Weightlifting Belts | Weak Abs (UH-OH!!)

Weightlifting Belts | Weak Abs (UH-OH!!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. It’s Washboard Wednesday and we’re talking
weight belts. I’m talking about how this weight belt might
be making your weight belt weaker. You see, you actually have a weight belt that
never cost you a penny, and you carry it around with you all the time. It’s your transverse abdominus. But by relying on this far too often you’re
actually going to weaken that and have it cost you at the moment that it matters the
most. On your big lifts. Let me reach for this one. You see, the transverse abdominus is a muscle
that lays right here under the rib cage and it wraps all the way around our body. Through the magic of the muscle marker we
can actually see what it looks like. It actually comes right here, all the way
around, and as you can see the orientation of the fibers is such that it lays just like
a weight belt would. It actually functions the same way. It doesn’t move our body down this way. What it does is, it actually takes our body
and it cinches it in. so it does this. It does the same thing that a weight belt
would do as you pull it tighter. It’s going to pulls ourselves and our abdomen
in tighter, which will provide the circular stability of the spine and core. So if we’re going to train that muscle, you
want to learn how to actually contract it so that it actually flattens the belly down. Okay, so what it does is it takes this belly
down from being out here and it learns to flatten it down, provide stability then, again,
it wraps all the way around. I teach you how to do this through a lot of
our lower ab exercises. As a matter of fact, most of our ab exercises
in this video that I cover over here – you’re going to want to watch that and see how we
do that specifically. But the importance of this video is to get
you understanding the fact that the more of this that you use, the more you’re actually
going to be completely counteracting what you’re trying to accomplish in the first place. That is stability. If you wear a weight belt, the first thing
that happens is – if you wear it appropriately you’re actually going to have a little bit
of extra room in here. You never want to pull it all the way tighten
like this because you actually don’t give yourself any room to push out against with
this intra-abdominal pressure. So you have it a little bit loose so you can
now push into it and then have that pressure against the pad, which is pushing back in
the opposite direction. Just giving you that extra torque in spinal
stability. If you do that, think about what you’re actually
doing. You’re actually training yourself with a distended
belly. You’re training yourself this way. You push out as you stabilize. When, in actuality, the healthier, more protected
spine has the ability to bear down and still have that intra-abdominal pressure, but with
a flatter belly because you have the contractions of the transverse abdominus. So that’s one reason why you wouldn’t want
to rely on the weight belt. The second one is, over use of this is just
going to make inactivity of the transverse abdominus result in a weaker transverse abdominus
so you can’t rely on it when you really need it. So I’m advising you to ditch the weight belt. Here’s the instances where I would say it’s
okay. If you are somebody with a history of back
pain, whether you had surgeries, lumbar fusion, discectomy, significant back injuries that
have laid you up for a significant period of time; then I would say it’s okay to use
this as you get yourself back into training from that injury, but only if you agree that
you’re going to train your core directly and increase the strength of your transverse abdominus
like I showed you in that video that I linked over there, with the focus of building that
up over time. So you can wean yourself off of this. Use this as a crutch to get you back in the
game again. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re
a competitive power lifter there’s a power lifting belt that we, again, covered on the
Instagram profile that will allows you to generate even just a little bit more force
in your lift, that will increase your lift total by even a small amount. That could mean the difference between first
place and third place, or setting a new PR. In those cases you can train there, but not
a lot of the guys that are watching this channel are competitively power lifting at that degree. A lot of them are watching to either get bigger,
stronger, faster, and more athletic. And again, athletic, you’re not allowed to
take these out with you on the playing field, or at least not comfortably. So we don’t want to train you to become
reliant on this. I want to train you like an athlete to rely
on the one that you have with you all the time. So guys, I hope you’ve found this video helpful. Hopefully for those that are over reliant
on their weight belts it will be a wakeup call. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a program
that will train you like an athlete and make you rely on the muscles that you have so that
you become more functionally strong and capable of performing at a moment’s notice because
you have everything that you have with you all the time and you’re prepared to use it;
that’s over at ATHLEANX.com with our ATHLEANX training system. If you want to see anything else covered here
in a washboard Wednesday video make sure you leave it in the comments below and I’ll do
my best to bring those to you in the weeks ahead. All right, guys. I’ll see you again real soon.

100 thoughts on “Weightlifting Belts | Weak Abs (UH-OH!!)

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/3-key-benefits-of-wearing-a-weightlfting-belt.html With all the references at the bottom. Used to take these videos as doctrine, won't be anymore. This could hurt people..

  2. I have had 7 back injuries in 5 years because I was too stubborn by not wanting to use a belt on my 1-3rep lifts. I've been stuck at 385 on squats and 475 on deads for 3 years because of back pain mid workout. As you said, I felt like belts prevented your core from getting stronger as you progressed on everything else. Till this day, I never wore a belt. I will on my next leg session because I aggravated my back once again. I now know I can at least use the belt while targeting the core muscle groups separately.

  3. I understand that not wearing a belt engages your transverse abdominis, but doesn't training your transverse abdominis increase it's size and thus create a thicker looking waist?

  4. Hey Jeff, I do not have a history of back injury and I have just started using a weight belt. I find that it DOES help a lot, especially on my Deadlifts, but I still feel the exercise work in the lower back, like it's supposed to. However, this is what I want. I do know that I'm excluding my abs to a degree but I would like to know if using the belt considered cheating? I don't lift competitively and I'm averaging 120kg on the bar, without the belt, but does it REALLY matter that much if I am using the belt?

  5. I see people walking around all gym session with their weight belts on. Makes no fuckin sense..

    Need to show them this video!!!

  6. I disagree. The belt will weaken your abs only if misused. First build up to decent weights without a belt (1.5-2 tines bdwt squat and deadlier). Then go without the belt for all warm up sets. only for sets of 5 and under should a belt be used. And only for squats, dead and maybe standing presses and bent over rows. In addition if you do heavy core work like heavy weighted crunches and loaded carries your core will be very strong. The problems is most Ppl so not do the above and pay to r it with weak abs

  7. ATHLEAN-X™ What about knee sleeves? Is it ok to rely on those for squats, especially because I have a pretty deep squat?

  8. Don't wear belts that have a bigger back than the front. Belts aren't used to brace your back bro! Seriously, just look it up.

  9. You are one of my inspirations! Done many of your workouts, I feel that the athlean version for girls is too soft for some of us girls. Your workouts challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone!!!

  10. This is BS. A belt gives your core something to press against thereby making it stronger. Just like pressing against a heavy barbell makes your arms stronger.

    You don’t “rely” on the belt for anything, it simply makes you stronger.

  11. My favorites are the clowns who use the belts for everything like bench, curls, leg press, I’ve even seen clowns wearing belts on the treadmills.

  12. jeff's channel is not for powerlifters. although hypertrophic training is imperative to success for strength athletes, the question of the belt becomes far more nuanced when we look at subjects outside of hypertrophic resistance training

  13. Guys don't ditch the belt because of this video. If you want to lift heavier weight and you need an aid then using a belt is perfectly fine. Obviously if you can manage without then don't wear one…. simple

  14. Jeff, Ily. Not only did I learn if I should use a belt, but I also learned how to flatten the lower abs area that hangs out. I thought using a belt would help idk why. You get straight to the point no contradictory ifs. You know your stuff. Thank you.

  15. I have never used a belt for squats or deadlifts but was wondering if I should maybe pick a belt up, not after this video I won't be, thank you Jeff

  16. Dude, 2:18 did he really sound the bass or did the editor throw that in? LMAO!!!!! I doubt he wires a microphone to his behind though. Haaaahaaahaaahaahaa!!!!

  17. I have to wear a belt becase I have an umbilical hernia — and I can't get surgery until late July. So, I have to rely upon the belt.

    I got a hernia partially due to weak abs, but the doctor has told me that I probably had it since I was at the hospital just after birth. It happened right after the doctor put in my belly button.

    So, I agree with not wearing a belt to strengthen your abdominal stabilizers, but if you go heavy, wear it on highest, heaviest sets.

  18. Nah. Mark Rippetoe makes a more convincing argument for using a belt and is simply a more trustworthy source on strength training.

  19. Is it okay if i just use the belt for squats? I have really intense pain in my lower back whenever I squat

  20. I honestly have to wear it. My back hurt with deadlifts. I see many men and women wear belt and they are muscles…6pack

  21. I usually trusts his recommendations, but not here. I keep hurting my back on deadlifts and squats. I’m getting a belt

  22. During my side twisting I got inquiry. It's not that serious but I feel uneasy in by left waist. What should I do? Should I continue exercise. It's already 3 days ago

  23. I disagree, when I am doing squats or deadlifts, I am not trying to work my abs, I am trying to overload my muscle and not injure myself. I wouldn’t want to go lower weight and go belt-less because then I won’t overload at all and won’t see any results, overload is needed and belts can be very helpful. Honestly belts do not matter much, and they don’t take your abs out of the lift, you are still contracting your abs at least 90% of how much they would have without the belt, you just wanted a clickbait YouTube video

  24. if you want to get hiatal hernia then go happily without your supporter belt for deadlift .i tried to do without belt and got hiatal hernia

  25. I totally agree and i just hate it when the idiot in my gym tell me to wear a belt because ill hurt my spine or whatever

  26. JEEEEFFF a belt just helps increase abdominal pressure, a belt doesn’t replace bracing it just enhances it. A belt doesn’t stop activation of your core

  27. Well the way you're telling us to use the belt is completely wrong. First of all, you specifically don't want to push out against the belt. You take a deep breath and brace down your abdomen, exactly in the same manner as without the belt. This way you're not compromising the way your abs are supposed to work and the belt still gives you extra rigidity. Some studies also show an increased activation of core muscles, because the person directs more attention to proper breathing and bracing.

  28. As a powerlifter I do my first main exercises belted (not for warmup sets, all the rest beltless and I add in core work (weighted planks, dragon flags, rollouts, reverse hypers)

  29. I thought this might be the case. I was doing some research into whether or not is worth while getting one of these.

    So… hard pass…

  30. I will buy a belt just for prs. My friend used in his deadlifting pr, and I feel like I need it to be able to break his pr 🙂

  31. Rogue leather belts are fine for heavy work sets. Not warm up sets. Velcro ones are shit anyway and nobody should use those unless they doing Olympic lifts. With or without belt you should be doing the valsalva manoeuvre. It supports ur spine. Competitive or not.

  32. I only really use a belt if I’m going for a pr or if my back is giving me trouble that day, please don’t punish me jeff

  33. We use belts for safety. It still activates the core and you still develop a strong core with it. Go to a powerlifting meet and see how many people are using belts and tell them they shouldnt.
    If you are worried about it….either don't wear a belt…or wear a belt and spend more time with core workouts.

  34. I see advising people that a belt is not the best decision, is tantamount to saying don't use one. I see this as dangerous. I believe that most people are not as "perfect" with their training as Mr. Jeff. So on top of that, telling us using a belt is not the best choice has now set the stage for serious injury such as sciatica.

  35. This is why I don't understand the things

    Zink, A. J., WHITING, W. C., VINCENT, W. J., & MCLAINE, A. J. (2001). The effects of a weight belt on trunk and leg muscle activity and joint kinematics during the squat exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,15(2), 235-240.

    Lander, J. E., Hundley, J. R., & Simonton, R. L. (1992). The effectiveness of weight-belts during multiple repetitions of the squat exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 24(5), 603-609

  36. I agree. 👍👍👍🙏🙏In fact I am the only one on youtube to have broken world records for squats and deadlifts beltless wrapless sleeveless ultra RAW

  37. Guys, if you are a competitive powerlifter, the belt is not a "cheat", it is just another tool. For example, squating powerlifting shoes are a tool to make the heavy lift more comfortable. Securing your lumbar spine and supporting it doesnt necessarely mean you have weak abs. Same way that being "shredded" and having visible 6 pack doesnt mean you have strong abs. If you dont want to push your 1 RM thats absolutely fine.
    For example, it is a good idea to use the belt only on the heavy working set and not use it on the warm up sets and on the variations.
    Just my 2 cents.

  38. Just bought my first belt but I only plan on using it when I go over 405 on deadlift and over 315 on backsquat.

    My transverse abdominis is very solid because I’ve do 455 for a few reps without a belt all the time but like a belt when I go over 500 on deadlift

  39. Jeff, I could rely on your belt muscles more than an actual worker lifting belt, they seem strong as hell

  40. Recently bought a belt, been using it on many exercises and it's helping me understand how to create core contraction. However, there are times when I rely on the belt without contracting core because just by breathing in, the belt creates pressure for me. Before using the belt, I don't think I did it right on stabilizing core muscle as I didn't understand how to create muscle contraction. (I'm sure it happened but not in a optimal way) So I guess I am going backward in the process but gonna continue to do so until I feel like I want to do it without belt and see if it is beneficial to do both with belt or without. Thank you for great information!

  41. I didn’t expect to hear this, I just bought one and tried yesterday…. I feel much control when using belt… so I’m not 100% sure about his advice…. yes we don’t rely on it all the time but still can take benefit from it

  42. I didnt use a belt for a long time but I will for squats and deadlifts because I lately almost got hurt. My lower back has been hurt before. Not getting hurt is priority.
    Of course I only use it for higher weight.

  43. Can you show any actual studies that prove that wearing a belt weakens your core? ALL scientific studies I've read comes to the opposite conclusion, that it INCREASES core engagemet and has many other benefits. Here are some of the studies:
    Zink, A. J., et al. The effect of a weight belt on trunk and leg muscle activity and joint kinematics during the squat exercise. J. Strength Cond. Res. 15:235-240, 2001.

    Bauer, J. A., et al. The use of lumbar-supporting weight belts while performing squats: Erector spinae electromyo-graphic activity. J. Strength Cond. Res. 13:384-388, 1999.

    Harman, E. A., et al. Effects of a belt on intra-abdominal pressure during weightlifting. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:186-190, 1989.

    Lander, J. E. The effectiveness of weight belts during multiple repetitions of the squat exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 24:603-609, 1992.

    Bourne, N. D. and Reilly, T. Effect of a weightlifting belt on spinal shrinkage. Br. J. Sports Med. 25:209-212, 1991.

    Reilly, T. and Davies, S. Effects of a weightlifting belt on spinal loading during performance of the deadlift. J. Sports Sci. 13:433, 1995.

    Kingma, I., et al. Effect of a stiff lifting belt on spine compression during lifting. Spine 31(22):E833-839. 2006.

    Giorcelli, R. J., et al. The effect of wearing a back belt on spine kinematics during asymmetric lifting of large and small boxes. Spine. 26:1794-1798, 2001.

    Lander, J. E., et. al. The effectiveness of weight-belts during the squat exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990 Feb;22(1):117-26.

    Renfro, G. J. and Ebben, W. P. A Review of the Use of Lifting Belts. Strength and Conditioning Journal 28(1): 68-74, 2006.

  44. I only use lifting belts for extremely heavy weight, but I still train to progress more and also press more weight without a lifting belt. I also train abs on leg day.

  45. So, I'm a little bit confused right now. I've watched several videos by competetive powerlifters and people experienced in the field and read several articles about using a weightlifting belt and all of them agree on the fact that weighlifting belts weakening your core is a myth. So which one is it really? Does it weaken the core or not? Belt weakening the core seems kinda intuitive, however research shows that the decrease in muscle activation they found was minimal and in fact, the activation and contraction was higher in most cases than going beltless.

  46. I do agree with the video, however if you are going for a squat or deadlift 1RM or struggle with lower back pain to the point where it's unbearable, I do think a belt is okay

    Of course that doesn't mean that someone using a belt shouldn't strengthen weak areas like the lower back

    I myself just got a belt and am only planning on using it if I get really bad lower back pain or if I'm going for squat or deadlift 1rm

  47. I am about to start using a belt, I just started back at the gym, 45 years old, all kinds of lower back problems. When I squat even 100 pounds, or DL 135, my lower back hurts. I do my best to keep proper form, but I also refuse to be bed ridden AGAIN for 2 weeks from snapping my lower back. I think I am going to start using a belt, rather it's 100 pounds, or 200. Younger people with no back problems can recover from a muscle strain fast, I can't!

  48. All gym baddies stare at me in disbelief when I squat or deadlift mad weight without belt or knee bands .

    Go raw or fo home

  49. Thanks for covering this. When I took college strength training in the '90s, we were required to use lifting belts. As I am training to get back in shape over 2 decades later, this is one of the things I've wondered about.

  50. and here I was about to buy one (my lower back drives me crazy on dead lifts, thought a belt would be a good call)

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