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Equipment & Supplements: What I Use
Greg Everett  |  General Training  |  July 16 2013

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Equipment & Supplements: What I Use, Greg Everett,
A lot of the questions we get at Catalyst Athletics are regarding equipment and personal gear, so I thought it would make sense to lay out all the gear we use here at the gym and what I use personally, from wraps and straps to supplements and barbells.
 
Equipment
 
Knee Sleeves I typically use knee sleeves only when cleaning, squatting or jerking heavy. I don’t wear them when snatching. The support of neoprene sleeves is great when you’re squatting or jerking, but they cause me problems by deviating my fibular head, so I limit their use. Mike Gray said it best when he likened the thick blue Rheband knees sleeves to that one ex-girlfriend you know you shouldn’t call but you can’t help it. So what I do is this: for competition or when I really want to push the squat, clean or jerk, I will use the blue Rheband knee sleeves. For training days when I’m feeling beat up and need a little help but my knees feel fine, I will throw on the thinner gray Rehband sleeves that aren’t too tight. And for the majority of my training, I use some thin McDavid elastic sleeves whose purpose for me is just making the Sombra on my knees get hot (they don’t provide any support). I like this system as it keeps my knees feeling good, and I get a little boost in competition or max lifting when I add the bit of rebound that comes with the thicker Rehband sleeves.
 
Belt I use a Valeo belt with the plastic cam buckle. These things are lightweight but strong, conform well to your body, and are freely adjustable unlike a traditional buckle that has preset holes. They’re pretty cheap too, but durable—I’ve been using the same one for 5 or 6 years.
 
Straps I use homemade straps that are 1” nylon because they allow me to snatch without restricted hand and wrist movement. We will be offering straps for sale shortly modeled after these.
 
Tape & Related I almost always tape my thumbs when snatching and cleaning. I use elastic tape (2”) made by Jaybird-Mais. For non-thumb-taping needs, I use a standard athletic tape (2”) also by Jaybird-Mais. I also use Tite-Grip to keep my hands dry in order to keep my thumb tape sticking well.
 
Liniment I have used a number of different liniments, and I’m a big fan of Sombra. The trick is that you need to be sweaty for it to really get hot (hence the thin knee sleeves mentioned above). Outside of training, I like good old Icy Hot (actually the generic version from RiteAid that smells like Wint-o-green Lifesavers) to slather on any areas that are bothering me. For cold only, Bio-freeze is good.
 
Compression Shorts I use BodyScience compression shorts when I train, and at night, I sometimes wear the BSC compression pants for a couple hours after a rough training day following a dip in the hot tub and/or ice bath. I will say that these things are made for emo butts, but it appears that all other brands are too. So I can’t train in the long pants without them being halfway down my ass each time I move, and I’ve blown out the asses of two pairs during squat workouts. The shorts have held up just fine in training, however, and these are what I wear under my singlet in competition.
 
Barbells & Weights We use Werksan barbells and plates at Catalyst Athletics. We do have a collection of other barbells, but these are specifically for squatting and other rack work.
 
Other I like inhaling noxious fumes before a big lift, and lately I have been using Nose Tork ammonia. I do suggest covering the bottle with some athletic tape, though, so any leaking won’t make the outside slick.
 
  
 
Supplements
 
Most of the supplements I take are for help with sleeping, but a few aren’t. Here’s the list:
 
Energy Advocare Spark is good stuff, fairly tasty, and gets me pumped to lift well without making me feel strung out. This is especially true if I’m keeping my daily caffeine intake minimal or nothing outside of Spark.
 
Creatine I use Podium Gold powder, which is actually creatine and beta-alanine. This is the only creatine product I’ve used in over 15 years that I can actually feel make a difference. I do 5 g before training and 5 after. Note that the powder is currently back ordered, so I am using the tablets for now.
 
Fish Oil I use PurePharma capsules. 3 with breakfast and 3 with dinner. Sometimes 3 with a mid-day meal if I think of it. I keep mine in the freezer for maximal oxidation protection.
 
M3 M3 is also a PurePharma product similar to ZMA. I take 3 capsules at bedtime.
 
Vitamin D I use Carlson liquid. A few drops at night depending on how much sun exposure I’ve gotten lately.
 
Natural Calm This is just a magnesium powder I mix in hot water to down all my nighttime supplements with. Just about a tablespoon or a little less.
 
Holy Basil This helps drop cortisol levels. I take 2-3 caps at bedtime and keep a couple next to my bed to take in the middle of the night if I wake up and can’t fall asleep again.
 
GABA Take a guess: one capsule at bedtime to help with sleep.
 
Protein I use Heavy Athletics Nutrition whey isolate and blend and Cytosport Cytogainer. Post workout and throughout the day as needed to fill out the protein and calorie needs.
 
Glutamine I throw 10 g into my post workout shake. Get the powder.
 
Leucine I add about 5 g to my post workout shake. Also in powder.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, and director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.
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Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach's Guide
Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach's Guide
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches
Bones of Iron: Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete
Bones of Iron: Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete
The Coach's Strength Training Playbook
The Coach's Strength Training Playbook

22 Comments
Renee 1 | 2013-07-16
Great article Greg! I would love to also hear if any of your female lifters takedo supplements that they might deem "female-specific".
Greg Everett 2 | 2013-07-16
You mean Midol?
Michael 3 | 2013-07-16
I'm assuming since you take these you feel they all have a positive effect. Have you ever taken the whey out of the equation? I took syntha-6 for 2 months for recovery and in hopes of adding some mass. I felt it did nothing. I stopped taking it and drank more milk instead. Just wondering if I didn't give it enough time and if it is something you would recommend or if I should add anything else? What would you recommend anything for people having trouble gaining muscle? Also, when I stuff my face and drink gallons of milk I may add a pound in a week but I am mostly miserable and poop twice as much.
Greg Everett 4 | 2013-07-16
Michael - Milk will help pretty much anyone gain weight, but that doesn't mean it will be quality weight. I think it's all about dosing - If you drink a shitload of milk every day, you're going to get fat and likely feel like shit. This can be true even for whey. Never heard of syntha-6 but based on the name alone, it sounds like a supplement designed to sound like an anabolic, which means it's worthless.
Michael 5 | 2013-07-16
Thanks! Syntha-6 is just a protein supplement.
Greg Everett 6 | 2013-07-17
Renee- In all seriousness, none of my female lifters take any female-specific supplements.
D.E. Heeren 7 | 2013-07-18
Thanks for the info on the supplements. I haven't worn a belt in several years, don't own any knee wraps but should, bought wrist wraps on ebay, only wear the right one, broke the right wrist just below the thumb last fall. I work at a milk bottling plant and I quit drinking milk to get down to the 85kg class. I won't even drink the O.J. we bottled. Someone gave me a Poweraide and I drank some without looking at the bottle and felt like GARBAGE within a few minutes, it had High Fructose Corn syrup in it. Please write something on how worthless HFC is for an additive.
Nick 8 | 2013-07-18
How is the Pure Pharma O3 in terms of fish burps? I switched to Carlsons liquid and then SFH liquid because I hated the fish burps when I took Carlsons or Kirkland caps.
Greg Everett 9 | 2013-07-18
DE- I'm not the one to write about HFCS - other people get way more spun up about that than I do.
Greg Everett 10 | 2013-07-18
Nick - I don't get any fish burps w the PP O3.
Alida 11 | 2013-07-18
In regards to Renee's comment....even if they're not "female specific" I would still be interested to see a female's perspective on what equipment and supplements they are using. Thanks.
Lyman Dickinson 12 | 2013-07-18
Greg, how do you cycle your creatine and beta-alanine? I have heard many diff. theories, just curious as to which method works best for you. btw I follow OPT big dawgs being program and I am looking to do a strength specific program which one do you recommend from your site. I am just looking for overall strength gains, if I had to choose a weak link it is OH strength.
Greg Everett 13 | 2013-07-18
Alida - I suppose I don't see there being a need to differentiate... a lifter is a lifter, and each individual is different irrespective of gender. Some of our guys wear belts and knee sleeves, some don't; some of our gals wear belts and knee sleeves; some don't. There really isn't a representative female OR male for this stuff.
Greg Everett 14 | 2013-07-18
Lyman - I don't usually worry about cycling it. Occasionally I will take a week off if I have an easy week of training between cycles, but I don't really find it necessary.
Nick 15 | 2013-07-18
Thanks Greg. Gonna give em a whirl.
NickB 16 | 2013-07-18
Thanks Greg! Very timely, I was just wondering about this exact topic. Do you favor a specific shoe as well? Do you or your athletes use wrist wraps, or do you recommend them? Thanks for everything.
Renee 17 | 2013-07-21
hahaha I just saw your response and it cracked me up. Just curious...thanks!
Greg Everett 18 | 2013-07-21
Nick- I don't know how I forgot to include shoes... I wear Adidas ironworx III and have an extra pair for when they die. All of our national team lifters use the new Adidas adistars (red ones) except me, Aimee and Kara. The three of us prefer the feel of the older shoes. I like the fit and flexibility and non-red color. But everyone else really likes the red ones
Jason 19 | 2013-08-12
How far in advance of your workout do you take the advocare? Do you have a flavor preference? Do you have a preference between the HAN isolate and blend? Would isolate be better for a lifter trying to lose weight?
Greg Everett 20 | 2013-08-13
Jason - I will usually take a couple sips as I start warming up, then sip during the first half - 3/4 of my workout. All the flavors are good except maybe the ice tea one. Isolate vs blend is really more about timing. Post workout, you want the isolate. I don't know that one or the other will make much of a difference with weight loss - again, just depends more on how you use it.
John 21 | 2014-01-24
Back surgery fails 74 penerct of the time and yet insurers still cover the procedures and patients still line up for them hoping for a quick fix. What they too often end up with is a problem that is much worse. Failed back surgery syndrome is characterized by intractable pain and varying degrees of functional incapacitation occurring after spine surgery . Where is the logic?
Keith 22 | 2014-01-25
you should try taking the Vitamin D in the morning. It negatively effects melatonin production, which makes it harder to go to sleep
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