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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

I saw T Floyd wear a weightlifting belt when working dogs a few years ago at seminar. I was wondering if any other helpers else see value in it, either when working the dogs or the day after I'm starting to have some lower back pain the day after club and I'm not even the primary helper, rather the understudy. I've spoken to an MMA trainer who is training his GSD in the sport and he felt that I'd be much more advised to train my core, which would do the same thing as the belt, for free, can't be forgotten at home, etc. Not that I disagree with him, but he was talking about 2-4 sets of 100 or maore reps of 2 types of ab work per day (well he is a MMA trainer) and I simply don't have that kind of time with 4 dogs to attend to, a SchH dog in training, normal "life responsiblities" and a full time job. With everything else I'm lucky to carve out time to go tracking in the AM and do OB in the evening. I'm wondering, if I can actually squeeze a few more minutes out of my day if it wouldn't be better served doing cardio (also very useful when working dogs) or formal weight training? I guess Iím thinking about "best bang for my buck" regarding which area of fitness to focus on and what (if any) advantages come from working dogs with a weightlifting belt on. Also, any disadvantages?

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-Calvin
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 04:03 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

I'm a competitive natural bodybuilder, so I have a little experience in this area.

The MMA trainer is right: a weightlifting belt will work to a degree, but it won't be a cure-all. Those belts are primarily used during weightlifting for two reasons: 1) to increase the hydrostatic pressure in your lower back which can prevent injuries and 2) stabilization due to "forcing" your back to maintain proper form, which includes your spine and spinal erectors.

I assume your back is hurting from constant bending over or arching of your back. A belt such as this is actually designed (for the most part) to prevent arching of your spine/erectors. This is slightly generalized, but is pretty accurate.

I would definitely follow the MMA trainer's suggestion. Work on your abs, as well as your lower back strength. It really would only take 15 minutes a day. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll increase strength in those two areas.

It will definitely make your training sessions much more enjoyable.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 04:40 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

I know people who wear a supportive back brace when doing helperwork, not an actual weight lifting belt.

Trish Campbell

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

You need to strengthen your core which weight lifting will do. I disagree, though, with the MMA trainer's suggestions. You would be far better off with 2-4 sets with 6-10 reps. Most of the work I do also works my core and then I do weighted crunches once per week. My core strength has increased tremendously. You can also get away with weight lifting 3X per week though working 5 days per week (not the same body parts every day) is an option.

Cardio will help burn fat, build endurance, and make working the dogs far easier.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 06:55 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

BTW, IMO the weight belt is a crutch. My husband was a power lifter and he only used his belt when lifting extreme weights.

Lisa Clark

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 07:08 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

I am clueless about the fitness regime BUT I have seen helpers wearing a weight belt or a back brace of some sort...even the ones made for riders would probably give you some support...

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 08:37 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

I have found when my back bothers me, it is because I have not stretched enough. There are exercises you can do to stretch your legs and lower back and you should do them every day if you are working dogs. It only takes a few minutes and you can do them while you are at training. Since you are the second string as far as the club helper, I think it is probably even more important since you are more of a weekend athlete than the guy doing the majority of the training.
When I make a point to stretch daily, I feel MUCH better working dogs. I agree with the other comments about working on your abbs, that certainly does help and I agree with Lisa, you do not have to do as many as the guy at your club said. I am not really a fan of back belts, seems like a quick fix vs doing the things you should be doing to stay healthy...like stretching and working on your core. If you think about the impact your body takes when a dog hits you, I think it might make sense how important it is to keep your muscles" loose" . You are more likely to get injured when your muscles are tight and more likely to hurt the next day when you don't stretch.
Since I am no longer a spring chicken, I pay alot more attention to this stuff than I used to and I am still working dogs after 33 years, so, something is working...not to mention, I'm a girl...(although girls do handle pain better than the guys ).


Recently, I am feeling problems in my shoulders, so, now I have to be sure to stretch that part and warm up now as well. I am also working on weights to keep the muscles in shape. You can look up stretching exercises on the internet. I am willing to bet you will feel 100 % better if you make a point to stretch....I know I do.
My biggest fear is hurting myself and no longer being able to work dogs as the helper. When I started doing the two things I mentioned above, the difference was more than noticible in how I felt after training.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 09:00 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: lhczthBTW, IMO the weight belt is a crutch. My husband was a power lifter and he only used his belt when lifting extreme weights.
Agreed.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

Agreed Lisa. It is a crutch. The work on the core is huge. And Anne's point on stretching is critical.

Married to a 56 year old helper, still actively working dogs in the helper work, local to WUSV dogs, and no weight belt.

We have a great massage guy in the area that gets a workout when he works on Gabor

Gabor's thing is to get back into running, swimming, stretching, He gets a good cardio workout with the dogs, but needs to get more in the upper body work.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 09:20 PM
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Re: Helpers: wear a weightlifting belt working dogs?

Gabor's question - how do you know what the helper is wearing if you are not looking under their clothing?


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