Would it make more sense to use more weight when squatting and deadlifting and use a belt or to not use a belt and use less weight?
If you can lift a healthy amount of weight with good form and keeping your belly pushed out to add assistance to the lift, then you don't need a belt.
Weight and the belt should have virtually no correlation between the two.
Jim Wendler, 531 Method"Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
I think its ok to use a belt. Even Mark Rippetoe in his book says you will not LOSE core strength when you use a belt....if he says its ok, then its ok for me.
I use a belt on ALL my heavy squat sets...reason being is that I have had back problems in the past and to me its not worth the risk of ****ing my back up again. Sure, you can still **** it up using a belt...but if you have good form + a belt, your odds are a lot lower of having an injury IMO.
I was actually using it on warm up sets when I was rehabbing back but now I just use it on heavy sets. I would take it off on your warm up sets and only use it on heavy sets to start out..then you can gradually phase it out 1 set at a time.
Actually before I ****ed my back up, I did it by feel..when I was doing starting strength and squatting heavy 3 times a week, I would use it only on my last set because I was extremely fatigued.
I squat with a belt on, but I deadlift without it. If you can lift more then by all means, use it. Just keep that in mind it won't protect you from injuries.