Not exactly sure if this is where this belongs but the beginners area seemed best as it involves my initial goals I set for myself.
Yesterday I finally got my DL over 400. In doing so I also got my 3 major lifts total above 1000 (Bench-275; Squat-355, Deads-410). I'm happy with this so far since 14 months ago I was 152lbs (currently 192.5) and I didn't squat or do deadlifts. My new goals I've set for b/s/d are 3/4/500 although I'm not too sure how realistic this is.
I do have a few questions that I was hoping could get cleared up. If I am looking to keep increasing these numbers is there an optimal % of max that would be best to lift or is the thought of lifting the max your body can handle for a given rep count better?
Also I have a very deep muscle aches in my butt and hammies. Is it safe to assume that this is from the DL's since this is the only thing I lifted heavy yesterday? And the last thing that I can think of that I wanted to ask was, what does everyone use when DLing? I'm only using chalk which I just started using about 2 months ago after I ripped off 3 callouses on my palm when the bar slipped. Should I be also using a belt? I was told that I can seriously injure my back if I don't but I've never had back pain when DLing other than those first 2 months after I first started.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.