Ladies (and gentleman) I give you the best gym/lift experience bag essentials:
1. The true leather lifting belt – STOP wasting money on flimsy belts from your local dicks sporting goods that have no purpose in this sport. Belts are actually to accelerate internal pressures for when you take a breath so the spine stays neutral and braced (intra-abdominal pressure), its only the secondary stiffness from the outside that people associate the benefits of the belt with. Think of a cast for your core! A 10mm inzer or similar would be an excellent choice. 13mm might be far too thick for the average lifter – I recommend that for very experienced powerlifters only.
2. Knee sleeves – They keep the knee warm and healthy as well as possibly giving you a little spring in your squats. The compression and warmth keeps everything in place including the knee cap to reduce swelling.
3. Lifting shoes – A more solid (non-squishy) heel is always best for a lifter. These shoes also have a non slip grip on wood platforms so your feet stay braced and planted. Bring on the PRs!
4. The hip thrust pad – Yes I said pad (does that make me less hardcore?) but who likes a barbell digging into their hips and possibly aggravating their adductors? This quick 20 dollar fix is all you need to build that dream booty with comfort. Remember, strength and power drive hypertrophy!
5. Glute Cable Ankle Strap – Accessory work is just as important as primary or secondary lifts so your purchase of an ankle strap is beneficial to those properly done kickbacks. Make that shelf happen!
6. Bands – For the many variations of resistance I would suggest a band kit. Recruitment of muscle fibers not used during portions of the lift will surely be a thing of the past. Unilateral band training is also very important to ensure that symmetry exists so you don’t create any imbalances over time.
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