How important is the right workout gear?
Some workout gear can significantly increase the quality and enjoyment of your next workout. While you don’t necessarily need a specific type of workout attire or accessory to workout, there are reasons why gyms make recommendations on what to wear and what not to wear when you decide to workout in their facilities. Wearing the wrong type of clothing for the workout you are trying to complete could potentially put you at risk for injury. This is why comfortable, breathable, and non-restricting clothing is recommended. Your body needs to be able to move without any restriction to perform almost every type of workout you plan on adding to your weekly exercise program.
The workout attire you decide to wear can increase the enjoyment and effectiveness of your workout. This doesn’t mean that you need to drop several hundred dollars on your next outfit to get the best workout. You just need to choose something that makes you feel comfortable. When you’re comfortable in your clothing, you will feel less restricted and be able to focus more on performing well during your workout. If you are interested in improving your performance and recovery, there has been some evidence that compression clothing like compression socks have been shown to reduce perceived muscle soreness and help improve recovery.
Digital accessories will not directly improve your workout performance. They will however provide you with valuable information to help you know how effective your workout is or was. You can use this information to know how much harder or longer you need to train to reach your goal. For example, if you have an accessory that tracks your calories burned and you want to burn a certain number of calories during your workout, you can easily determine an accurate estimate of calories burned with a heart rate monitor. Devices with built in GPS tracking can tell you how far, how long, and how fast your outdoor run was. Real time pulse monitors will tell you whether your workouts are too intense or not intense enough. Check out these digital fitness devices if you are interested in devices that can track your fitness activities.
Bench shirts, weight belts, wrist straps, bar pads, knee wraps, chalk, and weight lifting shoes are all common if you have made regular trips to different fitness facilities. But do you really need these pieces of performance gear to get the most out of your workouts? The short answer is yes the do help, but there are some things you need to be aware of when deciding whether or not this type of performance gear is necessary to help you reach your goals. Let’s start with the bench shirt. The bench shirt is a tough stretchy material that helps you increase the amount of weight you can press during the bench press movement. When used properly you will be able to increase the amount of weight you can lift, but this is false strength. When you take the shirt off you will not be able to press the same weight.
Weight belts, wrist straps, and knee wraps are commonly used during heavy lifts. They will help your joints and grip by providing more stability during heavy lifts. The problem with this type of equipment, is that you are using an artificial means to provide stability and strength to your joints. If used to often, your body will not be able to engaged the normal supporting structures that naturally keep your joints and grip strong and stable. Bars pads are great for those that want to start barbell squat training, but find the bar is a bit uncomfortable at first when it is placed across the top portion of the back below the neck. Until you get more comfortable with the bar on your back, a barbell pad can be a good choice to help users focus on form without worrying about the discomfort of the bar.
Lifting a barbell requires a good grip. A grip that slips during a lift can result in serious injury. Chalk is a great resource to have to ensure that your hands stay dry and secure to the bar during press and pulling lifts. While it won’t guarantee a firm safe grip every time, it will help you if you have issues with perspiration on your hands. Weight lifting shoes are common among serious weight lifters. The hard sole and elevated heel creates an ideal platform for generating force through the floor during squatting and other Olympic lifts. They may take a bit of time to gets used to, but will make a big different in your lifting performance compared to a casual athletic or running shoe. Check out the two items below if you are interested in gear to help you increase your lifting performance.
- Wear clothing that is comfortable and non-restrictive
- Use digital accessories to help track your workout performance
- Try some performance gear to see which ones might help you improve your performance