Article contributed by: Jennifer Dawson.Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

Scientific research has proven that powerlifting can increase strength, empower the mind, improve mental stability, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, and help people look younger longer. With so many obvious health benefits, there’s no wonder that you see so many people waiting to use the barbells at the gym or buff gym rats hitting the floor with their impressive squats. However, they aren’t the only ones that can reap the rewards. You too can become an amazing powerlifter with the right gear and equipment.


Flat Shoes Rather That Running Sneakers

When you go to the gym, you probably sport your favorite Nikes runners. However, if you pay attention to the lifters around the room, you may notice that they’re lifting in their Chuck Taylors. This is because Converses have a flat sole that allows any lifter to evenly distribute their weight throughout their foot. This essentially allows you to spread the floor apart and stick to the ground without slipping. Therefore, before you start your powerlifting career, head to the store and buy some flat soled shoes. These are highly advantageous and can be the difference between making the lift and dropping your weights.


Wrist Wraps to Increase Stability

One of the best pieces of powerlifting equipment is also one of the smallest. Wrist wraps essentially wrap around your wrist and provide structure and support to the highly delicate bones and ligaments around this area. Since a slight tweaking of any of these small bones can lead to an intense pain, you’ll want to cover it up to allow yourself more time in the gym. Although they’re more commonly used for the bench press, many lifters like to use them for squats as well because they allow you to safely handle more weight. Place them on the very tip of your thumb and wrap through the rest of your fingers. This will keep the loop nice and tight yet give you the ability to slide your thumb out when necessary.


Knee-High Socks or Knee Sleeves

Bloody shins are unfortunately a common occurrence for those that deadlift. Therefore, it’s wise to wear extremely long knee-high socks to prevent cutting up your shins or bleeding out on the floor. You can also invest in knee sleeves to do the job as well. These also keep fluid around the joints to smoothen joint movement and also increases your body’s proprioception. Some people even say that knee sleeves increase the number of weights they can lift. However, this has yet to be scientifically proven.


The Controversial Lifting Belts

The use of lifting belts has been a source of controversy among many powerlifters. Some people say that many lifters become too dependent on the belt which can negatively impact their training.  However, if used properly it can greatly improve strength and performance while decreasing your risk of injury. For powerlifting, the lifting belt is worn looser than bodybuilding belts to build internal abdominal pressure. Therefore, the most common mistake is wearing the belt too tight. Your built should be worn so that it still allows you to take a deep breath anytime that you have it on.

Obtaining the right gear is the first step to achieving your powerlifting dreams. Once you’ve got everything you need, the next step is to work on your mindset. With these two things, you’ll be virtually unstoppable at the gym.

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