Few considerations about training equipment that I use for personal training in Tokyo or even for myself.
One of the very things you buy after hitting the gym for a little while. They prevent calluses formation.
Pretty cheap, over time I found those only really useful for pulling exercises such as rowing, yet slippery for weighted hanging exercises such as pullups, making the grip less efficient than bare hands, therefore limiting exercise artificially.
Those are awesome and really effective for exercises such as deadlift, wide grip lat pulldown and cable rowing. It feels like the most downward pressure there is, the more secure and safe they feel. The drawback for those is to remove a serious part of the grip gains naturally obtained through bare hand training. One should then add grip exercise on top. Yet, I must admit those helped me and my trainees overcome limitations induced by finger grip weakness relatively to the back lifting strength capacity. Extremely cheap, I would recommend the Harbinger brand all day.
I found straps to be very unstable while used with dumbbell, pivot point at the bar being not centered. They work wonder on barbells or any both hands handles.
The second item ever I bought while being a rookie. They brought great grip improvement. To be honest, I would have never bought them if I could have compared those to regular straps beforehand. When I did the switch, I discarded those, to rediscover a nice use where they are superior, in combination with gloves:
-For weighted pullups, quick grip helpers, they helped me get those one hand pullups easier
-For triceps pushdown, with rope attachment, they prevent the rope stopper to hurt your hands
-For dumbbell exercises, they are far more stable than straps for the balance point is in the middle of the bar
Yet those are far inferior to straps for deadlifts, I found those slippery, therefore inducing a limitation.
If you already have those, I recommend to use them with gloves, if not, they bring such little improvement compared to straps for such a chunk of money, they are not really worth it.
Arguable, seems to be the most discussed piece of equipment out there. Some find it useless, some praise its use, especially big fitness names.
Having tried them, I wonder if those who are praising them are not sponsored in any way by manufacturer.
Pretty cheap, I recommend them to my trainees having an history of back pain. More as a placebo than anything else, just to give them confidence.
To me, what’s the point of making exercise easier on the very location of your body you are primarily training? That might be naive but not using those never led me to injuries and never stopped me from progressing over time.
BUT, rule of individual difference, as a trainer, prevents me from telling it should not be used. Up to your taste. GASP products are my recommendation for their very nice and solid build.
Ok, I’ll break the rule previously spoken about… Really? A mouth guard? Are you really worried of shattering your teeth by squeezing your jaws too hard? There is something really wrong in your training if you can’t control your mouth during effort. To me that’s gimmicky junk.