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What do I need for Weight Training?

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When you start out in the gym knowing what is necessity & unnecessary can be a bit daunting, I’m going to break down what the different things do and how much you really need them.

Booty Bands/Hip Loops

These are rubber or cotton bands, depending on the brand that can be used around the ankles or above the knees. They are perfect for glute activation or burn out work at the end of your program.

They do have the benefit to add into your Hip Thrusters & high rep squat work (NEVER for strength – Low Rep/Heavy), but don’t just add them every time, we need to shock the glutes to cause the growth & if you aren’t actually pushing out into the band then it wont be benefiting you, it will be hindering you.

Powerbands

These are rubber or cotton bands, depending on the brand that can be used around the ankles or above the knees. They are perfect for glute activation or burn out work at the end of your program.

assistance in gym exercises such as chin-ups, parallel dips to name a couple. By adding a PB to a BW load it makes it easier because its taking some of your load.

You can also use a PB to increase resistance, but remember do what you coach assigns, they should have a reason for how they have wrote your program.

Bar Pad

These are for Hip Thrusters & raises only, don’t be adding them to you squats etc. You need to keep that bar close for those kind of movements so either wear a top that covers your skin or harden it up. But when it comes to a Hip hinge movement we don’t want to bruise our hip bones & public bone, so place the bar pad on and protect the bones!

Get them off eBay, Amazon or your local sports shop.

Weight Belt

The most important of accessories in strength training. You can train without a belt when you’re doing your lighter stuff but when it’s 1RM training you need it because you’re putting your body through its paces and it needs the added strength in the core that comes from wearing a belt. When you’re wearing a weight belt during training you are pushing all your core muscles; abs, obliques, back into the belt. You then have your breath pushing from the inside, this allows for the muscles to 100% activated as well as having extra support even from your breath. This is why it’s not about just holding your breath it’s about taking that breath before you start so you internal balloon is full. 

 

This doesn’t just support your core during your working reps it also helps strengthen them. And since we are training for our fitness & looks wearing a belt is only an added benefit to your training, there is no need to train without the belt if you’re not about to jump into a powerlifting comp but it will help you feel more supported through your back & core in your low rep, heavy load work.

Get them from a lifting store or brands website.

Knee Sleeves

Knee Sleeves are a great thing to have but not greatly necessary. Knee Sleeves are a tight thick fabric that keep your knees warm and give a little extra support, some power lifters use knee wraps for the support. I don’t actually wear knee Sleeves unless doing 1RM or low rep, heavy load. So by keeping the ligaments around the knees warm it means the knees are always ready to go no matter how long your rest is. This is especially relevant when you are taking those big rests (2-4mins). 

Knee sleeves also make for great shin pads when deadlifting. 

Powerlifting Shoes

Powerlifting shoes are very solid, designed to take the movement out of your feet when squatting, which gives you more stability while squatting. They also have a thicker sole at the heel which allows for you to get a fuller depth squat without putting pressure on your lower back, which in turn will use more muscles. There is nothing wrong with wearing your normal shoes to squat these are something to add if you feel you want to add the investment as they are $200-$300 sometimes more depending where your looking and you can only wear them while you squat because the have no movement in the sole to do anything else. I would suggest avoiding running shoes, find something without a lot of padding in the sole like a Converse or Van.

Hooks & Wraps

Hooks & wrist Wraps are a great companion when deadlifting especially if you don’t want to do a mix grip (one palm forward other back) the problem with a mix grip is it creates imbalances in your physique, your shoulders & back will develop slightly different to one another because they are working different in such a loaded exercise as a Deadlift. But by keeping your grip in neutral you do run the risk of forearm pump and dropping the bar as you get fatigued, so bring in the assistance! 

I personally always use them because when those bars get heavy they get hard to hold. Hooks are done up around your wrist and have a metal hook that you latch under the bar and then grab hold of the bar as normal, a lot of people don’t like these because there is a thickness in their hand. Wrist Wraps have a loop that goes around your wrist you then wrap the remainder of the strap around the bar and grab hold, which is a flat more even surface to grab but it starts to take that weight of the bar, personally I’m to unco with straps so I don’t use them, but I use a product called Versa Grips which are like the 2 combined, the have a soft strap in your hand that wraps under or over the bar depending on your exercise and they do up with velcro around your wrist, they are more expensive but I wouldn’t go back.

Shin pads

Shin pads are exactly that pads for your shins. When deadlifting the bar should be nice and close to your body at all times. I personally push the bar up against my shins because that forces my alignment from knees to hips to back. By wearing shin pads you take away the bruises on the shins look. It doesn’t remove the occasional bit of skin you can loose from your knees but at least your not bruised. 

Gloves

Gloves are a fingerless padded glove that you can wear lifting. They are basically to stop you from getting calluses. If you continue not using them your hands will strengthen, you’ll build a callus , it will then peel back to end up just flat hard skin, I don’t think mine are that ugly but it’s personal preference, but personally not a fan of lifting gloves.

They are all the main tools of strength training. They all have their purpose but not all of them are necessary. If you want to add them to your gym bag then do, but only if you feel they will benefit your session, I do recommend everyone get a belt because we only get one back.

R.x

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