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How To Make A Weight Vest

Weights vest are a great way to increase difficulty to basic bodyweight exercises. Weighted vests are best for movements such as squats, pushups or pullups that can often be too easy just with bodyweight. For this reason weight vests are used by Olympic pole vaulters, the military and professional bodybuilders.

In this post we will go over the steps and materials required to create your own weight vest.

plate loading weight vest

To allow for maximum weight and to also keep costs low, we will make a weight vest that can add weight plates. This way we can utilize existing weight plates to add weight to the weighted vest that we will make.

We will be basing our designs on the Kensui EZ-VEST which also uses weight plates and holds up to 100kg or 225bs.

What You'll Need To Make Your Weight Vest

The first step is to go to home depot and grab these supplies.

  • Two 8"x8" pieces of 3/4" plywood ($5)
  • 2x 3/4" pipe flange ($5.50/ea) and 2x 3/4" x 6" pipe nipple ($5/ea)
  • 2x 4-pack of Husky 1-1/2" wire rings ($5.50x2 = $11)
  • 2 x 1" spring clamps ($1/ea)
  • 1/2" pipe insulation, the squishy version, not the foamy version ($7)
  • 3/4" screws, 100pack, $5
  • Gorilla tape to wrap around the insulation ($3)
  • 3/8" nylon rope ($5)

How much will cost to make my own weight vest?

The total cost should be around $60 in the USA.

How long will it take to make my own weight vest?

It will take around an hour to gather the goods and another 2-3 hours to make the vest. Totalling around 3-4 hours

Should You Make Your Own Weight Vest?

It's totally up to you. The Kensui EZ-VEST starts at only $98 (using promo code KENSUI10) and comes with a lifetime warranty. It is also much safer and made with much better construction than any vest you can make by yourself.

Furthermore, the more premium versions come with leather padding, Also the shoulder and chest straps are made of webbing instead of rope which is much more comfortable. Lastly, the shoulder straps are adjustable to perfectly fit your body (even if you want to change it based on the exercise) and modular so the padding can be removed very easily for washing.

weight vest using olympics plates

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plate loading weight vest

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plate loading weight vest

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Constructing the Vest

You've gathered the supplies and now you're ready to make your own weight vest! Here are the steps!

back of diy weight vest

Step 4: Cut the nylon ropes

We will need to cut 4 pieces. 2 pieces that will go over the shoulder and 2 pieces that will go around the waist/chest. Make sure you pick a length that is good for you. For the average person 100cm is a good length for the shoulder and ~23cm is a good length for the chest. However keep in mind you will need to keep around 20cm extra length per rope to tie it to the plywood.


Step 5: Add the nylon rope (shoulders)

Guide 1pc of the long rope through the top left ring of the front plywood and loop it to the top left rings of the back plywood of the weight vest and then back to the front plywood. Now tie a big knot and ensure the knot can't go through the ring. Make sure you tie the rope nice and tight since it will need to hole the entire weight of the vest and added plates.

Do the same for the right side.

Step 6: Add the nylon rope (chests)

Tie 1pc short rope to the left ring of the back plywood and another on the right ring of the back plywood.


making your own diy weight vest
make your own weight vest

Step 7: Cut The Pipe Insulation

Cut 2 pcs of the pipe insulation to match the length of the ropes that are going over the shoulders.

Step 8: Add the Pipe Insulation

Cut the pipe insulation to match the length of the ropes and wrap the pipe insulation onto the ropes.

A strip of tape along the bottom side of the insulation where it will make contact with your shirt/skin will prevent your skin from getting abraded.

Step 9: Put on the weight vest you made

You're all set to go! Put on the DIY weight vest that you made. Tie the bottom pair of nylon ropes from the back plywood onto the the rings of the front plywood.

You're all set! Congratulation!

Start Training and making those gains!

home made weight vest

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