Gym Essentials – Weightlifting

I believe every lifter should have the correct weightlifting paraphernalia when training or as my coach said to me when I purchased my first pair of weightlifting shoes “you better start putting some work in to justify those nice new weightlifting shoes!”

Weightlifting Shoes

Only in the last year or so have I purchased a pair of Adidas Powerlift 2 weightlifting shoes and now I wouldn’t be without them. I trained in training shoes for many, many years with a real lack of support, but now with the addition of weightlifting shoes I have all that low down support I need to get up out of squats. If anyone is half serious about weightlifting you should invest in a pair of weightlifting shoes. They will change your life!

Lifting Straps

A new addition to my gym essentials are lifting straps. I’m not hugely in favour of belts, straps and knee/ wrist wraps, but they do have their place. I have used straps on occasion, but I’ve now purchased a pair of Elieko straps. Good for when your thumbs are too sore from using hook grip or for hang snatch, high pulls and dead pulls.

Weightlifting Belt

As mentioned above, I’m not hugely in favour of such equipment as I don’t feel they benefit my overall weightlifting experience. However, I do use a belt for heavy overhead stuff from the rack, e.g. jerk or behind neck jerks and also for cleans. I’m a great believer in building strength in areas such as the wrists, lower back, core, etc. without using extra support.

Chalk

My favourite of my gym essentials and probably the one thing I get told off for making a mess with more than anything at comps and when I’m training. I recommend climbers chalk, specifically the blocks of chalk and not those chalk balls. If you’re going to cover your hands in chalk for maximum grip you may as well do it properly. Fortunately, the gym I train at has a couple of chalk buckets, but it doesn’t stop it from going everywhere.

Long Socks

I’m sure that most weightlifters have experienced when the bar rubs up against your shins. Some would say it’s good for you, but a long sock can help with particularly sore shins.

Speed Rope

Skipping has been something I’ve done for many, many years as a warm-up and I still do it now. The great thing about a speed rope is that it’s compact, you can take it anywhere and I firmly believe that it’s a great exercise for building lightning fast feet and super agility, both of which are a key aspect of Olympic style weightlifting – cue the Rocky training music!

Other stuff

Last but not least is access to equipment at the gym. It’s no good training with rubbish equipment or equipment that isn’t suitable for the job. I’ve used some bad equipment in my time and I’ve made it work for me, but I think in this instance you need the right tools for the job. I’m fortunate in that the gym I have access to has lifting platforms, Olympic bars, bumpers plates, strongman equipment and lots and lots of space.

On a final note; of all the above I highly recommend weightlifting shoes. They don’t have to be expensive or the latest model, but whatever shoes you choose they will prove to be very useful for all weightlifting disciplines and provide that much needed support and stability.