Why only competitive athletes should wear assistance gear such as knee sleeves and belts.

accessories-1Everywhere you look now you see recreational lifters with proper footwear, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, belts and much more. Its great to see that such a big population are now performing weightlifting movements properly which is primarily thanks to CrossFit’s growth around the globe but this necessity for people to have such an array of assistance gear is beyond a joke. In the early days of competitive CrossFit all people had where board shorts and a pair of chuck taylor’s and an attitude to take on whatever was thrown at them but those days are well and truly gone. All this assistance gear is fantastic and really does make a difference when added up but for 99% of people you don’t need and shouldn’t invest in assistant gear. Ill draw the line with people investing in a good pair of shoes in my gym because after that unless you are a competitive athletes that competes in the iron sports then looking for a few added kilo’s on the bar by wearing assistance gear is really defeating the purpose and only serves to build your ego in reality. Competitive athletes need those extra kilo’s and can use equipment in their sport as a recreational athlete looking to get strong, get your body strong first. I know this is a divided issue depending upon who you ask the question, “Should I wear a weightlifting belt?” you can end up getting an emphatic “yes”, a condescending “no”, or an uninterested “I don’t care.” QUICK SUMMARY Belt Pros: May help prevent injury to the low back during heavy lifts. Can increase performance. Belt Cons: Might inhibit learning to properly brace with abdominals. Lower Back might not get as strong.   Knees sleeves Pro’s May improve performance ever so slightly Comfort and compression Con’s Inhibit motor patterns Like putting a band aid on a broken bone, often trying to cover up a much bigger issue and knee pain is only a symptom. The bigger issue needs to be addressed which 9/10 lies in the hips.   Make your own decision but ask yourself a humbling question, do you want to get strong and healthy or just lift heavy weight to boost your ego?

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