Nickel Allergy and Weightlifting: How to Manage this Dilemma

Nickel Allergy and Weightlifting: How to Manage this Dilemma

November 12, 2018

When people work out at a gym, lifting those heavy weights and all, one of the things that come to their minds is if the weight bench they’re using is clean. Gyms are often packed with people who want to be fitter so that means scores of individuals have sweated on most of the benches in the room and the thought of laying your back on one of those leather platforms can be disconcerting.

Fortunately, most gyms, at least those who have a good reputation, maintain the cleanliness of their equipment. So you’re free to lay your back on a weight bench comforted by the fact that the custodians in your gym have scrubbed it clean after the last person who used it. But if you have a nickel allergy all the scrubbing and cleaning won’t mean a thing if you’re going to lift some barbells or dumbbells because the handles on those equipment are plated with nickel.

A nickel allergy can cause your skin to develop rashes, red and itching skin, dry patches of skin, and even blisters that can drain fluid in more severe cases. The irritating sensation is enough to keep you from finishing your rep, which can be such a hassle for anyone who wants to just build a better physique. But if you’re one of these people don’t fret because there are ways to keep hitting the gym without triggering your nickel allergy.

Wear gloves

One of the easiest solutions to avoid triggering your nickel allergy when lifting weights is to wear gloves so that your hands will be protected from the handles. Most of the barbell handles are nickel-plated, which is why when some weightlifters with nickel allergy work out they notice that it’s their hands that show the first signs of an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, most sports equipment stores sell gloves for weightlifters and they’re thick enough to shield your palms from the nickel in the barbell handles. But when you’re lifting weights you don’t just perform bench presses in your fitness routine, you also need to perform front squats wherein the handles of the barbell will have to sit on your chest for a few seconds.

Even though it will only sit on your chest for a few seconds the contact with nickel could already trigger a reaction. So the best way to deal with this is to wear a shirt that will cover your whole chest and you won’t have any rashes appearing near your neck while you’re working out.

Choose other equipment

According to gym equipment experts, Eleiko, a Swedish barbell manufacturer, uses handles that are nickel-plated while Pendlay incorporates zinc into their handles. Try looking for gym equipment that does not have nickel in them in order to avoid triggering your allergy.

Bring your anti-allergy medication

If in case avoidance is close to impossible while working out in your local gym and you managed to trigger your nickel allergy be sure that you have brought your antihistamines (ointments, medicines et al) to counteract the symptoms.

Managing your nickel allergy when you’re lifting weights doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you made the necessary preparations you can enjoy your weightlifting sessions without a hitch.

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