Recommended and Optional Gear for Strength Training
Below are the recommended and optional gear you may want to consider if you are starting a strength training program.
- REQUIRED —Weightlifting Shoes: If you plan on sticking with a strength program for more than a couple sessions, weightlifting shoes are a necessary investment. They have hard soles and provide extra stability. Normal “sneakers” have a spongy sole, no arch support and overall not designed for strength training. To better understand the point, picture yourself standing on a mattress, and lifting a heavy object over your head. Adidas Powerlift and Do-Win are 2 good entry level brands that can be purchased online for $80-$90.
- Required–Clothing: Cotton t-shirts seem to work best for strength training. This is mainly due to squatting, which requires the bar to be placed on the shoulders. Cotton “grabs” the knurling on the bar and helps keep it in place. Neoprene and other performance wear has a slick sheen and not ideal. The shoulders should also be covered when squatting, as the knurling can make your session more uncomfortable than need be. Shorts/pants are a matter of comfort/preference, provided they allow you a full range of motion. If shorts are worn, it is recommended to wear long socks that cover the calf. This is for Deadlifts, where the bar is moved up the shin.
- OPTIONAL–Weightlifting Belt: Not required until the weight gets heavy, you have a history of back problems, or you just feel better wearing one. Must be same width all the way around (avoid the square padded backs). Leather/suede 3 inches wide for women, and 3 or 4 inches wide for men, depending on height. Price range is enormous, but I recommend avoiding cheap sporting goods belts. Dominion belts and similar online companies a moderately priced with excellent quality.
- OPTIONAL–Knee sleeves and wrist wraps: Knees and wrists sore after workouts? Check out Rogue Fitness online for a vast assortment of inexpensive knee sleeves and wrist wraps. If working out in your garage in colder months, these items also serve to keep the joints warm.