.

On days whereby my knee hurts or my shoulder is sore, I’m still able to work around these 'oww-ies' and still get a great workout in. When you're weighted down, even stretching takes effort!

Have fun
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 6 February 2018, 11:24
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Okay, looking back to when I started this thread, I've been doing this workout for about 6 months now, at least 3x per week, sometimes M-W-F-Sun. I'll do some modified versions depending on how I feel. I started incorporating some exercise band work, helps with flexibility and working any kinks out of shoulders. etc.

Things I've noticed....more overall strength/stamina (makes sense), body weight went up approx 4-5 lbs (wasn't expecting that, I know it's winter but...cloths still fit good). My body weight for years has hovered around 216 or so, now I'm 219-222. When I'm fully kitted up with all the vests and scuba belt and step on the reads 305.

Reps have increased. I'm not as dog tired as I was when I first started this, although it takes some time to recover after a hard workout. (Wife says I'm snoring at night). Some days I can push harder then others. Sometimes I need to take 2 days off.

I've attached my basic FP workout template for your perusal....and a pic of my home 'gym' (I do my warmup and floor work in the carpeted next room).


SECTION I - WARM UP (STANDING) – approx. 10 minutes NON STOP- (sometimes I use small dumbells or bands)
2. SIDE BENDS/FRONT & BACK/STRAIGHT LEG/ TOE TOUCH TO STRETCH (side stretch, trunk/back stretch)
3. WOODCHOPPERS (LEG SPREAD, STRETCHBACK) (mid section stretch & flexibility)
4. ALTERNATE TOE TOUCH 20x+ (trunk rotation/hamstrings)
5. ‘ATLAS STONE’ AIR BALL LIFT 10X+ (‘pelvic girdle’ stretch/strengthening lift, pretend to be lifting heavy atlas stone and lifting to platform)


1. MODIFIED PUSHUP TO PUSH BACK, (all fours kneeling position), 10X+, shoulder prep/body stretch
2. SINGLE LEG LIFTS 20X + (laying on back, straight leg lifts)
3. SINGLE LEG CROSS OVER (laying on back/trunk rotation, Left to Right) 8X +
4. SINGLE LEG EXTENSIONS 20X + (laying on back, hold bent extension leg up, extend through heel, squeeze knee)
5. SINGLE LEG ADDUCTIONS (laying on side)20X+
6. LEG CURLS 20X+ (laying on belly, 4 count curl up and 4 count down)
7. ABDUCTIONS (laying on back, ‘V’ out legs)
8. AB CRUNCHES (laying on back, knees to elbows) 25X +
9. ‘LOG PT’ FLUTTER KICKS 35X + (lay on back, press Xball into wall above head, flutter to failure)


3. REGULAR PUSH UPS 15X ++ PUSH BACKS (from knees after max reg. push ups)
4. SQUATS 35X + (with bar across back/bat held overhead/using Exercise ball)
5. ROW 8-10x+ (hanging lat bar)
6. SQUAT/PULL UP 10X+ (hanging lat bar)

SECTION IV– ‘MEAT & POTATOES’ GIANT SETS; ADD 25 LBS SCUBA BELT (total wearable weight; 85lbs) short rest between sets – 20 minutes, MULTIPLE SETS (at least 3 sets)

1. PUSH UPS – MAX (various styles, regular, ball, handle, end with preacher push ups)
2. VARIOUS SQUATS – 25X+ (using xball, lat bar, free squats, etc)
4. STANDING 25 LB DUMBELL CURLS TO OVERHEAD PRESS 8X (2 SETS, insert after EX.1-3 done at least 2x)


2. 'ROPE CLIMB'/ANY TRX LUNGE/FLY/SQUAT/ROW EXERCISE COMBO (if not completely smoked by now)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg home gym.jpg (14.9 KB, 61 views)
Attached Files
File Type: doc OFFICIAL FULL POTATO WORK OUT II.doc (30.0 KB, 1 views)
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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Old 13 February 2018, 09:35
19MIKE 19MIKE is offline
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Did Section I Warm Up & Section II Core-work/Floor-work (20 mins).

WEARING WEIGHT 60lbs/85lbs (+ 25# SCUBA BELT)

Alternated pushups/squats WOD (36 min)

Push ups w/60# 25 reps ; Squats w/60# 50 reps

Push Ups w/85# 15/12/10/13/15/10 = Total pushups 100 reps
Squats w/85# 20/15/15/15/15/15 = Total squats 125 reps

Squat Pullups 15 reps x 2

35# Dumbbell curls/overhead press 8 reps (25# dumbbells + 10# ea. wrist wts.)

Time: 56 min
Bodyweight: 221
"There's the way it ought to be..... then there's the way it is" ~ Barnes
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