Sunday, November 30, 2008

Do Straps Really Help?

Ok. Anyone that's into bodybuilding or strength-training knows that the market is saturated full of supplements & gym accessories. As I'll discuss in later posts, some of the better supplements for the natural bodybuilder include simple basics like Whey Isolate (it's almost 2009, quit drinkin milk concentrate), Creatine Monohydrate (in cycles), Tribulus Terrestris, L-Arginine, & L-Carnitine. These products are safe and readily accessible. There's a long list of other supplements we will discuss, some healthy, others questionable.

As for accessories...there's a lot of crap out there that you just don't need. However, like the supplements, there are basics you should invest and put into your gym bag. (1)Weight Lifting Belt - the jury is back [on this page] and the wisdom is this: for heavy-ass squats you want to ensure that the base of your spine is protected, you don't want to pull anything, and you most certainly don't want to get hurt b/c your cheapass couldn't go out and buy a good foam-based or leather belt, either will do.

(2) Wraps. You need these. If you like doing heavyass leg presses and/or squats, you'd be wise to wrap your knees. Don't throw these babies on if you're pressing six 45's, unless you're in physical therapy or you're a pussy - lol. You can take all the Glucosamine you want, hurt your knees in the gym and you can say goodbye to building thick, cut, powerful wheels. Anyone can do a double-biceps or a latspread, very few can lift up their shorts and showoff wheels. Buy the fuckin wraps; Harbinger is what I use -- $20.

(3)STRAPS - Ok. So far we've covered accessories that serve only one muscle group, albeit that muscle group being your largest and most powerful. Straps on the other hand, help with grip.

Although few people isolate their arm workouts, even fewer people treat the forearms as a distinct bodypart. Most folks fail to realize the forearms are the key to powerful grip.

Proper forearm development aside, I like to advocate the use of straps. This accessory wraps around the wrist and the weight, relieving the hands and the arms of movements meant for larger, more balanced targeted muscle groups like back, legs, & traps. Straps can also be used for bicep curls - where they prove to be very useful for bodybuilder and strength-trainers alike.

Harbinger Wraps - $20
Harbinger Straps - $15-20
Valeo Weightlifting Belt - $18-35