Men's Health (UK) - - Ask MH -

My gym mate has started us­ing a belt for his dead­lifts. It’s all for show, right?

Not nec­es­sar­ily – though of course I haven’t met the guy. How much is he lift­ing?

I think he’s up to 110kg now Or that’s what he tells me…

For how many reps?

If he’s us­ing it as a pro­tec­tive mea­sure when max­ing out on one to three reps, he might have the right idea. Belts can pro­tect your lower back.

No, this is just for his reg­u­lar ses­sions, maybe 10-12 reps at a time. Poser, see?

It sounds like he’s cheat­ing him­self out of a good core work­out, then. Us­ing a belt will make the lift eas­ier on his abs, as well as his back.

Now that you men­tion it, my back does some­times hurt af­ter a big ses­sion…

Here’s the rule: if you can’t fin­ish a set of dead­lifts with­out break­ing form, you’re lift­ing too much. Go too hard and you’ll limp home.

Dr Rol­land Nemirovsky, sports ther­a­pist

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