So here I am, writing down everything I know about Training Belts. If you do spend some time in the gym, or you’re a crossfitter, olympic lifter, powerlifter, bodybuilder, or just a casual gym goer with a deep thirst for some understanding of why those fat guys strap themselves in before sucking in as much air as they can and benching some stupid amount of weight for 1 rep with an 8cm range of movement - this one’s for you.
How long does it take to form a habit? How about an addiction? How many times must I perform an activity to cement it in muscle memory? And, how long does it take something to become monotonous, especially if I’m just doing the same thing over and over again?
And why does any of that matter?
During the time that I wasn’t adding some kind of direct bicep stimulation into my programs, I did a range of different training types, and none of them seemed to me as sports in which I needed bulging biceps to excel. As I look back now at the training I’ve done in the past and the ways I could have improved it, one of the things I wonder is if doing some kind of isolated bicep training would have been beneficial.
Volunteering – It’s like your first “LIVE” hand grenade throwing range experience. It’s a bit scary, you’re relying on others NOT to screw up. It can be funny (like the guy who let go on the downward swing in front of himself and everyone); then a run for dear life, a dive and three guys piling onto the Sergeant behind the sandbags. Then, the swear words and the usual debriefing - it happens!
Never Volunteer for Anything: “Nunquam Voluntarius Pro Quisquam”
Initially, I had a whole range of different reactions to this perspective. As an infantry veteran who spent a significant period of his early adult life learning the specifics of various weapon systems, and subsequently teaching these to countless new soldiers as an Australian infantry instructor - I found it very difficult to see a correlation between civilian mass shootings, gun control debates, and images of soldiers on operations overseas. As a professional soldier, the importance of weapon safety, the lives of your mates, and the rules of engagement are drilled into you with every training scenario or learning opportunity. For a link to be considered between a supplementary image on an article post and the mass shootings overseas was deeply insulting.
“I can’t do anything because I’m injured/sick.”
This is a wake up call for every combat soldier spending 2 hours in the gym a day getting worse at their job.
I left 6 years in Infantry with a deployment to Afghanistan, a year training soldiers at the School of Infantry, more life experiences than I can poke a stick at, some of the best mates I’ll ever know, and a body riddled with injuries. The “demands of the job” is an excuse I have made a thousand times before when my body began to fall apart after long walks carrying over 70% of my own bodyweight, poorly sized equipment, thousands of hours training uncomfortable weapon positions and practicing combat drills all over the worst locations Australia, America and Afghanistan had to offer. Unfortunately like every gym goer with an ego and access to a mirror, my primary focus was on the front of my body.
Take it from us, if you’re after longevity and excellence in a combat role, stop using the mirror to assess progress and start working on your posterior chain.