To Glove or Not to Glove
Why lifting gloves changed my life (and it’s not what you think)
If you are a female (or male) who has their reasons for wearing weightlifting gloves, I am not going to discount any of them, but I am going to give you a few solid reasons why you are hurting your progress in any real bodybuilding or barbell weight training.
“Gloves have no place in a serious training program. A glove is merely a piece of loose stuff between the hand and the bar, reducing grip security and increasing the effective diameter of the bar. Gloves make bars harder to hold on to. The only legitimate use for a glove is to cover an injury, like a torn callus or a cut, where the workout is important enough to do with the injury. The desire is to prevent callus formation (possibly so as to not snag one’s pantyhose) does not constitute a legitimate use.”- Mark Rippetoe Starting Strength
Quick background: I started lifting weights at age 15 by watching others, one bad habit I picked up was using lifting gloves and I am paying for it today. Honestly, I used lifting gloves until about 3 months ago so lets fast forward to the knowledge I have today.
#1. Your hands connect you to the bar. They are your first connection to the weight or mass that you are about to move with your body. If your grip is incorrect how can you move the weight properly?
#2. Grip Strength– I struggled with pain in my forearms during walking lunges, high rep sets & any pulling exercises . But I never knew why, now I do. All these years I never had an actual connection with the iron in my hands. It caused me to have NO GRIP STRENGTH and also translated to numerous other improper movements in my form for barbell lifts.
#3 You can’t use gloves for any power movements- If you want to use gloves for your curls and lat pull downs expect to have a lot of trouble when you advance to a strong bench press or clean.
#4 Dips, pull-ups, inverted pulls, basically any grip oriented bare hand movement becomes extremely difficult when you are use to having the false sense of grip from a glove.
Studying the science behind strength training it has become obvious why I needed to practice my lifts without a glove, and within a week I knew what I was missing. It wasn’t a big mystery.
Why you should switch to bare hands:
– Growth in your muscles and strength
– Grip strength through your lifts and calisthenics (pull ups, dips, OLY, power cleans)
Excuses : But I don’t want calluses or tears
Truth is unless you are practicing power movements or pull ups (especially kipping) on a regular basis you won’t get bad calluses or tear your hands.
And even if u did have a callus or two show up, it’s the sign of hard work.
Bottomline is you can keep using your beautiful gloves ( I loved mine!) and never grow in your ability to properly lift weights or you can put on your big girl leggings and step in the gym with real intention behind your workouts.