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Athlete’s Blog

Men's Workout Clothing: 4 Mistakes You Should Never Make December 3, 2021 15:06

powerlifting apparel

 

According to a 2021 study, 85% of regular gym-goers surveyed say that having “cool-looking” activewear gave them more confidence in the gym. For many powerlifters and bodybuilders, having confidence is already considered as winning half the battle. 

Having the right clothes can help motivate you to work harder and push yourself further. However, simply putting on men’s bodybuilding clothes isn’t enough. There are quite a few things men need to consider to use workout clothes properly. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the most common workout clothing mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Mistake #1: Wearing Clothes That Are Too Tight or Too Loose

When it comes to working out, what you wear matters.  One common mistake beginners and novices make is showing up in the gym wearing very loose or very tight clothing. 

Men who plan on showing off their chiseled muscles tend to wear extremely tight clothes. It does help you look good, but it can limit movement and blood flow during certain routines.

Loose clothes, on the other hand, increase the risk of slipping and could lead to accidents. Loose clothing also restricts movement and makes it difficult to correct postures when in front of the mirror.

Invest instead in workout clothes that fit you perfectly. Compression clothes are a popular choice because they lessen muscle spasms and fit most body types.

 

Mistake #2: Wearing the Wrong Fabric 

When you’re working out at the gym or home, you must be wearing the right clothes with the right fabric. One of the common mistakes of gym-goers is wearing cotton.

When it comes to working out, cotton must be avoided. Cotton can hold on to moisture and sweat, which often ends up as a very uncomfortable workout session. 

Consider using moisture-wicking clothing instead, like polyester and Lycra fabric blends. They may cost a little more than cotton shirts, but they can absorb sweat, dry up faster and last significantly longer.

 

Mistake #3: Wear The Right Shoes

You might be surprised at how many people show up in the gym wearing open-toed sandals or flip-flops. You usually see them on the treadmill or at the squat machine.  Wearing these kinds of footwear is uncomfortable at best and an accident waiting to happen at worst. 

The footwear you are wearing must be designed to provide proper support and protection. Wearing shoes gives you the right amount of traction to prevent you from slipping. They can also help protect your feet in the case that weights are dropped on them.

The only time you should wear flip-flops in the gym is after your workout and inside the locker room.


 Mistake #4: Not Changing or Washing Gym Clothes  

Lounging around right after a heavy workout is something we’re all guilty of. Unfortunately, leaving your sweat-soaked shirt on can lead to body odor and cause bacteria to proliferate. Make this mistake often, and the fabric of your favorite workout clothes can weaken.

Make it a habit to immediately change your clothes right after your workout routine and throw your dirty gear into the laundry to be washed as soon as possible.

Working out is all about staying committed to your overall health and gym goals. Avoiding the mistakes mentioned in this article should be part of that commitment. Not only are they easy to avoid, but doing so makes you an informed and responsible gym enthusiast.

Iron Rebel offers top-of-the-line men’s bodybuilding clothes made from the best materials available. If you’re looking for a new set of gym gear, shop our full line of men's and women's powerlifting apparel & gear. Our team would be happy to help you choose the right gear that will fit your fitness needs and goals.


Elbow Sleeves: Tough Support for the Toughest Athletes October 8, 2021 08:43

Powerlifting puts incredible strain on the muscles and joints. Although athletes follow proper form and are conditioned for these activities, their arms and legs still need additional support.

This is the reason you see elbow sleeves on professional and amateur powerlifters. Elbow sleeves are tight cuffs made of neoprene and worn around the elbows, extending from the upper forearm to the lower triceps. They’re typically padded and fit snug on the arm.

A common question we get at Iron Rebel is what are powerlifting elbow sleeves for? To put it briefly, their main function is to provide compression and warmth to the elbow joints — crucial factors when you’re lifting extremely heavy weight.

The Warmer, The Better

When a powerlifter warms up, the blood vessels expand and deliver more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles. Warmed-up muscles are also more flexible.

Powerlifting elbow sleeves help keep the muscles warm, which enhances your performance during training and events. Even a few minutes’ break could cool your joints down, and elbow sleeves can make a difference in keeping them warm.

Elbow sleeves are proven and tested. In fact, they’ve been around for 60 years. People know that makeshift elbow sleeves help prevent blood from pooling, reducing pain and swelling.

Iron Rebel’s elbow sleeves are specially designed for powerlifters. Our Performance Elbow Sleeves, for instance, feature openings made of heavy-duty polyester thread, which allows for more stretch. The sleeves are also contoured to fit a powerlifter’s elbow.

Providing Solid Support

Apart from keeping the muscles warm, elbow sleeves compress the elbows, which assist in locking out your lift. This level of support makes the sleeves invaluable to the squat and deadlift. However, elbow sleeves aren’t allowed in bench press events since they help lock out the lift.

The mechanism behind compression gear seems counterintuitive at first. After all, how can squeezing the muscles help you lift?

Compression, however, is essential in athletic performance.

As the elbow sleeve compresses the muscles, it puts external pressure on the blood vessel walls. As a result, blood is pushed more forcefully through the vessels, which delivers more oxygen to the muscles and boosts their performance.

Aids in Recovery

The warmth and compression that elbow sleeves provide are also useful when you’re recovering from an injury. The more blood pumped into the muscles, the faster your recovery.

Bear in mind that elbow sleeves are not a substitute for proper form. Whether or not you use powerlifting elbow sleeves, you must perfect your technique to minimize the risk of injuries.

Is It Different from Elbow Wraps?

Elbow sleeves are different from elbow wraps. Sleeves focus on compressing the tissues, while wraps largely support the joint. Here are other key differences:

  • Elbow sleeves offer greater mobility because they’re made of neoprene. In contrast, elbow wraps restrict movement to avoid overexertion and overextension.
  • Ease of Use. Elbow sleeves are much easier to use. You simply slip your arm through them. On the other hand, elbow wraps have a steeper learning curve. You have to wound the elbow wrap properly around the arm to achieve the right level of compression and comfort.

Try Training with Elbow Sleeves Today

elbow sleeve

If you haven’t trained with elbow sleeves, try them today to experience the difference. Iron Rebel offers the best elbow sleeves for powerlifting — all made of high-grade neoprene. We have tested and perfected the fit and thickness of our elbow sleeves to provide the ultimate support, warmth, and comfort.

Iron Rebel also has an amazing Loyalty Program, where you can rack up points and get awesome discounts and promotions.

Get your Iron Rebel elbow sleeves today.


Technique and Effort: Finding a Balance June 18, 2019 14:00

How to train hard and prepare yourself for competition in the best way possible for you.

Training Tip: Planks March 25, 2019 09:53

Weighted planks are one of my favorite exercises for the core. I generally prefer static-strength movements for abs, for two reasons:

1. The abs function as a stabilizer in the powerlifters. I’m generally not one to push the “specificity” argument, but because abs are difficult to use correctly in the first place, I think it’s appropriate here.
2. Static movements are less likely to build size than movements that involve a greater range of motion. No reason to make your gut any bigger than it already is.

The downside of weighted planks is that it’s pretty fucking hard to actually add weight. You need someone to help you, it’s time consuming, and it’s impractical to actually use decent loads. Trust me, this one took a lot of setup time.



So, to make planks more difficult without taking all the plates in the gym, try this progression:

  • Remove a limb. No, not literally. Pick an arm or leg (or both) up off the floor and continue to balance. Because you’ll be less stable in this position, it’s more demanding on the abs.
  • Shrink your base. Along the same lines as the tip above, resting your hands on an upright plate, like Dr. Dwayne demonstrates below, requires more stability because your balance point is smaller. Obviously, this makes the movement far more difficult.
  • Roll out. Step up the plate idea by using an ab wheel instead of a plank. Not only are you balancing over a smaller area, but your balance point itself moves. If you’re really a beast, superset these with actual ab rollouts.
Got any plank tips? Share them in the comments below.

How to Wrap Your Knees March 15, 2019 07:47

Some knee wrapping advice.

WATCH: Post-Training Anxiety March 11, 2019 07:03

What to do when you can't chill out after training.

Preworkout for Powerlifters February 26, 2019 06:03

As a powerlifter who dabbles in bodybuilding, I know how important nutrition is to building a strong, lean body.  Knowing that nutrition is important is a lot different than knowing what to do about it, though. So, if you’re struggling, here are a few concrete tips for getting started with what is, in my opinion, the most important meal of the day: the preworkout meal. 

Now, let me be very clear here: it’s the most important meal for powerlifters.  For bodybuilders, your post workout meal is probably a bigger deal.  But maximizing your strength in every training session canbe a little trickier than maximizing your endurance and pump.   And it starts with the preworkout meal. 

First, remember what we’re going for here: easily digestible foods with a high carb content and some fat and protein. (Need a refresher on why? Go check out this article). This meal should be timed about 1-2 hours before you get the gym; in my opinion, it’s best to eat closer to when you actually start lifting, but not so close that you feel uncomfortable during your training.  Personally, I can train well on a full stomach, but if you don’t like to do so, try to get this meal in a full 2 hours before you hit the gym.

Food Choices

When choosing foods, above all else, pay attention to how you respond and how you feel after eating. It doesn’t matter whether you choose something with a perfect glycemic index (if such a thing existed) or a load of micronutrients if that food makes you feel like shit while you’re training. And what works for me, or your training partner, or some Internet guru might not be what works for you. Listen to your body.

That said, here are some good places to start:

  • Instant oats or grits, potatoes, white rice, bananas, pasta. I’m not a fan of most breads or bagels (except some of the sprouted-grain varieties, like Ezekiel). Also avoid fibrous fruits or vegetables.
  • Eggs, (high-quality) protein powder. Lean meats and dairy are good here if they work for you. Don’t overdo it or be adventurous here; protein farts are the last things you want to worry about during a heavy squat set.
  • Nuts or nut butters, egg yolks, butter, oils. Again, you don’t need a whole lot of fat in your preworkout meal.

It’s not difficult to put these things together into a cohesive meal: pasta with meat sauce, eggs with oatmeal, a protein shake with a couple bananas and a scoop of peanut butter will all work well. Don’t overthink it!

In terms of total amounts, I like to shoot for roughly 20% of my calories in the preworkout meal. The exact balance of macros will depend on the structure of your diet, but I generally do equal amounts of protein and carbs, and 10-15 grams of fat.

One more thing to remember: slam the sodium and water before training.  This will help to keep your muscles full, and help to prevent cramping and resultant injuries.

Supplements

When you’re eating a lot, you typically have a lot of extra energy.  But if you’re dieting to make a weight class, a good preworkout supplement can be essential to maximizing your training. 

While bodybuilders want preworkouts that will help to maximize their pumps, powerlifters typically want a little more stimulants.  Now, there are certainly trade offs to be had here, and you should be mindful of those. For example, caffeine is great, but the problem with caffeine alone is that it could cause a significant amount of jitteriness and anxiety.  These are well-known side effects of caffeine, and they can quickly derail an otherwise productive training session.  To some degree, other nootropics like TeaCrine and L-Theanine can offset these side effects, but even with those, you don’t want to overdo the stimulants on a regular basis.  Otherwise you risk derailing your training.

Your best bet for a preworkout product is Hy-Stim from Granite.  It’s heavy on the stimulants, but it’s guaranteed to power you through even the most intense training sessions.

Got your own go-to preworkout routine?  Share it in the comments below!

 

 

 


Intensity: The Secret to Success February 17, 2019 16:00

It's more than just training hard in the gym.  You have to train smart, too.