In a world full of people demanding instant gratification we have an era of individuals who attach themselves to things they're not even sure about in hopes that it has some magical carry over to their total. Squat shoes, particular brands of knee sleeves-wraps, bands, chains, blocks, and even some pairs of socks seem to have magical powers these days.
If your gym has a barbell and some plates, there is no reason you cannot become big and or strong as fuck. Now, of course, you need a bench and a monolift for those who like to nitpick I figured I'd mention those, but outside of that- those are the basics.
I feel like I talk about myself a lot, and makes me feel as if I brag- but I can only speak from my experiences and let's face it you either opened this article to see one of two things. 1. me lashing out or 2. to get my perspective on certain subjects, so therefore I have to talk about my trials.
I totaled 2143 RAW <--- because you have to say that now I guess- without using anything more than a barbell, bench, mono, and weights. I know right now someone is saying "yeah but genetics." Sure I can understand that, but there are plenty of people with shitty genetics who bust their ass and overcome the terrible excuse of "my weak genes." Using nothing more than a loaded barbell they've gone on to do amazing things on the platform.
I'm not knocking bands, chains, or any other implement used to addressed weaknesses. I see too many people using these things not knowing how to use them or even why they are using them other than it looked cool, or someone stronger uses them. In my opinion- these things are for when the barbell and plates have done what they can, and you need something extra to squeeze an extra few pounds out of a training cycle.
Let's be honest a lot of lifters these days look for the shortcuts and try to bypass the tried and true big three with a regular old barbell. I feel they would be shocked if they put more effort into their work than their research in which new bar or fade can get them stronger faster.
Nothing will ever beat hard work and that's the hard truth- you can fake it all you want but that barbell you're trying to avoid will call your bluff, trust me. Samuel Goldwyn said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Let that sink until I drop part two of this in a couple days- "work ethic."