Article: Are Weight Lifting Gloves For Women & Men a Necessary Evil?
Are Weight Lifting Gloves For Women & Men a Necessary Evil?
I’ll admit it. I was skeptical at first, too. I’d see people wearing weight lifting gloves for women and men at the gym and think, “Why?” I just didn’t understand what benefits the gloves actually offered. I’d always been proud of my calluses. I never even thought about gloves.
Eventually, curiosity killed the cat. One day I was chatting with a few gym buddies during breaks between deadlifts and the topic of gloves came up. They wore gloves every single day. I asked why.
I expected to hear something about soft hands and calluses, but I ended up getting an education in all things weight lifting gloves. The quick chat prompted me to get my hands on and in a pair of gloves for some testing.
To my pleasant surprise, weight lifting gloves can benefit even the most serious of lifters. Are they a necessary evil? Well, that all depends.
What are Weight Lifting Gloves?
Before we dive too deep, let’s detail exactly what weight lifting gloves are and why people claim to wear them.
You probably already know what weight lifting gloves are. They typically cover the areas on your hands were calluses may form. Certain models cover the full hand, including the fingers. This all depends on the model and style.
But, why do people wear them? Well, most lifters believe the gloves either offer safety benefits by protecting their hands. Or they believe that the extra comfort offered by the gloves ensures they can move more weight.
Are either claim true? Well, let’s take a look at the benefits of weight lifting gloves for women and men.
The Benefits of Weight Lifting Gloves
While no gym accessory is perfect or needed by every athlete, weight lifting gloves do provide certain benefits to some gym goers. I’ve quickly became a fan after using some gloves, and I’m not the only one.
Here are a few of the many benefits of weight lifting gloves:
- More Weight
The reality of our anatomy as humans means our backs, legs, and chest muscles tend to be stronger than our naked hands. As such, many times when we plateau on a lift, it’s due to weak hands or grip.
By using gloves when lifting heavy weights, you can relieve the extra pressure put on your naked hands and ensure you can move heavier weights. Many people only use gloves when they’re hitting heavy weight in the 1-4 rep range.
- Grip Safety
Grip strength and safety are incredibly important in the gym. Just imagine what would happen if the bar slipped out of your hands while you’re hitting heavy shoulder press above your head. That’s a dangerous situation.
Plus, hands get sweaty in the gym when training at the proper intensity. Gloves can ensure your grip stays golden - no matter how much you sweat. Weight lifting gloves improve grip strength while offering safety benefits. A win-win in my book!
- Callus & Blister Protection
If you’ve been in the gym long enough, you’ve probably developed some nasty calluses. Some of us even get painful blisters when a calluses rips off. That’s never a fun situation. For many lifters prone to blisters and ripped calluses, weight lifting gloves solve a major problem.
Gloves allow you to completely eliminate calluses forming ever again. Whether you want to avoid blisters or simply keep your hands soft and smooth, weight lifting gloves for women and men can do the trick.
- Making the Gym Easier
Without worry of blisters, calluses, grip strength, and safety - many have found they enjoy their time in the gym more so. The gym becomes easier because there’s less to worry about. This allows people to focus more on their mind-muscle connection and the workout. Personally, I found this to be the biggest benefit of all.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you. No piece of lifting equipment or accessory is perfect. Weight lifting gloves are no different. There’s a reason why certain gym rats poke fun at lifters who think they need gloves.
So, what are some of the drawbacks against weight lifting gloves for women and men? Here’s a few:
- Weakened Grip
Some claim that wearing weight lifting gloves can hinder grip strength. There’s some truth to the claim, as the gloves artificially strengthen the small muscles in your hands, fingers, and wrists to ensure you can lift heavier weights.
However, by adding a little forearm work into your workout without gloves, you won’t have any issues. The extra forearm work will ensure your small finger and wrist muscles gain strength - while still allowing you to lift with gloves on during your big lifts like the deadlift.
- You Like Calluses
Some people love calluses on their hands. They believe that a callus shows their hardwork and dedication to the gym. If that’s you, then don’t wear gloves.
I was once in a similar state of mind, but once I found out how useful gloves were - I quickly forgot about how important calluses were to me. I prefer moving heavier weight and breaking plateaus than building calluses.
The Great Debate: Are Weight Lifting Gloves For Women & Men a Necessary Evil?
At Gunsmith Fitness, we don’t beat around the bush. Weight lifting gloves for women and men aren’t for everyone. They’re not necessarily a necessary evil for the common gym goer. However, they do offer great benefits to three types of people:
- Grip Strength Issues: If you’re struggling with grip strength, then weight lifting gloves will be useful to you. The gloves will help you lift heavier weight without your grip failing.
- Calluses Issues: Some people prefer to have soft hands. If that’s you, then weight lifting gloves are a no-brainer! Gloves will ensure you hands stay smooth.
- No More Gains: Many lifters only start using gloves when they have reached a plateau in the gym. Once they can’t deadlift any heavier weight, they may try adding gloves to get over the hump. If that’s you, I can’t recommend weight lifting gloves enough. Gloves combined with a weight belt can ensure huge gains!