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Strength Training For Life…No Room For Crutches Here!

Strength Training For Life…No Room For Crutches Here!

Crutches by Scoobyfoo

So the other day I had a couple of newbies start out with me during a beginner’s strength and conditioning session. I had them performing the ever beloved functional wall squat or as I like to state the face the wall squat. Unlike most usual squatting drills when involving the wall most people face away from it. With the face the wall squat you are…yep you guessed it, facing the wall! The point of the drill is to enforce proper moving technique for the squat exercise. As I was using certain cues to touch on certain trigger points to help them refine their technique I noticed a back brace on one of the students. As it turned out both were wearing the same thing. To learn what happened next continue reading!

Crutches Come In Many Forms!!!

So where did I leave off. Oh yeah, I noticed a sort of back brace or harness on one of the students. So I proceeded to ask the guy “Is there some sort of medical reason as to why you are wearing this?” Because obviously they hadn’t told me before when checking for other medical reasons that I should know about before starting to train. His response, “No.” Ok, so I asked “Why are you wearing it if there is no medical reason as to why you should be?” I mean you never know these days folks have medical prescriptions for everything. He replied, “Just because it will protect my back. Plus I can sweat and lean out.” “Umm, Ok let me set the facts straight,” I quickly replied.

250 x 250 New Year

So I quickly let them both know that they were wasting their time with this so-called sweat back brace device. Without slapping anybody up side the head I quickly let them know that they were using the brace as a sort of crutch and that being dependent on something when they didn’t have to be was a waste of effort, energy, production, and perhaps a little of their money. The bottom line is that they got the picture, but what got them to thinking that is what intrigues me the most. From that point on I didn’t get a chance to ask them because I was too busy trying to amp up their strength training session to teach them about what really works.

I mean I don’t specifically know what would’ve caused their line of thinking to head in that direction, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Yes, this blogisode is going to cover yet another effective but lazy marketing strategy aimed towards the fitness industry that I like to refer to as false crutching.  Wow that’s two pretty cool terms I’ve hit on in less than a paragraph, blogisode and false crutching. Am I the first to coin these terms? I don’t know, but you can feel free to tell everyone that I did!

Anyways, examples of false crutching can be seen everywhere. Case in point…

A False Crutch

Sketchers Shape Ups by shoegalfi

Yes, these particular types of shoes alone aren’t going to help you lose 20 lbs. However if you happen to be wearing them and get off of your ass to go out for a 5 mile walk 2 to 3 times/week for the first time since middle school and you happen to be sporting these bad boys then sure you’ll probably experience some weight loss. However, that is due to the obvious getting off of your ass for the first time since middle school, and not from the shoes, that got you those weight loss results. The shoe is a false crutch. Air Jordans didn’t help my vertical jump for sh*t so I know these bad boys aren’t going to shed the inches off of your waistline, not to mention the fact that my strength training sessions during deadlifting wouldn’t go so well with these on.

If you are going to go with a true shoe to train in then try these…

Not A False Crutch

Vibram Fivefingers by Crystene Prokop

Here’s another one to log into your strength training book of knowledge…

More Often Than Not, A False Crutch

Dive 044 by Travis S.

Yes, the good ole weight belt. Is this a false crutch? Just like the line above I would say YES. More often than not the good ole weight belt has been used as a false crutch for strength training sessions for years. Now having said that I’m not advocating that perhaps there is absolutely no use at all for the weight belt. I mean If you are about to pull a 700 or 800 lb. deadlift I’m not going to argue with you. However, if you are a gym rat strutting up and down the floor of the gym kissing your biceps with the weight belt strapped to your waist trying to look like Johnny Bravo I am saying that it is a crutch for your strength training program.

Johnny Bravo…Not A False Crutch, Just A Cool Cartoon Dude

Johnny Bravo by seriesdelosnoventa

 The fact still remains that even the world’s strongest man Paul Anderson (aka The King Of Squat) had been known to squat 900 lbs. for 10 rep sets and never used a weighted belt. The benefit of properly applied strength training technique along with the development of solid core stability gives you all the support you need and then some. I think that the false crutch marketing idea gives folks a reason to purchase something that they believe will help them by putting forth the least amount of effort possible. Those folks don’t generally stick around to read my blog for too long unless they can be reformed! The cool thing is that I know you are the exception unless you are one of the ones being reformed. You are also now familiar with these false crutches if you weren’t before.

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The bottom line is that you’ve got to train smart and to do that I can help you out. You can take the first step by signing up to join my emailing list right here for FREE. You get tons of FREE stuff for doing so, plus you can be cool like Johnny Bravo! Also if you weren’t aware of this before or missed it at the beginning of the blog page you can now subscribe to me to receive my blog on your Amazon Kindle! 

That’s right, you can now receive my blog directly to your digital reader to view every week. The product has already gotten close to a dozen reviews and if you have followed my blog regularly I’m asking you to help a strength coach out by writing your customer review as well! It helps to fund my ability to keep hammering out this powerful strength training content for you to have on a weekly basis. Your input is greatly appreciated and if you don’t then I will finish my strength training session by throwing a kettlebell through your kitchen door! Of course, that was just a joke. Maybe? Keep training smart my friend.



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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