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Weight Lifting Equipment
We can get stronger only when our muscles are forced to operate beyond its customary intensity. This can be done with the help of resistance training, number of repetitions with a particular weight and number of sets in an exercise. Resistance training will increase the muscle size which in turn depends on the muscle fiber type that is activated. Muscle growth can be attributed to increased contractile proteins, increased number of and size of myofibrils per muscle fiber, increased amounts of connective, tendinous and ligamentous tissues, and increased enzymes and stored nutrients. Muscle contractions cause the greatest amount of electrical activity within the muscles and produce the greatest gains in mass and strength. Hence, weight training will help in some serious strength training of the muscles.
Weight training is used for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles and is a form of strength training. They use some specialized equipments such as weighted bars, dumbbells, or weight stacks which will use the force of gravity and target specific muscle groups and types of movement. Every athlete will have weight training in their daily regimen to increase physical strength with the help of weights.
Weight training seems to be timeless! From decades, they have been used by people of all classes to increase the body strength. However, as time has moved on, these exercises that were done on traditional equipment have seen changes and many reviews have been constantly done to suit the present times.
Weight training is similar to strength training but involves manipulation of the number of repetitions, sets, tempos, exercise types and weights so that there is a significant increase in strength, endurance and size. This combination of will depend on the ability of the individual and fewer reps can be performed when heavy weights are used. For any weight training program, weight lifting equipment is a prerequisite. These will include barbells, dumbbells, pulleys, body’s own weight for chin-ups and push-ups and stacks in the form of weight machines. The resistance that will be built will depend on the weights used. However, weight training should involve performing the movement with the appropriate muscle group and not simply transferring the weight to other parts. If this is done, then it might result in injury or failure to meet training goals which in turn does not gain strength in the muscles.
There is much weight lifting equipment available such as dumbbells, barbells, weight machines. These equipment when used with combinations of exercises and machines, will exercise body parts in one or more ways. A dumbbell is a piece of equipment that will be used either individually or in pairs during weight training. There are three types of dumbbell that is currently being used:
- Adjustable dumbbells are those that can be used to either raise or lower weights during a workout session. It will consist of a metal bar whose centre is engraved with a crosshatch pattern to improve grip. The outer portions will be having clips or collars and weight disks can be slid on it. Nowadays, sophisticated dumbbells are available which has easy weight increment adjustments that will prevent the athlete from stopping a workout to alter the weights.
- Fixed weight dumbbells that have weights created in a dumbbell shape and is made of cast iron or rigid plastic shell filled with concrete.
- Selectorized dumbbells are those whose weight can be adjusted mechanically, either by turning a dial or moving a selector pin. This means that there is no need of manually adding or removing dumbbells between exercises. Often, these dumbbells will have stands that act as storage for additional weights which are not being used during the workout.
A barbell is common weight lifting equipment that has a range of 4 feet to 8 feet in length. They are usually made for powerlifters and have a central portion that varies in diameter and engraved with knurled crosshatch pattern to gain grip. Disc slides will be slid on the outer portions till the desired weight is obtained. There are many types of barbells available such as:
- Standard barbell that has a single solid piece of metal without rotating parts and having no standard length or weight.
- EZ curl bar which is used for biceps curls, upright rows and lying triceps extensions. Since the bar will be curved, there is more grip and decreased risk of repetitive stress injury
- Fixed barbells are usually found in the gyms and have bars with weights that are already attached. They are normally used for beginners who lack upper body strength initially.
- Thick handled barbell are special items that challenge grip
- Triceps bar will consist of two parallel handles mounted in a cage and used to perform triceps extensions and hammer curls
- Trap bar is a diamond shaped bar where the athlete will stand inside the diamond and grasp the bar.
Weight lifting equipment include many other machines such as stack machines, plate loaded machines, cable machine, smith machine and many more. A stack machine will have a set of massive rectangular plates which is pierced with a vertical bar through holes that are drilled into them. This machine will allow several levels of resistance over the same range of motion with an adjustment that can be done with very little force. Plate loaded machines use standard barbell plates instead of captive stacks like the previous machine. However, plate loaded machines will have high mechanical advantage and makes room for larger plates over a large range of motion.
Other weight lifting equipment include weight lifting straps that allow more weight to be transferred on the wrists and avoid limitations in forearm muscles and grip strength, weight lifting belts that are meant to support the back and weighted clothing, sand bags and other materials which increase the amount of work required by the muscles. While doing any weight training, it is also essential that you keep in mind certain guidelines that will keep you safe from injury. Appropriate clothing also plays an important role here!