Wearing a weight belt for ALL LIFTS?
- 08-20-2013, 07:24 PM
Wearing a weight belt for ALL LIFTS?
There's a few guys in my gym that use a belt for literally every lift, and they don't take it off through out their entire session.
My question is, What are the benefits to this, if any? Has anyone had any success (or failure) with this?
Any help is much appreciated.
- 08-20-2013, 08:32 PM
Sounds ridiculous to me. If they can't do light weight lifts without a belt, then their bodies will end up needing it like a crutch.
I personally don't belt up until I start approaching about 80% of my max for that particular lift depending on how I feel that day.
I know power lifters use the belt a little more strategically. I'm sure if Rodja sees this he will fill you in more on that aspect.
- 08-20-2013, 09:22 PM
are they at least throwing around some respectable weight? of are they just a pack of big giant puss-c's
08-21-2013, 08:55 AM
Sometimes, I think they are a reg part of the gym attire. I trhink I wore one too when I first started absolute years ago. I rarely wear one now.
PL'ers use them for assistance and making the torso tighter and pushing the abs out against them. Some of these guys wear them so tight, you could not necessarily workout in them like that.
Some guys also probably gain a sense of security from them. It can be a false sense however, as they will not necessarily keep you from getting injured with heavy or max attempts, especially if you crap up the form.
Train the low back, abs and core to be strong and be the real belt IMO.
08-21-2013, 09:04 AM
Belts are ridiculous, unless you are moving a lot of weight or did some crazy core day the day before I'd never use a belt. Training your core should just be defined to abs (which happens far too often IMO)
But your core consists of your low lumbar, your lats (think base), obliques, gluteus medius, and finally abdominals. That being said a big 0 of these are working with a weight belt on. I look at half these old dudes in my gym and laugh, congratulations you just turned a full body workout into something that can barely be qualified as a compound lift.
Everything stems from the core, even sitting on a machine if your core isn't strong and tight you are seriously lacking for what could be a better workout.
Notice bodybuilders, most of which never use belts unless doing crazy weights the likes of which no normal person will see, never use belts.
Then when it's competition time all these guys get on stage and what's the one area that between every pose they keep tighter than an emo dudes pants? The core.
Lift without it and as long as you are safe and practice good form and never sacrifice form for weight you will be leagues ahead of the guy next to you with a belt.
Just my .02
08-21-2013, 10:55 AM
there is a myth i heard once that bodybuilders think it will help to shrink their ab area by wearing it all the time. sillyness i say.
you can call me "ozzie" for short.
08-21-2013, 01:27 PM
If you dont work out with a belt it means you don't curl enough weight in the squat rack.
Check your form: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/190675-proper-techniques.html
08-21-2013, 01:36 PM
08-21-2013, 01:49 PM
i only wear my belt with the DL and SQT only when im working over 10-15% of my body weight (300# of love). anyother time its sitting my my gymbag keeping my other stuff company
08-21-2013, 01:52 PM
08-21-2013, 06:09 PM
they probably have a real weak core (which is probably a product of excessive belt wear) .. or maybe read an issue of mens health (or other bs mag) talking about risk of injuring your back by not wearing a belt. or maybe they think it makes em look more professional in the gym..
08-22-2013, 07:59 AM
Hmm, I'm 53 and wear my belt frequently as a safeguard to lower back injury. I agree with the strong core requirement so I do core work as required. I think you younger guys shouldn't wear belts until you are in the 80% or above max area. But, as an older lifter i believe the belt prevents back injury by stabilizing the core. IMHO
08-22-2013, 09:02 AM
The idea that a belt will protect you is unproven and if anything the evidence goes against it. (Not knockin ya, just stating facts)
About to drop some science on y'all
In some studies done (Reddell and colleagues, 1992, Mitchell and colleagues, 1994, Wassell and colleagues, 2000) they found evidence that use of belts for workers already injured might slightly benefit from belts to prevent re-injury, but the evidence is weak. Although there is still some evidence there, further research indicated that there is no support that weight belts will prevent injury to those un-injured workers. Actually, the risk of injury seemed to increase in those not injured prior to belt usage!
Basically the belt is used as a crutch and like the study says, crutches are fine for those with Injuries but it can set so much out of alignment, including diaphragm breathing which is easily one of the biggest power producers on heavy lifts.
A study by McGill and colleagues (1990) showed that weight lifting belt usage showed no difference in lower back/abdominal muscle activity than those not utilizing belts. Reyna and colleagues (1995) and Ciriello and Snook (1995) both showed that belts provided no reduction in fatigue or loading of the lower back extensors with belt use. Therefore one can conclude that the lower back musculature is firing the same regardless of belt usage.
Along with that contraction of the belt is the problem of blood flow and since this thread is based off of dudes wearing it all day..
One study by Hunter and colleagues (1989) looked at how blood pressure and heart rate were affected by belts. They took 6 individuals and had them perform dead lifts, riding bicycles, or perform a one-armed bench press while wearing and not wearing a 4 in. weight belt. The lifting exercise resulted in an increase in blood pressure (up to 15 mmHg) and significantly higher HR as well.
So there ya go, worse for breathing, the muscles, the core, and even your heart. Science!
08-22-2013, 09:08 AM
I posted a short summary of Stuart McGill's research on wearing a weight belt for anyone who is interested.
08-22-2013, 09:52 AM
Meh, I'm 49 and the only thing I wear a belt for is squats above 75%. Don't wear one for deadlift.
My 'core' gets enough work that I don't worry about back injury...
08-22-2013, 10:27 AM
about the firing of muscles while wearing a belt, thats not the purpose of the belt so why does that even matter. its like doing a study on whether milk makes good bricks.
the belt is to allow for an increase in intra-adbominal pressure (IAP). here is mcgill on the subject showing that IAP does help.
you can call me "ozzie" for short.
08-22-2013, 11:27 AM
Thank you all for the responses, it has certainly helped me sort out the pros and cons of wearing the belt on all lifts.
08-22-2013, 11:35 AM
Don't worry, man, someday I'ma be nobody too.
08-22-2013, 11:53 AM
I only wear a belt when I curl in the bicep rack. you know, the one where people sometimes do that weird leg exercise? I hate those people, I just want to hit come curls!
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08-22-2013, 01:05 PM
08-22-2013, 01:20 PM
I use a belt for overhead press over 135 lb because it beats the hell out of my lower back otherwise. I can press 175 "strict" btw. Under normal circumstances I don't use a belt for any other lifts, I like the core workout I get from heavy deads and squats without one. I will sometimes use a belt for *every* lift when I'm injured, it's better than staying home IMO. Maybe I'm one of the guys the OP was on about?
08-22-2013, 03:52 PM
When I was injured (lumbar), I actually went counter to the logic that one should wear a belt all of the time. I wanted to rehab my core and know exactly what weight my body couldn't handle. I knew I could add another plate by belting up, but that wasn't helping me strengthen the area. This training cycle I went beltless more often than usual (including heavy Good Mornings) and it's helped my squat tremendously.
08-22-2013, 04:28 PM
08-22-2013, 04:48 PM
08-22-2013, 05:42 PM
08-22-2013, 06:18 PM
08-22-2013, 06:19 PM
08-22-2013, 06:25 PM
GM's certainly hit the exertion of my abs and gut stabilizers more and the shear is greater IMO with the weight back on the shoulders as it does not swing in by pivoting at the shoulder. It stays more put while your shoulders ride the weight out over your lower body to some extent since you can only slide the butt back so far.
The RDL will hit the upper back more since the weight will be more upright a lot of the time staying close to the legs throughout and it might be a bit more user friendly, if you are built for pulling and or are longer limbed and perhaps thinner. I have used #500+ for x5 x6 reps in the RDL, I cannot use no way that much in the GM.
That all said, I kinda fall in the school of not picking just one, if you don;t have to. Surely pound one harder if your head is in it and you feel better at it, but I am not built for the greatest squat leverages, but still do the GM on occasions to get a different angle/loading for training the PC.
08-22-2013, 06:40 PM
08-22-2013, 07:01 PM
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