Sorry for this nub question...
When I started training I was using a belt for every set of squats. Some guy came up to me and told me that that really takes away from making my back stronger. Since then, I have blindly followed his advice. For the last 2 years I havent even put one on. Not even during maxes, and so far, my back hasnt had any issues handling weights during squats although I do high bar olympic squats.
Should I be using it sometimes or should I just forget about it?
Belts help by adding stability to your spine/abdominal cavity. It gives your abs something to flex against, allowing them to flex harder. It also helps keep your back from rounding.
It makes a lift safer. If you can lift a weight with good form without a belt, do it. As you start moving serious amounts, a belt is probably more useful and safe.
My 10 week cut results
"Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."
"The deadlift is more functional in that itís very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip
Max 3x5 Goal 3x5 by 12/31/11 *1X5
Bench (245) (275) 285x1x1 335
Dead (385)* (445) 435x1x1 505
Squat (320) (355) 355X1X1 405
Squat (195) (275) 20 Reppers!
(950) (1075) 1075 1245 Goals (Not including 20 reps)
5'10" 288Lbs 02/01/2011 Goal Weight 230 On my way back from a Break!
I have never used a belt doing anything. I don't have very impressive lifts but I believe in 100% raw lifting. And I know using a belt is still "raw" but that's just how I prefer to train.
Most people pray for a lighter load in life...ever thought of praying for a stronger back?
Goals as of 2/08/11 (current) goal:
Squat: (505) 535, Deadlift: (475) 500, Bench: (325) 350 Total: 1305 (1385)
BW: 225 as of 02/01/2011 Goal: 205 by May 1, 2011
I only use a belt on triples or heavier. My thought has always been that the carryover from the belt allows me to overload the muscles I'm training more, without having to worry about core weakness.
I haven't used a belt in years.
Just don't find them necessary.
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."
For people doing casual or bodybuilder training, then a belt is not necessary. For powerlifting you definitely need one of these :-
i have never used a belt and my dead lifts and squats are well over 450, useing proper technique i dont see the point of useing a belt
I've never used a belt either, if I ever feel my form slipping or that I might benefit from it I'll definitely pick one up. Until then, it's unnecessary for me.
22 - 5'10@236lbs!
Bench - 325 (old)
Squat - 455x2 (old)
Deadlift - 500(old)
Total: 1280lbs 100% raw
The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.
I'm against using belts unless you're pushing some big weight, or have a pre-existing limitation. Just like using ankle braces without an injury, I'm a firm believer that it will actually make your supporting muscles weaker by relying on the belt....which in time could lead to an injury doing something mundane.
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
You don't need a belt, but wearing one will make your abs stronger than they otherwise would be over time (because wearing a belt makes your abs work harder). I think it's a quality investment.
There are tons of low-back problems in lifting. I see wearing a belt a lot like I see wearing a seatbelt.
It's better to have it and not need it... than to need it and not have it.
I keep good form on my maxes without it. I dont count a weight lifted as a max if its done without good form. I am not competing so there is no gain for me to lift my 1rm with less than great form. So far, I cant see a reason to use it as long as I can keep my back straight myself. I may experiment to see though. I can see by pushing out your abs how it would tuck your back in when wearing it.
I was reading an article once by Dave Tate were he talked about how he had just bombed out on a squat in a meet. Louie Simmons came up to him and told him to tighten his belt down, take a deep breath of air, and push his stomach out. He did it and got the weight. I tried it and its very effective. You can definetly lift more weight using a belt than not, and for that reason when I start going to higher %'s I use a belt. I'd rather lift more weight plain and simple.
ďAs to the methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.Ē
Yep, same here.I've never used a belt either, if I ever feel my form slipping or that I might benefit from it I'll definitely pick one up. Until then, it's unnecessary for me.
6'2 - 105kg (231lb)
Op made a great point on proper form to be considered a max. I hate hearing people say they can squat so much weight when they dont even squat, they just bend their knees. I have never used a belt nor chalk. Although, I am well on my way to purchasing some. Chalk that is.
All lifts are raw:
Dead lift: 500(max)
... Although I am aware that some much bigger and stronger people have never used a belt and managed just fine.
I never wear a belt.
Currently, I don't use a belt. I've considered one and may do so, but it's not an immediate concern.
Both schools of thought have validity and ultimately it boils down to preference. I use straps
For some of my heavier deadlift sets and try to increase the poundages for my raw sets as well.
I know that's blasphemy in some circles but (as others noted) my rationale is I'd rather tax
my back, legs, etc. To get stronger than have my grip weakness hold my back when the muscles
Are strong enough to do the lift.
I realize grip is very important and try to focus attention there as well however. If I applied the
Same logic to a belt I'd guess I would have one though now wouldn't I? I'm very confused.