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STENDEC

One (New) Direction

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Chest & Tris

 

Flat Bench, Incline Cable Flyes, Weighted Dips, Pec Deck, Incline Machine Bench, Flat Machine Bench, Triceps Pushdowns, Abs

 

Slept like crap last night for some reason and so this did not feel great today although the bench work went pretty well, all things considered.

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Leg Day

 

Squats to 405x2, Bulgarians, Smith Calf Raises w/ Bands, Machine Circuit (Abductors, Adductors, Curls, Extensions), Abs

 

Squats felt pretty decent...first 405 was a little high but second one was plenty deep....wider stance seems to be working well.

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Shoulders

 

Standing MP, Arnold Press, Cable Pullaparts, Cable External Rotations, Machine Row, Reverse Pec Deck, Machine Seated MP, DB Shrugs, Busdrivers, Abs

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Worked on some squat and DL form today with my BB friend who is thinking of trying his hand at powerlifting....

 

Went pretty well, worked up to 405 squat and 425 DL

 

Having some trouble consistently getting in the hole at 405 although I am pretty sure this is mental rather than physiological.

 

DL came up like butter but I have to DL on Monday with my regular parter so I didn't want to go all out today.

 

I have to say, I am still on the fence about a belt. I bought one and hate wearing it....it's uncomfortable and I don't feel any more stable with it on.

 

Given how ubiquitous belts are among PL, I am stunned by how equivocal the clinical data is on belt use...anecdotal data seems to universally give a belted lifter a ~10% performance edge over a non-belted lifter but so far, nobody has been able to establish this or really any clear performance benefit in a clinical setting...although, to be fair, it is a difficult thing to study because you can't apply a placebo belt and the purported advantages of a belt are gospel for most experienced lifters...

 

I will continue to ponder the value of it.

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There absolutely is value in it, but you must wear and use it properly. 

 

- It will feel uncomfortable until your midsection gets over feeling that 'pinch sensation'

  - This is no different than getting used to a bar on your back, and the timeline to getting used to it is similar

- People who do not know how to properly brace cannot make use of a belt

  - For you belt newbs: https://www.elitefts.com/education/breathing-is-not-bracing/

    - 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

There absolutely is value in it, but you must wear and use it properly. 

 

Sam, I suspect even you would admit, that is more a matter of opinion than fact.

 

All of the clinical data I have reviewed (about 20 different studies from 1976 to 2012) looking at belt use both in athletic and industrial settings show no clear performance benefit and no clear protection against injury...

 

This study sums things up pretty well, when it comes to the clinical data on belt use:

 

Abdominal belts have been shown to help individuals in generating higher IAP levels during load-handling activities [22, 34, 35, 43]. There exists anecdotal evidence that people “feel safer” wearing abdominal belts when exerting large forces [38]. This is especially true for weight lifters and power lifters, who use belts apparently for no obvious benefit other than to increase their IAP during lifting [22, 34, 35]. While a few studies reported marginal improvement in lifting capacity with the use of abdominal belts [59, 62], the overwhelming evidence suggests that belts have no effect on muscle strength [37, 39, 58], fatigue [8, 39], or low back injury incidence [48, 57, 69].

 

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No, no I would not. Feel free to speak for me, though.

 

As long as your bracing is absolutely perfect (trust me, it is not), then feel free to lift for maxes with no belt. It will provide an advantage. I won't even say it "might" provide an advantage, because a clear advantage exists.

 

I know your exhaustive research has confirmed your bias, but just take experience over research on this one, ok?

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I would never presume to speak for you and I certainly value your experience Sam...although I am not sure I am the only one with a bias here. ;)
 

What do you perceive the advantage to be? Bigger lifts? Safer lifts? Both? 


If the advantage were really that clear, why do you think the clinical studies have been so inconclusive?

 

I'll keep playing around with the belt but I remain skeptical...

 

 

 

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In absence of a perfect bracing technique-which not a single soul in the lifting world has-the belt will bring you far better lifts. If you feel you can go it alone, that's fine, but I know I can't. I use my belt very little in the scheme of things, but there's a *huge* difference between a beltless squat and the same weight, properly braced along with a belt. I do hope you work on your belted work, because once you get it, you just get it.

 

I do not believe belts guarantee any amount of safety-though they likely allow you to lift more weight without greater risk (or without some reduced risk over the higher weight as compared to no belt).

 

Pay attention to Duffin-or choose your strength coach to listen to-and learn to brace while using a belt. There *is* an advantage.

 

P.S.- You can call it a bias, but what is bias backed up by experience? I suppose you can write it off as mere anecdote, but wisdom is more than just anecdotal.

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I truly appreciate your insight Sam.

 

As I noted before, it is a particularly difficult thing to study because, for example, you would never now try lifting heavy without a belt because you are convinced they allow you to perform better. And there is no placebo belt that a researcher could put on someone like you in order to see if the effect was truly physiological or more psychological.

 

I will continue to play around with the belt I purchased....I don't actually find it terribly uncomfortable, more superfluous and I simply remain curious as to why the clear advantage that you (and pretty much every other powerlifter out there) believes is there remains so elusive and difficult to actually document....

 

NB: I did come across this and this last night which do seem to more directly draw the line between hip torque (hip drive we would probably call it) and IAP and if a belt allows for higher IAP and the science seems to support that (mostly) then this gives some better scientific evidence for the utility of a lifting belt.

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5 hours ago, STENDEC said:

...you would never now try lifting heavy without a belt because you are convinced they allow you to perform better.

 

Yet, I insist that I am more or less "convinced" of it not because in my brain the placebo effect makes it better, but because fail A with no belt and succeed B with belt is a clear formula for an answer driven not by bias but anecdotal proof.

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Man, I really do hope you work with your belt. Once you know the difference between belt and no belt, there is a definitive difference in how your lift is executed. Most recently for me, it worked wonders for my OHP. The bar literally exploding from my rack position over and over, as opposed to beltless where I hadn't exactly struggled, but needed to invest more effort in lower weights.

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5 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

 

Yet, I insist that I am more or less "convinced" of it not because in my brain the placebo effect makes it better, but because fail A with no belt and succeed B with belt is a clear formula for an answer driven not by bias but anecdotal proof.

 

Although, one could argue that because you don't believe you can do what you do without the belt on, you can't.... ;)

 

That said, I respect the wisdom of your experience Sam. Thank you for your input.

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Back & Bis

 

DL to 500x1, Scott Curls, DB Good Mornings, Incline DB Curls, Abs

 

Gym was a little busy today and both my lifting partners are learning sumo so there was a lot of time spent with lower weights.

 

The exciting news is that 500 came up quite easily with just chalk and I suspect 520 is within pretty easy reach.

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I realize that it's not in a study somewhere (which means it isn't real, Ben 😉), but it's pretty well established that a belt can add to your poundage provided that you know how to use one.

 

Actually, IIRC there is a study that was done on supportive gear that showed that lifting with it on can actually increase your raw total faster. I can't remember where I saw the study, but if I can find it I'll post it.

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On 5/27/2018 at 7:49 PM, Emperor G_D said:

There absolutely is value in it, but you must wear and use it properly. 

 

- It will feel uncomfortable until your midsection gets over feeling that 'pinch sensation'

  - This is no different than getting used to a bar on your back, and the timeline to getting used to it is similar

- People who do not know how to properly brace cannot make use of a belt

  - For you belt newbs: https://www.elitefts.com/education/breathing-is-not-bracing/

    - 

 

 

 

Thank you for the video

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1 hour ago, Emperor G_D said:

@ozzman, it's my go-to video for sharing with others the gift of bracing. It's the first video I directed you to, right @Atlasnow? The first video I hammered into my last partner, who swore he learned what he needed to, but forever failed to implement proper bracing-so who knows.

 

Absolutely.  This video really helped me initially and whenever my bracing becomes inconsistent, it's the first thing I revisit. 

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