Wait, I Need my Belt!

You know what I'm talking about.. That moment you're waiting for your bro to hit his set so you can get back under the bar. And then he starts running around like a chicken with his head cut off. "I need my belt man! Where did I put it??"

The lifting belt to crossfitters is akin to the cell phone for teenage girls. If it isn't attached at all time, panic ensues. Normal, extremely mundane tasks are suddenly unperformable. Bodyweight deadlifts? Ehhh hold on I should probably belt up. Anything in the front rack? Wouldn't want my core to work too much. 

Now don't get me wrong, I totally understand the importance of a lifting belt. The increased bracing and stabilization allows for a safer and more effective transfer of power from the core to lower extremities. In fact, wearing a belt can increase core strength up to 20-40%. That's super important. For someone squatting triple bodyweight. Not your average light front squats for reps in the wod. 

Not only is this epidemic unflattering, its also unhealthy. Overuse of a lifting belt will cause you to depend and rely on the belt, weakening your core's natural ability and potentially leaving your back vulnerable. I always find it interesting that the people who complain about back issues the most are the ones who use their lifting belts the most. 

So what am I trying to say? Should you completely abandon your lifting belt? No, of course not. But you should be very very very particular when you use it. If you are going max effort for reps, or finding maximum load, go for it. If you are working at 80-90%, use it some of the time. But not always. Let your body know that it wont always have the crutch to help it. And avoid it like the plague in wods. If you can't handle the prescribed weight, then you need to scale, bro. 

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