Should I wear a weight belt during my workouts?
Personally, I feel that wearing a belt provides more of a psychologicaladvantage than a physical one. Let’s face it, having a weight belt tightlycinched around your waist makes your physique look better by giving you theappearance of an enhanced V-taper, and makes you feel more “serious” aboutwhat you are doing. A belt also provides a feeling of “tightness” around yourwaist, which would seem to protect your lower back while weight training, butdoes it? Here are some reasons that wearing a weight belt may not always bethe best thing…
1. Weight belts can weaken the muscles of the trunk by causing too muchintra-abdominal pressure. In an effort to try to prevent this, the body mayforce the abdominal and lumbar muscles to relax while lifting, which overtime can weaken these muscles and cause back problems.
2. Weight belts can accelerate degenerative disk disease by restricting thenatural motion of the lumbar spine.
3. Weight belts can cause poor posture by compressing the lower abdominalregion. This will force you to restrict your breathing to the upper chestarea which can throw off posture, as well as cause tension headaches andupper disk problems.
4. Weight belts alter the natural biomechanics of the spine, especiallyduring rotational movements. This can weaken the smaller, stabilizing musclesof the spine, which can result in back pain and possibly osteoarthritis.With this information in mind, my advice to you would be to avoid the use ofa weight belt, except during your heaviest sets of compound movements likesquats, bent rows, deadlifts, military presses, etc. At other times, allowyour body to stabilize itself.
What do you think is the number one reason people fail to make goodprogress in their physique goals?
Without a doubt, most people fail to make the progress they desire becauseof their dietary habits. Many trainees believe that as long as they go to thegym and lift weights they will magically grow larger muscles. What they failto realize is that lifting weights simply serves as a stimulus forhypertrophy, and that it is food that acts as the BUILDING BLOCKS. Withoutproper nutrition not only will you fail to get bigger and stronger, you mayeven go in the opposite direction! I tell people all the time, ” If you wantto grow, you better get just as intense about your eating as you are aboutyour training!” Remember, the bodybuilding pyramid has 3 points: training,nutrition, and rest. Each is of EQUAL IMPORTANCE!