A weightlifting belt is extremely beneficial for providing spinal support during heavy lifting. The belt warms the tissues, supports, and decreases injury of the back during heavy loads. In theory, it may seem that everyone should wear a belt all the time. However, if used too often, a weightlifting belt can weaken the core muscles and can sometimes lead to back pain. There is a muscle in the body called the transverse abdominis (TVA). This muscle acts as a natural weight belt, which supports and stabilizes the spine. Wearing a belt shuts off and decreases recruitment of this core muscle. Worn for prolonged periods of time, over usage, or dependency can lead to weakening of the lower back and pain can develop. The body needs to be strong without the reliance of a weight belt and this will prevent strain and injury.
Purpose and Rationale:
Active recovery days are intended to be a recovery day for the mind and body. On these days the intensity should be low and time spent in the gym should be less than usual. This helps aid in recovery while improving performance over time. Active recovery days are usually 20 to 60 minutes in duration. The recovery session can consist of light cardio, stretching, recovery techniques, and corrective/pre-hab exercises. It will provide a mental boost to maximize full training days. This will decrease the “burn out” effect in which you become tired, weak, and lose the desire to train. It’s impossible to train everyday for a long period of time without running into complications. The body needs to recharge and heal itself from the demands of training, life, and other stresses. Recovery days can flush out toxins from the body and restore tissues in the body.
There’s a saying you might have heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
The front rack position of a lift is an important aspect and could determine how successful you are with your lifts. Depending on what lift you are doing, the front rack position may vary. The front rack position for a press or jerk is different than that of a front squat or clean.
When performing high repetition Olympic lifting workouts, incorporating touch-and-go (TNG) repetitions/barbell cycling can be helpful in getting more work done in a shorter amount of time. TNG reps can be performed by simply “gripping and ripping” the barbell but this will usually lead to inefficiency, and fatigue will usually set in fairly quickly. There is an art to barbell cycling aka TNG and, as with most skills, it takes practice and repetition to become efficient at it. Below are some tips to keep in mind when performing TNG reps.
The color of your urine can often be a great indicator of your hydration level. Light color urine typically indicates that you are well hydrated, while darker urine may indicate that you are dehydrated. The dark color of the urine is due to the fact that water levels in the body are depleted.
The deadlift set-up is an important piece for building strength in pulling weight from the ground. Foot placement, hand placement, hip placement, and muscle tension all play a key role in a proper set-up for a deadlift. Set-ups may vary for different variations of deadlifts but the checklist remains the same. In order to improve strength, it is important to make sure that you not only have a proper set-up, but that you practice that proper set-up each and every time you go to pick up the bar. Here is our checklist for a proper deadlift set-up:
Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) should be a methodically planned process with a purpose. Going in without a plan or targeting areas of the body that are not tight is a waste of time. I’ve experienced great success incorporating SMR techniques in my warm-up. This video highlights the SMR techniques that have worked, helping me to compete at a high level, release muscle tension and pain, and win the CrossFit Games. Hopefully, this video gives you more ideas, warm ups, and recovery techniques.