Lifting Gear For The Gym – Essentials
In this post I will cover lifting gear for the gym and discuss the essential gear that you need for your bodybuilding workouts. Coming prepared to the gym with your gym bag ready is crucial and can serve to give you an edge in your workouts. There are many serious fitness enthusiasts that I see at the gym who still come unprepared. They are missing out on realising their full potential in the gym. Throughout this article I will give you all the essential equipment that you need in your gym bag to maximise your workouts.
A solid lifting belt is worth its weight in gold in the gym when it comes to lifting weights. It can protect your lower back when lifting heavier weights and prevent lower back strains. I would suggest to only wear the belt when the weight starts getting heavy as over reliance on lifting belts can lead to your core getting weaker. There are two different types of belts – the skinnier bodybuilding belts and the thicker powerlifting belts. In general, I would recommend a powerlifting belt as they offer more support, however I know people that prefer a thinner belt for deadlifting. I personally use a double prong powerlifting belt for my training. I wear it tighter when I want more support and one notch looser when I want more freedom of movement. Again only reserved for heavier training! Don’t be one of those people who walk around with a belt on for their entire training session.
Lifting chalk is very important for lifting weights in the gym as it improves your grip by keeping your hands dry and eliminating sweat. This is an essential accessory for any serious bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast. There are two options when it comes to chalk – liquid chalk or block chalk. From my experience liquid chalk is superior, it makes less mess and also results in a stronger grip than block chalk. I know this as I have sometimes forgotten my liquid chalk and instead had block chalk on me. When using chalk in block form the grip is not as strong, the coverage of chalk is not as good as liquid. As a result liquid chalk is slightly more expensive but well worth the investment. It will last you a long time.
Wrist Wraps And Wrist Straps
Wrist wraps and wrist straps sound similar but a lot of people confuse them. Essentially the wraps are worn to support the wrists, particularly useful for heavy pressing movements like bench presses. They keep the wrist solid when benching and ensure that you have a good control of the weight. They are important in my view when training heavy to protect your wrists.
Wrist straps are worn to prevent grip being an issue when doing heavy pulling movements. In general I would not wear wrist straps unless you are doing a really high volume of pulling and want to save your hands. Also wrist straps have their place in movements where you don’t want the grip to be a limiting factor. For example, if you are performing a really heavy set of high rep dumbbell shrugs, wearing wrist straps is a good idea for this. This way your traps will fatigue before your grip does. But I always advise not to overuse straps as you want to develop and strengthen your grip. A stronger grip will be of big benefit not only in lifting but also in everyday life.
Knee Sleeves And Elbow Sleeves
In my view knee sleeves and elbow sleeves are definitely useful tools especially as your journey in bodybuilding develops over time. They can help to keep your joints warm and well supported, preventing some overuse injuries and tendonitis. Elbow and knee pain is something very common when it comes to lifting weights. Many bodybuilders suffer from tendonitis related issues in their knees and/or elbows. Therefore sleeves are a great investment. In my case I already have knee sleeves that I wear to the gym regularly and I am purchasing elbow sleeves now as well. I do a lot of tricep work and close grip bench presses therefore my elbows can become irritated sometimes. The sleeves will be of great utility for me in keeping my joints healthy.
The final essential accessories to put in your gym bag for training sessions are resistance bands. I have already covered how great resistance bands are in previous posts, but I will mention them again here. You can use them for your warm ups, for various exercises and making free weight exercises harder. In addition you can attach them to some machines in the gym to make exercises harder – could be machine presses or machine rows for instance.
Another clever way of using resistance bands is to do “assisted pull ups”. This is where you hook a band from the pull up bar, pull it down and step onto it with one foot. Then you do your pull ups, this way it will make your pull ups easier by taking weight off you in essence. This is a great way to work hypertrophy into your pull ups by doing higher rep backdown sets. It is far superior to using the assisted pull up machine in the gym.
Therefore resistance bands are truly an essential tool to bring to the gym with you. They can compliment your workouts incredibly well and provide unique muscle stimulation at the same time.
==> To Check Out The Resistance Bands That I Use Click Here! <==
To conclude, in this post I have detailed lifting gear for the gym that I deem to be really beneficial in maximising your bodybuilding progress. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have your gym bag ready to go for each workout. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is the mantra that springs to mind here!
As always, if you have any questions about anything I have written in this article please leave me a comment below. I would be happy to answer your questions. Stay safe and enjoy your training.