Will lifting accessories make me stronger?

Will lifting accessories make me stronger?

When it comes to training i'm sure you've seen people use a bunch of lifting accessories such as....

Weightlifting shoes 
Training belt
Lifting straps

Now common questions we've been asked about these items are "Do I need these for my training?" or "Will they help me get stronger?"

Well the answer is that it depends.

What I will do is break down each piece of equipment above and go into some detail around when you may need these or not.

Weightlifting Shoes

It's important to remember that these shoes are only useful for any squat movements and even some single leg movements.

Do not wear them for deadlifting variations or any exercise that requires a flat and stable base.

For the most part these are not required for most people, the people that would benefit from these would be....

Olympic lifters
Crossfitters (not all exercises)
If you have a long femur/torso ratio
If you have poor ankle mobility (can just use wedges)
If you want to improve range of motion i.e. get a deeper squat (can just use

To sum it up you do not need these if you want to get stronger in your squat.

But they will make the squat more optimal and will help you sit deeper into a squat whilst remaining in a fairly upright position, this means more quad activation.

This will lead to an increase in strength but it's important to remember that this can be done without the lifting shoes.

You can just use wedges or you may already have great ankle mobility which means you can sit into a deep squat in most shoes.

But if you are looking to get the most out of your squat and fall into the list of people from above then they could be a worthwhile investment. 

Training Belt

Now, this is one of the most overused pieces of kit i've seen in the gym.

Most of the time it's not even being used efficiently and even worse it's being used on exercises that don't even need it.  

The main reason we would wear a belt is to help increase intra-abdominal pressure, to put it simply; bracing your core.

By being able to brace our core more we can generate more power and will also be adding security to the lower back.

The two main exercises you would use this for is any squatting or deadlift variation. It can also be used for military/push press variations.

This is not something I would advise using straight away in your gym journey but something you use when you are more advanced and the limiting factor in your lifts is your abdominal pressure. 

Again, something that will not be needed by more than half the gym population but will be needed at some point if you start to take your squatting and deadlifting more seriously. 

Lifting straps

Lifting straps have become a lot more prominent in recent years and for good reason.

Like the other accessories listed above they can still be a poorly utilised piece of kit but definitely have a strong case to be used in many scenarios.

The reason you should use lifting straps is the minute your grip becomes the problem first.

For example, if you are doing a set of 8 reps on RDLs and the reason you have to stop is because the bar is slipping then this is a time to introduce straps.

When you start to think in your head I could of done some more good, solid reps if it wasn't for the grip then it's definitely time to introduce them.

Exercises they can be really useful for is....

Romanian deadlifts
Pull up variations
Pulldown variations
Rowing variations
Even some heavy single leg work

You will definitely get told by some old meathead at some point that "they didn't use straps in my day and we got on fine" but ignore that.

That is their own bias towards this.

If your grip is going before the targeted muscles, use straps. End of. 


So to summarise the title of this blog the answer is most of the time yes accessories can contribute towards getting you stronger.

But, this does not apply if you have poor technique on an exercise.

They will assist but they will not fix, remember that.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, if you'd like to have a chat then head over to our instagram and drop us a message!

We are here to BREAK THE CYCLE!

Hope you have a great day,

Ben Mannion
Head Coach
RikFit Dynamic Coaching

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