T Nation

Belted Vs. Unbelted

Is squatting or deadlifting without a belt better than squatting with a belt? Which one is better and why?

And is squatting or deadlifting without a belt more dangerous? Can not using a belt stunt growth??

Thanks.

Yes

NO

I always use a belt for anything at or above 80-85% of my max.

I don’t think you should always use one. But it definately won’t hurt when you’re chasing heavy ass weight.

Belts do not stunt growth, unless you wear them vertically under your crotch and over your shoulder (for years on end).

Train without a belt for as long as you can. This will be years, not sets, mkay?

I know using a belt causes the core muscles to not get worked. But I’m doing a PowerWheel workout 3x a week.
And I’m also doing hanging leg raises, russian trunk twists, upper trunk twists, situps and planks 3x a week.

Will not wearing a belt really matter for me?

your question has already been answered…!!!

I’ve never used a belt. But my weights lifted are nothing like many of the posters here.

Go with personal preference. But I say, avoid if you can,.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
Belts do not stunt growth, unless you wear them vertically under your crotch and over your shoulder (for years on end).

Train without a belt for as long as you can. This will be years, not sets, mkay?[/quote]

I disagree with this. Years without a belt? It’s simple, only wear for your heaviest sets,and try to increase the weight you can handle without a belt

I agree with Ghost22 and Miserere.

I used to wear a belt all the time, and as soon as I tried squatting without it, even with relatively light weights my back would get real sore and tight.

I gradually weaned myself off from using the belt and now my back feels great when I squat or deadlift.

I still use my belt though, but only when I’m doing a max effort squat/dead day and when I get close to my max. Even then I try to see how far I can go without it.

If you’ve been using it and you decide to use it less, you should definitely do so gradually so your body has time to adjust and recuperate.

The other ab work won’t negatively effect it.

I can lift more with a belt. Is that normal? Or should I be able to lift the same with or without belt?

my personaly opionion is not to wear a belt at all.

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
I can lift more with a belt. Is that normal? Or should I be able to lift the same with or without belt?[/quote]

You should be able to lift more with the belt.

While I do agree with the other posts as far as using a belt for heavier (near max) lifts, you should also consider the relative strength and training experience of the individual.

Take an experienced 185-190 lb lifter: An 85% squat for someone with a 330 lb max (280.5) is questionable for me while a 90% for that same max (297) I would say definitely requires a belt.

I would definitely not reccomend using a belt for someone at the same weight with less training experience using high effort (85-90%) weights when the max is much less (lets say 250 lb 1RM).

Training without a belt as one gains training experience and begins to approach their max POTENTIAL for strength forces you to use proper lfting form.

Had I used a belt in my erlier training years, I could probably have squatted mch higher weights using worse form that are nowhere near 70% of my maxes now.

In short (much like everyone else said)- Use a belt only when neccessary- but also be smart about it!

I’m just scared that I might be overworking my core compared to the rest of my body…

Because I’m already doing additional core work.

I should think its hard to overwork your core. Don’t worry about it too much. The core strength benefits from squatting and deadlifting without a belt will far outweigh any isolated ab exercises you do separately.

Sounds like your majoring in the minors. If you’re not get stronger month to month and apporaching a respectable level of strength then throw all this BS theorizing out the window and just get stronger.

When I use a belt it helps me push my abs out more. I dont see how the belt is making my abs weak. Also I dont see how the belt prevents injuries, maybe its got something to do with that first sentence.

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
I’m just scared that I might be overworking my core compared to the rest of my body…

Because I’m already doing additional core work.[/quote]

You just bought an expensive belt and now you’re looking for a reason to wear it.

Admit it ! ! !

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
I’m just scared that I might be overworking my core compared to the rest of my body…

Because I’m already doing additional core work.[/quote]

too much core work - that’s a new one.

Everyone make sure to get out of the way as the pendulum swings back to the opposite extreme

[quote]wrestler189 wrote:
When I use a belt it helps me push my abs out more. I dont see how the belt is making my abs weak. Also I dont see how the belt prevents injuries, maybe its got something to do with that first sentence.[/quote]

I think I remember a Dave Tate article talking about how wearing a belt a couple of notches loose will help you learn how to push your abs out and keep proper posture.

There’s a pretty good little chapter in Stuart McGill’s Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance (http://www.backfitpro.com/) about the use of belts in lifting. It’s also a great book for back health.