Author Topic: belts are for pussies  (Read 2706 times)

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entropy

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belts are for pussies
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:13:27 am »
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Should you wear a belt or not? Study write-up

A few notes about the study itself:

- It’s actually uses relatively strong subjects.  Not world champions, but the subjects had to meet one of two minimum criteria:  either an 8rm of 125.5kg (~277 pounds) or an 8rm of at least 1.6x body weight.  So these guys at least had a little experience under the bar, which means the results are more apt to translate to people who have been lifting for a few years than if the study had been done on untrained people.

They looked at a lot of different variables.  They used a force plate to examine force output, they used a camera system to gather kinematic data (joint angles and how the body moved, essentially), they measured intra-abdominal pressure, muscle activation via EMG, and time it took to complete each phase of the lift (bottom of the lift to 90 degree knee angle, 90 to 135 degrees knee angle, and 135 degrees to full extension).  This is good because it gives us a broad picture of how wearing a belt affected the movement as a whole, not just one variable.

What they found:

1. The “sticking point” became much more pronounced without a belt. 

2.  There were no significant differences between belted and beltless with regard to kinematic and force plate data. 

3.  Intraabdominal pressure was 25-40% higher in the belted group, as opposed to the beltless group.


4 a) no significant differences were observed for the spinal erectors in the belt vs. beltless set, and muscle activation in the eccentric and concentric phases was actually quite similar, indicating that it takes about the same amount of effort from the spinal erectors to keep the spine extended during both phases of the lift.


IMPLICATIONS

1.  In spite of the set with a belt being easier (since both sets were performed with the beltless 8rm), it still resulted in greater quad and hamstring activation, especially during the sticking point and as the set progressed, respectively.

http://gregnuckols.com/2013/12/04/should-you-wear-a-belt-or-not-study-write-up/

(vag, raptor, acole, todday etc get reading, i want your thoughts on the whole thing thanks!)
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entropy

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 10:24:22 am »
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My 2c (worth less than than when converted to real currency) is that this is a nail in the coffin for raw-dawg thinking which says beltless is best. For 2 guys squatting the same weight, the guy without a belt is stronger. Fact. No one can dispute that with any EMG study.

But moving on from that obvious fact, this says if you put on a belt, you get more pop out from your legs when squatting. Greg says it in terms of quad and hamstring recruitment which is something I don't understand but the gyst of it is that the weight gets a lot easier to move when you use a belt because you can fire more leg muscle fibres to move the load. This a revelation.

 In the past it was thought just have more IAP with a belt made it easier because it helped with the superficial and obvious matter of stabilising the torso. But now we think it helps activate more muscles in the leg. If i was a beltless guy before, i'm not for-belted just because leg strength is training goal #1 for most of us and if a belt helps us use more leg musculature then that's a good enough reason to use it.

Rambling digression, it's kind of like when I squat without using caffeine. Everything is a lot heavier. A lot harder. I must take off 10% off the bar. It's magical taking caffeine and finding the same weights a lot easier and more than that, being able to lift a weight you couldn't lift without the caffeine. Belts seem to have the same effect here, so if we take caffeine to lift more weight better then using a belt is justified on the same grounds.

I only wish I could use a belt but it always seems to throw my form off so much. I wonder if it's because I get so much contribution from my legs and buttocks with a belt that it causes my hips to shoot up too fast? Might be something to explore.
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vag

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 10:34:52 am »
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Good timing! I was planning to squat with a belt tonight, because apparently i slightly tweaked my lower back on Saturday. Tweak is gone now but i will squat belted, precautionary and out of curiosity from this read.
woot

ChrisM

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 11:24:16 am »
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I use a belt for deadlift and squats since I messed up my lower back. Didn't ever think a given weight was easier with a belt, maybe it's more psychological.  It's there as a safety net and unconsciously you're body reacts to it?

Where mine really helps (IMO) is if I start to round my back, I can tell by the way the belt 'pinches/presses' into me and I can correct immediately instead of pushing through the rep.

Insert motivational quote here...

vag

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 05:58:57 am »
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Wore belt at my top set last night, it felt great. It was a true 7RM , so there was lot of effort and probably some form breakdown in the latter reps. It was those latter reps that i felt it make a difference, it felt like the belt was taking all the stress from my lower back, making the squat more leg driven. Also indeed i had that feeling more intense at the sticking point ( somewhere between half and quarter depth ), didn't feel something at the eccentric or at the hole. Just a n=1 though, i think i have never ever squatted with belt again, also i am not even close to the strength requirements of the study.
woot

entropy

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 06:31:07 am »
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^Good stuff.

ChrisM yeah that's the proprioception argument for belts. They help with positions. I have always found a belt ruins my positions though. But it might be time to give them a second chance.
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Raptor

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 06:59:17 am »
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What a belt does is improving intra-abdominal pressure and CAN give you some proprioceptive feedback. I always wear a belt at heavy weights (think 130 kg+).

Why? Because 1) my core strength sucks and 2) this will allow me to use heavier weights and target my legs more.

The problem with the belt is when you wear it all the time.

Also, the reason why it creates more intraabdominal pressure is because you have something to push against with your belly. I don't actively "push against" when I wear it though, I just flatted my abs.

It's similar to this: imagine you make a fist in the air and try to get the best possible contraction in your triceps. Then do the same thing while pushing against a wall or something. You will get a better triceps contraction. Same with the abs and the belt.

entropy

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 11:52:12 am »
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Raptor read the article again, you missed all the important stuff.
Goals: Cutting to 6-8% bodyfat

entropy

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 11:55:54 am »
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My experience with using a belt has been interesting. I'm finding that my backsquat for reps without a belt is very good for targetting my legs in particular. For heavy singles, a belt allows me to use more weight than when done beltless (obvious) but this seems to come with an increased dependence on glutes and hamstrings and not quads. So it's not a panacea. If i did only belted squats, i'd have weak legs but strong buttocks and hamstrings. Not saying those things aren't good, they're nice too, especially since i don't do any pulling exercises. Feel like my combo of doing beltless heavy front squat singles, beltless backsquats for reps and belted heavy backsquat singles does a solid job of hammering all facets of lower body strength, from quads and hams to glutes and lower back as well.

Really amazing to me how i only did 3 reps with a belt and it made my hamstrings and glutes so damn sore. They weren't even this sore back when i did 6x6 with RSR a few weeks ago! Intersting.
Goals: Cutting to 6-8% bodyfat

Raptor

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 12:14:40 pm »
+2
Raptor read the article again, you missed all the important stuff.

Didn't read it.

LBSS

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 12:17:26 pm »
+1
Raptor read the article again, you missed all the important stuff.

Didn't read it.

hahahaha, would upvote again.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

sunday: long very easy run 80+ mins @ 5:40+ (14+ km)
monday: strength/cross training
tuesday: extensive tempo (7 km) OR fartlek (mostly easy pace with mix of strides, hills, long tempo) 45 mins (8+ km)
wednesday: easy run 60+ mins @ 5:20-5:30 (11+ km)
thursday: easy run 60+ mins @ 5:20-5:30 (11+ km), strength/cross-training
friday: rest
saturday: short tempo 6-8x500 @ sub-4:00 (7 km)

strength would be:
- hops 2x10
- box jumps or ME SVJ 2x5
- squats 3x6-8 or weighted BSS/lunges 3x10/leg
- RDL/hypers 2x10-12 or SLRDL 2x10-12/leg
- upper push myo-reps or sets to technical failure
- upper pull myo-reps or sets to technical failure
- leg raises, holds, pallof presses

Raptor

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Re: belts are for pussies
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 02:44:29 pm »
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I've read it now... what can I say... anything that improves muscular irradiation is good in my books. It doesn't matter if it's a belt or you actively squeeze the bar (tense the forearms), squeeze the abs and squeeze the glutes.

All these three things will increase the power output in any other major muscles in the body simply because of the irradiation effect - the CNS will recognize the event as a more "stable" environment if you will and will allow more CNS power output in the main movers.