Weightlifting is an incredibly popular sport, with new enthusiasts joining the ranks every day. For the most dedicated, there are plenty of world-renowned competitions and weight lifting is an Olympic sport. Others prefer to take part in bodybuilding to improve their look, and get the adrenaline pumping every bit as much as their muscles. The clothes that are worn by weight lifters reflect their needs in both practical and emotional ways.
The articles which are necessary to make weight lifting safe and enjoyable include weight lifting gloves and a weight lifting belt. Few bodybuilders will train without gloves as the sweat from your hands can cause the weights to slip. Not only is this dangerous in case you drop a weight on yourself, but this can severely hinder the proper technique, as you will need to grip the bar very tightly. Gloves remove the possibility of slippage, and make it possible to increase the number of repetitions you can do, ultimately leading to quicker results. Gloves often have gel padding on the palms that protect your hands from injuries such as calluses and sprains.
The weight lifting belt has caused a storm in recent years as many professionals have slammed their use. They claim that the belt can actually cause more harm than good, as weight lifters become too reliant on their use. If you suffer from back strain, belts can be excellent at helping you maintain the proper posture, but you would be wise to consult with a doctor or trainer first. The bottom line is that a belt is most useful for lifting very heavy weights, and should be used infrequently. If you find yourself using a belt for all your exercises, our advice is to consider strengthening your core stability stomach muscles to help you support your posture instead.
The emotional need for a differentiated identity from other sports is very apparent in weight lifting. Typically, weight lifters will wear specific shoes and shirts that will identify them as members of the bodybuilding ‘tribe’.
Weight lifting shoes can enhance your performance as they help encourage good posture with a block heal and a strong arch. Not everyone will wear this specifically designed footwear, but it is essential at competition standard. Some choose to wear martial arts style shoes, which are flatter and softer, and others will even go barefoot – although be careful not to drop a weight on your foot!
Weight lifting T-shirts range from the practical to the fashionable, but all are cut on the large side to accommodate the unique proportions of weight lifters. In the gym, it is common to wear tank tops that display your upper body muscles. As leisurewear, ‘big tops’ which have wide arms, or ‘muscle tops’ which are skin-tight, are popular choices.