In your quest to lift ever-heavier amounts of weight, youll likely come across all manner of supportive gear, like weightlifting belts , weightlifting shoes , knee wraps , and weightlifting gloves (to name but a few). And if you venture deep enough down that rabbit hole, youll eventually encounter the pinnacle of heavy-lifting apparel: the squat suit.

Resembling a wrestling singlet, squat suits are made of two to three layers of synthetic material (typically a form of polyester) and are designed to provide the tightest fit possible. Indeed, theyre notoriously uncomfortable. But that snugness is the key to their effectiveness: By compressing the body and helping to keep the hips in alignment, the suits can help you squat massive loads.

Theres even evidence that a squat suit can directly increase the force, velocity, and power with which you lifta benefit that likely comes from the suit contributing its stored elastic energy every time you drive out of the bottom of the exercise, a.k.a the sticking point. So the question is, should you use one?

Your move: Dont use onenot unless youre a powerlifter (the primary wearer of this performance-enhancing torture device), and even then, youll likely only wear one during competition. Theyre that uncomfortable.

They can also be relatively expensive, and unless you belong to a powerlifting gym, theyll make you stand out for the wrong reason (kind of like the guy who grunts while doing leg curls). Plus, they likely wont help you build greater strength; theyll only help you lift heavier loads when its go-time. So instead of using a squat suit, focus instead on optimizing your squatting performance by mastering proper form .