Equipment You Need - The Dos & Don’ts of Lifting


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Scott & Matt discuss what you have to have, what you should have, and what is nice to have in the world of strength training.

First--it’s nice to have a home gym. It provides flexibility and convenience, though it admittedly takes an initial investment of money to get a functional gym. If you’re working to create a home gym, this is what you should have:

Get a 20kg or 45lb bar of relatively high quality--you can get a used one. They discuss all the details here.

Get 500+ pounds of weight, including 8x45lb, 2x25lb, 2x5lb, 2x2.5lb, 2x1.25lb plates (2” holes). Olympic bumper plates are really nice. Iron is economical. Consider what you’ll be lifting on--if you’re lifting on a well-made platform, bumper plates are not necessary if you don’t plan to do lots of Olympic lifting.

A power rack is better than a squat stand. This has 4 upright, safety pins or catches, j-hooks. It often can also come with attachments (pulley attachments, dip attachments, pull up bar, etc.). You want 1” spacing around the bench press height.

Regardless of if you lift in a public or home gym, you need shoes. This is the first thing you need. Don’t get a CrossFit trainer. They discuss lots of good options.

A belt is the next thing. You can get really strong without a belt, but most people end up getting a belt, as it adds weight to the bar and you want to get stronger. Dominion belts are great.

Chalk is necessary as your pulls (deadlift, row, clean) get heavy. You probably want blocks of chalk to paint your hand. If your gym doesn’t allow chalk, that’s a good indication that your gym stinks and you should look elsewhere.

Finally, here are nice-to-haves: wrist wraps, wrist straps, knee sleeves, squat shirt.

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