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Weight training gadgets, what have you purchased and your review

xpoc

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I have been a gym rat since 1984 and through the decades I have purchased a shit ton of weight training gadgets (accessories). Reflecting back, I could have saved a lot of money on the non-essential equipment, but some stuff has been very effective. I am going to start with my list...and I know as I rack my brain my list will increase. Feel free to pile on, perhaps you will turn us on to a gem, OR save us money on a dud.

1. Versa Grips. Grade A. I find these more comfortable than standard straps, but a bit overpriced. Amazon has knock offs that are just as effective for a fraction of the cost.

2. Arm Blaster. Grade C. It is effective for biceps isolation, but cumbersome, uncomfortable, and I hate dragging it to and from the gym. The iconic pic of Arnold using one is what sold me BTW.

3. Fat Gripz. Grade D. I simply didn't notice a difference, but I do see a benefit if you are working on grip strength or trying to build up forearms. For biceps, I think they might be detrimental since they limit loading (they are hard to grip so you can't curl as much).

4. Standard Straps. Grade A. For pull work, I find these essential. If money is not an issue go with the Versas (or knock off), but if you are on a budget, these work just fine. The only downside is if you are pulling really heavy weights they could cause some skin damage to the wrists.

5. Manta Ray Squat Pad. Grade F. Helps keep the higher on the back for high bar squats, but you can do the same without the pad. This one was a waste of money for me.

6. Sting Ray Squat Pad. Grade D. Assists to keep the bar stable during front squats. This one is more valuable than the Manta Ray, but only marginally. The fact is, I hate front squats anyway so I was hoping this would cause me to enjoy them. I didn't.

7. Micro Gainz dumbbell plates. Grade A. These are small plates that clip onto dumbbells, as low as 1.25 lb each. Jordan Peters turned me on to the importance of even the smallest of improvements from week to week. These are great for females who can't jump from a 20 lb db to a 25 lb db. I am a personal trainer and use these all the time, especially with the females.

8. Dumbbell Spotter hooks. Grade B-. You hook these on to dumbbells and then suspend them from a barbell in the rack or the smith machine. It is for guys who have difficulty getting heavy DB into place for military press or incline press. I don't have a partner (you need 2) to hand me the heavy dumbbells so these allow you to lift off from the top rather than hoist from the knees into position. My only knock is, getting them into position is still a bitch. You have to lift a heavy 100+ db from the ground and carefully hook them onto a barbell that is positioned at eye level. So that in and of itself is a workout.

I will think of some more gadgets I have purchased and pile on later. Feel free to do the same.
 

qbkilla

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I'm not a fan of buying stuff in general, I like to keep things simple focus on the basics vs supplements, having advanced equipment in my trunk to optimize a movement when most don't get enough sleep, have cheat days on diet, and poor form. Stepping over 100 dollar bills to pickup quarters lol.
But I do like a few .

Dual long ropes for oh cable triceps extension. Although I'm starting to feel like this exercise doesn't hit them great because having 2 handles attached to a single pulley is way different than doing 1 arm at a time and that is the way to go.

Dip belt- that's a must. Compound chest and tricep exercises need a way to progress.

There is a back attachment for cable pulls I'm sure someone will post I don't know the name, but the narrow gives a much better feel than the traditional long bar or close grip handle. Luckily my gym has one but I need to show up early on back day as this one kid likes to hogg it and essentially does the same lifts as me so we are in trouble if both there at same time.

1.5 and 2.5 ankle weights for wrists, progressive overload on db movement. I have a 2.5 lb chain I hold to progress on bb curls as tying a 2.5 or 5 to the bb is inconvenient and I like the fixed bars that go in 10lb jumps.
 

xpoc

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Thought of a few more.

9. Delt Belt (used for upright rows). Grade D+. It was good for the COVID lockdown since all I had were dumbbells. Using this with dumbbells is not ideal as they tend to slide around. But, with things back to normal, and gyms being open it is no more effective than attaching a rope to a low pulley and doing upright rows. https://lpgmuscle.com/products/upright-row-delt-belt-exercise-handles

10. Extra Long d-handle cable attachments. Grade A. I use these all the time and they are great for face pull aparts (rear delt). Also great for cable curls facing away from the pulley attachment. This link is NOT them. They are hard to find...but they look like these but longer. Mine are 36" I believe. This one is 18-24...not long enough. https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/...trokMvoFBdvH0-oRKohoCq0AQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

11. Dip Belt. Grade A+. This is mandatory for loading dips and chins. Just as QBKILLA described above.

12. Sling shot. Grade A or C- depending on goals. As a powerlifter, I give it an A. It allows you to go SUPER heavy while seemingly protecting the shoulders. How much do they help? While I was prepping for a bench press meet I was able to take my 1 rep max and bust out 10 (yes 10) reps. It helps the nervous system get used to handling heavier loads so when you do go for your real (unassisted) max, the weight wont "feel" as heavy. As a bodybuilder for hypertrophy purposes....I rate it much lower. Who cares how much you bench if you are not keeping the target muscles under tension. If anything a bodybuilder might want to make the lift harder by going slower, using bands etc. rather than allowing the device to lift for you. Its like putting springs on your legs to see how high you can jump.
 

alfresco

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Other than a ‘lifting’ belt which I no longer use, a weight belt for dips and chins is indispensable for me.

Everything else for working out I made and that was only a wide variety of fat bars for forearm and grip strength.
 

airman

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12. Sling shot. Grade A or C- depending on goals. As a powerlifter, I give it an A. It allows you to go SUPER heavy while seemingly protecting the shoulders. How much do they help? While I was prepping for a bench press meet I was able to take my 1 rep max and bust out 10 (yes 10) reps. It helps the nervous system get used to handling heavier loads so when you do go for your real (unassisted) max, the weight wont "feel" as heavy. As a bodybuilder for hypertrophy purposes....I rate it much lower. Who cares how much you bench if you are not keeping the target muscles under tension. If anything a bodybuilder might want to make the lift harder by going slower, using bands etc. rather than allowing the device to lift for you. Its like putting springs on your legs to see how high you can jump.

100% agree, for bodybuilding/hypertrophy the slingshot is useless. IMO if you are targeting pecs, and know how to engage them on a lift, you can get a better pump in your chest using 50lb dumbbells rather than using a slingshot to push 400lbs.
 

Gunsmith

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Other that straps the only thing I've bought over the years is a set of MAG bars and I'd give them an "A" , everything else I've made.
Meadows row handle , extra long rope cable attachment , chain to make long handle attachment , Squat/RDL wedge , plate that goes behind the leg press to attach bands to , Pin that goes into the weight stack to add weight to cable machine
 

Prowrestler

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Ab roller was a good buy-A in my book

Shoulder saver pad from elitefts-C, too damn hard to get on and off the bar
 

heavyhitter

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Grip4rce grips-A
Angles90 grips-A++
Meadows row handle-A
Spud inc towel strap-A
Mountaindog band pack-A
 

xpoc

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13. Angles90 grips. Grade A. I forgot to mention these. Not too expensive and let your hands move through a natural range of motion on pulling movements. Why not an A+? Cannot use wrist straps or versa grips so you are limited by grip strength. Heavyhitter thanks for mentioning....yet ANOTHER gadget I purchased, and this one I actually still use.

14. Knee sleeves. Grade D. They are not expensive but honestly I didn't feel anything from them other than perhaps a tiny psychological advantage.

15. Knee wraps. Grade A. I am a former powerlifter so I had super charged Inzer wraps back in the day and they were extremely helpful in assisting me squatting more weight for a 1 RM. Now I focus on hypertrophy so I don't need the super thick, powerlifter wraps...as a matter of fact, I don't want them. When I squat, my rep range is 10-20. Doing 20 rep squats with super thick powerlifting wraps would simply not work...too painful. Instead I just use a pair of cheap standard knee wraps you can get at the local sporting goods store and wrap them to 75% capacity to keep the knees snug. And despite being a triple body weight squatter back in my prime, I have never had a single knee issue.
 

[email protected]

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agreed on angle90 grips.
Amazing for back training
other stuff:
- different bands for banded excersises
- fat gripz, althoughi use them sparingly
- powerlifting shoes to put more load on quads
- ankle and wrist straps: very nice to train hams, side delt, triceps etc.
 

Hatchet

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I have everything powerlifting related and zero-things "hypertrophy" related.

Wraps, straps, slingshots, belts, sleeves, etc.
All helpful when pushing max weights all the time (and after 40+ yrs of doing so).
Just my prefered way of training. High-reps for me is 8...
 

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