T Nation

Getting 50 Pounds Out of My Belt


So heres my question, Weather its a front squat, back squat, or a deadlift it seems I get 50-70 pounds out of my belt, I just don't understand why so much, and I'm not talking a hug 13mm stiff as belt, just a normal old leather belt in the gym. so I have two main questions

  1. I play a sport in college at a very high level and its important that these is my number one priority when lifting, it pays for my school etc.. could I benefit from more core work and what kind of core work would you recommend, is my core weak and is that why I get so much out of a belt

  2. if I did increase my core strength if these is a major weakness, would that help my belted squat also?


Stronger "core" = better everything.

Belted squats are usually a good bit higher than beltless due to increased intra abdominal pressure.

Stronger the body beltless, stronger the body belted. Just keep working on your squat with a belt on and keep working on your ab strength.

You don't have to exclude 1 to include the other.


Forget about belt / beltless ratios, it doesn't matter. Instead, try some different lifts to supplement your main strength work: loaded carries, heavy for short distances; front squat variations, such as no arms (zombie) and partials from pins; strongman lifts if possible, i.e. atlas stones, sandbag lifts and carries, farmer's walk, etc. and also things like Zercher squats (I'm doing these at the moment and they seem to be great for the abs and upper back).

Basically, push your lifts up with belted training, and train for other types of movement (which should help your sport, although you didn't mention what it is) with other exercises. If you have any obvious weakness (abs, lower back, hamstrings, whatever), consider correcting it with some extras, but simply doing a ton of ab pulldowns or something isn't going to help you.

EDIT: I guess your username solves the mystery of what sport you play! XD


You can either be human, or you can be a freak

Most people get like you said 50-70 lbs on their lift by using a belt. In my case, the belt helps me a lot, even more than it helps you. If you learn to brace properly early on and lift without a belt, you develope your core and don't need a belt. Look at Eddie Hall, that guy Big Boy from C.T. FLetcher's videos. You need to learn to brace so that you can give your maximal on the field.

Do anti-rotation, anti-extension and so on exercises. Do vacuums even (I feel as tho they help a lot with learning to brace properly) Hit your obliques like crazy. Do carries and overhead lifts without a belt, but don't let your ego get the best of you.

strong core = easy life


Appreciate that, I might really hit some ab roll outs, and all kinds of anti rotation stuff, might do a training cycle without a belt too


It sounds a bit like ab/lower back weakness, or just not knowing how to brace. I personally get like 10-15 pounds out of using an incredibly strong 13mm belt.

As far as what to do about it I'd say do: a ton of front squats and goodmornings, farmer carries, overhead carries, sled pulls/pushes, suitcases deadlifts, one arm deadlifts, side bends and ab rollouts. I also wouldn't recommend cutting out belted training completely, I'd just recommend starting to push on your warm up sets what you do without a belt.

As the others had said, big core=big strength, you can't push the people on the line with some marshmellow fluff core that crumples when you get shoved. Also it might be worthwhile to do some neck/trap training since your sport has a massive concussion risk. You can do extensions/curls with your neck with a towel and weight held on your head (high reps, low weight, don't push to failure obviously), and bends to the sides with bands, etc. A strong neck/traps helps keeps your head from whipping around which is what causes concussions (more or less).