T Nation

Deadlifting with a Bench Belt??


#1

First off, I'm going to apologize for those of you who are thinking "this topic has already been brought up!!" - I did my research... half-assed, but I searched and didn't find anything. So sue me.

Anyway, I am definitely finding that, for my body type, as a competing powerlifter, I definitely cannot deadlift properly with a 13-mm thick, 4-inch wide squat belt. I know the next step is to consider using a deadlift belt (the most common I've seen is the Spud Inc belt) but then I think "why not just get a nylon and foam lifting belt... like the kind they sell at wal-mart?"

I like the sturdiness of a leather belt, but I wonder if using a belt as small as a bench belt is actually TOO thin. I'd test it out but I have no access to a bench belt right now.

Anyone tried?


#2

All I use for all 3 lifts is a $16 belt from a common sporting goods store. I have used powerlifting belts in the past with double prongs but this thin weightlifting belt has served me really well. I tend to do a ton of beltless work though as to not depend on it. Just sharing my experience.


#3

If you plan on competing then most likely nylon belts are not an option. I’m not aware of any federations that allow them. I used to have some cheap nylon belt and it really doesn’t provide any support, if belts aren’t your thing you can always go beltless. I know you’re not Konstantinovs, but he pulled over 900 without a belt. I have never used a bench belt either, but it seems too thin to me.


#4

what is your height and weight, and how much are you capable of deadlifting?


#5

Try using a 6.5mm belt.


#6

FWIW, I have found that most folks who say they can’t deadlift with a 4" wide belt, whatever mm thickness usually have them too tight to begin with. The belt should only get ‘tight’ after you take a huge breath and push your air into the belly. Loosen your belt 1 hole and try it. Keep loosening, if necessary, until you find the happy spot. The benefit here is that the more air you have in your belly, the more “pop” you will have off the floor too so it’s a win-win.

You may also be a smaller dude and the 4" is too big for you. But keep in mind most female PL use regular PL belts so you can too, unless you are Frodo. There are options out there, you just have to look around a bit.

If you are lifting in a meet the gear must be approved for use so options are usually limited. If you are just repping sets in your garage use whatever you want obviously. I would encourage to think on WHY gear is built the way it is. It’s that way for a reason and has generally stood the test of time.
You may want to read up on herniations when using smaller belts. I’ve read of guys getting hernias around the thinner belts This is why a powerlifting belt is 4", because it encapsulates the gut, if you will, and provides a good level of support and protection. I would simply go without a belt if my options were only using a bench belt. YMMV of course.

Lastly, is your belt properly broken in? New(ish) PL belts can be a real bitch to work with. But one that is supple is a night and day difference.


#7

My Deadlift Squat “older” broken in belt is a 13mm single prong and works wonderfully.
My NEW ELITEFTS P2 Lever still just destroys me. Not even close to being broken in.

New belts take time to break in and fit properly. Be patient. It is worth it.

Like the previous poster asked " how big are you, how close is your bottom rib to the top of your iliac crest ?

A proper 10mm single prong should work beautifully. A liteweight ? Get a 6.5 mm


#8

[quote]killerDIRK wrote:
My Deadlift Squat “older” broken in belt is a 13mm single prong and works wonderfully.
My NEW ELITEFTS P2 Lever still just destroys me. Not even close to being broken in.

New belts take time to break in and fit properly. Be patient. It is worth it.

Like the previous poster asked " how big are you, how close is your bottom rib to the top of your iliac crest ?

A proper 10mm single prong should work beautifully. A liteweight ? Get a 6.5 mm[/quote]

Funny you say that about the P2, mine broke in within 3 squat sessions and wasn’t ever so firm it bruised.


#9

corstijeir:

Take into account I am 73" tall, 33" waist and weigh 195-198#.

It will take me a while to get it broken in to my ribcage/Saic space.


#10

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
what is your height and weight, and how much are you capable of deadlifting?[/quote]

I’m 6’0", 255 lbs and have hit 435 lbs in competition, 455 lbs in the gym.


#11

I’m 6’0’’ and 255 and the distance from my rib cage to my iliac crest is about 6 inches


#12

Yeah I’m definitely not small haha but those are all valid points. I’ve just read both ways - plenty of notable powerlifters say deadlifting with a 4" belt doesn’t allow enough ROM, but others say it’s simply a matter of where/how you’re wearing the belt. I’ve noticed that when I do get it to work for me, it hurts so bad I kinda save that for the last of my top sets and just struggle through the rest beltless. The answer could very well be that I’m just a little too chubby? My belt’s pretty well broken in so I don’t think that’s the problem either. Regardless, thanks for the insight!


#13

I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.


#14

^ partially this.
Comparing KK and George to basically anyone else is not really practical, is it Flipcollar ?
The amount of time alone that they have invested in Solid Deadlifts means their Erectors and Abs
are probably 2x stronger than anyone else out there. So their non use of a belt at weights that would
break most people is not reasonable.

I am 73" and 198 pounds and hit a 460 Dead Pr on the 2nd of July using my 10mm thick belt.

I will train to 85% without a belt but above 90% the belt goes on.

I also have two 6mm Disc Herniations. One at L4-5 , the other at L5-S1. So take into consideration
i have found assistant work to keep the entire back strong.

Using a belt is only an Adjunct method to help with IAP during the heaviest of my lifts.


#15

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.[/quote]

I’ve got 50lbs and an inch in height on the OP, but I deadlift with a 4 inch belt all the time. I wouldn’t profess to no more than Leeman, but I don’t have a problem with my deadlift. I have also seen guys who are fat as hell who pull a lot conventional. My biggest problem comes from long limbs, not my gut. Frankly, a 255lb 6ft powerlifter is a pretty common sight, and not that fat.

As an example, I also train atlas stones wearing the massive spuds pro deadlift ratchet belt. picture a half sumo where you start with your knuckles on the floor between your feet. If I can do that, you can deadlift.

OP, you might want to try wearing the belt higher. Once in a while I put it on too low and it is uncomfortable to lift that way.


#16

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.[/quote]

I’ve got 50lbs and an inch in height on the OP, but I deadlift with a 4 inch belt all the time. I wouldn’t profess to no more than Leeman, but I don’t have a problem with my deadlift. I have also seen guys who are fat as hell who pull a lot conventional. My biggest problem comes from long limbs, not my gut. Frankly, a 255lb 6ft powerlifter is a pretty common sight, and not that fat.

OP, you might want to try wearing the belt higher. Once in a while I put it on too low and it is uncomfortable to lift that way. [/quote]

What does ‘not having a problem with deadlift’ mean for you? At that weight, I would expect a bare minimum of a 700 deadlift to not consider it to be a problem. So if you can do that, I agree, it’s not a problem.

255lbs and 6’ can be fat, and it can be not fat. At 6’, 255, and a 450 deadlift, I assume the OP is a fat version of 255.

I definitely agree on the idea that playing with belt position is worthwhile. I’ve always worn my belt very low, but have been playing around with a higher position recently, since so many great deadlifters do it.

As a side note, long limbs are favorable in the deadlift. Short torso, long arms, and even long legs can be useful.


#17

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.[/quote]

I’ve got 50lbs and an inch in height on the OP, but I deadlift with a 4 inch belt all the time. I wouldn’t profess to no more than Leeman, but I don’t have a problem with my deadlift. I have also seen guys who are fat as hell who pull a lot conventional. My biggest problem comes from long limbs, not my gut. Frankly, a 255lb 6ft powerlifter is a pretty common sight, and not that fat.

OP, you might want to try wearing the belt higher. Once in a while I put it on too low and it is uncomfortable to lift that way. [/quote]

What does ‘not having a problem with deadlift’ mean for you? At that weight, I would expect a bare minimum of a 700 deadlift to not consider it to be a problem. So if you can do that, I agree, it’s not a problem.

255lbs and 6’ can be fat, and it can be not fat. At 6’, 255, and a 450 deadlift, I assume the OP is a fat version of 255.

I definitely agree on the idea that playing with belt position is worthwhile. I’ve always worn my belt very low, but have been playing around with a higher position recently, since so many great deadlifters do it.

As a side note, long limbs are favorable in the deadlift. Short torso, long arms, and even long legs can be useful.
[/quote]

Nice, love the standards. I am 40 years old, have been training for 3 years and I hit an easy 445 two weeks ago. I was at the RPS State Championship meet a few weeks ago, and the number of 700+ deadlifts there was exactly two.


#18

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.[/quote]

I’ve got 50lbs and an inch in height on the OP, but I deadlift with a 4 inch belt all the time. I wouldn’t profess to no more than Leeman, but I don’t have a problem with my deadlift. I have also seen guys who are fat as hell who pull a lot conventional. My biggest problem comes from long limbs, not my gut. Frankly, a 255lb 6ft powerlifter is a pretty common sight, and not that fat.

OP, you might want to try wearing the belt higher. Once in a while I put it on too low and it is uncomfortable to lift that way. [/quote]

What does ‘not having a problem with deadlift’ mean for you? At that weight, I would expect a bare minimum of a 700 deadlift to not consider it to be a problem. So if you can do that, I agree, it’s not a problem.

255lbs and 6’ can be fat, and it can be not fat. At 6’, 255, and a 450 deadlift, I assume the OP is a fat version of 255.

I definitely agree on the idea that playing with belt position is worthwhile. I’ve always worn my belt very low, but have been playing around with a higher position recently, since so many great deadlifters do it.

As a side note, long limbs are favorable in the deadlift. Short torso, long arms, and even long legs can be useful.
[/quote]

Nice, love the standards. I am 40 years old, have been training for 3 years and I hit an easy 445 two weeks ago. I was at the RPS State Championship meet a few weeks ago, and the number of 700+ deadlifts there was exactly two. [/quote]

I apologize. I didn’t take enough into consideration when I said that, and I sometimes forget how high my standards have become.

You indicated that you’re either SHW or 308 class. Given your training age (and actual age), 450’s pretty good. That would make you a class 2 or 3 lifter in the DL.

I should have said 600 though. That’s a more reasonable number for my standards. I forgot that my own deadlift is considered elite. 600 would be in the Class 1/masters area, which is the level I would begin to say a particular lift is not a problem.


#19

I have always used a 4" 13mm belt for deadlifts and im your height and 275. The problem i assure you is not the belt, just get used to it and use it properly. Like someone else said you probably have it too tight or wearing it in the wrong spot. Getting a 6.5mm belt would also be a good idea, I prefer to do alot of stuff beltless fwiw. Its not an ego thing its just how i get my back stronger and feel like im bracing correclty. And I don’t think I have much trouble with a deadlift in case anyone wonders, ive pulled over 700 multiple times.


#20

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I believe the answer indeed is that you’re too fat to deadlift particularly well. This is fairly common. I heard George Leeman (a 900 lbs deadlifter) talk about this recently. When he was younger, he believed that as long as he trained hard he could gain as much weight as he wanted and would continue to progress on the deadlift indefinitely. This turned out not to be the case. His leverages became unfavorable when he gained too much fat, and he got substantially weaker on the deadlift. He’s lost a lot of weight, and subsequently has become the strongest American deadlifter.

My conclusion is that, if you really want to do what’s best for your lifts, you will lose fat and fix your ‘body type’, rather than try to find a belt to compensate for your currently poor leverages. For now, you don’t necessarily even NEED a belt. KK has deadlifted over 900 without one. If you have to go to such a flimsy nylon/foam belt, I don’t really see the point. It won’t do what you need a belt to do.[/quote]

I’ve got 50lbs and an inch in height on the OP, but I deadlift with a 4 inch belt all the time. I wouldn’t profess to no more than Leeman, but I don’t have a problem with my deadlift. I have also seen guys who are fat as hell who pull a lot conventional. My biggest problem comes from long limbs, not my gut. Frankly, a 255lb 6ft powerlifter is a pretty common sight, and not that fat.

OP, you might want to try wearing the belt higher. Once in a while I put it on too low and it is uncomfortable to lift that way. [/quote]

What does ‘not having a problem with deadlift’ mean for you? At that weight, I would expect a bare minimum of a 700 deadlift to not consider it to be a problem. So if you can do that, I agree, it’s not a problem.

255lbs and 6’ can be fat, and it can be not fat. At 6’, 255, and a 450 deadlift, I assume the OP is a fat version of 255.

I definitely agree on the idea that playing with belt position is worthwhile. I’ve always worn my belt very low, but have been playing around with a higher position recently, since so many great deadlifters do it.

As a side note, long limbs are favorable in the deadlift. Short torso, long arms, and even long legs can be useful.
[/quote]

Nice, love the standards. I am 40 years old, have been training for 3 years and I hit an easy 445 two weeks ago. I was at the RPS State Championship meet a few weeks ago, and the number of 700+ deadlifts there was exactly two. [/quote]

I apologize. I didn’t take enough into consideration when I said that, and I sometimes forget how high my standards have become.

You indicated that you’re either SHW or 308 class. Given your training age (and actual age), 450’s pretty good. That would make you a class 2 or 3 lifter in the DL.

I should have said 600 though. That’s a more reasonable number for my standards. I forgot that my own deadlift is considered elite. 600 would be in the Class 1/masters area, which is the level I would begin to say a particular lift is not a problem. [/quote]

I’d agree on 600lbs. The internet standards can be a little unrealistic, and I kind of lumped your (flipcollar) response into it. One of the 275’ers in my gym hit 605 in the meet, and it was a really big deal…and our gym has a lot of pro strongman and elite powerlifters.

When I said, “not a problem” I meant that performing the lift with good form, with a belt give this SHW fat bastard no problems. On my worst, most bloated achy day-cause-I-am-old by some standards, I can still do it comfortably, and every time.

I should also have said that my training is more strongman focused, so deadlift is important, but it almost an accessory movement. I don’t max on it very often, because through events I work my posterior chain every time I am in the gym. I think with focus and based on the 445 lift (the feels) I think 500 is attainable in the short term with some focus, and 600 is a realistic goal for 2016.