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Me and My Birthday Presents


For my 54th birthday in 2015 I got four presents from my parents. A couple of them are of relevance to those who lifts weights, so below are pictures of me and these presents. Click any picture for a larger image.


This first picture is of me with all four presents: a beard trimmer, lock jaw collars, insulated water bottles, and a necklace.

When I set up my home gym in the fall of 2005, I got it right the first time for almost every piece of equipment I bought, except for collars. I went through several different kinds of collars. They either did not hold very well, especially on deadlifts, or they would break after a short while. But then I came across these Lock Jaw Collars. They hold great even on deadlifts. And I've had a pair for several years now. They are very lightweight, so even if you work out at a commercial gym, you could easily carry these back and forth in your gym bag. They are much better than the wire-type collars used at most gyms. Mine were grey and rather old, so they were not holding quite as well as they used to, so I had my parents get me these red ones for my birthday. I really wanted them, as red is my favorite color. The red also adds a little bit of color to my home gym, which otherwise has mostly black equipment. These are the best collars I have found. They are easy to put on and take off, and they hold very well, even on deadlifts. Thus I am giving them five stars.  Available from Amazon .



A couple of insulated water bottles. I use these  for sipping cold water during my powerlifting workouts. I had two of these, but the nozzle broke on them, so I needed new ones. Those ones lasted many years, so I got two more from the same company (Polar). These are also nice for putting in the cup holder in my car for the long drives to contests. For my workouts, I fill them with water and put them in the fridge a couple of hours before working out so the water and bottle are cold. Then right before my workout, I add several ice cubes, the hotter it is the more ice and less water I use. The water then stays cold throughout my  1-1/2 hour workout. So the insulated part works well. It is also easy to pull the nozzle up with just my teeth, so only one hand is needed for sipping. That is important when driving.  Thus I am giving them five stars. Available from Amazon .


A new fish/ cross necklace. My parents got me a gold one for Christmas, but I wanted a silver one as well. For those who don’t know, the fish was the earliest symbol of the Christians faith, for two reasons. First, fish are mentioned quite often in the Gospels. Second, the Greek word fish (Ichthus) forms an acronym in Greek that translated means, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. Available from Amazon .

If the reader is wondering why I am including this here, I got this necklace in part to wear during my workouts and at powerlifting contests. I never wore a necklace while lifting before, or for anything else for that matter. But I really liked the fish/ cross pendant; that is why I had my parents get me both a gold and a silver one. It is a great way to remind me where true strength comes from during my workouts and at contests. 

In any case, wearing it for anything other than deadlifts did not go well. While doing decline benches during my bench assistance workout, I kept losing it in the back of my shirt. On squats, I thought the chain would be above where I place the bar, so it would not be a problem. But when I took the chain off, the clasp fall off, and I couldn’t find it. It must have gotten crushed somehow. But then earlier in the day before my bench workout, I just happened to see the tiny clasp on the cement floor in my basement, so I put it back on the necklace and put the necklace on and kept it on for the workout. But the chain kept getting caught under my neck as I pushed into my arch and was choking me, so I had to take it off.

On deadlifts, it would dangle around when I knelt down to change the weights, so I was concerned that it would distract me during the lift; but I didn’t notice it, and it didn’t get in the way at all. Given all of this, I will probably wear the necklace for deadlifts both in training and at contests, but I doubt I will wear it for squats and benches.

Me with My Birthday Presents - 2015. Copyright 2015 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above forum post was posted on this website March 28, 2015.

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