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Old 10-20-2006, 10:14 AM   #2
John Seiler
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: St. Louis  MO
Posts: 1,687
Hi John,

This comes up every now and again on ME Deadlift days. Some folks will tell you that belts are never used in Crossfit. That's not true. Don't believe it? Check out the Mike's Gym site. (Coach Mike Burgener is a Crossfit affiliate and is considered the premier authority on Oly lifting on this site.) When you get there check out the pictures of his son Casey and daughter Sage. In some of their pics, they're wearing belts. Oops. Fact is, there are some strong people on this site who use belts for heavy lifts. There are also some strong folks on this site who don't use belts.

My advice is this: don't use belts until you approach your max on really heavy lifts. Wearing one all the time will create a weak point. However, when you do approach your max and your max is getting up there, you may want to think about it.

I'll give you my personal example. I only use a belt on heavy deads. At 39 YOA and 185#, my dead PR is 465 -nothing to trumpet from the rooftops, but reasonably strong. I don't use a belt until I'm in the 400's; sometimes at 405, sometimes not. At the end of the day, it's my back and I feel most comfortable wearing a belt above those weights. Am I fostering a weak link? Perhaps, but I'm also creating a safer environment. I've seen some folks whose deads are barely out of the 200's assert belts should never be used. Maybe they'd feel differently if they were picking up heavier weights (of course, maybe not.)

When it's all said and done, John, it's your back and you only get one. Don't drink the kool-aid. Use your judgement and not your ego. Good luck.
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