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Old 06-08-2007, 11:23 AM   #1
Garth Arevalo
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I know this link is to a Muscle and Fitness article but it references a real study (that looked at a lot of other studies) that says that lifting belts:
1) increase muscle activity and increase core development rather than hinder it
2) protect against back injuries
3) increase speed when squatting

All of these goals seem to be in line with CrossFit goals. Do not get me wrong, I gave up using a lifting belt years before starting CrossFit and still do not use one or really believe in them, but I am curious what folks think.

(Caveat: I did not read the original study -- to cheap to pay for it -- I just read the article that describes it)

Take a look:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_n16832480
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
Jerry Berg
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i utilize CF to help develop functional fitness. If i were in an emergency situation where I needed to lift a heavy object, i might not have time to run to my gym bag to grab my weight belt.

so, i train like i live. and as cool as wearing a weight belt all the time might be, it would probably wrinkle my dress shirt at work.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
John Seiler
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I wear a belt on deads when I go 405# or higher. I have the strength to dead in the low to mid 400's sans belt, and mid to high 400's with. I think that's about as functional as I'm going to get. Call me a cheater all day. In 20 years I'll be the cheater who's still lifting heavy (for me.)

BTW, here's work/family safe link. Check out the guy in the first picture with the belt. Anyone here heard of him?
http://www.crossfiteastside.com/2006_10_01_archive.html



(Message edited by john_seiler on June 08, 2007)
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:54 PM   #4
Garth Arevalo
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Jerry, your reasoning is the same reasoning I have not worn a belt in years.

I can, however, see a good reason for wearing a belt for a 1RM. If the belt helps you lift more (increasing strength, core stability, rep speed) in these situations, you should end up stronger and able to do more the next time (e.g. 21-15-9 WODs).

What I am suggesting is what John is doing. Using the belt only on the heaviest weights (e.g. WODs prescribing 1 rep sets) increases safety while helping him lift more than he would otherwise. I am suggesting John can lift more when he is not using his belt because of the times he does use his belt.

Thanks for the link by the way John! Old school.
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:02 AM   #5
John Seiler
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Hey Garth, can I hire you as my press secretary? :happy:

I obviously agree with Jerry to a point or I'd wear a belt all the time. Besides what Garth said, it's also a safety issue. If wearing a belt for really heavy stuff is safer and I do that once every 2-4 weeks, common sense dictates that I wear the belt those days. As Garth pointed out, maybe I gain from wearing the belt. Of course, maybe I don't. But I KNOW how long it takes to come back from an injury.

Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need insurance. Like any kind of insurance, using it when you don't really need it is foolish and will cost you in the long run. So will not using it when it makes sense.

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Old 06-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #6
David Sailor
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I wear a belt on the max effort days. To me, it's simply prudence. I'm not throwing another 30 pounds on the squat bar because of the belt, I use the same weight I intend to use, no more, no less. I take a deep breath and pressurize against the belt and squat. I'm only using the belt on the last few sets, not on warmups and certainly not on the metcons like Diane for deadlifts. I don't even consider it for overhead squats.
Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength is in support of belts for when you think it's necessary but that is the extent of it, no squat suits or bench shirts. Those, on the other hand, will give artificial aid to the lift. Like John said, the belt may or may not aid in the lift amount but I'm wearing it for precautions. David
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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Belts allow you to move more weight in any movement with structural loading on the torso. There is no arguing that.

Whether or not they prevent injury is a valid question, but that question is usually posed in ridiculous ways in studies (i.e. wrong populations, mixed populations, wrong activities, mixed activities, etc.). Does it help prevent back injuries for the dudes at Office Depot? Probably not. Does it help prevent injury in the weightlifter? Maybe, but probably not because it allows the lifter to lift more and therefore increase his/her chance of injury as much as the belt may have reduced it.

if a belt increases safety, it will only do so when the belt is worn; i.e., using a belt in training will not help prevent injury outside of training when no belt is involved, and in fact will likely increase the risk of injury significantly.

the real question is application. Do you want only to train for 'real life functionality' or whatever you want to call it? then certainly don't wear a belt. Do you want to lift as much weight as possible? Then wear a belt above 90% or so.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
Garth Arevalo
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John,

I will be looking for a new job soon but not sure press secretary is it.

I think I might go out and pick up a weight belt for the first time in many years for use on the max 90%+ days.

I am enjoying the discussion. Thanks guys.
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