If you're regularly hitting the weights, it's important to not only be following the right workouts to make the best use of your time, but also choosing the right accessories to pack on muscle and get stronger.
Whether you're a weightlifter chasing the pump, or a powerlifter chasing big numbers, the right accessories can take your training to the next level. If you've hit a plateau with your lifts, these can also help you break through and start hitting new PBs.
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We've picked out accessories that will benefit different types of lifts, from basic curls to deadlifts to Olympic lifts. So read on for our pick of the best gym weight lifting accessories.
Liquid Chalk Sports Chalk
Buy now: Amazon | $14.99
One of the cheapest pieces of kit to add to your gym bag, but one you'll wonder how you lived without. Liquid chalk is a favourite of rock climbers, but is just as at home in the gym to help with grip and to counter sweaty hands.
Just put a coin-sized amount on your hands, rub it in and instantly have superior grip. Liquid chalk is particularly useful for any lift where grip is your limiting factor ‚Äď such as deadlifts ‚Äď and will make the bar practically stick to your hands.
Even other lifts, like the humble curl or bench press, will be improved by having reassuring grip so you can concentrate on squeezing out another rep rather than fighting to hold onto the weight.
Mirafit Pro Range Lifting Wrist Straps
Buy now: Mirafit | ¬£7.95
If you don't want your hands to get mucky with chalk or your fancy gym won't let you use it, these lifting straps will help with your grip strength on heavier deadlifts.
We would recommend saving these for your top working sets so your grip strength develops, but these will make a difference when grip is your limiting factor. These lifting straps are made from PU leather with non-slip lining and will hold up to your heaviest sessions, and then fit easily in your gym bag afterwards.
Just put these around your wrist, then wrap around the bar to secure it in place. You can then concentrate on generating power with your legs during the deadlift rather than holding onto the bar.
Lululemon Uplift Training Gloves
Buy now: Lululemon | $38
If the idea of calloused hands doesn't sound particularly appealing, then liquid chalk might not be the answer. You'll want a pair of weight lifting gloves in that case. These training gloves from Lululemon protect your hands, give you some extra grip and look stylish all at the same time.
There's a choice of plain black, misty shell and cherry cola colourways, so you can even match them to your gym outfit of the day. The ventilation should help keep your hands from getting sweaty and you can adjust the fit easily.
Buy now: Amazon | $29
The first few entries on this list were about making it easy to grip the bar. The Fat Gripz is all about the opposite. The Fat Gripz promise to build arm size and strength by making it harder to hold the weight.
The Fat Gripz are perfect for any hypertrophy-based training, increasing muscle activation in your arms by forcing you to really squeeze the bar to hold on. Wrap these around barbells, dumbbells or other gym equipment and these will give you a pump like you've never experienced.
You'll likely have to dial down the weight you normally use for movements like barbell curls, but you'll get a far bigger pump from each rep.
After just a few weeks training with the Fat Gripz we could definitely see an improvement in our arm size (as part of an effective training program). You also get a bonus improvement in grip strength, which can spill over into your other lifts.
Buy now: Amazon | $12.50
If you regularly deadlift, you'll know that loading the bar can be a frustrating process, especially if you're putting on lots of plates. Anyone who's been going to the gym for a reasonable amount of time will have trapped their fingers between plates trying to load the bar ‚Äď it's practically a rite of passage.
Unfortunately, most commercial gyms won't have a deadlift jack to hike the bar up, but the Dead Wedge does essentially the same thing and will fit in your gym bag to boot.
Simply roll one of the plates on top and you'll have enough clearance from the floor to simply slide extra plates on. This not only makes it incredibly easy, it'll also save you lots of energy so you can concentrate on hitting a new PB. It obviously works in reverse, too, letting you strip the weight off afterwards. Once you've used one, you won't want to go back.
SBD Knee Sleeves
If you're frequently squatting or Olympic lifting, you'll know that they can take their toll on your knees. You'll want to look after them with a good pair of knee sleeves. This pair from SBD Apparel is more expensive than most ‚Äď but you're getting what you pay for.
These are both IPF and IWF approved so if you are taking your powerlifting seriously, these are on the approved equipment list to compete. It also means you know they're good quality.
They are made from 7mm thick high-grade neoprene, which also has the benefit of soaking up less sweat than cheaper pairs. This means they don't smell funky after a few sessions and we can all agree everyone wins from that.
Be sure to pick the right size by measuring the diameter of your knee joint. Size down if you want a particularly tight fit, but be prepared for a workout in and of itself to get them on if you do.
Once they're on, your knee joints feel super secure and you can get on with lifting with fewer worries ‚Äď and the added support can help push up your numbers too.
SBD Wrist Wraps
Like your knees, you want to look after your wrists during training. If you're getting pain during lifting, such as when benching or cleaning, then a good pair of wrist wraps will provide the support needed for your wrist joint.
Again, this pair from SBD is IPF approved, and favoured by competing strongmen and powerlifters. There's a choice of stiff or flexible wraps; the former providing more support for pressing movements, whereas the latter are a little more comfortable for general training. It's really down to personal preference and your training style.
Unlike cheaper pairs, the hook and loop fastening won't wear out and the thumb loop is heavy duty and won't snap after only a few months.
Mirafit Weightlifting Drop Pads
Buy now: Mirafit | ¬£99.95
Okay, these might not fit in your gym bag. But if you're weight training at home and are worried about annoying your neighbours and wrecking your floors, these will be a lifesaver.
Perfect for Olympic lifts where you need to drop the weight from overhead, these will dampen the noise and vibrations, safely catching the weight. The convenient carry handles on the side makes moving these easier and you can stow them away when not in use.