Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by BIGBANGSingh, Jun 26, 2003.
This is very general on purpose: Is it wise to use gloves, hooks, straps, wraps, belts, etc?
There are a zillion opinions on some of these things, but I'll give you mine to start the discussion:
Gloves- no- my hands are small and the extra padding of the gloves makes it hard to grip the bar. However, some would say that I should use them on certain lifts, like pullups, because they add to the size of the bar (in my case), and that helps to work the forearms.
Straps- absolutely, if you need them becuase your grip isn't up to par.
Belts- *maybe* for deads and squats, but only as a proprioreceptor feedback device, not for support. If you use belts for the latter, you risk splinting your accessories, and after going through all that hard work, you end up taking a lot of the "compound" out of these lifts. However,
belts are great for hanging weights for weighted chins and dips.
Wraps- depends on why you're using them. If you're wrapping your elbow because you blew a tendon, well, I do hope you're getting adjunctive physical therapy for that. If you're rapping it because it's a little sore or weak, then it might help. To my way of thinking, wraps aren't like straps or belts- they're more therapeutic than those, and the need for them probably betrays an underlying clinical condition that should be (and usually isn't) looked into.
I was thinking about using gloves to prevent skin damage, but avoiding other accessories that would make exercises less compound. Like hooks and straps would force you to add extra grip exercises which is not time efficient. Sure, they would create maximum overload to other muscles, but that is not a requirement for growth according to HST. And wraps and belts would help you stabilize, which would also work less muscles. Does this make sense?
I think it does make sense- for example, if you're using a belt for support during a DL and not just proprio feedback, I don't think it's the same as doing a DL without the belt.
I use a dipping belt for dips, chins, and calf raises.
I do heavy stiff legged deadlifts but don't use straps since i like the forearm work.
Maybe i should use gloves, but i'm going raw for now...palms are turning into leather heh
Uh, how do you use a belt for proprioception? I've never heard of that before.
i'd hazard a guess that maybe the belt stiffens a certain way when the back rounds, thus giving sensory feedback to the user...
I find that wearing a belt improves my awareness of my back muscles while I'm lifting or squatting. I don't even bother to tighten the belt--just having it ON reminds me to "watch my back." As long as I consistently remember to think about my back, I avoid injuring it.
I like gloves for bench press. Without them, the heavy bar digs deep into my palms and hurts just enough to distract me from the press. But for pulling movements, the gloves bunch up and cut off circulation in my fingers...ouch...hemmorhoids on a cowboy!
Lifting straps can be really helpful once you get good at using them. I usually give up and use my teeth to get them wrapped tightly. (My dentist workouts out at the same gym so I always look around first.) I know my hand-grip isn't getting much of a workout when I use the straps, but they certainly improve the back.
But the trouble with all these gizmos is the time lost taking them on and off, and just trying to keep up with them during the workout. They can become a real diversion.
Used properly, accessories are compatible with HST.
Probably all accessories beyond weights themselves can be considered optional equipment; how useful they are will depend on more on you than anything else.
Like Massuz says, they [belts, in this case] can make you more aware of your back- I'd add theat a belt can help you stay aware of your abs too. Just feeling the belt can help you stay on the straight and narrow as to form, as long as you don't wear it too tight. You should have a good finger's width of room between the belt and your body so you can feel the difference when you feel your lower back arch out, or your abs fill up. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's sort of like having a trainer's hands on your back and abs, just feeling to make sure you're adhering to good form.
Belts in my opinion are not such a good idea. This is coming from a guy with a very bad low back. I have been able to get my DL (shrug bar) up to 350lbs for 5 with no belt and my SLDL up to 255lbs for 5. Not that those are huge weights, but 5 years ago I was restricted from lifting anything over 15lbs for over a year.
I always think of it this way. I don't and can't always have one with me so if I have to lift something heavy I won't have that "crutch" available. Example, Putting in my landlord's air-conditioner last week. Not that it weighs 350lbs, but I had to carry it up 2 long flights of stairs. My core muscles are used to working unassisted so it was no problem. That's just my experience.
I feel the same about straps also. Get your grip trained properly and you'll never need them.
Gloves I do use though. I don't like picking up my son with huge calouses all over my hands.
I agree with Steve here.
The exercise-related skill that has served me best in real life was finally learning how to lift heavy things properly, which I don't think I would have learned as well or as quickly with a belt.
And I agree with Steve and Edziu as well! I wouldn't suggest using a belt for support at all- only for proprio if you need it for form, and then, ditch the belt ASAP. Like Steve, I've made tremendous gains in my DL without a belt (except for the first two weeks I did them- again, only for proprio, as I don't use a trainer). And to be honest, I feel much stronger for it- you really learn how to recruit those accessory muscles when you go "bareback."
Me too! I only use a belt to hang weights off when Im dipping. Ive got onto some pretty heavy weights with squats and SLDLs without using a belt. Keeping your form right will preent back pain better than any belt ever will.
I did get a few twinges in my lower back but I worked out that was just down to the volume of heavy low back work I was doing (1x Squat, 1X SLDL, 2x BB Row every day). I swapped the BB Rows for DB Rows and the twinges have gone away. So now Im squatting 150kg and SLDLing 140kg with no belt and no back pain whatsoever!
Belts. Pah!! Who needs 'em?
Yeah- me too- although I also use mine for standing calf raises. I don't have a calf raise machine at home, but I do have a rack with pulleys. I can hook my belt up to the low pulleys and step up on the platform, and bingo. But use the belt for anything else? No way...
For bodybuilding, there may be no real use for them. As they dont help increase muscle size.
If you are mixing up your strength training with HST, a belt can be useful, especially once getting into heavy weights. It wont support the back, but it mentally brings it all together.
I hardly ever use my PL belt (1cm thick, 10cm wide leather) and if i do, its for deads/squats only. I occasionally use my small kidney belt for OL or benches (stops me from arching too far, good if my backs playing up)
I dont use gloves at all, but my hands dont callous(?) up much anyway.
I use wristwraps, cos heavy benches hurt my wrists and I occasionally use straps, especailly if I am deadlifting with both hands the same direction.
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