Lifting is a sport of technique. Your technique of lifting will set the foundation for your strength gains and aesthetic gains. If you wanna look good you better make sure your form of lifting is correct / perfect.
How you lift is far more important than how much you lift…but if you’re like me than you may be afraid of sissy weights and that’s ok too 😉
When it comes to lifting heavy, for sure equipment will help you in many ways. If you’ve tried to buy any then you know there are so many different types of equipment available. From wrist wraps, to elbow sleeves to a few variations of knee wraps to all kinds of head gear. If you don’t know what you need, you can end up buying way too many gear and end up looking like that silly lookin’ guy in the gym…who’s always got on all kinds of wraps. I’m pretty sure every gym has a few of those guys lol !
I’ve seen and used quite several types of equipment. And truth is you don’t really need all of them really. Just a few will assist you in perfecting your pulls. So here are my favourite essential lifting gear I recommend for all women.
Remember, Our main goal is to prevent injury and reenforce our strength for a better lift.
- Wrist Straps
If you see my on Instagram then you will notice the long dangly straps hanging off my wrist…especially during my heavy deadlifts. Wrist wraps are my absolutely favourite in lifting heavy.
All I have to say is GRIP STRENGTH.
Grip strength is super important when it comes to lifting and your wrist is in focus. While lifting you want to strengthen your wrist so the wrist itself can withstand the progressively loading along with your target muscle. At the same we have to remember that your grip strength may fail you when you try to set that PR.
Why you need grip strength:
- To fatigue your target muscle when lifting heavy
- To help you achieve a stronger lift when you feel grip strength is not enough.
It is true that straps are not used in powerlifting and is considered cheating, but using it technically helps you to add on strength and off course size (if that’s what you’re looking for).
Most important is the fact that while lifting heavy we should always focus on injury prevention. If you think your next big lift may comprise a crucial joint like the wrist then wrap it girl! But I better not see you wrapping your wrist to lift something light. Don’t forget, sissy weights scare me!
A lifting belt is for one main reason, keeping your core safe when you get in that heavy lift. I know you like lifting heavy and while coming up from that beautiful squat you’re gonna need to keep that core nice and tight. Wrap that waist high!
The single most helpful aspect of the belt is that it gives your core something to push back on during your heaviest lift.
The belt is so controversial because not using it right can actually lead to injury. Like I mentioned before, lifting is a sport of technique. There are off course some people who choose to wear the lifting belt for even walking on the treadmill. Please don’t choose to be that silly.
My favourite time to wear the belt is during my super heavy sets of squats and deadlifts. Universally, we all have weak cores and it gets fixed progressively with training and exercise. This is why we better not wear a weight belt to hide the fact that our core is weak. Our goal is to build strength, and balanced body and train our body to function as one unit. This is why it may be confusing to know when to use a belt. Let me make it easy for you.
If your lift requires your lower back and lifting heavy will stress your lower back then wear a belt. Your lifts that require a belt will be a squat, deadlift and in some cases you may wanna strap on a belt for bent over barbell rowing. Wrapping a belt will give your core / abs something to push against, increasing your spine and core stability. If you over use the belt it will weaken your core.
Wearing the belt in the right place is key. Wearing it wrong will increase your chances of core injury. Remember these following points religiously :
a. Belt should go around your waist. Not under your gut even if it feels comfortable that way.
b. Belt should be tight. Hold your abdominal in (take a deep breath in and hold up your chest) and wrap it tight. You should be comfortable and tight. Don’t restrict movement though.
c. Belt should be about 3 to 4 inches. Too big and it’s not for you, it’s for the bigger guys.
3. Lifting Shoes
Most often we ignore some important parts of our body, feet are one of them. Feet are our foundation. Treat it well.
Keeping feet flat is the most important part during lifts. You would want to invest in a good pair of sneakers with a flat sole. Don’t buy running shoes or basketball shoes, they won’t help.
You may need two different types of shoes. Pro lifting shoes from Adidas are raised in the heel and gift you more glute activation for squats. I personally use one for my leg days and only for squats. For my other lifting days I wear flat sole Nike’s with a good bottom grip.
Going barefoot is not a bad idea if you don’t have proper shoes yet. Bare foot and flat sole will also prevent injury – which is our main goal when focusing on shoes.
Make sure what ever shoes you wear, IT IS FLAT AND EVEN ON THE BOTTOM. You don;t necessarily need to invest big in shoes right now if it is not one of your goals. However, if you some extra cash then buying a pair of pro lifters is a good investment.
So Much More!
Other than the 3 tops gears I mentioned above, you will find a whole lot out there. Some other good gear that will assist you in lifting big and getting strong are listed below. You don’t have to buy them now but investing into them later in the future is a good idea if getting strong is your life goal.
a. Knee wraps: wrapping your knees or wearing knee sleeves keeps it safe when squatting heavy and prevents injury. The elastic force reenforces your own strength gives you a smoother lift.
b. Chalk: Chalk is super important and has alot to do with grip strength and holding on tight. You would use chalk in places where straps are not necessary. For example gripping dumbells for rows and such. Chalk is actually used by powerlifters because straps are not allowed. However chalk is an excellent support for the rest of us who don’t compete but need to clang and bang in the gym anyway.
c. Resistant Bands: ok so if you haven’t heard me before then lemme holler it again. WARMING UP IS SUPER IMPORTANT. Resistant bands are THE BEST way to warm up before lifting. Not only warm up, it is a great asset to have for between lifts as well. It adds extra resistance and engages all your smaller muscle fibre which may other wise lay dormant. Not only just this, work out at home, do abs and carry it around when you travel to never miss a work out. I’m gonna need a separate article from the wonders of resistance bands.
Weather you compete, wanna lose body fat, or just looking to get strong, lifting is a lifestyle. The benefits of building muscle is mind blowing, especially for women. Have you read my article on The Real Reason Why Women Should Build Muscle? If not then check it out.
I would love to hear from you! Say hi to me on Instagram 🙂