You want to do your home workout more difficult ? Add weight. To get stronger, you need to gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of reps in your bodybuilding routine – this is called the principle of progressive overload. But adding weight doesn’t always mean lifting heavy bars, plates, or bells. A weighted vest is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to take bodyweight training to the next level.
The Omorpho G-Vest+ ($299 for men, $279 for women) evenly distributes weight — in the form of stainless steel ball bearings — over your core to add extra resistance during exercise. Carrying a weight like this isn’t going to make you fat overnight, but it can increase your muscular endurance, especially during high-intensity training. In fact, wear resistance on the thighs reduced 40-meter sprint times by 2.4% in 2019 study published in the Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning.
While weight vests aren’t new, Omorpho offers a modernized update that not only offers a sleeker design, but also aims to eliminate any questions you might have about what to do while wearing it. Users simply scan the NFC tag embedded in the vest to gain (free) access to the new Omorpho workout app, packed with strength training workouts three times a week.
I tried three workouts with the G-Vest+ before it launched, and here’s what you need to know.
A smarter weighted vest
The Omorpho G Vest+ is a great weighted vest that takes the guesswork out of working out by delivering your daily exercise routine right to your phone.
I tested the women’s vest, which was designed specifically for the female anatomy (read: it’s not a shrunken version of the men’s vest, although the weights are different; my small/medium vest weighed 4 pounds 12 ounces). The result is a close-fitting fit that won’t bounce or shift during training, even when jogging in place. It’s also super customizable, with easy-to-adjust drawstrings on the side or sliding hooks on the shoulders. The clean look was nice from an aesthetic point of view, but also in terms of functionality. Because the weight is dispersed via small spheres through the vest, there were no bulky pockets or weight plates obstructing the view of my feet during squats or getting in the way of my arms during push-ups.
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The G-Vest works via an NFC tag embedded on the upper left chest of the garment (this is the same technology that enables contactless payments). Holding your phone against it immediately opens the workout of the day in the Omorpho app. There’s no Bluetooth pairing, no syncing; just scan and start sweating. The app itself is just as simple. The home page includes a timeline showing how many sessions and minutes you’ve completed, a video link to today’s “G-Session” (or workout), and a link to the Omorpho Instagram community. Forget endless scrolling for a workout that speaks to you; you have your workout for the day and that’s it.
If strength training is defined by the idea of progressive overload, one of the long-term downsides of using the G-Vest+ is that you’re stuck with one set of weights (the small/medium for men’s weighs 8 pounds 12 ounces and the large/extra large is 9 pounds 14 ounces, while the women’s large/extra large weighs 5 pounds 6 ounces). In this sense, you are only increasing your body weight by the set weight of the vest; once your body has adjusted to this weight, you will need to start increasing the reps, sets, and duration of your workout if you want to continue making progress. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it will eventually limit your earnings.
Currently, the Omorpho app offers three workouts per week. Workouts are just 20 minutes long and feature a variety of plyometric (think squat jumps) and isometric (like mountain climber holds) movements where you wear the vest or use it as a portable weight. Workouts drop every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, giving you 48 hours or 72 hours on weekends to complete them as often as you like within that time frame. But once the next workout drops, the previous one is gone. The company plans to eventually release a catalog of workouts in the app where you can access past workouts, but for now, you’re limited to that calendar.
Omorpho is the first brand to integrate workout access directly into the garment itself, which is huge for anyone who doesn’t know what to do with it. But other weighted vests allow for more weight variation, which may be more useful for experienced athletes. The Exogen Lilac Topwhich starts at $329, is another slimmer design that uses adjustable 3-pound to 6-pound loads, while more traditional vests like the Rogue Plate Carrierfor $130, can carry up to 40 lbs.
In a world where monthly subscriptions can give you access to thousands and thousands of live and on-demand exercise options, finding the right workout can seem overwhelming.
However, if you’re not sure where to start strength training (or want to make the workouts you’re already doing more challenging), the Omorpho G-Vest is a stylish at-home solution that offers free access to workouts . Think of it as another tool in your arsenal to take your training to the next level.