Originally posted by BRAZIL: "i heard that using belts actually diminishes your strength, because it allows your other muscles to get stronger while your lower back does not. i dont know shit about it, but that's just what ive read from a few different places. anyone else heard of this?" I am also a member of Supertraining Yahoo Group, this is from Dr. Mel C Siff, co-author of Supertraining: "Here are a few extracts from another interesting article from the latest NSCA Journal on the effect of a weightlifting belt on squatting mechanics and performance, which should make those aligned against belt usage rethink some of their somewaht rigid opinions. Note especially that this research suggests that the use of a weight belt may improve a lifter's explosive power by increasing the speed of the movement without compromising the joint range of motion or overall lifting technique. This calibre of information is another good reason for joining the NSCA. ------------------------------------------------ Zink AJ, Whiting WC, Vincent WJ, & Alice J. Mclaine The Effects of a Weight Belt on Trunk and Leg Muscle Activity and Joint Kinematics During the Squat Exercise J of Strength & Conditioning Research: Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 235â€“240. ABSTRACT Fourteen healthy men participated in a study designed to examine the effects of weight-belt use on trunk- and leg-muscle myoelectric activity (EMG) and joint kinematics during the squat exercise. Each subject performed the parallel back squat exercise at a self-selected speed according to his own technique with 90% of his 1RM both without a weight belt (NWB) and with a weight belt (WB). Myoelectric activity of the right vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, adductor magnus, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae was recorded using surface electrodes. Subjects were videotaped from a sagittal plane view while standing on a force plate. WB trials were completed significantly faster (p < 0.05) than NWB trials over the entire movement and in both the downward phase (DP) and upward phase (UP). No significant differences in EMG were detected between conditions for any of the muscle groups or for any joint angular kinematic variables during either phase of the lift. The total distance traveled by the barbell both anteriorly and vertically was significantly greater (p < 0.01) in the WB condition than the NWB condition. The velocity of the barbell was significantly greater (p < 0.01) both vertically and horizontally during both the DP and UP in the WB condition as compared with the NWB condition. These data suggest that the use of a weight belt during the squat exercise may affect the path of the barbell and speed of the lift without altering myoelectric activity. This suggests that the use of a weight belt may improve a lifter's explosive power by increasing the speed of the movement without compromising the joint range of motion or overall lifting technique. DISCUSSION The increase in anterior displacement of the barbell in the bottom position decreases the moment arm and the torque generated about the knee while increasing the moment arm and the torque generated about the hip. Although less force would be needed to counter the torque at the knee, a greater counter-torque would need to be generated by the back and hip extensors to compensate for the increased moment arm at the hip. However, there was a trend toward decreased myoelectric activity of the GM and ES. Perhaps the weight belt served to partially support the load even with the increased barbell anterior displacement and subsequent torque generated about the hip. This difference in bar position induced by weight-belt use may indicate a subtle change in squat technique that results in different muscle recruitment with the GM and ES recruited less and the BF and AM recruited more. Further study is needed to resolve these issues. The lack of significant differences in EMG between conditions may be attributed to the lack of large differences in mEMG and the high SDs in the mEMG data. This may be due in part to subject variability in squat techniques related to their different sport backgrounds and training regimens. The high-bar squat technique employed by weightlifters has been reported to differ from the low-bar squat technique employed by powerlifters in both joint angles and joint moments for the hip and knee (7) . Differences in squat technique such as those exhibited between low-bar and high-bar squatters may have existed between subjects in this study, and therefore may be partially responsible for the high variability in EMG. The use of a weight belt during the squat exercise does not appear to affect the myoelectric activity of the leg or back extensor muscles. Similarly, individual angular and linear joint kinematics were not significantly changed with the use of a weight belt. However, the total distance that the barbell traveled anteriorly and vertically was greater and the lifts were performed at a faster rate during both phases of the lift when a weight belt was worn. This suggests that weight-belt use during the squat exercise can alter the speed of the lift, the path the barbell travels, and the position of the barbell at the end of the downward phase without significantly altering the overall muscle activity......... PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS One of the best ways to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury during heavy lifts is to maintain proper lifting technique. Comprehensive assessment of lifting technique must consider anatomical, mechanical, and physiological aspects of the lift. This study showed that at near-maximal loads, lifters using a weight belt maintain a horizontal barbell position closer to the knee and farther from the hip at the bottom of the lift. This bar position would result in greater torques about the hip and lesser torques at the knee. In addition, the fact that belted lifts showed more vertical bar displacement over a shorter time interval, when compared to non-belted lifts, suggests that lifters wearing a weight belt perform more mechanical work and generate more power. Further study is needed to confirm these observations and determine whether these kinetic differences are of practical relevance. The experienced lifters in this study showed biomechanical differences between the WB and NWB conditions. From a performance perspective, the faster lifting associated with weight-belt use may provide a slight positive benefit in terms of increased power output. In contrast, an argument can be made that the slower and more controlled movements without belt use may be preferred in terms of reducing risk of injury. Use of this study's results should be made with care. Interpretation and application of the data may differ depending on the target population (e.g., athletes in general, powerlifters) and training goals (e.g., general fitness, increased power output)........... Dr Mel C Siff Denver, USA" Ermantroudt
Originally posted by John Galt Call Inzer Advanced Designs, 800-222-6897, "The best powerlifting belts in the world". I like the leverlock- no more wrestling with that last notch to get it tight. thanks Barbender that was the one i was looking for:) shoulder any better?? FLEX
They are so damn pleasant to talk to on the phone, I want to make love to them while choking them. ( Usually women)If they dont have a belt for you, they will make it. I bought a bunch of gear from them for a meet next week, and they are just great. And for the guy who said his 40" chest friend looked big,,,,WHHHAAAAATTTTTTT??????