Snatch 1 – 1 – 1
Clean and jerk 1 – 1 – 1
Post loads to comments and BTWB
All right folks, you asked, and I’m here to answer (or at least make a valiant effort at doing so). Got this question in the inbox:
“Personally, I'm never clear on when to choose to wear a weight belt. Some times I hear that you never should, so that as you increase in weight you are making everything in your body strong enough to lift. Some times I hear that you should only if you already have back problems, etc. Sometimes I hear that it always helps you lift heavier and so it's a good thing. I wouldn't mind having a take on the issue by one of the Verve trainers.”
First let’s address what a weight belt is NOT: a weight belt is not worn to secure your back and it is not worn if you have an injured back in an attempt to make sure it doesn’t hurt or get injured further. “A weight belt's main function is to add support from the front by increasing abdominal pressure. . . a lifting belt provides a wall for your abs to push against.” A pretty enticing statement, might mean more if I also tell you how a weigh belt works: “When you need to move something heavy you take a big breath, push or pull while holding your breath, and only exhale after completing the movement. This technique—known as the Valsalva Maneuver— is used when performing certain exercises at near-maximal effort. Holding your breath against a closed glottis while increasing your thoracic abdominal pressure braces you, and allows you to lift more weight. You'd never see a powerlifter squatting 600 pounds while slowly breathing out. When you inhale, pressure increases in your thoracic cavity; this pressure is further increased when you flex your abs. In this regard, the muscles of your abdomen serve chiefly to apply pressure to the anterior side of your spine, attempting to balance the forces produced by the extensors on the backside. In other words, this pressure keeps you from being crushed by the weight when you squat. The back muscles apply force, position and support to the spine from the back while the abdominal wall and increased abdominal pressure from a deep breath support it from the front. A weight belt's main function is to add support from the front by increasing abdominal pressure.”
So a weight belt is there to aid with support that we already get from our core muscles. Which brings up the next point of when, then, do I wear a belt? Answering this question personally I do not wear a belt unless I am working in the 85-90% or greater range of my 1 RM. Reason being I do not need the reminder of a weight belt at lighter weights to maintain a stabilized core. In the same article quoted above it states by the author, “In my opinion, a weight belt is only necessary during near the max attempts on compound lifts. You shouldn't wear a belt with loads that you can easily support—below 90% of your one rep max on big, barbell lifts.” So yeah, I’m basically putting out there I was right.
All quotes are from an article titled “Lessons In Weight Belts: How And Why To Use Them.” Click here to read the full article, which I highly recommend. I hope this helps.
If you have any other questions send an email my way @ email@example.com, I’ll try to hook you up. Put the phrase “FoSho knows best “ in the subject line so I know what I’m getting myself into. And stayed tuned for next week when I single handedly debunk the myth that you will never be as strong as you were after a surgery.