T Nation

Belted Deadlifting


#1

I have a long ago background in powerlifting, after a 20 year lay off I started training again about a year and a half ago. I have been training between PL and Strongman - 5/3/1 for a while, now a 16 week Jug cycle. Things have been moving along just fine.

I generally belt up for squats and dead when it gets to heavy triples and up. It's not a rule, it's just what I look back in my log and see. I have one of the EliteFTS full 4" belts, the basic single prong $120 one.

2 weeks ago I got to the triple's phase in my Jug progression and on like the second rep I got pinched on the back top of my left love handle. I'm pretty full grown at 235'ish but i'm not a giant fatty. As weak sauce as it sounds it was incredibly painful. Finished set, ditched belt, finished workout.

So I thought about belt placement, adjusted it up higher for DL the next week - couldn't get it right - ditched it. This week -- messed around w/ placement -- tried to pull w/ it -- not ok. It's either up into my upper rib cage or it seems like it messes w/ my DL form or something.

So. I am a little short in the torso - am considering a 3" belt or a spud belt or something -- or a 3" spud DL belt. I can certainly DL just fine w/o a belt, but I do feel like I get something out of a belt.

Thoughts?


#2

It’s good that you are able to deadlift fine without it. A 3" belt can help but I think you would get more out of a 4" belt in the long run. I don’t know for sure since I’ve never used a 3" belt.

How do you setup before you pull? Do you grab the bar and set your back right before you initiate the pull? This seems to work fine for me when I pull beltless but it’s harder to get tight doing this with a belt on (for both sumo and conventional). With a belt I find it much easier to get a strong setup by standing while taking in a deep breath, getting the upper body tight and then dipping down to grab the bar. I think I’m able to get in more air doing it this way.

If none of that works, it would be better to get as much out of a 3" belt as you can while starting in a strong position than using a 4" belt and pulling from a shitty position.


#3

I set my feet, then set my hands (opposed grip when going heavier), then i do a quick air exchange, hold that air, flatten back and raise my sight point while back gets flat (takes like 2 count) – when my gaze hits a spot about 10’ in front of me on the floor is about when my back will be flat and i’ll have the slack out, that’s my time to pull. took me five minutes to figure out that that’s what i do and write that, but i think that’s about it.

So what you’re saying here is to get upper body tight before I even go down, thus trying to take out a variable of flattening the back while down there – basically go DOWN with a flat back. this would keep the belt from moving out of the right spot. did i say that right?

yeah – spud makes a women deadlift belt that’s 3" instead of 4". i’m considering grabbing one just to see.

are you guys having your belt higher on your torso when you dead? probably marginally dumb question, but i train alone and there are no gyms here so as dumb as it sounds i don’t have a lot to compare to. I see some youtube hero’s w/ pretty high belt set.


#4

[quote]FlipFlopLife wrote:
So what you’re saying here is to get upper body tight before I even go down, thus trying to take out a variable of flattening the back while down there – basically go DOWN with a flat back. this would keep the belt from moving out of the right spot. did i say that right?
[/quote]

Yeah, you can try that out. It doesn’t take long to figure out exactly where the bar is in space. I don’t look down when I do it because I keep my neck packed.

If that doesn’t work you can try doing what you’re originally doing by grabbing the bar first but this time try to over compensate with tightness in your hip flexors by dipping your hips slightly farther down than where you normally initiate the pull. The only thing to keep in mind with this is you have to keep your shoulders from shooting forward as your hips go back up. I found that this can help with getting the hips really tight.

Do you feel you’re getting the same amount of air with a belt when standing up compared to bending down?


#5

I’ll have to mess w/ that. Good idea and thanks for the suggestion.

I’m also going to conscious place belt a little higher and see how that leaves me.

To answer your question – I don’t know if filling at the top will result in a fuller … fill (?). I don’t really fill the whole way up. I’ll mess w/ that.

I’ve actually been learning a lot about the DL – now that I’m older I can’t pull HARD every week (I can, but my logbook says it doesn’t help). That said – I’m not sure I need to. Further – sets of 8-10 w/ no belt and double overhand don’t necessarily transfer super well to heavier trips/doubles w/ a belt and mixed grip.


#6

I’ve found that a narrower belt is incredibly beneficial for me when I’m deadlifting. I also wear my belt high. In the deadlift, the belt is essentially just there to press against, not for any kind of structural support.


#7

George leeman recommends wearing a belt high for deadlifting. Being the monster that he is- his set up is a bit exaggerated . Higher looking than most would get. I adapted this with my 4" belt and it has done well.

I basically wear it high as possible in the front and low as possible in the back. I am also a person who gets all my air, tight n flatback while standing. .then lower down just enough to grab the bar.

This belt position is also great for my upright squatting. Highbar back squats and front squats.


#8

I purchased a 3 inch belt specifically for deadlifts and it works great. I have made my way back to using my 4 inch belt though. It’s definitely not comfortable, but I get a small but noticeable difference in support.

For what it’s worth, I put the belt on a right below my ribs in the front. I exhale most of my air and then go down and grab the bar, from there the belt is usually digging into my ribs. Once I take a big inhale and push out, the belt moves off my ribs and I’m ready to pull.

Also worth noting, before moving back to the 4 inch belt I lost 5-10 pounds, I think it helped me get into position better. I’m still dieting and am hoping after another 5-10 pounds positioning will get easier.

  • Sean

#9

[quote]barbedwired wrote:
I basically wear it high as possible in the front and low as possible in the back. I am also a person who gets all my air, tight n flatback while standing. .then lower down just enough to grab the bar.
[/quote]

Interesting. I always liked the exact opposite setup.