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Thread: Is it bad to never use a belt?

  1. #1
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    Is it bad to never use a belt?

    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?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighwood View Post
    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.
    This is a quality statement.

    I do all my warmup sets with out a belt and do all my work sets and 1rm maxes with one. Seems to provide the best of both worlds.
    "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

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  4. #4
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tnathletics2b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny99 View Post
    This is a quality statement.

    I do all my warmup sets with out a belt and do all my work sets and 1rm maxes with one. Seems to provide the best of both worlds.
    I do the same. Works well for me.
    Most people pray for a lighter load in life...ever thought of praying for a stronger back?

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Beverly McD.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighwood View Post
    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.
    Good post!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Justin R's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    I haven't used a belt in years.

    Just don't find them necessary.
    "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."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member achilles89's Avatar
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    For people doing casual or bodybuilder training, then a belt is not necessary. For powerlifting you definitely need one of these :-


  10. #10
    Wannabebig Member george78's Avatar
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    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

  11. #11
    Wannabebig Member achilles89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by george78 View Post
    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
    Are you a powerlifter or do you train with any PLers who reach poundages 3x BW?

  12. #12
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    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!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member kmagnuss's Avatar
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    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

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny99 View Post
    This is a quality statement.

    I do all my warmup sets with out a belt and do all my work sets and 1rm maxes with one. Seems to provide the best of both worlds.
    Do this. If you're still worried about "core" weakness, do some extra ab and low back work besides squatting.

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Beverly McD.'s Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
    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.
    Can you explain how a belt will make your abs work harder?
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  18. #18
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by StormTheBeach View Post
    I think I am just going to start posting dick pictures on here until this thread gets deleted.
    18% BF down from 25%+ since April. Halfway to abs.

    Current 1200+ gym total. 214 lbs 5'10.5" 36.5" waist.

    Working on correcting some imbalances at the moment.

  19. #19
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    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

  20. #20
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    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.
    Yep, same here.

  21. #21
    Thus I Refute Thee !!!! Bodyguard's Avatar
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    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.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly McD. View Post
    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 like this. This is one of those things everyone will disagree on. My current thinking is that lifting with a belt should help add weight to the bar, and adding weight to the bar will make me stronger and bigger. Plus its safer, and make my abs work harder. I also think there is a technique to getting the most out of a belt, so if it messes with your technique, then you should keep using it until it helps instead of writing it off.

  23. #23
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    ... Although I am aware that some much bigger and stronger people have never used a belt and managed just fine.

  24. #24
    Wannabebig New Member
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    I never wear a belt.

  25. #25
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    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.

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