5 Pieces Of Gym Paraphernalia That You Don’t Need

After going to the gym for a few months, a newbie lifter will likely become more serious and dedicated to the sport. Shortly thereafter, that lifter will begin seeking an edge, to make himself stronger and more able than his fellow gymgoers.

Seeing as I generally assume that my readers are decent, law-abiding citizens, the “edge” that I am referring to is not the advantage one gets from performance enhancing drugs. Instead, I am referring to an edge that you can obtain from various accessory paraphernalia you buy from an external source, and then use in the gym to either immediately improve your lifts, or make the lift more difficult and thus make you stronger in the long term.

This paraphernalia, much like any other category of things you can buy, runs the gamut from essential (not many), kind of useful but unnecessary (most), and complete crap (some). But seeing as we here at Return Of Kings are very much against the consumer culture that is modernity, I’m largely going to tell you not to buy things. So without further ado, here are five pieces of gym paraphernalia that you don’t need.

1. Elevation Masks

Let’s get the big one out of the way right off the bat. In any gym nowadays, you can walk in and see some guy running on a treadmill or doing some other cardio exercise while wearing one of these, the idea of which is to restrict breathing and thus force the body to produce more red blood cells to oxygenate itself, simulating the effects of cardio training in high altitude environments. Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, the effects of  living and training in alpine environments—i.e., increased hemoglobin content and greater lung capacity, all of which are documented for you HBD enthusiasts—are something the body gradually adapts to over many weeks or months—adaptations which the body will lose after living at sea level for a few months, and thus have to be regained. Which is why actual professional athletes, when desiring high altitude training…will live in a high altitude environment for weeks before the event.

Your body is not going to adapt after 30 minutes of running on a treadmill at sea level. You might as well just run while holding your breath.

As if that wasn’t dumb enough, sometimes you’ll see guys wearing this altitude mask while weightlifting, which is even more pointless. Unless, of course, you were planning on going to the San Diego Comic Convention to cosplay as Bane…or you happen to be an overcompensating manlet who wants to cosplay as Bane in his daily life.

2. Treadmills

Yeah, I said it—I’ve always preferred running on actual ground to running on treadmills, and thus I see treadmills as the epitome of gym equipment that technically works, but is completely superfluous.

Treadmills will certainly give you a good cardio workout, but I just can’t find myself getting enthused by the prospect of running in place for 30 minutes. Not when there’s an actual world outside the gym full of fresh air and Vitamin D-imparting sunshine instead. And don’t give me any crap about “Oh it’s too cold/hot, I can’t run outside.” Hydrate properly, wear temperature appropriate clothing, and suck it up.

3. Fat Grips and Similar Items

Before anyone jumps down my throat, let me say: these are very useful, and will work to blast your forearms. My antipathy towards them is strictly a financial one. Seeing as I’m against the whole idea of spending money on things beyond the essentials, I would recommend improvising a training device that works exactly like the Fat Grips, but for cheap.

Just take a hand towel, and wrap it around the bar until it’s sufficiently thick to impede your forearms. Then do whatever exercise it is you were planning on doing. The best part about this is that it has an adjustable level of thickness, which the commercial grip items don’t have.

If the hand towel becomes too easy, try a bath towel instead.


4. Weight Belts And Wrist Wraps

Much like the fat grips, these are not so much useless as they are unnecessary for your average fitness hobbyist. A lot of hobbyists see professional powerlifters and World’s Strongest Man competitors wearing these belts and using these wraps, and come to the conclusion that they will make you stronger.

However, what they don’t understand is that the belts are used to brace the core through pressure on the abdomen, and are merely a safety device for these men lifting enormous weights that could cripple them if they move incorrectly.

What they are not for is being used by some scrawny nerd who’s overhead pressing 100 pounds. In fact, having an external girding pressure on the core nullifies the development of the obliques and other muscles of the abdomen, which can lead to injury down the road.

I myself could overhead press 215 pounds before my car accident, and I have still never worn a belt. Proper form should be mastered, rather than relying on a tool.

On that note, my opinion of wrist wraps is the same. A useful safety device for the man deadlifting 900 pounds, completely pointless for the man deadlifting 200 pounds. Develop your hands and forearms without relying on wraps to bolster your weak hands. And finally…

5. Gloves

Vaguely similar to my opinions on wrist wraps, I feel that gloves actually hinder my grip on some exercises, hence why I stopped using them years ago. Besides, gloves take calluses away from your hands, and I have found that women love to feel the calluses on a man’s hands.


When you get down to it, you don’t really need to buy anything to enhance your gym going experience. Useful paraphernalia such as chalk and fat grips can be improvised at home, and everything else can be eschewed.

Image credit: Trainer Academy

Read More: 5 Old School Tips For Getting Ripped

144 thoughts on “5 Pieces Of Gym Paraphernalia That You Don’t Need”

  1. “If you must have weightlifting gloves, make sure they match your purse.”
    –Mark Rippetoe

    1. I was JUST going to type that quote, lol.
      Got his book a few months ago, been lifting heavier than ever, ditched gloves (which I’d been using for years) after trying chalk ONCE. Haven’t looked back.

        1. I’ve found that it’s more cost-effective as well; maybe I was just using cheap-ass gloves, but I would wear through a pair in a matter of months. Meanwhile I pay a few bucks for a bag of chalk and I can see this lasting at least the rest of the year.

        2. I like gloves as you don’t lose grip in free weights. not as messy I bought my gloves from a flee market for 1$ a pair and bought 30 pairs -all leather. I agree- chalk is cheaper

        3. I bought a bulk pack of block chalk about 2 years ago and still probably have enough to last me the rest of my life. Yeah, it’s very cost effective.

    2. try doing bar/calisthenics work on monkey bars in the hot summer sun and see if you dont wear gloves… i wore a pair of fingerless gloves for every workout,and i still had the most calloused hands of all my friends who did weights. the callouses literally on every bend of my fingers,and all the way down my palms from doing movements like muscle ups.

      1. Or chin outside during winter. Obviously gloves are fine for temperature extremes. I wear them for comfort.

        1. agreed… either way,for workouts that really pull and twist the skin its best to wear gloves. when you rip a callous off and it tears chunks of skin and meat off because you thought you were too tough to wear gloves-youll have to miss out on workouts to heal.
          so many men think the best man is the one who is toughest. but thats not always the case. men have to work smart.

  2. Good article. I don’t agree on the gloves stuff , well , not the actual gloves , seeing as they don’t seem to do the very thing that they are meant to do , but i find that i do need some kind of protection like a sponge or pipe insulation. It’s not nice when you could be pulling more weight but the slim , crested pieces of iron that hold dumbbells and barbells carve away at your hands.

    1. Somebody sprinkled a little Kratom on it a while back and now it’s taking over every article mercilessly.

    1. The suction one is funny. My son, when he was around 7 or so, got a hold of the air-suction tops that you can buy to put on wine bottles, keeps the wine from spoiling by basically removing air, a little vacuum manual device goes on top and you pump it a couple of times and boom, the little rubber stopper clamps down and air is removed. So he thought, hey, I can wear those little stoppers on my face and look funny. So…yeah…he did. What he didn’t anticipate is that he’d take them off after running around laughing at how he looked for a few moments and find, you guessed it, little red circles that would last an hour or two. Freaked him the hell out. I tried not to laugh too much, but it was way too funny to hold it back. Mom of course ensured that she got a couple of pictures. Heh.

      1. Heh. I did naive experiments like that when I was a kid. When I was 14, I decided to use a pencil to highlight my frog’s hair mustache. I thought it looked pretty good. Until my girlfriend said, “Why did you use a pencil on the hair on your upper lip…”

        1. There is a crucial difference between girls and boys growing up. A little girl may now and then put on enough makeup to qualify her for Clown College, but generally that’s the extent of the silly maneuvers. Little boys on the other hand basically feel that they are Immortal and All Powerful and do some of the stupidest shit on God’s green earth with nary a care or thought, because it seems, in theory, cool or fun. Calvin & Hobbes worked so well because it captured that little boy spirit of reckless abandon perfectly.

        2. Ain’t it the truth. Reckless abandon. When I was 12 years old, this older kid, about 15, lived two doors down from me. He was always preying on my naivete. So one summer, he says, “Did you know that fir trees don’t burn?” I said, “No.” So he says, “Watch,” and he lights a match and holds it against the leaves of the neighbor’s fir tree. Nothing happens. The tree was directly underneath the overhanging eaves of the house.
          So then he says, “Go ahead, try it.” So I light a match and hold it up to the leaves and the tree ignites like a fireball and before you know it, the flames are lapping the overhang of the neighbor’s roof. So I grabbed a hose and stretched it out across the lawn as far as it would go, but it wasn’t long enough. The neighbor lady came out of her house, saw the tree in flames, screamed bloody murder, and called the fire department. Luckily, the house didn’t burn down. Turns out the older kid had only pretended to hold the match up against the leaves of the tree…doh.

        3. I am proud that I brought C&H to my school. Got in a hell of a lot of trouble for reading it in class, but within a week everyone had a copy of “Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons” hidden under his desk.

        4. A girl where I live used to put on eye-liner like a racoon, where skirts that were too short and make out with her highschool boyfriend in front of her middle school. You could set your clock by them. Parked in the drop-off zone.

      2. I was doing a field service job in the panhandle of Oklahoma. We went out to eat at “The Rusty Nail”, had a couple of 3.2 beers (you can actually drink yourself sober on it) and shot some pool. This really cute little blond thing came up to me and was very “friendly”. I couldn’t help but notice that her neck looked every bit as bad (if not worse) than geek boy in the picture. After she explained she’d just gotten out of jail, I asked her about the mega-hickey. “Oh, those are birthmarks” she told me. I had to suppress my urge to ROFLMAO. I sicced her on my usually VERY thirsty fellow tech (notorious for banging “thick” girls). Even he W.N.B.

    2. arg, this picture with the red short scrawny guy. How come some men do not have any self respect nor self shame for accepting being pictured in that way ? smh
      (and btw the guy mimicking the dog, just deserve a good kick in the head, for the same reason)

      1. Cheap weightlifting equipment #345: backpack filled with bricks, rocks, sand, or other cheap heavy material. A sturdy backpack with good handles can serve for rucking, dumbbell/kettlebell replacement, and a makeshift sandbag.

        1. My neighbor’s 6 y.o. granddaughter comes over to visit us and our critters. She still expects me to put her on my shoulders and be her “horsey” (we started this when she was about 3 y.o). You run around the yard with about 60 lbs. of laughing squealing young’un on your shoulders for 10 minutes and you got your work out for the day.

        1. I now hunt pigs (and anything else in North America) with a 380 grain, hard-cast, gas-checked rock at 1650 FPS. I got the Model 500 S&W sighted in yesterday with a new Weaver scope. Twenty rounds with that load is all you want in one helping, let me assure you…

      1. I was on a remote job site in Minnesota talking with the other tech I worked with over the phone. A groundhog came out from under the concrete pad the gas system was on. I told my partner I’d get right back to him; I was going to kill that groundhog. He asked if I had a gun on the job site. I said, “No, but I’ve got a rock”. He said he’d like to see that. I beaned that old sow in the head at about 25 feet with a fist sized rock, killed her dead as a hammer and sent him the pictures. It freaked him out. I probably couldn’t do it again if my life depended on it. But it was cool as hell at the time.

      2. Except Polar Bears, never eat a Polar Bear’s liver- toxic levels of Vitamin A. The more you know…

    1. Someone who got it. The Warrior Physique explains the warrior exercises of which the main ones are executable with rocks. Dumbbells are faggot fitness material, having too feasible grips, leading to undertraining of the hands and fingers. This makes the training highly dysfunctional, as the executable strength of a human (f.e. a punch) follows the weakest bodypart.

  3. To my mind, there is one acceptable place for gloves and wrist wraps – bag work/boxing.
    Especially when you’re still learning technique, you will throw that hook wrong. When that happens, depending on the force of impact, you’ll either cause yourself surprising and intense pain or turn your wrist into a fine powder. Wrist wraps, tied right, will keep you from fucking up the angle and save you much pain and heartache.
    And gloves, well, they’re life. Every time I work the bag without protection, I bust my knuckles up so much I can’t hit the bag for a few weeks (and I’m never done when it happens). Just a little bit of padding to prevent abrasion on your hands is all it takes to fix that.

    1. I use (yuge, heavy) sparring gloves every time I put in some serious work on the heavy bag, and sometimes my bones are still sore. You have absolutely got to protect your hands when you’re doing bag work. Don’t try and be a hardass bros, that shit only works in 80’s action movies.

      1. I’ve got a pair of 16’s for sparring, but I usually go with something smaller when I work the bag. Then again, I’ve been a martial artist for a good while and I’m training more for technique and feedback resistance, so my bones are less a problem than my skin.
        Look at Rocky’s knuckles during the meat-pounding scenes. He’s got a solid inch or two of padding around his whole hand, and another quarter-inch on each finger. Even so, after the half-hour he worked the meat for his scenes he wore his knuckles flat (and, I hear, they’re still flat to this day).
        Don’t be dumb, guys. Better to slow down and pad up than lose months of training time and/or use of your hands.

        1. Yeah, I only got into boxing in my 20’s. I didn’t think it could be much more physically intense than wrestling, and it honestly wasn’t. I like it a lot more. But I really, really underestimated the trauma to the bones of the whole upper body, especially hands and wrists.
          Thought I could be a hot shot and just skip over all that unnecessary shit like a couple sets of good thick wraps and a decent pair of gloves. When I saw your comment it took me back to the days of not being able to open my hand for a week from the pain.

  4. Could ROK change the header image please on this article? This is the exact same photo used in a very recent piece about the social advantages of going to the gym. It’s confusing.

    1. Finding good, legal-to-use pictures is harder than it sounds. But I do agree that it feels a bit odd to have these two articles headed with the same picture.

        1. No prob, bro…I sifted through tons of these sites and this one is the best I’ve found…

    2. the purpose of this image is confusing. A guy lifting the weight and doesn’t give a fuck to those 3 bitches next to him, one monkeying with the weight and the two other showing some support. well, do someone have an explanation of this picture ?

    3. I’m just a writer here, but what happens is that, occasionally, Winston or Roosh has an issue with the picture, usually because it’s not in landscape format, and they’ll grab one that fits that’s already on our server. Two of my gun articles have the same picture because I used a portrait format picture on one and we changed it. I suppose an inappropriate photo would get the same treatment, like if I use some of my on-reserve pictures of topless babes holding AKs in front of their tits.

      1. Do y’all ever do resizing to make the picture work? I find a bunch of pictures with that absurd SLR quality level, and a quick crop is usually enough to make it fit any form factor.
        That’s just me, though. WordPress gives us these tools, and I figure I might as well use ’em.

        1. Yes, I hadn’t realized before until using WordPress the built-in image editing is pretty good.
          But when I need to fix on up with different size width or height, etc., that scaling won’t do, I use Paint.NET image editor for example

        2. I’ve been known to dabble with GIMP or a “free” version of Photoshop, but for most of my daily needs WordPress tools are more than sufficient.
          Never tried Paint.NET personally. I’m usually a Linux man, so I don’t even know if I’ve got the .NET framework on any of my machines. How good is it?

        3. Paint.NET is good for what it is, but seems to be missing plugins for special things. People have made add-on plugins, but who wants to have to hunt that down?
          However, for basic image editing using layers it’s pretty good. I have made logos, edited watermarks out of images I found, and “fixed” a lot of photos etc.
          I’ve tried GIMP but looks like it takes a bit of getting used to I don’t have yet.
          Paint.NET is pretty good for fixing up website photos, Amazon listing photos, and modifying pics that people don’t want you to use.
          WordPress does scale but for one theme i had to change the width of a pic and it was super easy in Paint.NET by Change Canvas Size.

      2. I’ve been wanting to ask someone why they changed the featured image for an article I wrote to one that was way off, and wasn’t a good choice for the subject.
        If sizing is the issue I can format the pic beforehand. I’ve been using WordPress and working on a website or two now and have better skills than before.

  5. It’s quite true that your average dork who goes to the gym once a month whether he needs it or not doesn’t need a belt. However if you’re serious and your weight levels get to the point where injury could occur, I’d say why risk it, get the belt. Hernias are *not* fun.
    Gloves I agree on, although I do like wraps when deadlifting to help maintain a grip and not drop the bar half way through the lift. Otherwise they’re just accessory flashing.
    Randy mentioned cell phones below in the thread. Fucking eh right, if it’s not being used solely for music, and you’re sitting there doing “Thumb Day” on a bench instead of lifting, then get the fuck out of productive people’s way. It is NOT the time to do InstaFaceGramTwit updates, nor to take selfines, nor to browse for milkshake recipes while sitting there like a squat turd on a bench that I’m waiting to use. It’s to the point now where if I’m legitimately waiting more than a minute or so for a bench and you’re sitting there doing “Likes” on the latest funny cat picture on the interwebs, I’ll stand a foot from you and just stare at you until you notice (which is nearly immediately). I’ve tried being more polite before and simply asking, but people doing Thumb Day just look up and more or less either sneer or just remain dumb and silent and go back to InstaFaceGramTwit, so fuck it.

    1. GOJ: A belt will not prevent a hernia. Trust me on this, I just had a double hernia repaired last fall that had bothered me for nearly 30 years (from lifting stupid amounts of weight for my size back in my 20’s). The belt offers some mechanical lower back support. But it is more for pushing out against to generate intrathoracic pressure and the attendant core support that creates (along with the Valsalva Maneuver) when lifting. I stopped using a belt years ago in order to strengthen my core (a major goal of doing whole body exercises like squats, deadlifts, etc.). At my age, if I need a belt I’m probably lifting too heavy and would be risking injury anyway.

  6. More and more and more external support, even if unnecessary. No wonder men have become whatever it is they have become today.
    And then there were guys like Reinhold Messner, etc.

  7. Speaking of gyms, the Arnold Fitness Expo is in town this weekend. The entire city is locked down tight, you couldn’t get a hotel here if you needed it to save your life. So every super fit person in the nation apparently descends on the city of Columbus, and….it’s a wonderful thing. My gym was packed tight with super, super, super hot broads yesterday evening (post-event, but pre-after-party) doing their little routines and making it very difficult for me to focus on anything at all. The masculine scary types all probably hit Gold’s Gym, leaving only the fitness models who apparently decided to show up at my gym. Man oh man, do I like me some fitness models…

    1. Either that or everyone in genie pants and Powerhouse Gym sweatshirts would flood the place.
      Time to go back to reading Bob Hoffman now…

    2. God, that be a nightmare to get squat rack. The view will be nice but no gains will be made that day.

  8. As someone never goes to the gym but instead has weights at home and the office and walks outside, or on the stairs when it rains, I will still somewhat disagree with the treadmill part. I stopped running because I broke my toenails so many times hitting rocks and sprinklers and other obstacles. Also, if it’s raining and snowing or your neighborhood is crime infested a treadmill inside protected by security apparatus makes sense. Also there is being chased by dogs or being run over by a bus or truck. I’ve never used a treadmill my self but I can see why someone might prefer it, especially if its style and color matched his purse.

  9. I was in the right place at the right time last summer. Got an old treadmill for helping carry in a new one, and a rowing machine a gym owner was throwing out. I’m a full-time father of two kids young enough that they can’t keep up with a runner. I say it’s a good reason to have one. Though, they say you can burn more off with two or three sessions of HIIT, than a treadmill. Now I just need to score me some of this Kratom I keep hearing is “still legal.”

  10. Regarding #2 Treadmills, You are absolutely right that running outside in the fresh air is far better than running on a treadmill, but most gyms have turned into sole social centers for some, as well as cults of personality. When you are out running in the fresh air, you can’t get your “friend” fix for the day with friends that are actually real people and have to accept you because you all paid for your membership and are in close proximity. The cults of personality are the gym “big and fit dudes” whose muscles and the beta males that want them as well, are their whole existence. Outside of the gym they have menial, if any, job. Just enough to pay rent, monthly gym membership, food supplements, and roids. As well as few friends, and the ability to discuss anything about what he think is the best exercises and set and rep combos.

  11. i’ve worked up my deadlift to 405 no belt without injuries.
    Around what weight does a belt start to become a necessity?
    I’m thinking if I go up from here I might start using one.

    1. Only 405???
      But what about the time you threw the nuclear warhead into outer space? That thing had to weigh more than 405…

    2. I know that “oh shit” feel too. Not injured… yet.. and want to avoid it.
      Anytime you’re getting around 2.5x your bodyweight on something that involves your spine, things start getting risky imo. I don’t like to use a weight belt to any extent, but the only time in my life where I was training as hard as possible in the weight room, trying to go well over 2.5x my bodyweight on squats, deadlifts, power cleans, oly lifts, I would use a belt.
      When I started using the weight belt, I had to change my breathing technique to a “Valsalva” style because the belt helped me to realize what was going on structurally. I was using a meme tier breathing technique before that, if I was controlling my breathing at all, and I’m glad I escaped injury during that somehow.
      Many lifting coaches will recommend the belt to newbs and even women from the start of their training. I think its more the mindset the belt helps create, of trying to keep everything compact and the necessary focus it takes, rather than the belt itself actually preventing injury in most cases. No one can really explain any of this shit though.

  12. I always wondered what those masks were for. I assumed that the guys I’ve seen in the gym wearing them were trying to be Bane, as in the last Batman movie. I didn’t know the had an actual purpose.

  13. Larsen fucking NAILED something here, just in a passing comment towards the end:
    “gloves take calluses away from your hands, and I have found that women love to feel the calluses on a man’s hands.”
    Holy fuck is this ever true, and in 4 or 5 years within the manosphere, it’s something I rarely hear. But I have had this personally corroborated by multiple, separate, very very attractive women. When they meet you and shake your hand, they’re checking for your grip strength and the presence of calluses — both of which indicate that you are strong and used to a lot of hard, physical work.
    Boys, if you don’t already have them, go get some calluses on your hands, STAT. Even if you aren’t into lifting, find a way. You’re smart, figure something out. Go chop some wood, dig a hole to China, whatever it takes. I’ve even heard stories of grown men dipping their hands in buckets of piss in order to thicken their calluses…But don’t do that unless you’re super hardcore.

      1. Isn’t piss drinking a gay thing??
        I did some training w/Korean Army Rangers. Physically hardest training I ever did. The runs almost killed me.

        1. its a survival thing. if you piss in a bottle and let it settle for a while the yellow will sink and the H2O will float to the top. mostly

        2. OK.. something made me think that you weren’t supposed to drink piss, just as you aren’t saltwater. Didn’t know about the “settling” and all that. Thanks.

    1. You can even borrow a bit from Kung Fu Iron Hand training. All you need is a canvas bag and some rice (alternatively and supplementally, a paint bucket full of rice).
      Fill the bag with about enough rice to match the size of your head and tie it off (just a hair loose at the bottom, so the rice can settle into a flat shape instead of a football). Slap the bag with the front of your hand, then the back, then your fingertips, then pick up the bag and slam it into the dirt.
      Repeat until your hands harden up. For the bucket approach, you’re slapping the rice, spearing it with a flat hand, and punching it with a fist for similar results.

      1. A buddy of mine was telling me about something like this the other day. He said years ago his kung fu instructor had a huge bucket full of what he called “iron ore” but was really sand, small rocks, iron filings, stuff like that. He said they would hold their hands up above the bucket and let them free fall into it, sort of slapping the surface when they hit, and that they’d do this over and over again, every day. And afterwards they’d soak their hands in hot wine, vinegar, and salt, and that it was all supposed to harden up their callouses. He told me it worked pretty well.

  14. I made the mistake of wearing gloves when I joined a powerlifting gym, and the first thing my trainer said was TAKE THOSE GLOVES OFF, FAGGOT!

  15. Just began using a lightweight pair of open-finger Nike gym gloves for the first time (about 4 months ago) and find them very useful — keeps me from getting “knuckle pulls” from the sheer torque of lifting weight on a bar. They do settle the grip into a stable, firm clasp. And I can do more overhand pull-ups than before. Feels good, man… ;^)

    1. I like my gloves. I use them for pull ups and cleans/snatches. But not for deadlifts.
      I also get bizarre throbbing constant pain in my forearms from curling too much too often. I bought some wrist straps (not bar straps) to see if stabilizing my wrist and compressing my tendons helps. (I’ve broken bones in both arms below the elbow, maybe its just me.)

      1. Sarge, if the pain is up near the elbow to the outside, it’s probably an injury to your brachioradialis. Change your curl grip angle to take that small (but very important) muscle out of play as much as possible. I tore mine up in my left arm doing pull-ups (over-training) and it took me years to recover and not fully. It still bothers me. Watch that closely.

    1. Yeah the only thing Zero ever “deadlifted” was a glass of herbal tea.

  16. its stupid to run outside. the sun is bad for your skin the concrete bad for your knees.

        1. The ONLY time it isn’t stupid is when you mix in Kratom. Otherwise it’s for losers and wimps.

    1. You cannot effectively maintain or increase bone density on elliptical or other “reduced impact” machines…only by bouncing your strides against full gravity. That said, X-country style running is better for your joints than running on pavement. I prefer trail running or running on the patch of grass/berm next to the pavement.

      1. I’ve found the minimalist shoes are much easier on my back and knees than padded shoes.

    2. So cycle instead, I’m out mountain biking through the jungle nearly every day. It’s great exercise, and in the shade. Maybe a bit hot and sweaty as it rarely gets below 35c here, but great for cardio and endurance. I usually do 25Km every morning …. just off now.

  17. Alot of guys get big into buying gear they dont need. You should only buy gear if it is an absolute necessity and it’s something you need.
    For example, I use wrist straps for lat pulldowns cause i must have it. My hands are weak and they tire out long before my lats do. So i have f’n straps. I’ve tried strengthening my grip, but its just not there yet.
    Whether your talking about gyms equipment, configuring and AR15, or picking out camping equipment…no extra bs.

  18. Good article. I will comment that a treadmill is better than not running. I lost a lot of weight with a treadmill and modifying my diet. I do run outside when I can.

    1. I hate running on hard surfaces, and I hate the constant-pace demand of treadmills. Give me hard sprints across a field any day.

        1. Best thing for your feet is running on the wet sand. Pretty good for your legs, too.

  19. The treadmill will help if you’re sick/ can’t run outside due to extreme weather.
    As for weight belts, you use them ONLY if: a) you’re close to your one rep max on a lift, OR: b) the lift you’re doing is heavy enough that you’re worried you’ll lose good form.
    That’s it

    1. The jump rope makes alot more sense than a treadmill. Better workout in less time and takes up alot less space.

  20. Treadmills are to avoid antifa gangs, the knockout game, gettin’ run over by illegal drunks and the like.

  21. People swear by those elevation masks and I tend to see the fitter people wear them which spreads their popularity.

  22. All of that stuff is useless,except the elevation mask, which is detrimental to your health and development.

  23. I can attest to the training mask being ineffective. I used one for about a year to “enhance” my cardio and I felt it hindered my performance. Once I took it off for good, my lungs were capable of allowing me more intense sessions. Gloves? Well, I don’t like them for certain lifts; I like to feel the bar. Using bare hands allows a tighter hold, and you’re much more in tune to whether your grip will fail. However, I have hand eczema, and when doing certain exercises that hurt my hands, the gloves will go on depending on how bad the flare up is. Otherwise, good article.

  24. Another note about the Dreadmill:
    I used to run track back in the day, and I can tell you there is a GIGANTIC difference between using your entire body to generate the force needed propel your body off the ground and forward, especially if you’re running fast, versus having a conveyor belt do much of that work for you.
    In other words, the Dreadmill is basically the Smith Machine of running.

  25. Elevation masks drive me nuts.
    The adaptations of hemoglobin at altitude are real. Running with a sock down your throat (which is what those stupid masks are) does nothing for hemeoglobin no matter how much one uses them. Baroreceptors in the great vessels are only triggered at altitude, thus signaling the marrow in the long bones (particularly the femur) to produce more.
    I’d also add pre-workout, and really ALL supplements, as equally useless.

  26. I tend push myself harder on a treadmill because of the programs i make for myself.
    and if you don’t wear gloves, you arent training hard enough. Gloves are indispensable for lifting free weights imo. no sweaty hands slipping your grip, and you get calluses if you don’t.

        1. Make of it what you want. I don’t want my hands to look like those of a pc office cuck. And yes in my experience women make notice of them and ask me what kind of training I do.

        2. Beyond the joke training your wrist doesn’t give you calluses God. Neckbeards who do nothing but play games and masturbate all day don’t have calluses , rather their hands are soft and smooth like those of women. Anyway if don’t believe me check “scar game” or “wounded warrior game” by CH. Women fucking love scars and wounds in men.

        3. I think those people have bigger worries than gym gloves or lack of calluses. i see the logic, but its not worth worrying about, if you lift you’ll get laid calluses or not.

  27. Agreed with it all but the eight belt and wrist wraps
    Yeah sure it’s dumb for light weights high repetition but when I’m lifting over 200kg I find the belt to be essential

  28. Disagree on the wrist wraps. They help me to do more reps where my grip will give out before the muscles I’m actually working. If I’m doing lower reps, I don’t use them, but some sets I’m doing 30 reps and my grip gives out. Agree that they should not be a crutch, but they are useful to me in some circumstances.

  29. Treadmills aren’t such a bad idea for when the ground outside is covered in ice and running might mean busting your face on the pavement. Treadmills are also useful on Navy deployments when you can’t leave your ship and you want to do cardio.
    For the most part, though, I agree with the author. If it’s too hot outside stop being a pussy and go run anyway. If you can’t stand the hot weather then run in the morning or in the evening. Same thing with the cold. Unless the pavement looks like the Joe Louis Arena, stop being a bitch and go run.

    1. That works until your knee cartilage is torn up. I would advise younger men to avoid running except when training for specific events.
      I ran many thousands of miles — outdoors, on wooden courts, rubber tracks, and treadmills. And now I pay for it. I have the cardio endurance to run as far as ever, but my knees will swell up and hurt for days even after a mild 3 mile run.
      If you enjoy running or playing running sports like basketball or soccer, I would advise you to do it lightly so you can continue to enjoy those sports after you hit middle age. Too much running wears out vital moving parts.
      I can’t play running sports now due to my obsession with it as a young man. I miss those games. I do other stuff now but if I could go back I’d tell my younger self to find another way to stay fit and quit doing so goddamn much cardio.
      As with all things, moderation.

  30. Here’s another piece of gear you do not need: if you weigh 300 kilograms you do not need see-through yoga pants and a thong.

  31. Lifting weights is gay, unless you use free weights, otherwise it is as gay as cum on a mustache.

  32. There was a guy in my gym who wore an elevation mask and grunted like hell while doing stupid basic exercises with normal weights. It was so fucking annoying that I had to shift my gym timings by a couple of hours. Unless you’re lifting 1.5-2 times your bodyweight or lifting during the last couple of reps, you shouldn’t be grunting like a wild boar in heat.

  33. I think thick grip training is fantastic, but you’re right, $40 for two pieces of rubber is absurd. For what it’s worth, you can get Fat Grips knock offs on Amazon for about $10.

  34. Gotta disagree on the gloves. Most modern gyms don’t allow chalk. And after you go to the dermatologist about the wart that you’re worried might be a sexual STD but come to find out it is Molluscum Contagiosum that the doc says surely came from the gym… well, fuck you – I’m wearing gloves.

  35. Callouses! So True! They always comment on them admiringly.
    Say no to treadmills. Run in the snow/rain/sun. Better yet, get off the pavement and find some dirt to run on. Once you are ready run on trails, up hills and off trails.
    But don’t forget those weights! Preferably free weights. Isolation is okay if you are prepping for a show but us mortals should work out as many muscles at once as possible.

  36. I do really well with an adjustable bench, creative use of a rack of dumbbells up to 50# and a ton of nearby dirt running trails. My fitness and weight management is ~70% diet.
    I’m 41 and my current gf is 27 (she is a personal trainer btw) no shit.
    You can do this guys, no excuses!

    1. Right on WJ! I have a power rack, adjustable bench, Olympic weights up to 520 lbs., plus 7 acres to run and play with my dogs on. I also have a small flock of hair sheep and putting a 250 ram on his back to trim his hooves is a workout all by itself! I start my “off-days” with burpees and pull-ups are frequently on the menu when I walk by the rack. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen not the gym; so your ~70% diet observation is spot on. I’m 57 and my 30 y.o. neighbor girl was getting VERY friendly with me last Saturday. Truth in advertising – she was slightly inebriated and lonely; but it was flattering nonetheless. Alas, I finally had to enlist the services of my wife to politely run her off. One must be careful to not defecate where one eats…

  37. You were going along fine until…
    “and I have found that women love to feel the calluses on a man’s hands.”
    Gloves actually allow me to lift more because I don’t feel the weight, it’s a psychological thing, and calluses are a bad thing, period

  38. Forget about whey protein. Just use the money to buy quality food; eggs, vegetables, good fatty foods. Those are expensive enough already.

  39. I’ve seen worse. And the ones who grunt and scream when lifting something even marginally heavy makes my head explode.

  40. Yeah, ditch the gloves and try not to think about the dude who just finished wiping his ass in the restroom without washing his hands.

  41. Your problem.is with low intensity running, not treadmills. If something you can do 30 mi utss is boring turn up the damn speed. Maximum incline is must. Do a set.of.chins beforehand.

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