I don't want to increase my core size... belt?
- 03-20-2012, 05:47 AM
I don't want to increase my core size... belt?
Yes, another one of those belt questions... all the posts/articles I've read about a belt is that it takes away from a strong core, unsafe unless you have already developed a good core, etc.
I've never used a belt, and here are my current stats:
Squat 5RM: 355lbs
Deadlift 5RM: 405lbs
Neither were to faillure, I usually start with squats and progress immediately to DL after maybe 10min rest at most on my "power" days. I felt like I would probably have 1 more full rep in me, but If I went for it on the squat, it would wipe me out too much for DL's, and if I went for it on DL, I think i'd f' myself over immediately after, since I have to literally kneel down and rest behind the bar for about 30sec before I can get up and move else I'd probably pass out...
So, the question is, I feel that with my squats and DL's, I've approached a tipping point with my lower back and core strength. I want to maintain a slim core for a more pronounced X-shape and V-taper, but not sure if I can strengthen my lower back any more. I'm keeping my back as stable as possible, but feel like it slightly giving on the 5th rep of my DL, and I get slight back pumps after squatting. I checked my form, and had a training partner check my form, and it's spot on except for the last DL rep as mentioned above.
Would this be a good time to look into getting a belt so I can keep progressing in weight? or should I just stay at this weight? I also want stronger legs, w/o much increase in size, I think my legs are big enough as it is, being unable to fit into any pants... my waist size is 30-31, and regular fit jeans that are 31 don't fit my legs... so I'm stuck with minimum 32 size or 33 sized jeans that always want to sag down w/o a belt.
- 03-20-2012, 01:51 PM
work your abs and upper back. that should help with keeping the trunk strong and stable.
if you want to maintain thinness in your ab area, learn to diet better.you can call me "ozzie" for short.
03-20-2012, 08:03 PM
I don't see how abs and upper back word would make my lower back stronger. I'm concerned with too much muscle gain int he core, not fat, so not really a diet issue.
03-20-2012, 08:21 PM
03-22-2012, 05:58 AM
Is it possible to strengthen my core w/o adding mass to my core at this point? and I don't do good mornings, so I have no idea. majority of leg/back work is wide grip lat pulls, bb rows, cable rows, low bar back squats, standard DL's, and shrugs.
wide-grip lat pull torso not moving at all: 240x6
BB rows w/ plates about 1"from ground when arms extended, pulling up and touching sternum: 200x5
Shrugs w/ straps: 405x8
I figure that squats and D's would strengthen the erector enough, but perhaps I need additional supplementary exercises for it like the good morning or back extensions?
Or maybe it's time to just maintain these lifts at these weights, and concentrate more on other areas such as bench, OHP, upper back/rows, and arms?
03-22-2012, 10:15 AM
First, toss out the pulldowns and start doing pullups. Second, you're far to bent over during rows; those are closer to a Pendlay row than an actual BB row. You should hit roughly your umbilicus during a BB row and 200x5 is not a very good number. Squats aren't really going to strengthen the erectors, but they are one of the limiting muscles (as just about anything in the body is with the squat).
To answer the initial question, yes, you can strengthen the core without adding significant mass to it. However, this whole retarded motion that you strengthening the core will add mass to it and take away from the V needs to die off. The fibers themselves are not geared towards significant hypertrophy since they are not of the type IIx variety.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
03-22-2012, 10:46 AM
03-22-2012, 09:48 PM
I can do more weight if I was only bent over about 45deg for sure. I'll work on lower back exercises.
As for pulldowns, I just haven't been able to justify getting a belt for weighed pullups. I can easily bust out more than 20 body weight full ROM pullups though. I still do a max set about once a week at home, but at the gym, I stick to pulldowns for reason stated.
03-23-2012, 08:44 AM
03-23-2012, 09:24 AM
If you're worried about core size and losing your "V" taper (and I really don't think you should) ... then work your shoulders out and build them up.
For about two decades I used a belt because I thought that was the way to go. In 1998, on a routine checkup - my Doc told me I had a hernia. Not a big one - not one that I even noticed much - but he said it was there. It made sense because I would feel a "tickle" down there after doing squats, deads, and bent-over rows. However - the condition never got any worse.
I recently threw that belt away and now I lift without one. My lifts haven't decreased, and I get no more "tickle". I think these belts might actually promote hernias by compressing the abdomen during heavy reps and leaving the internals no where to go but through a weak spot.
Now if I can just throw away my lifting straps on my heavy sets I might actually be a real weight lifter one day!
03-24-2012, 06:27 AM
I guess I'll just find an old belt and fashion something with a chain I have, just need to find a suitable clip. I'll look ghetto as fark, but when I start doing pullups w/ a plate strapped to myself, ppl should stop laughing.
HondaV65... I think that's a pretty good reason NOT to use a belt.
I'm going to try to strengthen my core a bit then. No desire to lift that much more, so I guess I'll be okay. Hard enough time finding clothes that fit, and none of my formal clothes fit anymore, at all... >_<
03-24-2012, 10:06 AM
Okay, so your asking about a belt to help your lifts (if it would be good or not) and then you keep saying your growing too big and are worried?? Sounds Counterintuitive to me, and makes me laugh a little I am not going to lie. If your on "juice" then I'd worried about getting "too" big if your diet and training is in check. However, if your natural your not going to get "Freaky" it sounds to me that your diet is lacking; plain and simple. If your growing at such a high rate then this my friend is not muscle gain, your gaining fat and you need to re-evaluate your diet. Don't stress over little things, make the corrections and try it. People give direction, but they don't know for sure
03-24-2012, 01:15 PM
03-24-2012, 04:37 PM
03-26-2012, 06:24 AM
Yes, I do contradict myself at times... and I just finished a cycle, concentrating mostly on hypertrophy of the upper body, and maintaining strength on the lower.
I guess I should clarify.. I don't want a huge core. This has already been addressed since I really only need to work on strengthening the erector spinae, which is not a growth-prone muscle anyways. Abs are probably not the weak point in my case.
Diet is not lacking, not spot on, but not lacking for sure.
Anyways, I've gotten the advice I need already. Any further discussion is still welcome though.
I just want to be the "little guy" (read sub 200lbs) that lifts a ton of weight.
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