T Nation

I'm a Better Squatter Without a Belt


#1

Ok, I’m 19 I’ve been training for 2 years and I train DoggCrapp style, I’ve been progressing very well on my squat and managed to buy a nice genuine lever belt, the same width all around…

So I can use this belt for Deadlifting and OHP’s but I’m a very weak squatter with it, I’m not sure if there is a certain place to put it but I feel as though I broke it in, I’d roll it everyday and wrap it in my bands so I don’t think that is the problem…

When I use the belt I struggle hitting 140kg/315lb for 1 rep…

When I don’t use a belt I can squat 162.5kg/358lb for 10 reps…

The reason I worry for this I may enter a meet sometime this year as I think my numbers are ok… I haven’t done 1RM’s in a while and subconciously beleive I should wear a belt in a 1rm squat.

I also have a physique photo in my newest log so it may be my proportions I’m 5ft 8" if that helps and I must squat fairly wide compared to others to hit paralell.

Thanks.


#2

If you just bought the belt, it’s not broken in yet. Give it time.


#3

I seen kids hit big weight without a belt at the last meet I was in. Yury Belkin lifts Beltless (I think Squat too, def seen him sumo beltless).

If you’re doing better without a belt, maybe you just don’t need it.


#4

those proportions have nothing to do with you not knowing how to use a belt. Your brain is the reason you don’t know how to use a belt.

Have you ever seen a world record squat without a belt? Do you know of ANY world class squatters who don’t wear a belt for competition?

You gotta figure this out if you want to compete, don’t resign yourself to not using one just because you haven’t figured it out yet.

That being said, if you want specific technique advice, you’re gonna have to post videos. I’d love to see this ‘358x10 beltless squat’, along with the ‘315 struggle with a belt’. Quite frankly, I don’t believe the difference is that substantial. At the very least, I’ll need to see it to believe it.


#5

Yury always wears a belt to squat.

deadlift is an entirely different animal.


#6

Yeah just double checked that.


#7

Exactly the reason I wanted to wear one when squatting lol, I’ll try experiment at different heights but when I do the eccentric phase it just digs straight under my ribs.

I’ll try on my next lower workout, I don’t have a partner anymore so I’ll have to prop my phone somewhere.


#8

Maybe you have it too high if it digs in under your ribs. In any case, if you’re new to using a belt it will feel uncomfortable at first and probably leave bruises. Once it gets broken in and you get used to it you shouldn’t have any problems, it might take a few weeks.


#9

My guess is your breathing bracing needs to be learnt with a belt on and your belts probably in the wrong spot (you can try it a smidge loweror angle it down so the front sits a bit lower than the back)

Time to learn how to use a belt properly man. To be fair I still can’t sort out using my belt on deadlift but for squats it’s natural and intuitive for me so I kind of know your struggle. We just have to work at it and practice

Look up vids on breathing and bracing as it relates to power lifting. Heres some





#10

Thanks, I broke it in for Deadlifts if you look on my log maybe I do have it too high but if you see that video you can see how high I have it, I have looked into where to have it but everyones different I guess.

1
Yep exactly thanks buddy!


#11

This is a pretty good sign it’s not broken in. Basically, it’s not forming to your body, so when you squat down, the belt maintains it’s shape, separates from your body, and your hips push it up into your ribs. Once the belt is formed to your body, it will move with your body, and remain in place as you squat.

Pushing down on the front can help as well. I try to wear it under my stomach.


#12

that will be fine. I literally make videos without any help every single time I go to the gym.

so the issue is discomfort then? discomfort is fine. do you want to squat big weights, or do you want to be comfortable? But yea, try adjusting belt height.

Also play with how tight you wear it. I don’t want my belt to be uncomfortably tight when I put it on. I want to be able to expand into it. If you’re tightening it down super hard, that could be an issue.


#13

Revisiting this topic because it could be helpful to ask - do you have the ability to try out different belts? Different thicknesses or different styles/brands?

I know some people who wear a different belt on squat than deadlift because they don’t like having 13mm for deadlift. I personally always wore prong belts because I was too cheap to get a lever belt. I’ve had friends at my gym try on each others belts as well.Z

I used to wear a strength shop 10mm double prong belt that always bruised me, even well after I broke it in, just less frequently. I eventually outgrew it and got a new Metal 13mm single prong belt and I havent bruised at all. My gym has a loaner lever belt, not sure what size/brand, but might try it on and see if I should go down that route.


#14

I have a bodybuilding style one but I really wanna make my Powerlifting one work for me as I don’t think the bodybuilding one helps a whole lot.

I’ll look in to it, thanks.

Also I squat similar to this guy…


#15

This was my first thought. I use different notches for squat and deadlift. Second thought is belt might be a little low. I like mine slightly higher in the back and top of the belt across the center of my second abb


#16

Recorded 167.5kgx10 and it was terrible depth, it looked great in the mirror but side view on my phone was awful, I did 140kg for 10 after and the depth was better but not so much, a month back I was doing 157.5kg with nice depth for 10, I sent the bad video to my PL Coach and he pointed that my lumbar was rounding, I came accross an athlean x video on Butt Wink and he talked about the hamstrings being the issue, ( this makes sense as I have nothing but problems with my hamstrings) they have gotten really tight in the last month… again… I fixed it a couple months back but my hamstrings just continue to tighten and it fucks my squat up, I’m also thinking my belt it tight so I’m going to have to start doing more mobility work and bring a screwdriver to the gym for my lever belt lol to get it into a comfortable position for squatting

I couldn’t see my strength on hamstrings as being an issue because my RDL is great and I can leg curl the whole stack for reps so I’m guessing it is stretching.


#17

If your back is rounding and you aren’t hitting depth then your technique is messed up. Tight hamstrings shouldn’t affect your squat because they aren’t in a stretched position at the bottom, your knees bend and reduce the tension from hip flexion. Maybe your hips are tight, or you just don’t know how to squat.

It’s interesting that you would quote flipcollar’s post and proceed not to post a video.


#18

Because it is awfull lol, I’m not putting that on instagram

Yeah but maybe hamstrings aren’t in a stretched position, but what do hamstrings pull on when they get tight?, your pelvis, I’m sure that would create some issues, it seemed to fix my squat last time


#19

Thats the whole point of a form check


#20

Maybe stretching your hamstrings with your knees fully flexed would help.