When you’re training – You’ve probably seen people around wearing accessories.

Weightlifting gloves, straps on their wrists, chalk, belts etc.

Question is – Do you need ’em?

Let’s have a look at my rules of thumb.

Gloves – Is there a specific reason you want to keep your hands nice, clean, pristine. Are you a hand model or does your job require you to have smooth hands? If any of the above are correct. Then wear gloves. Chances are though – You’ll have a worse grip due to the bar slipping.

Straps (For grip) – Ask yourself these questions. Have I maxed out on my grip? (I.e when deadlifting), have I used the over-under method for grip? Have I used chalk? If the answer is YES to all 3 then it’s time for you to graduate on to using straps. You should be deadlifting a MINIMUM of 1.5 times your bodyweight with no straps before you move onto straps.

Chalk – Have you maxed out on your current grip and tried over-under grip. If so – Use chalk. Ideally liquid chalk. Why? It works just as good (if not better) than regular chalk. It’s handy. And theres a good chance your gym owner will like you a lot better if you don’t dust the hell out their gym by using regular chalk. 9 times out of 10 people who use regular chalk have a tendency to try and paint the wall and floors with it.

Belts – The question to ask yourself is – Is my lower back strong enough, am I doing specific exercises for it? Am I deadlifting or squatting correctly? Do I already have pre-existing back injuries? If the answer is YES to all 3 of the above. Then it might be time to look at using a belt. Here’s the thing they don’t tell you though…

Sometimes, With a belt when you squat or deadlift – It can catch on your stomach, pinch it and feel like you’re getting a hernia.And don’t expect a belt to completely eliminate your chance of injury, most people begin to rely on belts and stop doing things like planking and hyper extensions to strengthen the core – Use belts sparingly – Do core work regularly.

Sleeves – Both knee and elbow. I never used to be a fan of knee sleeves at all. But quite honestly – They are a game changer. When it comes to squatting and leg movements I began to get a bit of knee trouble over the years of heavy work and reps. Introduced knee sleeves and it is now like squatting with pillows on – Brilliant. Elbow sleeves I haven’t used first hand but could imagine this will also be the case!

So there you have it – Before you buy the kit. See if you need the kit.

Hopefully this blog will give you all a great insight into it.

Any questions you have – simply send them through.

Yours in strength,