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General Stalin's Progress Thread
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #176
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Get a lifting belt.

It actually will help you learn how to use your abdominals more effectively, and how to brace your core.

You don't just put it on. You use abdominal breathing to push against the belt, which creates a better power platform...
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2017 10:19 PM by Steelex.)
04-25-2017 10:17 PM
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General Stalin
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Post: #177
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Yeah I've used belts plenty I'm currently trying to teach myself better bracing and core support without using it. I feel like its too much of a crutch for me to use a belt currently. Instead of lifting weight that's heavy enough that I feel like I need a belt to assist with bracing and provide support, I'd rather go slow and built up my core without the aid of a belt if that makes sense.

Edit: in fact I actually used a belt for the first set of 205 I did during today's workout but didn't use it for the other three sets because I felt like I was cheating myself.
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2017 11:33 PM by General Stalin.)
04-25-2017 11:31 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #178
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
No, it doesn't make sense.

A belt isn't a crutch. It's resistance for your abdominals. You actually get a stronger core by giving your abs something to push against during the lift.

Case in point, if by using a belt you are able to add another 100 lbs to your squat over the next 8 months, your squat without a belt will improve as well. You will get stronger, faster, with the use of a belt. Because you are properly cueing the abdominals, your core musculature, particularly that pertaining to the back, will become stronger, at a faster rate, and your core will be even stronger with the belt off than if you had never trained with the belt in the first place.

You're cheating yourself by not using the belt. Just because it's harder to squat heavy with no belt does not mean it is more beneficial.

You're marginally stronger than a female, why not take the advice of someone who has gone where you're trying to go?
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2017 12:39 PM by Steelex.)
04-26-2017 12:35 PM
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Post: #179
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(04-26-2017 12:35 PM)Steelex Wrote:  No, it doesn't make sense.

A belt isn't a crutch. It's resistance for your abdominals. You actually get a stronger core by giving your abs something to push against during the lift.

Case in point, if by using a belt you are able to add another 100 lbs to your squat over the next 8 months, your squat without a belt will improve as well. You will get stronger, faster, with the use of a belt. Because you are properly cueing the abdominals, your core musculature, particularly that pertaining to the back, will become stronger, at a faster rate, and your core will be even stronger with the belt off than if you had never trained with the belt in the first place.

You're cheating yourself by not using the belt. Just because it's harder to squat heavy with no belt does not mean it is more beneficial.

You're marginally stronger than a female, why not take the advice of someone who has gone where you're trying to go?

Insults aren't necessary here. Why dont you keep your advice if you're just going to shit on people making an effort to better themselves, when asking for others advice.

GS - at this stage a belt isn't necessary. Johnny Utah over here might get all gung ho about it, but keep working on your technique and repetition with consistent workouts. I would also take some video and share it on some of the weight lifting forums to review your technique. There are a lot of good assistance exercises too to make your back problems go away. Keep training, ignore the haters and wanna bees.
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2017 01:06 PM by Vaun.)
04-26-2017 01:05 PM
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Post: #180
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
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04-26-2017 01:33 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #181
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
@Steelex: Thanks for the inspiring words buddy.

@Vaun: Yeah that is what I've had in my head. Whether it's all psychological or not, I catch myself focusing more in engaging my core when beltless becuase I sort of feel more vulnerable if that makes sense. Part of the idea is to get the inhibition out of my head lifting weight with my recent lower back injury. Monitoring and getting opinions on my form would be great too, thanks.

I have been putting more effort into doing movements and stretches that help loosen up and strengthen my lowback and it seems to be finally making a difference.

EDIT:

Cavalier's video here actually kind of outlines the methodology I've been incorporating in my workouts currently. @4:27 he talks about lifting belts.



(This post was last modified: 04-26-2017 01:45 PM by General Stalin.)
04-26-2017 01:37 PM
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Vaun Offline
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Post: #182
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thats good, at this stage a belt is overkill, just like lifting shoes, westside barbell sweat shirts, etc. Form and consistency is really all you should focus on, numbers on the bar are irrelevant for a while. I see you playing with programming, thats good, but I cant stress the importance of picking a program and sticking with it for at least 4-6 weeks, 12-24 weeks ideal. I like a lot of them out there. I would read up and learn them all. I would start you with Starting Strength, but others that are good are, Westside(conjugate), Dan John, Strongfirst(Pavel). 5x5 Stronglifts is just a version of Starting Strength with a dash of internet marketing, he admits it all over the place.

A basic Starting Strength program
will allow you to increase your lifts, and make some room for additional training(i.e. Cardio).. Once it gets heavy you wont want to run/swim/bike. it has a great forum where you can submit video for critiques and questions about injuries. The program is deceptively easy, and a good entry into weight lifting. Westside is extreme, its geared toward powerlifters and elites.

This is the program I am running now, to get back into it. I am about 12 workouts in, feeling good.
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2017 06:34 PM by Vaun.)
04-26-2017 06:14 PM
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General Stalin
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Post: #183
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thanks man. If you go through the beginning of this thread you'll see I've already gone through a real beginner phase with learning form and figuring out my strength. I trained with a powerlifting coach for a few months last year and did some of his programming for a couple months after that. Since then I have started working on my own programming and made some good progress last summer but made a couple stupid mistakes and set myself back with injuries followed by a lot of inconsistent training. I don't think 5x5 would do me any benefits at this point, but I'm taking baby steps at the moment to make sure I properly recover from my lowback injury this time around.

My current goal is still to work up to a 300 bench, 400 squat, and a 500 DL. Last time I did 1RM's (mid summer last year) I was at a 235 Bench, 300 Squat, and 365 DL. Once I'm feeling better about the state of my body I'd like ot keep going with GZCL method as it's a simple and fun program.

Edit: I'd also like to strict OHP 200. Not that it matters in power lifting but i consider OHP important as well. I dedicate a workout day to it.
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2017 07:29 PM by General Stalin.)
04-26-2017 06:54 PM
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weambulance Offline
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Post: #184
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(04-26-2017 12:35 PM)Steelex Wrote:  No, it doesn't make sense.

A belt isn't a crutch. It's resistance for your abdominals. You actually get a stronger core by giving your abs something to push against during the lift.

Case in point, if by using a belt you are able to add another 100 lbs to your squat over the next 8 months, your squat without a belt will improve as well. You will get stronger, faster, with the use of a belt. Because you are properly cueing the abdominals, your core musculature, particularly that pertaining to the back, will become stronger, at a faster rate, and your core will be even stronger with the belt off than if you had never trained with the belt in the first place.

You got a citation for that? And I don't mean some article online, I mean an actual scientific study, because that does not follow logically. Unless you mean to only use the belt to lift beyond what you can lift without the belt, the way a sensible lifter uses straps. In other words, lift without the belt until your sets are heavy enough that you need it, then use the belt to keep going.
04-26-2017 08:43 PM
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General Stalin
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Post: #185
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
I've never heard what Steelex suggested either, and I know a few decent powerlifters who have competed. Not saying it isn't true, but that would be new to me. I'll ask a few aquantainces next time I see them.

Regardless, one thing most belt users I know agree on is that even if you use the belt for some squats, you still need to do squats without it too, to ensure you aren't relying on it in any way. Don't be that guy who uses the belt for everything.
04-26-2017 09:44 PM
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Post: #186
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
I say use a belt if your back is limiting your squat. If your legs are the limiting factor, a belt won't help as much. If your back is the issue, then you'll notice the bar move forward as you stand up. If it's your legs, the bar won't move forward much.

Avoiding a belt won't necessarily make your core "stronger." What I've noticed in people is if they have a relatively weak back while squatting 200 pounds, they'll have a relatively weak back while squatting 400 pounds, assuming they don't take any action to address any imbalance.

Disclaimer: I've never used a belt in my life. I just train around strong people (and some people call me strong).
(This post was last modified: 04-27-2017 12:32 AM by Corollary.)
04-27-2017 12:30 AM
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Post: #187
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
I can't speak for everyone else I can only speak from my personal experience: when I use a belt for squats I certainly feel safer and more stable performing the movement. As the video I linked suggests, it mentally makes me feel like something else has been taken out of the equation. This is why it is far easier to lift heavy weight with a belt than without. Even though I am bracing against the belt, I see myself focusing less on my core than I would if I were not wearing one.

My hypothesis is that if i train without the assistance of a belt (to my comfortable limits beltless) then I will train myself physically and mentally to feel more stable and reliant on my core. A corally to that is that the weight I can lift with a belt will be even higher which is an added bonus.
04-27-2017 12:44 AM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #188
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
GS how did you hurt your lower back? Was it like a single incident with a deadlift one day or a long term chronic deal due to crappy posture/sitting at a desk too much? What are you doing to rehab?
04-27-2017 09:50 PM
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Kratomite Offline
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Post: #189
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(04-25-2017 10:17 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Get a lifting belt.

It actually will help you learn how to use your abdominals more effectively, and how to brace your core.

You don't just put it on. You use abdominal breathing to push against the belt, which creates a better power platform...

I'm intrigued by this notion.

The abdominals primarily act as stabilizers for the trunk.

How are you using them more effectively when the lifting belt is taking over this function?

I've heard similar arguments on using "bench shirts", which add 100+lbs to what the raw lift would be. Personally, I think these things are a disgrace. They're the accessory equivalent of having a 'bro' spotter lift half the weight for you, and then high fiving you afterwards. The ego gets padded, but you're not getting stronger.
04-27-2017 10:25 PM
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Kratomite Offline
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Post: #190
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
On the subject of lower back pain, I think guys could benefit from a lot more calisthenics work. Free weights are inferior for developing core strength (lower back included).

Guys who can hold a front lever for 30+ seconds don't have lower back.
04-27-2017 10:30 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #191
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Kratomite,

The belt benefits you because you push out against the belt using the valsalva maneuver during the lift. The belt provides a resistance for your core to push against (therefore creating intra abdominal pressure and cushioning/locking everything in place).

Without a belt, you can only push as far you can push, so the amount of resistance available to the abdominal muscles is rather low. With the belt on, you are able to create a stronger contraction because you have in essence an immovable wall to push against, which is going to promote further further hypertrophy and strengthening, which will transfer even to having the belt off.

No belt = an isometric contraction pushing against the air

Belt = isometric contraction pushing against a wall

Everyone thinks of it as a crutch but it's actually making the contraction harder and forcing you to use your abs more.

Furthermore, using the belt correctly is a learned skill. It does help prevent injury, but only when used correctly. Once you start really getting up there with the amount of weight, you have to take safety precautions. This is where having experience using the equipment correctly comes in to play, even at a lesser weight.

You can't just throw it on and expect to be able to utilise it to the fullest. You train with it. When you step up to pull a 600lb deadlift, you'll be glad you spent the time down in the 200s and 300s learning to use it.
04-28-2017 01:38 AM
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Post: #192
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(04-27-2017 09:50 PM)komatiite Wrote:  GS how did you hurt your lower back? Was it like a single incident with a deadlift one day or a long term chronic deal due to crappy posture/sitting at a desk too much? What are you doing to rehab?

I hurt my low back twice last year, both times deadlifting.

First time some gym bros and I were having a mock strongman comp and one of the events was DL for reps (how ever many reps of 315 you can do in 1 minute). I got up to 11 but probably the second half of my reps were bad form just snaking the weight up with my lowback. Didn't feel pain immediately after but the next couple days a lot of soreness set in.

After a few months of backing off lower body exercises and focusing on stretching and mobility I recovered and was back repping 315 again with no issue. Then one day a buddy of mine had his friend in the gym and was showing him a few DL cues. He had 225 on the bar and I chimed in to give a few pointers of my own. I did 4 reps to demonstrate a couple things but without any sort of warmup, 225 was a bit much for me to be lifting cold. Last rep I felt my back tweak a bit and the same pain came back that I had before.

So both times it was just poor practice that got me into trouble.

(04-27-2017 10:30 PM)Kratomite Wrote:  On the subject of lower back pain, I think guys could benefit from a lot more calisthenics work. Free weights are inferior for developing core strength (lower back included).

Guys who can hold a front lever for 30+ seconds don't have lower back.

I agree that body weight movements, static holds, and simple mobility can do wonders. Roman Chair holds I think are really underrated which is why I've been incorporating them into my workouts now to help build up my lumbar stamina.
(This post was last modified: 04-28-2017 03:05 PM by General Stalin.)
04-28-2017 03:00 PM
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Post: #193
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
OHP was Wednesday night and deadlifts lastnight. Workouts are going well.

OHP I did 2 x 3 x 135 sets were grinders so I dropped weight and did 5 x 3 x 125.

Deadlifts I did 5 x 4 x 205 and they felt great. Lowback feels tight today but not in a painful way, just feels like I did some work yesterday.

Doing a little more research and reading around a watching videos I'm thinking the source of my problem could be tight hip flexors causing an anterior pelvic tilt. This is causing my hamstrings to be in extension all the time which is why they are tight. If I can get my hips to relax and strengthen my glutes and hamstrings more I may see and feel a change. Still planning on getting a rolfing session to see what that does.
04-29-2017 12:44 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Had a great squat day last night. Still taking it easy but I was able to squat 5 x 3 x 225 with no belt last night and my back was solid. First time I've been able to squat 2 plates with no belt since my injury. Felt great.
05-01-2017 12:42 PM
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Post: #195
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
You seem to be getting up there in terms of strength. I haven't read much of this thread, but how tall are you and how much do you weigh? Just curious.

Focusing on some serious gaming and personal development for the next few months. Will be taking PMs though.
05-01-2017 03:44 PM
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
6'2" ~200lbs.

Thanks man yeah I thinks it's coming back too.
05-01-2017 07:05 PM
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Post: #197
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
OHP session last night had some good energy. Still not back at repping 135 but we'll get there. Worked out with a buddy of mine last night who needs a little direction in the gym so I'm going to help him with workouts.

Overhead Press - 1 x 8 x 65
1 x 8 x 95
1 x 6 x 115
5 x 3 x 125

Close Grip Bench - 3 x 8 x 135

Side Lateral Raises - 3 x 12 x 20 >SS> Reverse Flys - 3 x 12 x 20 >SS> Dips - 3 x 12

Cable X-over - 3 x 12 x 30 >SS> Seated Row 2 x 12 x 120
05-03-2017 01:31 PM
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Post: #198
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
^^ Excellent on the Overhead Press.
05-03-2017 10:18 PM
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
If you want to get your OHP numbers up, Id suggest cutting back on the warmup sets.

I dont think theres much point doing 65x8 and 95x8 to start with, you might as well warmup with a round of skipping so you enter your heavy sets fresher.

Full disclosure - I do fuck all warmup myself, which I know is in direct contradiction to the "conventional wisdom". No cardio, no stretching, just 1x5x110, then straight into it.

I know most people are very particular about doing their warmups, but ive never injured myself doing it this way. Its possible ive just been lucky, but its one hell of a lucky streak if thats all it is.
05-03-2017 11:12 PM
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(05-03-2017 11:12 PM)king bast Wrote:  If you want to get your OHP numbers up, Id suggest cutting back on the warmup sets.

I dont think theres much point doing 65x8 and 95x8 to start with, you might as well warmup with a round of skipping so you enter your heavy sets fresher.

Full disclosure - I do fuck all warmup myself, which I know is in direct contradiction to the "conventional wisdom". No cardio, no stretching, just 1x5x110, then straight into it.

I know most people are very particular about doing their warmups, but ive never injured myself doing it this way. Its possible ive just been lucky, but its one hell of a lucky streak if thats all it is.

I feel ya, I normally don't bother with 65 - I only did that set to ease my buddy into the exercise with real light weight as he never does barbell OHP. But I do always start with a set of 1 x 8 x 95 to get my muscles warmed up and my body acclimated to the movement.

Warmup can be different for everyone too which is probably why it doesn't do a whole lot for you. I've actually injured myself in the past deadlifting very submaximal weight without any warmup so I try to warmup before doing any major compound lift, and for OHP specifically I've noticed I actually perform better if I do a few warmup sets as opposed to just going into it.

I would definitely say too much warmup on benchpress can burn me out though.
05-04-2017 11:25 AM
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