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Effects of Weighted Vest Loading During Daily Living Activities on Countermovement Jump and Sprint Performance

Jeffrey D. Simpson, Ludmila Cosio-Lima, Eric M. Scudamore, Eric K. O’Neal, Ethan M. Stewart, Brandon L. Miller, Harish Chander, and Adam C. Knight

Purpose: Wearing a weighted vest (WV) during daily living and training can enhance jump and sprint performance; however, studies examining the efficacy of this method in female populations is limited. This study examined the effect of wearing a WV during daily living and training on countermovement jump (CMJ), change-of-direction, and sprint performance. Methods: Trained females were separated into intervention (n = 9) and control (n = 10) groups. The intervention group wore WVs of ∼8% body mass 4 days per week for 8 hours per day (32 h/wk total), and 3 training sessions per week for the first 3 weeks. Subsequently, 3 weeks of regular training without WV stimulus was completed. The control group received no intervention and continued normal training for 6 weeks. Average and best performance was assessed on the single CMJ, four continuous CMJ, t-test change-of-direction drill, and a 25-m sprint at baseline, week 3, and week 6. Results: No significant interactions or group effects were found. However, significant time main effects revealed increases in average rate of force development during the CMJ from baseline to week 3 (P = .048) and week 6 (P = .013), whereas peak vertical ground reaction force increased during the four continuous CMJ from baseline to week 3 (P = .048) and week 6 (P = .025) for both groups. Conclusions: The lower relative WV load used in this study failed to elicit significant improvements in jump and sprint performance in comparison with routine training, or that which have been found in past investigations with elite male athletes completing high-intensity performance tasks with greater WV loads.