Essential weightlifting kit, including what you don’t need
With companies trying to sell you everything from fart de-stinkifying pants to pink chalk, what is it you REALLY need in your kit bags?
The essentials for a training bag:
- A pair of lifting shoes – All sorts on the market but I personally choose Nike Romaleos and swear they are the best on the market for people with a regular/wide foot. Second place goes to the Adidas AdiPowers (my feet are too wide for them).
- Chalk – You can’t guarantee every gym will have a full chalk bucket. I’ve shown up assuming there would be some, and had my session ruined because I didn’t bring my own. Simple little box in my bag for such occasions.
- A pair of knee sleeves – Injury prevention is the number one priority for me. And as every lifting movement consists of a squat, I keep those knees wrapped up in a warm blanke– AKA neoprene knee sleeves. Rehband are the market leaders for a reason and provide a sleeve for everyday, day-in and day-out use. With a huge range of supports and thicker sleeves for some cushioning and oomph! #shamelessplug #rehbandfullpotential
- A note pad or training diary – Always track your lifts, your bodyweight, and how you feel from session to session.
- A pen – To write in your notebook or on yourself.
- A lacrosse ball – Save yourself from failure, warm up and loosen up correctly for every session. So many problems can be solved by shoving a ball into your armpit/back you would not believe.
- A theraband – Or a resistance band of your choice. I use mine to warm up my glutes and stretch my shoulders. Failing to prepare usually results in failing. Or so says my old school’s motto.
- A water bottle – Stay hydrated!
The less essential:
What else I have in my bag
- A form of caffeine – Coffee, pre-workout, caffeine powder (beware, drink only if you don’t want to shit ever again)
- Trainers – Sometimes you have to do cardio, and no matter how cool I think I look going on the cross trainer in Romaleos isn’t okay.
- Spare pants – On rare occasions you may wee or, as I’ve seen most recently in my gym, even shit yourself.
- A lifting belt – Not always essential to training, for the first year I trained I never used one. However it’s something many may want to use, as I do now. But be sure you know why you are using one. Dave has some pointers on the subject of weightlifting belts here.
- Smelling salts – A magic jar of egg farts that seems to get you ready for the big lifts. My salts only come out on huge max out sessions and during competition – thus not essential for every day.
- Tape – Zinc oxide tape/K-tape – To cover you thumbs if that is your preference or save the rest of your session if you get a hand tear or shin burn.
Oh, and of course pink chalk is an essential. I’ve missed that one off.