Weight Lifting belts are now a common scenery in the gym. The question is, is it really necessary for you to wear it?
If you will ask your buddies, whether to wear that belt or not, bet you will receive 3 different answers: "Yes! It will support your back!”, "No! It will hinder the effect of your workout.”, and the meaningful "I don't know, I don't care." (Face palm).
Wearing a belt nowadays has created a discussion and many debates around the dinner table. It is true that the belt has its pros and cons. Not all exercises requires wearing a belt, not everyone is comfortable wearing the belt too. Some say it is helpful, some say it'll be harmful. Some will see it cool wearing the belt, some say it’ll make you look shorter, because the belt is quite big. Regardless what everybody says, you should know its function before wearing the belt.
Let's dig a little deeper, and know if the belt is necessary or just another gym accessory.
Often times they will give you an excuse that the belt will protect your back, but that's really not the case (May be a part of the function). It increases the Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP), hence, increasing the efficiency of your core muscle helping you to lift heavy weights. It helps in stabilizing your torso as well as protecting your spine. Since the belt helps in increasing your Intra-Abdominal Pressure - there will be a risk of hypertension for it will increase your blood pressure throughout the workout. It may aggravate hernias and other internal injuries as well.
Most of the trainers will recommend wearing a belt if you are a power lifter or you're going to compete in weightlifting sports kind of thing. Also, for moving loads/weights upwards of 85% of a one-rep max, other than that Gym Belt are considered unnecessary or personal preference.
Weightlifting belt can either be useful or can hinder your workout. It may be useful for some, but not really a requirement. It has its benefits, use it wisely and it will help you, after all it's not a championship belt that you can show off in the gym.
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