In September 2021, the Chris Heria weight vest was released on Chris Heria’s fitness website and on the website of the Thenx School of Calisthenics.
It is by far the most expensive product Chris Heria has ever sold, and understandably a lot of people are asking if the Chris Heria weight vest is worth it.
Since many of you know that I’m a fan of Chris Heria, some of you have already reached out and asked me the question directly. Today, I’m going to share the answer I gave with you all.
In this review of the Chris Heria weighted vest, I’m going to explore the pros and cons of Chris’s signature weight vest, and also compare it with other similar weight vests.
Additionally, I will compare the weight vest – as Chris Heria does in one of his YouTube videos – with purchasing a gym membership, both in terms of costs and effectiveness.
Finally, I will share with you a few weight vest workout routines that I have found to be particularly effective at building muscle and burning fat.
Is the Chris Heria Weight Vest Worth It?
Will using the Chris Heria weight verst really improve your training? The short answer is yes.
As when using any weight vest, using the Chris Heria weight vest will make doing exercises harder and force your body to develop.
Bear in mind, if you are just starting out with bodyweight training a weight vest is not necessary. Learn to work with your own bodyweight first!
Before I decided to buy a weight vest, I did some research on the key benefits of using one, this is what I discovered:
Weighted Vests Benefits
Here are the key fitness benefits of using a weighted vest:
Due to the extra weight, you will need to exert more energy to do exercises while training with a weighted vest. Your muscles will be under greater stress and will be strained more. This stress and strain forces your muscles to grow and develop.
The extra strain also encourages bone develop. Using weight to train, whether a weighted vest or dumbbells, puts your bones under pressure.
Provided you are consuming the right food and getting all the nutrition you need, your body will respond to the pressure by adding bone bass and creating denser, more durable bones.
Using a weighted vest will make training more challenging. This means you can accomplish the same level of fatigue in a shorter amount of time.
For me, doing push ups with just my own body weight does get boring and repetitive after a while. There are only so many reps I’m willing to do. Using a weight vest means you can decrease reps and still have a satisfying workout.
What’s more, increasing reps is just one way of improving your strength and it’s limited in what it can offer. Increasing reps will improve muscle tone, but adding weight will help you increase muscle mass. You need both tone and mass to achieve real strength.
You Burn More Calories
Wearing a weight vest adds resistance, therefore it takes more effort to do exercises. Studies have shown that the extra energy you exert while training in a weight vest leads to an increase in calories burned. In short, you will get more shredded wearing a weight vest.
One study looked at runners. It compared runners wearing weighted vests that added 5% and 10% of their bodyweight respectively, to runners without weighted vests. The study found that runners with a weight vest burned considerably more calories than those without.
Other studies have shown that wearing a weight vest while exercising causes the body to burn fat more efficiently too.
What’s more, another study by researchers in Sweden suggests wearing a weighted vest all day tricks the body into thinking it is storing too much fat. The body then attempts to compensate by metabolizing as much fat as it can.
Weight Vests Are Worth It
With all the benefits covered it should be clear to you that weight vest are indeed worth it.
Of course, just buying one and putting it on isn’t enough if you want to improve your bodyweight training.
You need a quality vest that compliments your training style, that allows you to add and remove weight, and, if you’re anything like me, you want one that looks good too.
Enter the Chris Heria weight vest…
Is the Chris Heria Weight Vest Any Good?
Weight vests = good. Got it, but is the Chris Heria weight vest any good?
Let’s take a look…
The vest comes in three parts: the vest, the strap, and the weights. On arrival these parts are separated and must be put together before you begin training.
Chris Heria weight vest assembly is easy. Just attach the straps and put in as many weights as you want to train with.
How heavy is Chris Heria weighted vest?
The Chris Heria weight vest is available in three weight categories: light weight, medium weight, and heavy weight.
Each weight weighs 2.18LB and the three weight categories to choose from are: 18LB, 28LB, and 35LB.
There is also a wide range of colors to choose from, including white, black, orange, red, and forest green.
How to put on Chris heria weight vest?
To put on the Chris Heria weight vest, place the vest over your head, then clip the straps together in the front.
The straps are adjustable, meaning you can fit the weight vest to your body.
How Does it Feel?
The vest feels fitted when worn, without any slack or movement. There is nothing loose, nor are there any gaps in the vest.
Since the weights are on the front and the back, the sides are left open. This gives you a full range of movement with your arms. As a result, the vest doesn’t get in the way when doing calisthenics or other exercises.
The shoulder straps are thick and padded, which is great for doing close grip pull ups because as the vest presses against your neck the padded straps act as a cushion and prevent rubbing or irritation.
It’s easy to put on and it’s a snug fit!
How does the Chris Heria weight vest compare to other weight vests on the market?
Compared to other weight vests, the Chris Heria weight vest is comfortable and close-fitting. Too many weight vests I’ve seen are loose fitting, which means they move too much when doing bodyweight training.
The Chris Heria weight vest also looks a lot more stylish than other vests I’ve seen. Just take a quick look on Amazon and you’ll see a lot of strange looking vests – most of them look like badly designed body armor.
The Heria weight vest has the added advantage of being adjustable: you can add and remove weights to alter the intensity. While its not the only weight vest on the market that allows you to adjust the weight, there are not many to choose from.
Chris heria weight vest price
I’ll start out by saying, straight up, it’s not cheap. The lightest vest costs $99.99, the mid-weight vest costs $193.99, and the heaviest version comes in at $179.99.
There are definitely weight vest that are cheaper.
I just took a quick look at Amazon and found there are weight vests for $40, $60, $80.
But there are two things that I notice about these cheaper vests straight away: first, these weight vests don’t look so good. Second, they are either big and bulky, or loose fitting.
Perhaps you are not as vain as I am and don’t care about how you look – that’s fine, I’m happy for you. But if you’re like me, then you want your gym gear to look as on point as your usual clothes.
What’s even more important though, especially if you want to train calisthenics, is having a weight vest that is fitted.
A loose weight vest designed perhaps for running or hiking, is not suitable for the athleticism involved in calisthenics bodyweight training. You don’t want a weight vest that is flapping around and getting in the way.
When it comes to fitting, the Heria weight vest is what you want.
While not cheap, the Chris Heria weighted vest does offer comfort, mobility, and heaps of training benefits all put together inside a stylishly designed package: the weight vest works and it looks its good! If the price doesn’t put you off, I recommend you go for it.
Weight Vest vs. Gym
In the promotional video below, Chris compares the pros and cons of using his $180 weight vest and going to the gym.
Gym memberships costs an average of $50 per month, which means a year at the gym costs you $600 – that buys you 3.3 Chris Heria weight vests!
Chris runs though a series of exercises, each one targeting a different group of muscles, comparing the impact of gym equipment against the effect of using a weight vest on training performance.
Chest – Bench Press vs. Push Ups
He starts by doing the bench press on gym equipment, an exercise that focuses on the chest.
- PRO: Easy to increase weights: with all the weights available in a gym you can create a progressive overload and reach hypertrophy easily (i.e. easy to make the exercise harder).
- PRO: Anyone can do it: the bench press requires no training and is super easy to use.
- CON: The bench press machine is popular: you’re often going to have to wait to use the bench press in the gym.
Next, Chris compares the bench press to doing push ups while wearing the Heria weight vest.
- PRO: You build muscle by wearing the vest, even without doing exercise.
- PRO: Wearing the vest burns more calories: this is because you are using more muscles while doing push ups than when using the bench press.
- PRO: Just like with the bench, the weight of the vest is adjustable.
- PRO: You can further increase the difficultly of push ups by doing more difficult varieties of push up, such as the planche push up or side to side push ups.
- PRO: Improves balance, strengthens stabilizing muscles, core, and shoulders.
- PRO: You can take the weight vest anywhere – you can’t put the bench press in your suitcase!
- CON: You are unable to lift very, very heavy weights at low reps: only the bench press offers high weight/low rep training possibilities.
Back – Lat Pull Down vs. Pull Ups
Pros and cons considered, Chris moves on to doing lat pull downs in the gym.
- PRO: The lat pull down machine allows you to easy adjust the weight.
- PRO: As with most machines, the lat pull down machine is beginner friendly.
- CON: The lat pull down machine, like all gym machines, helps you to do a controlled rep. However, this means the machine is doing a lot of the work for you in terms of stabilization.
Chris compares using the lat pull down machine to doing pull ups wearing the weight vest.
- PRO: You develop functional strength – strength you can actually use!
- PRO: You also develop explosive power that can only be gained by doing exercises that engage all the muscles in a particular group – the core muscles and stabilizing muscles.
- CON: Using a weight vest in combination with bodyweight exercises requires a higher level of fitness than using gym machines does.
- CON: You are going to need to find a place to hang.
Shoulders – Military Press vs. Handstand Push Ups
Moving on to shoulder. In the gym, the military press is the best exercise to work the shoulders.
- PRO: No fitness level of entry: anyone can pick up the bar and start doing the military press.
- PRO: There are lots of different machines and weights in the gym that allow you to work all the different muscles in the shoulder.
- CON: Again, gym machines are targeted and don’t develop whole body strength.
The equivalent bodyweight exercise is handstand push ups wearing a weighted vest.
- PRO: Not relying on gym equipment will turn you into a real athlete: it takes skill to do a handstand. If you don’t know how to handstand, then read my handstand guide.
- CON: As noted, doing handstand push ups takes skill. It takes time and effort to learn that skill.
That said, you can use the weight vest to make handstand progression exercises, like the pike push up and the elevated pike push up, more difficult.
“Of course this exercise has a [high] fitness level to entry, but it’s very rewarding once you’re able to do it. Remember: nothing worth it ever comes easy. But if you put in the effort to achieve a fitness level like this, it’s really going to show.”Chris Heria
Legs – Squat Rack vs. Pistol Squats
The last muscle group Chris looks at is the legs. He chooses the squat rack, using 135LB.
- PRO: You can add as much weight as you want.
- CON: You will probably have to wait to use the squat rack because it’s one of the most popular parts of any gym.
To compare, Chris does pistol squats – that squats using just one leg – while wearing the weight vest.
- PRO: It will utilize way more stabilizing muscles than the squat rack.
- PRO: It will improve balance and coordination and agility while building muscle
- PRO: This exercise will build function strength and muscle
- CON: Can’t lift crazy heavy weights.
Chris concludes by pointing out how versatile a weight vest is. You can wear it running, or even just walking around the house.
You can do HIIT (High Intensity Workout Training) routines, explosive exercises, and, what’s more, do them wherever you are, without having to pay a monthly subscription to a gym.
“Another benefit of this vest: it looks badass” [laughs] “just kidding”Chris Heria
Chris heria weight vest discount code
As far as I know there is no discount code for the Heria weight vest. If someone finds a code please send me an email or post it in a comment below.
As I’ve said, while the vest is great, it isn’t cheap. A discount code would amazing for people without heaps of cash to spend.
Chris Heria weighted vest workout
Chris recommends doing any of his workouts while wearing a weight vest.
“Doing those routines that I’d posted before on the YouTube channel, while wearing a weigh vest, was one of the main game changers for me, and what built up my foundation, my strength, and my physique.”Chris Heria
Here is one of Chris Heria’s workout routines. It’s a low-impact HIIT routine, so get ready to feel your muscles burn.
Click here for more Chris Heria Workout Routines
- Switching Side Planks – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Handstand Kick Ups – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Russian Twists – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Push ups – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Bicycles – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Lying Leg Flutters – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- Side Squats – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
- L-Sit Hold – 30 Seconds | 5-10 Seconds Rest
The 25 Day Weight Vest Challenge
The title pretty much says it all: do 25 consecutive days of training using a weight vest.
You can watch Chris Heria doing the challenge in the video below, or if you’re subscribed to the Heria Pro app you can find the challenge on there.
During the first few days Chris and the Thenx crew invited people to participate in the 25 Day Weight Vest Challenge competition.
The person with the most dramatic body transformation won a Heria weight vest, which might seem like an inappropriate prize for a weight vest challenge but, wait for it, they also got flown to Miami to train with Chris and the crew for a whole day!
Try the challenge by following along with Chris in the video below:
A Final Word on the Chris Heria Weight Vest
In conclusion, while the weight vest is expensive at $180, for those of you looking to talk your calisthenics, bodyweight training development to the next level, the Chris Heria weight vest is the perfect tool.
Compared to other weight vests on the market, the Heria weight vest is compact, fitted, adjustable, and looks good.
I would not recommend the weight vest to a beginner who still needs to work on mastering exercises using their own bodyweight. The weight vest is really for people who want to progress onto the next level.
That said, if you are beginner who wants to wear the vest while doing light exercise to encourage the body to burn more fat, then go for it. What’s more, it looks good and might give you the motivation you need to get out there and get in shape.
With all of that said, I’m going to pop on my Heria weight vest and bust out a few push ups!