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Old 02-10-2004, 10:17 AM   #1
Jeff Murphy
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Doing deadlifts last night (I now go a week behind the WOD's) I strained my lower back some, a combination of bad form, and probably trying to much weight for that many sets of deadlifts. My question is this, am I holding myself back if I elect to use a weight belt?
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:50 AM   #2
Barry Cooper
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I personally use a weight belt when I get within about 10% of my max, to be on the safe side. I've hurt my back more than once. With some of these high rep workouts I do too, as those last couple reps in effect are maxes, because your back is cooked. It's probably better not to use the belt, but safer to use the belt. Just save it for the heavy, tough sets.
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:10 PM   #3
Patrick Johnston
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If I might speak for Coach, I would say that you should not use a belt. This is just something of a crutch. If you can't lift it without a belt (or straps, or lifting shirt, etc.) then you can't lift it. These devices tend to prevent one from really improving weak areas. That is to say that it very well might be the case that your lower back and abdominals are not strong enough to facilitate the lifting of the weight that you are attempting. But, by using lifting aids, you are failing to address the problem adequately.

Keep in mind this is just my opinion. Yet, I do heavy deadlifts, squats, etc. with no belt and I have a herniated disk at L4/L5. I figure if I can do it, most anyone else can.
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:22 PM   #4
Robert Wolf
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Wearing a belt COMPLETELY changes the motor recruitment of the trunk musculature in favor of the belt. Once the belt is removed this does not bode well for trunk stability IMO.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:37 PM   #5
Alex Kus
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For a good pair of articles on weight belts, read these from Paul Chek's website.

There is a lot of info there, but I thought they were really good articles. I hope they help.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:16 PM   #6
Ryan Atkins
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IMO, anytime you consistently use an artificial device to stabilize an area of the body for better performance you end up making yourself weaker and/or more prone to injury. The articles Alex provided discuss how overuse of the belts may actually promote dysfunction in the workers who use them (some of whom are required to). Dr. McCracken and I discussed a while back how NFL players using a knee brace for practice (and then not using it during gametime) are likely setting themselves up for injury. College and professional runners will make a point of occassionally running barefoot or in socks because the 'support' offered by the shoes prevents some of the muscles of the foot and ankle from being worked properly, if at all. IMHO, all of these items only encourage people not to take responsibility for their body's movement patterns.

I'm still appalled some company would REQUIRE its workers to wear the belts. Sure, the workers may experience fewer injuries on the job, but that will not compensate for how many will probably crumble suddenly in pain from unloading groceries, taking out the trash, loading luggage, etc. because they didn't know how to move properly without an aid to begin with.

My 2 cents,

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Old 02-11-2004, 06:40 AM   #7
Jeff Murphy
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OK, no belt. I'll try to reduce weight and concentrate a little harder on form. Thanks for the help and advice everyone. By the way, I hurt the back on Monday night, it's Wednesday morning and already I feel much better, so it must not have been TOO serious.
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Old 02-13-2004, 05:09 AM   #8
Dale S. Jansen
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With back injuries the most costly form of worker injury in terms of lost time at work and the numerous costs to the employer, you'd think more companies would hire a trainer and institute a little mandatory p.t. or, even better, bonus check or extra time off to the employees making the most progress in terms of conditioning. my company provides free gym membership. many people might still require a mandatory program. as money concious as our world is, this would probably save hundreds of millions in direct and non-direct costs. o.k. I admit to being something of a p.t. nazi. but hey, 30 mns of p.t. built into the workday?
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