By Marc Bartley
Lifting accessories have been around since lifting began. Accessories cover the gambit from bars to gloves to belts to hats to knee and wrist wraps. You think of it, it is out there. The next question is why? Very simple, people want to lift more, target different muscles and in general make lifting weights easier and more comfortable. So now you say yes I already know this, get to the point. Okay I will.
In my quest to get bigger, stronger, faster, leaner and better looking (still working hard on the pretty aspect). I am always looking for the best tools available and the best information on how to use these tools. This is where I became “strapped”. Strapped has different meanings to different people some good and some bad. This reference is only to the good and positive.
Strapped in this case refers to a new line of lifting accessories put out by Spud, Inc. and found on www.southcarolinabarbell.com and www.Elitefts.com. These types of lifting tools have been around forever. Some are ropes tied off, some are just the everyday things like towels with the ends duct taped. Those things are used to do pull ups, tricep pushdowns, face pulls, any exercise really that uses a cable system If you don’t believe me go to any gym anywhere and you will see these things being used or watch “Pumping Iron” to really see what accessories were like in the old days.
What Spud, Inc and EliteFts have done is combine some of the strongest straps on earth and lifting accessories into one of the most durable and beneficial lines of equipment ever produced. Now, to give you some history on these straps: they are not new to the world and in fact are very common in almost every town. Think of going to Wal-Mart and getting some towing or tie down straps, now multiply the layer and strength by at least 1000% and you have Spud, Inc straps. These straps are made to lift and haul nuclear waste containers from their origin to their final destination. These straps lift yachts out of the water in seaports like Miami! Anything that needs a strap above and beyond normal duty is where the Spud, Inc line is there for your muscle building and strength needs! If your gym or facility does not have these straps, you are already behind. There are a variety of straps for any use you can imagine. Don’t get a cheapo, get the best:
Bodybuilder/Towel Strap: This tool is only for the serious. You can do kneeling abs, towel pull ups with “grip assist”, any seated or upright row or pulldown, tricep pushdowns in any direction – overhead, straightdown etc…This strap will kick the boring out of any workout! All I can say is PUMP…PUMP...PUMP.
Long Ab Strap: Ever had your hands or elbows hurt when doing standing ab pulldowns? That is gone now. This strap sits on the forearm so there is no involvement from the hands or elbows. Get your ripped abs back with this pain free alternative to kneeling abs or rope knobs hurting your hands. Plus, it is great for seated rows and various pushdowns.
Short Ab Strap: Since your tough and obviously elbow and hand pain free, then this strap is for you. Same as the long only half the size for kneeling or standing ab pulldowns, tricep and or back work.
Upper Body and Ankle Straps: If you are not a powerlifter, the chances are you have not seen these in action. These straps are designed for sled dragging. Sled dragging, although it sounds barbaric, is quite a good way to perform G.P.P. (General Physical Preparedness). Think of Arnold Schwarzeneggar as Conan, pushing the wheel around and around until he was HUGE! This is G.P.P., which is having the anaerobic capacity to do the volumes of mechanical work (ie. Powerlifitng, heavy weight training and not getting tired). If you drag a sled with either the upper body strap or the ankle strap, you will get fit and strong plus you can show off you glistening abs in the sun.
Spud, Inc. Wrist Straps: Everybody has their brand of straps, but no one has straps like this. Spud, Inc wrist straps are wider and softer than most others. You know how cheap straps can eat up your wrists and then eventually break on your biggest shrug or pulldown? This won’t happen with Spud, Inc straps. Check out this picture with 765 lbs. for 8 reps for shrugs. Can your straps hold this without pinching or ripping up your wrists?
Belt Squat Belt: This is a favorite in the powerlifting world. Great for the hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes. The material is super thick, comfortable (no pinching) and you can us it on a cable system or with dumbbells or plates.
Reverse Hyper Straps: The old straps were much and still are like seat belts in a car, designed to stop you but also tear your skin up in the process. These straps are softer and don’t rip the skin on the calf or ankle. They come in two sizes, 40 inch for the regular hyper using 25 or 35 lb. plates and a 48 inch for when you load your machine with 45 and 100 lb. plates.
Sled Strap: This one is designed to replace your old cable or cheap straps that came with your sled. It is 8 ft long with reinforced ends. Each end come with a separate attachments, one for the sled itself and one for the upper body or ankle strap you are going to use. This makes sled dragging easier and you get more life out of your sled investment. Put it this way, at my commercial gym, sleds get used everyday all day long and for 5 years I have had the same straps on our sleds with no frays or worn places. Old man cable will poke you no more!!
Neck/Dip Belt: This one is a no brainer for anyone needing a multi-use neck and dip belt. It is small enough to put in your gym bag but big enough to use on any cable system, with dumbbells or plates. Comes with a chain and easy to use safety hook. Plus, it is padded to keep your neck, head and back soft for the ladies.
· Lap Strap: This is for the strongman in you. This simple idea came about after watching the strongmen try and try again to get the heavier stones during training but just couldn’t hold on to finish off the big boy stones. This small strap fits under the stone and has two handles on it. It’s like wrist wraps for the stones. Now, grab the handles and get the big one that got away!! Improve you strength and raise your capacity on your way to the top.
· Strongman Harness. Think about this, do you want your harness slipping as you go for the big truck pull. No, so this harness is for you. The shoulder straps are double reinforced (like you’ll need it) for comfort and strength. Easy release seat buckle that adjusts for any type puller-fat or ripped