Want to make your home workout more challenging? Add weight. To get stronger, you have to gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training routine — that’s called the principle of progressive overload. But adding weight doesn’t always mean hoisting heavy bars, plates, or bells. A weighted vest is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to take a bodyweight workout to the next level.
The Omorpho G-Vest+ ($299 for men, $279 for women) evenly distributes weight — in the form of iron metal ball bearings — across your core to add extra resistance during exercise. Wearing weight like this isn’t going to bulk you up overnight but it can increase your muscular endurance, especially during high-intensity training. In fact, wearing resistance on the thighs decreased 40-meter sprint times by 2.4 percent in a 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 just scan the NFC tag embedded within the vest to get (free) access to the new Omorpho Training App, populated with thrice weekly strength training workouts.
I tried three workouts wearing the G-Vest+ before it launched, and here’s what you need to know.
A smarter weighted vest
The Omorpho G Vest+ is an excellent weighted vest that takes the guesswork out of working out by beaming your daily exercise routine right to your phone.
I tested the women’s vest, which was designed specifically for 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 body-skimming fit that doesn’t bounce or shift while working out — even when jogging in place. It’s also super customizable, with easily adjusted pull cords at the side or slide hooks at the shoulders. The streamlined look was nice from an aesthetic perspective, but also in terms of functionality. That means that because the weight is dispersed via small spheres across the vest, there were no bulky pockets or weight plates obstructing the view of my feet during squats or impeding my arms during push-ups.
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The G-Vest works via an NFC tag embedded on the left upper chest of the garment (this is the same tech that allows 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 equally bare bones. The homepage includes a calendar that shows the number of sessions and minutes you’ve completed, a video link to the day’s “G-Session” (or workout), and a link to the Omorpho Instagram community. Forget endless scrolling for a workout that speaks to you; you’ve got your workout of the day and that’s it.
If strength training is defined by the idea of progressive overload, one of the longer-term drawbacks of using the G-Vest+ is that you’re stuck with one set of weight (the men’s small/medium weighs 8 pounds 12 ounces and the large/extra large is 9 pounds 14 ounces, while the women’s large/extra large weights 5 pounds 6 ounces). In that sense, you’re only ever increasing your bodyweight by the set weight of the vest; once your body adapts to that weight, you’ll have to start increasing reps, sets and the duration of your workout if you want to continue to progress. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it will eventually limit your gains.
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Right now, the Omorpho app offers three workouts per week. Workouts are only 20 minutes long, and feature a variety of plyometric (think: squat jumps) and isometric movements (like mountain climber holds) where you either wear the vest or use it as a handheld weight. Workouts drop every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, giving you 48 hours or 72 hours on the weekend to complete them as often as you’d like within that time frame. But once the next workout drops, the previous one is gone. The company does plan to eventually release a catalog of workouts in the app where you can access previous workouts, but for now you’re limited to this schedule.
Omorpho is the first brand to incorporate workout access directly into the garment itself, which is huge for anyone who’s not sure what to do with one. But other weighted vests allow for more weight variations, which may be more helpful to experienced exercisers. The Lila Exogen Top, which starts at $329, is another slimmer design that uses adjustable loads from 3 pounds to up to 6 pounds, while more traditional vests like the Rogue Plate Carrier, for $130, can carry up to 40 pounds.
The Omorpho monthly subscription can grant you access to thousands upon thousands of live and on-demand exercise options, but finding the right workout can feel overwhelming.
However, if you’re not sure where to start with 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 comes with free access to workouts. Think of it as another tool in your arsenal to take your training to the next level.