T Nation

Belt for Deadlifts - Yay or Nay?

I am not really a beginner but guess this is probably the best place to post this.

I am training weights in order to put on weight and improve my strength for BJJ and MMA. I am currently following a slight modification of WS4SB.

I am currently working low rep high (for me) weight deadlifts for a few weeks. When I deadlift, I have never used a belt as I don’t want to have a weak zone in my back when I am fighting (obviously I don’t wear a belt to fight)

On Saturday I strained something in my lower back deadlifting. The root cause for the injury was my ego. I was doing a 5 rep set. On the 3rd rep I felt my lower back round and lost my form. Instead of resetting properly and completing the set with correct form, I lifted through it and felt a small pop in my lower back. Currently taking NSAIDs, resting it and alternating heat and ice.

My question comes from the fact that everyone I have spoken to since hurting myself has asked if I was wearing a belt. None of them are really people I would go to for advice on lifting however it does start to make you question your own assumptions.

So what says the T-Nation Populace on the matter?

Belt or no-belt for Deadlifts? (remember I have no plans to compete in Powerlifting so I actually don’t care too much about the max numbers I lift. I just want to gain strength and size as safely as possible.

I will wear a belt if I am trying for a PR. I never wear one when I am working out. If I need a belt that means I have neglected something I need to strengthen. That is my philosphy any way.

For lower back safety i would definately suggest using a belt on your heavier lifts. Just use it on your last work set or when you start to get into the 1-5 rep range. I only use one after i go over about 400lbs as not to rely on it but just to be safe.

If you feel unsafe then use a belt … I personally have never had any problems w/deadlift and have never used a belt even when trying for a new PR

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t if I felt like I should

I personally haven’t used a belt for years. I slowly weaned myself off of it and now can max out without one at all.

I think you need to keep in mind a belt in some ways is like a knee brace. It doesn;t prevent injury directly per se. It more so reminds you of the proper posture you should have during your set.

It also won’t protect you from ego either. SO give yourself the time to get stronger. If the form is broken it’s time to stop, belt or no belt.

Since you’ve already hurt yourself I would say use the belt for your heavier sets (80-90% 1RM zone). Then slowly wean yourself off for heavier and heavier sets. The main thing for building strength is time and practice. good luck.

[quote]Everlast9489 wrote:
For lower back safety i would definately suggest using a belt on your heavier lifts. Just use it on your last work set or when you start to get into the 1-5 rep range. I only use one after i go over about 400lbs as not to rely on it but just to be safe. [/quote]

x2

I would defintely say ‘nay’.

Your core strength for your sport is so important, I’d train it at every oppurtunity.

Like you say, it was a mistake. The problem was in your head, not in your equipment.

thx for the feedback, seems like I was on the same wavelength as most of you. Will probably wear a belt for a few weeks until the injury is 100% then ditch it again.

And on a side note, this is a good reminder to me that form is everything!

Yeah dude definately focus on good form. I love seeing tool academy “bro’s” in the gym trying to lift shit tons of weight with horrible form. Then when theyre done they walk around like they aren’t in a great amount of pain lol.

I wear it a fashion accesory, and then tighten it up when it’s time to take care of business.

I also do MMA and BJJ, I would say a definite Nay to a belt and straps. Your core and grip are two of your most important things in your sport(s)

[quote]Growing_Boy wrote:
I wear it a fashion accesory, and then tighten it up when it’s time to take care of business. [/quote]

are belts IN this season? i’ve been doing the fanny-pack thing (shrug).

I always have a belt in the car if I need it. I have off and on lower back problems, bulging discs, and I’ll wear it if I need to.

I wouldn’t consider a DL without it.

BG

[quote]LiamBrady wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
I wear it a fashion accesory, and then tighten it up when it’s time to take care of business.

are belts IN this season? i’ve been doing the fanny-pack thing (shrug).[/quote]

Oh yeah, fanny packs and parachute pants are coming back with a vengence!

I only use my belt for lifts at/over 80% of my 1RM

So I’d say to test your strength and find out what your max is, do the math and if you plan on going over that % then snag a belt.

Using a belt for your higher % lifts doesn’t make you weaker, I don’t know who in their right mind would think that.