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Kiyoshi

Weightlifting exercises that compliment Gymnastics

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Jason Stein
A final note, should you choose to lift: DO NOT WEAR A WEIGHT BELT...

Slizzard,

You offer lots of advice, and though the signal-to-noise ratio is high, often it is sound.

This is both the wrong thread and wrong forum entirely for this discussion, but no offense man, this suggestion is patently ridiculous as well as simply not true.

best,

jason

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Richard Duelley

I agree with Slizz on the weight belt thing, same thing with lifting straps as a grip aid. If you cant hold on then you shouldnt be pulling it.

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Jason Stein

Nifty,

No offense, but you are wrong. A belt is a tool that when used correctly will help you get stronger.

What's more Slizzard's reason for not wearing one --- that the abs relax when wearing a belt --- is wrong, as a belt forces the abs to contract even harder.

Also, don't conflate the use of a belt with the use of straps, which most definitely serve a purpose for bigger lifts.

Both are tools that when used correctly will help you become stronger.

best,

jason

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Joshua Naterman
Nifty,

No offense, but you are wrong. A belt is a tool that when used correctly will help you get stronger.

What's more Slizzard's reason for not wearing one --- that the abs relax when wearing a belt --- is wrong, as a belt forces the abs to contract even harder.

Also, don't conflate the use of a belt with the use of straps, which most definitely serve a purpose for bigger lifts.

Both are tools that when used correctly will help you become stronger.

best,

jason

Jason, for the first time that I can remember you are 100% wrong.

The lifting belts do not cause your abs to contract harder, and they FORCE your lower back to contract less. There is plenty of direct EMG data to back this up. On top of that, just go ask a competitive bodybuilder why he uses a belt so much. After he gives whatever reason, ask him if keeping his waist small is a part of his decision. Every competitive bodybuilder who actually understands how his body works will say that this is a major part of why they use the belts so much! Why does it help keep the waist small? Because the muscles have to do less work to create the appropriate abdominal pressure. All they have to do is push against the belt, which provides leverage to produce pressure. This allows the same pressure to be build with less work. Not only that, the nature of the belt's compression on the abdomen forces the lower back to relax. Anyone who lifts without a belt is going to have a waist that is at least 2" thicker than if they use a belt all the time. Why? Because the core has to work harder, and the harder it works the more the muscles have to grow in order to keep up with the body's need for unassisted abdominal compression.

If you try and lift heavy without the belt and then put one on *properly*, you can feel the difference right away. If you're not wearing it properly, then it's just a decoration.

If belts made your abs contract harder, bodybuilders would wear belts on every abdominal exercise. They don't. They only wear belts on exercises that would make their waist grow without the belt.

The only time serious lifters ever wear belts is when they are close to their max, like 90-95% or higher, and only serious lifters work in that range.

A final note, should you choose to lift: DO NOT WEAR A WEIGHT BELT FOR WORK SETS OR WARM UP! EVER!!! They cause your core to relax because they provide abdominal pressure instead of the core muscles doing it.

I didn't specifically state that the belts should only be used when going for max attempts or heavy singles (again, these are in the 95%+ range), so you're right to point that out.

I also should have said that wearing a belt requires your core to do MUCH LESS WORK than lifting raw. It doesn't allow them to completely relax, but they are in a MORE RELAXED state when the belt is on.

If you're working with less than 90% of your max, you should not be using a belt. To give you an idea of what that means, if you can do 4-5 reps with a given weight, that's almost certainly at or below 90% unless you have incredibly highly trained lower body power. If you get used to depending on a belt under heavy loads below 90%( which should not be a large part of your training) you will be programming your body to perform as if it has a belt on, whether there is one there or not, and not only will that severely hamper your raw(meaning with no support gear) strength but it will also predispose you to injury.

Personally, I have never used a belt apart from a ~3 month span, during which I lost so much raw strength I almost cried. Seriously. It's not cool when you get under a bar with your bodyweight on it and struggle with 10 reps because your lower back isn't used to it. That's just sad when you were doing 10 reps with 285 raw 3 months before. That was when I was wearing a belt for all my work sets. Since then, I have never used a belt, for maxes or anything else. If my lower back can't handle the weight, I don't lift it.

This is not a completely relevant paragraph, so skip if you like. My numbers aren't currently at competitive powerlifting levels, partially because I haven't seriously trained for squat or DL in years. When I WAS training heavier lower body I had a raw 415 high back squat and a raw 510 deadlift. I know each of those would be at least 50 lbs heavier with equipment and chalk. I have no idea what I could have lifted if I had done heavy singles training. I never would have gotten those raw numbers if I hadn't lifted raw all the time.

I have had so much experience with this that I can not doubt it, not only myself but with literally dozens of people who I have trained. That's besides the anecdotal references of many top powerlifters, who only use their belts when they are approaching maxes. Not 1 person who switched from using a belt on a regular basis to never using a belt, which takes 4-8 weeks, depending on the individual, got weaker. Their entire core got stronger AND their lifts went up faster. The only time I will ever let someone put a belt on is when they do those heavy singles. Singles with 90% or less don't require a belt.

I don't care what 70% of the gym does, or 70% of the IPF. I care about what the top people do, and they do not depend on belts for anything under 90%. Period.

As for straps, You're absolutely right in saying that using straps for a very small percentage of your training, like only for sets where you go beyond what you can do raw, they can indeed be an incredibly useful tool, because usually a serious lifter can't approach his back's limit with a raw grip. I have a personal hatred for them. I used them for almost all my work sets for 2 months, and while my deadlift with straps went from 465 to 485 for 6 reps, my raw deadlift dropped to 405 lbs for 7 reps. I literally took them to the back of the ship and threw them overboard. That's a personal thing I have against them. I would like to note that I was NOT using them "properly." However, in the end you can only compete raw with what your hands can hold, so straps are worthless unless there you compete in a category that allows straps. I have no idea if such a thing exists, and if it does then you will never see me compete there.

You still have to keep your raw work if you intend to do anything in the real world with the strength you build in the gym OR if you expect to keep your maxes on the steady increase.

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Blairbob

Jason, Slizzardman's comments stem from a discussion we had at the GB seminar. I've read scores about using a belt from the Rippetoe crowd and 70'sBig crowd ( of which I'm both a fan and follower of). However, I don't use a belt.

Slizzardman, generally I like to add in one more workout on the weekend besides anything light like bike/jog/swim/play. I like to take Wednesday off for the most part, perhaps playing a little bit in the gym and going for a jog or swim. As well during the week, I train in other stuff 2-3x a week. It's not nearly as intense as the GB/gymnastics, but it does burn calories, time, and water and mental focus. Generally with a bit of food and hydration and enough sleep and rest I can train and do my workouts with no problem. It's not really like a 2-a-day workout which I like the idea of but just have never really gotten around to do because of time management.

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Alvaro Antolinez

Grip straps illegal Sea dumping? I didn't expect that from you slizzard! :D

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Joshua Naterman

They were totally biodegradable cotton!!!!! I'm totally, SUPER serial!!!!

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Joshua Naterman
Jason, Slizzardman's comments stem from a discussion we had at the GB seminar. I've read scores about using a belt from the Rippetoe crowd and 70'sBig crowd ( of which I'm both a fan and follower of). However, I don't use a belt.

Really? I don't remember this!!! hahaha! I have hated belts for years. I happen to be backed up by practically every biomechanics professor in the entire world, as well as most elite trainers. They should not be used unless you're doing near-max or max efforts.

There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule, like Olympic Lifters. They do SO MUCH unbelted work with clean pulls, cleans, snatch pulls,snatches, and everything else that if they didn't use a belt for a lot of their squatting their backs would be too fatigued to get effective workouts. The nature of their training ensures they do not develop weak backs or cores, which does the same job as my rule of only using a belt when you're doing heavy singles.

If your entire routine is built around high speed compound movements that involve the back and core (I know, redundant), like olympic lifting and to a slightly lesser degree kettlebell training, you are going to have a lot more leeway with where you can use a belt and not develop weaknesses because the nature of your training is equivalent to what I recommend for trainees who just squat and deadlift. There are not many people who fall into this category, and unless their volume is just so frikkin heavy that their most important work would suffer, they should still stick to what I recommend.

As far as I know, lifters like John Broz's guys are almost the only ones who have a good excuse to be squatting with a belt.

Slizzardman, generally I like to add in one more workout on the weekend besides anything light like bike/jog/swim/play. I like to take Wednesday off for the most part, perhaps playing a little bit in the gym and going for a jog or swim. As well during the week, I train in other stuff 2-3x a week. It's not nearly as intense as the GB/gymnastics, but it does burn calories, time, and water and mental focus. Generally with a bit of food and hydration and enough sleep and rest I can train and do my workouts with no problem. It's not really like a 2-a-day workout which I like the idea of but just have never really gotten around to do because of time management.

There's nothing wrong with doing what you love! My recommendations are most applicable to people who want to be the strongest, most powerful GB athlete they can be. Every sport is going to have to be approached with SOME specific training, but very little. Building the ability to perform at a high level as a basic human being, which is something that gymnastics develops to a higher degree than any other sport I have heard of, is the key to elite performance in any one sport. You must have that high level overall ability in order to be able to just randomly pick a sport and then excel.

I firmly believe that the GB program is an unparalleled way to build high level balanced athletic abilities. I have only just recently, as I have been reading Verhoshansky(sp?) and other top trainers' methods, begun to realize just how good the WOD template here is.

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Jason Stein
I happen to be backed up by practically every biomechanics professor in the entire world, as well as most elite trainers. They should not be used unless you're doing near-max or max efforts.

Slizzard,

I'm not really interested in carrying forth a discussion on weightlifting belts on a gymnastic forum, but Mark Rippetoe, Louie Simmons/Westside, Jim Wendler & Dave Tate/Elite FTS, John Broz, the 70's Big guys, that Russian mutant and arguably the strongest human on the planet Konstantinov — ridiculously Strong Humans, most of whom who more importantly have trained other humans to become stronger — either use, advocate (or even sell) belts.

So to tell a guy, "Never use a belt" is ridiculous. Additionally, your assertion that a belt forces the abs to relax is false, when in fact a correctly tightened belt allows the abs to contract harder, among other benefits like augmenting the Vasalva maneuver. Which, since you don't understand how they function, makes me wonder if you've ever in fact used a belt and are perhaps getting these suggestions from a CSCS manual.

While I have enjoyed many of your suggestions in the past, and will no doubt enjoy many in the future, in this particular instance, this suggestion ("Never use a belt.") is not useful, helpful, or accurate.

best,

jason

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Joshua Naterman
I happen to be backed up by practically every biomechanics professor in the entire world, as well as most elite trainers. They should not be used unless you're doing near-max or max efforts.

Slizzard,

I'm not really interested in carrying forth a discussion on weightlifting belts on a gymnastic forum, but Mark Rippetoe, Louie Simmons/Westside, Jim Wendler & Dave Tate/Elite FTS, John Broz, the 70's Big guys, that Russian mutant and arguably the strongest human on the planet Konstantinov — ridiculously Strong Humans, most of whom who more importantly have trained other humans to become stronger — either use, advocate (or even sell) belts.

So to tell a guy, "Never use a belt" is ridiculous. Additionally, your assertion that a belt forces the abs to relax is false, when in fact a correctly tightened belt allows the abs to contract harder, among other benefits like augmenting the Vasalva maneuver. Which, since you don't understand how they function, makes me wonder if you've ever in fact used a belt and are perhaps getting these suggestions from a CSCS manual.

While I have enjoyed many of your suggestions in the past, and will no doubt enjoy many in the future, in this particular instance, this suggestion ("Never use a belt.") is not useful, helpful, or accurate.

best,

jason

Those guys fall into the category of being able to use a belt within certain constraints, namely the ones I mentioned. As long as you are making damn sure your back and core are getting worked, you're fine.

I do, in fact, have absolutely no idea what the Valsalva maneuver means, the only valsalva I am familiar with is when you re-pressurize your ears. :lol: I will be reading up on that momentarily.

I don't have detailed knowledge on their ideas behind the belt. I will look into them.

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Joshua Naterman

Jason, I'm starting a new thread in community, because this is a good discussion.

Also, while I wasn't clear in my OP, I blatantly clarified that you should only wear a belt when working within 5-10% of your max. I don't know if you saw that, so I am pointing it out. That is a drastically different stance than what my original message appeared to convey.

Please repy in community on this. You always make me research more and that's a good thing!

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Jason Stein

Slizzard,

As mentioned above, I'm not interested in carrying forth a discussion of weightlifting belts on a gymnastics forum.

I can refer you to several locations at which you'd have an opportunity to discuss the merits of belts with power and O-lifters with more of a vested (belted?) interest in more than the three posts I've now made.

http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/

http://www.70sbig.com/

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/

http://pendlayforum.com/index.php?s=a0dfb7a289c28d85e374dbc25f403af6

best of luck,

jason

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Joshua Naterman

I have, as a matter of fact, gotten direct quotes from Konstantin Konstantinov, Rippetoe, Westside Barbell, and am waiting on an e-mail reply from Justin at 70sBIG. With the exception of Justin, whom I have not heard from, they all support my position that you should only be using a belt with near-max and max attempts. Justin may well have a different opinion.

The quotes are listed in the thread I started in the Community Forum. They are directly from the official websites.

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Jason Stein

Slizzard,

I will be curious what Justin will say. So Konstantin, Louie, Wendler, Tate, Rip (and Justin) all use and advocate the use of belts (as well as sell them) in training as well as competition?

Interesting.

So how are you telling a guy you've never met to (all caps) never use a belt again?

I'm one over my quota on the subject of belts.

best,

jason

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Joshua Naterman

Again, and this is what I PM'd you, I corrected and clarified my position in m second post on this matter, and you quoted my correction and attacked i. My corrected/clarified position however you choose to see it, is that you should only use a belt when you are near your max lift. That s what every one of the athletes and trainers has said so far, and yet you attack me for saying the same thing they are.

You refuse to acknowledge that I corrected/clarified myself, whichever you prefer to see it as, and that's simply childish. I have to admit that I thought more highly of you than to believe you would exhibit this behavior.

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Jason Stein

Josh,

I am unfortunately still posting about lifting belts.

I apologize for taking your correction out of context.

However, your suggestion regarding belts contradicts that of Wendler's 5-3-1, the 70s Big guys, and the Westside Barbell Book (which most definitely advocates a belt during dynamic days and not max efforts) as well as Westside training in general, which uses belts [and shorts] during work sets; as well as training vids of Rip (315x10 + belt) and Konstantin.

A belt is a tool that when properly used can make someone stronger than without. How much is debatable.

This does not mean everyone needs to wear a belt, nor does it mean you cannot get stronger without one.

It does mean that the imperative to "Never wear a belt unless you're near max" is not helpful, useful, or even true.

It appears that regarding the contentious issue of belts we must agree to disagree.

I look forward to your further posts.

best,

jason

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Chris Hansen

A belt is a tool that when properly used can make someone stronger than without. How much is debatable.

I admit that the whole belt thing confuses me.

How can a belt make you stronger? If you need a belt to lift a certain weight, doesn't that just mean you're not yet strong enough to lift that weight? I've read that the core can be the weak link when you're squatting but doesn't the use of a belt hinder the strengthening of that weak link? If your goal is to strengthen your legs and not your core, why not use an exercise that stresses your legs more than your core? Or am I just being naive?

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Joshua Naterman

A belt is a tool that when properly used can make someone stronger than without. How much is debatable.

I admit that the whole belt thing confuses me.

How can a belt make you stronger? If you need a belt to lift a certain weight, doesn't that just mean you're not yet strong enough to lift that weight? I've read that the core can be the weak link when you're squatting but doesn't the use of a belt hinder the strengthening of that weak link? If your goal is to strengthen your legs and not your core, why not use an exercise that stresses your legs more than your core? Or am I just being naive?

I don't think naive is a fair word. I don't know what is though! It's easy to get confused when two apparently contradictory statements are true.

The belts allow you to lift more weight in low rep ranges than you can without them, and by lifting more weight you do more damage, which means you get a stronger training effect.

If you need a belt to lift a certain weight, that means you're not strong enough to lift that weight without a belt. At that point it kind of becomes the lifter's choice. If that lifter wants to have a strong body that is capable of handling huge forces out in the real world, then the lifter needs to put at least as much work into lower rep unbelted work as they do with belted work.

If you don't do a lot of work without a belt on, you will be unnecessarily prone to injury when not wearing a belt out in the real world. I don't like that idea. Therefore, I don't use belts.

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