What’s up again fellow lifters? Powerlifting gear is not essential, but you will most likely benefit from using different pieces of equipment for training and/or competition. Now I’m not talking BS info like wearing a weight belt is only for heavy loads.
That statement is wrong and often what everyone talks about. But I’ll hit on that point in a bit when we cover lifting belts.
Alright brotatoes and chiclets, let’s take a look at powerlifting gear for beginner to advanced lifters. You’d be surprised how many amateur powerlifters have no clue what their gear is for. If others wear them then you should to right?
Wrist Wraps for Powerlifting
Wrist wraps, not to be confused with straps, are a staple for nearly all my workouts regardless if I’m powerlifting or focused on hypertrophy. I’m not saying you should do everything like me and wear them for most lifts, but I’m saying you should consider it and here’s why.
The primary reason for wrist wraps during resistance training is because they take the pressure off of your wrist joint. This happens through resisting wrist flexion (bending) and keeping the joint closed.
When you wrap your wrists with these they go directly below the joint as shown in the image.
No part of the wrist wrap should be touching the meaty portion of your hands. Improperly wrapping your wrists makes it pointless to even wear them.
Waste your money on something else if that’s the case because gains won’t be happening anytime in the near future.
Long story short, these wrist bands are good for all movements including:
- Bench Press
So why do I say that this type of equipment is not just for pushing movements like the bench press? Well let’s discuss this for a minute.
During squats your wrists can be under strain if you hold the bar thumbs wrapped under the bar, which is the most commonly executed method of grip. Those who wrap their thumbs above the bar have no need for wraps though.
Now, why would wrist wraps be used during deadlifts? The answer to this is so that your hands have more difficulty opening up.
Most powerlifting competitions allow you to use wrist wraps so might as well take advantage of them. Plus for those not competing; it’s to help develop grip strength by not helping you literally grip the bar.
Last of all is using this type of equipment for what we call pressing movement’s i.e. the bench press or overhead press based exercises. The wrist wraps basically strengthen your wrists and as mentioned prevent them from straining back.
Lifting Belts for Powerlifting
Lifting belts can provide several benefits for your body, but are often improperly worshipped as well. The common response for using a lifting belt is to protect the lower back during heavy lifts.
While this is true in a sense, the picture is much bigger than this. The reason you wear a lifting belt is to cause force against your abdominal wall leading to abdominal contractions.
This is literally causing your core to remain used, which means the muscles around your spine contract to protect against force. This is what leads to protecting your lower back along with keeping your spine neutral.
Basically you’re not supporting your lower back. Just placing abdominal pressure that leads to protection.
Now, there are two common lifting belts the 4 inch and the 6 inch. They can be created through different materials, but leather and foam core seem to be the popular choices.
Lifting belts can be great for most exercises since core muscles are used the most for a lot of lifts.
Knee Sleeves and Elbow Sleeves for Powerlifting
Yet ANOTHER piece of powerlifting gear that has a bad use factor in terms of mindset. So let’s squash the BS that spreads rapid in our gym convo’s.
Sleeves for your joints are merely used to keep them warm so the synovial fluid within can resist friction and encourage maximum strength output. Essentially you are attempting to lower the chances of knee inflammation (pain).
Now, if you go a size or two smaller, some powerlifters are capable of pushing out up to 8o more pounds during a PR. That’s a big deal when it comes to beating out your competition, but the primary thing to remember under most circumstances sleeves just keep your joints warm.
Wrist Straps for Powerlifting
All three of the previous powerlifting pieces are able to be worn for most competitions just with certain specifics on dimensions. Wrist straps are popular for training, but are not allowed to be worn during a comp.
Wrist straps work by wrapping around the handle or bar to keep your grip literally stuck to the equipment. This is good for pulling exercises such as deadlifts and rows, but you probably don’t want wrist straps on during the bench press.
Why? Remember I said you’re LITERALLY stuck to the bar, handle, whatever the hell you wrapped yourself on. Well guess what happens if something goes wrong and the weight tips over?
You get to go along for the ride shoulder popping out and all instead of being able to let go and bail the fuck out. The next time you see someone bench pressing with wrist wraps on then let them, but don’t reenact their ignorance.
When it comes to training with pulling exercises, you get the benefit of increasing your resistance without worrying about losing grip. On that note, you sacrifice grip strengthening for muscle strengthening of targeted regions.
Choose your training program wisely to fully develop your power, strength, and grip. Here’s an article on STACK I wrote for those looking to improve grip strength.
Powerlifting Gear Truly Does Help
Obviously from the images I’m sponsored by Olympiada, and truly believe their gear is top quality and affordable. However, any type of equipment is better than nothing so long as it doesn’t let loose in the middle of a lift. Which in that case it’s fucking useless.
As it shows in the image, Olympiada gear can be bought for even cheaper by using my code “OlympiadaBrian”. That’s 20% off items that are already cheap. Just copy and paste the code for use during checkout on Olympiada’s website.
Whatever you choose always consider having wrist wraps, joint sleeves, and a lifting belt on hand for training – regardless of how much resistance you pump out sets with.