Gear Every Strength Athlete Needs
Are you serious about getting strong? Then make sure you have the tools in your arsenal to get the job done. Strength athlete Eric Todd shares what gear is essential.
While all strength sports are alike in that they require strength (obviously), they can be vastly different in what kind of gear is needed. For example, many highland game athletes drag around the field with them a whole toolbox full of equipment only utilized in the highland games. Strongman competitors utilize some equipment that is quite unique as well to strongman competitions. While there is no cut and dry answer to this question, I would like to focus on the basics that I have utilized in the 2 disciplines I have spent most of my competitive days involved in strongman and all-round weightlifting.
1. Weightlifting Belt
The first essential piece is my lifting belt. Since sustaining several back injuries over the years, I pretty much do not lift without it. My belt of choice is a 10mm leather 2 prong belt. I have also tried one prong and a lever belt. The 2 prongs are my favorite. In strongman competitions, I would wear a soft rehband belt under it primarily in stones and the yoke carries for additional support. The soft rehband belt is illegal in all-round, but I still utilize my leather belt.
2. Wrist Wraps
The next piece is wrist wraps. These are legal in both strongman and all-round weightlifting. Having relatively small joints, I found that training heavy pressing without wrist wraps resulted in me nursing strained wrists far too often, thus impacting my training. I began to utilize a good pair of wrist wraps to maintain the integrity of my wrists. It’s another tool I rarely train without.
3. The Right Shoe
I have found shoes to be a pretty important piece of gear while training and competing. I just use a good cross trainer for many of the lifts/events. However, when it comes to deadlifting movements, I like something with very little sole, like a wrestling shoe or deadlift slipper. When it comes to overhead pressing or any variety of clean or snatch, I like an Olympic weightlifting shoe with the built-up heel/solid platform.
4. Knee Sleeves
The last piece is a knee sleeve. Through my years wrestling and in strength athletics, I have suffered quite a few knee injuries. The older I get, the more it feels as though the integrity of that joint has been compromised. While the knee sleeves are not allowed in all-round competitions, nothing says I cannot utilize them in my training to protect the joint so it is in the best possible condition to perform when it is competition time.
While there are many, many different types of gear out there that may or may not be handy in the strength endeavor you are pursuing, these handful are the ones I utilize on the most regular basis and across my environments.
TEAM PEAK Athlete Eric Todd