Ask Your Trainer: What Kind of Equipment Should I Get?

In this week’s edition of “Ask Your Trainer” you had equipment Q’s and we have your A’s. 

We recently held a new client meeting where a handful of our newest family members could come together and get a crash course on the basic success principles of Durbrow Performance and also have the chance to ask questions.

We got several questions about equipment and I thought it was fitting to address these on the blog as well, even for clients that have been with us for some time.

Question #1- Should I wear gloves and what kind?

Answer: We actually don’t recommend using gloves at all. This is because when lifting weights, you should be feeling all the major points of contact, whether that’s your feet on the floor, your upper back on the bench or the weight in your hand.

The other major reason we discourage gloves is because when training with kettlebells, you want to be rolling the bell through your hand during a snatch or clean, not gripping it too tight. The gloves get in the way of the flow movement and can actually bring on more callouses.

When lifting weights, we recommend chalk and no gloves, especially with kettlebells.

If you are extremely concerned with callouses, you can put gloves on for certain movements like a Trap Bar Dead Lift or a Dumbbell Press.

The next step in the equation is that yes, you will get callouses. It happens. The best thing to do is stay up on the healing and treatment process by using a pumice stone while in the shower when you hands are soft. You can also put coconut oil on the area to treat the rough skin.

Question #2- What kind of shoes should I wear?

Many of of new clients noticed that some people go barefoot. As far as footwear goes, we recommend a minimalist approach. This does not have to be bare feet, socks or Vibram Five Fingers, although those are all great choices. You can also get some New Balance Minimus or Nike Free training shoes.

The reason for this comes down to proprioception. That basically means how your body understands and feels the space around it. Just like with the gloves that I mentioned above, you want to feel the movement that you are doing. That means can you feel your feet pushing into the floor on a squat or a heavy press? Can you feel the ground on your landing from a jump or during a sprint?

These are critical factors in developing a strong and athletic body.

A lot of traditional running shoes will cause you to lose this feeling all together due to the extra support and lift of that shoe.

The next important point is that those same running shoes create an elevated heel, which not only makes it difficult to feel the movement correctly, it can force your body out of the strongest and most effective position, which is back on your heels (specifically for a squat or a lunge) and often put too much pressure on the knees.

Then, if you can’t properly push through your heels and you don’t feel the space around you, you wont engage your glutes and hamstrings enough.

So, in conclusion we recommend staying pretty minimal with equipment and learning to feel the exercises, the weights and the movement in order to get the best benefit.