In gyms and studios across the country you will find dozens of pieces of what I like to call workout gear being worn. Some of this workout gear is definitely useful. But the usefulness of some of this equipment may be questionable. In fact, some might be unsafe for your clients to wear.
When your clients ask you what they should use or consider buying, having a good answer for them is important. In this blog I will cover two of the most popular pieces of workout gear, weight belts and heart rate monitors.
First, we will take a look at the tried and true weight belt. The weight belt has been around for a long time and can serve a purpose. Performing lifts such as the deadlift and squat with near maximal loads can call for the use of a good quality weight belt. However, weight belts can also be harmful. They can allow the core muscle to weaken and if used incorrectly lead to serious injuries.
So, are they good or bad for your clients? The answer is both. They can be good if the client truly needs them and they are training in a manner that can benefit from them. They can also hinder the development of the core and lower back muscles. This can result in lower back problems.
I would advise any client to avoid the use of a weight belt if they can. But if they insist on using one, just make sure that it is a good weight belt and it is being used correctly.
Heart Rate Monitors
There are as many people against using a heart rate monitor as there are for it. A heart rate monitor can be an easy way to track a client’s progress during a session. It can be a distraction as well.
The readings can also be misleading. Different types and brands of heart rate monitors use different ways to measure heart rate, calories burned and other statistics. These are usually based off of an initial data input. Heart rate training is effective but does not take into consideration how your client is feeling.
If your client is having a bad day, but the heart rate monitor is reading low, you could push your client too far. The verdict is to use heart rate monitors with your clients with caution. Take the heart rate yourself. This will help you appear more professional and more in tune with their workout. If you are training multiple clients or a group, they can be very useful though.
Weight belts and heart rate monitors are both generally viewed as good pieces of gym gear. With all the options and technology available what are some of the things you like your clients to wear?
Leave a comment about what equipment you like, and we might use it in our next blog!