The gym bag. The hard core lifter’s equivalent to Batman’s utility belt. The gym bag contains the tools necessary to get the job done. A gym bag is more than just a bag of clothes, it is a survival kit. A hardcore gym bag contains lifting shoes, a belt, wraps, straps, chalk, and supplements, just to name a few. Proper lifting gear can optimize lifting mechanics, training specificity, and safety. These tools will not only help you survive, but thrive in the iron jungle, which can be most unforgiving.

Lifting Mechanics

Lifting mechanics refers to joint angles, muscle activation, base of support, center of gravity, acceleration and bar velocity. Proper gear can optimize these factors during training. For example a good quality lifting belt can stabilize the muscles in the core, keeping the back straight, which allows for optimal muscle activation.

Training Specificity

Training specificity refers to the exercise being specific to the goal. For example, a competitive powerlifter will use chalk and a lifting belt in competition, so it would be a good idea to use that gear in training. The lifter needs to use this gear in training so he is familiar with it at the competition.


Safety refers to the risk of injuries associated with deadlifting. One of the most common injuries associated with deadlifting is lower back injuries, usually due to improper form. A lifting belt should not be a substitute for bad technique but it can help reduce the risk of injury.