3 Gym Accessories You Should Not Be Without…

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When it comes to getting the most out of your training session there are several considerations you need to make, some easy to control and some not so easy. Things you may have little say in include injury, the people in your gym environment, the actions of said people, and the time you have to train. Granted one might argue that all of these things can be positively changed in one way or another…but the key here is that it’s not easy to do so! So because we may struggle to keep on top of all of these factors, it pays us to be s*** hot with the factors we can control, for example:

 

1.) Use a lifting belt

I hear people who say ‘you don’t need a lifting belt’, those fortunate few who claim to have never injured their lower back when training. Those people certainly exist, and it most likely isn’t because they got lucky, but more likely that they lifted right more often than not! However, no matter how careful you are, there comes a time when even the best out there slip up or are momentarily distracted…and believe you me, it only takes a moment for your back to go. I’m not scare mongering, rather I’m giving an informed opinion on the risks of maximal lifts without using a belt.  If you’re attempting a 1RM (1 rep max), especially if the 1RM is more than 5% of your previous maximal lift, then trust me when I say this…belts DO have their place! Training without a belt is key to maintaining and improving core strength, so when the weight is appropriate for a 8-10 rep max (for example) then by all means train without a belt, but as you start creeping up the weight scale DO NOT let your pride get in the way of your health and wellbeing!

 

2.) Wear knee supports…

I will immediately acknowledge the lifters out there who get by without using knee sleeves or supports, the body is a durable and strong piece of machinery so it is no surprise that some people get off scott free when squatting, lunging or bounding without knee supports. However this depends on your goals, so should you be training to increase your maximal lift, this will inevitably require a heavy load. The heavier the load, the greater the strain placed on your knees and hips! If you’re one of those people who don’t feel supports are for you, then I would be as bold as to suggest that you haven’t had the (not so) pleasurable experience of patella tendonitis (a common powerlifting ailment). Knee supports not only alleviate existing ailments, but also reduce the risk of suffering from future knee problems. Plus the elasticity of knee supports can provide some elastic support enabling you to spring up from the below parallel mark (‘ass to grass’ and all that)…and every little helps in the pursuit of breaking that 200kg mark!

 

 

3.) Use liquid chalk

Whether it be in the original powder form or the liquid kind, chalk is a key accessory to lifting. You might say ‘I’ve lifted without chalk forever and I can still bench 150kg, squat 200kg and bicep curl 35’s, but I know several top lifters who have represented their country who swear by the difference lifting chalk can make. You just DO NOT realise how greasy or sweaty your hands are until you try lifting with chalk. The additional grip can lead to reduced strain on your forearms, as well as minimising damage to your skin whilst enhancing the mind – muscle connection…cos when you apply that chalk and clap those hands, you know you’re ready to go!

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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