T Nation

Lifting Belts

I just wanted to get a general consensus on the proper use of lifting belts. I’ll start the discussion off by saying 1)Their use should be VERY limited 2)Don’t use them in exercises that don’t involve the body’s central core? (eg don’t use them when doing dumbell curls?)


Well…your thoughts…

My understanding is the only use for a belt is during max squat and deadlift singles (or maybe doubles). Myself, I may use a belt on a failure set of deads, but virtually never use it on squats.

I used to wear a lifting belt for everything back in my teen years and early 20’s. It took a leap of faith, but after reading some compelling articles and research (I think from the old Muscle Media 2000), I threw the belt, lifting straps, knee wraps and other lifting paraphanelia out the window of my car. Initially, I had to significantly decrease the weight that I lifted on just about everything, but the long term benefit has been much more strength and muscle gain as well as joint stability. I can now squat and deadlift significantly more than I could when I used the belt. My grip strength and forearm size has increased also since I don’t use lifting straps anymore.

I only use one for core lifts (squat, deads, and powercleans), and only when I’m going for a 3rm or less. I take it off as soon as I can, too.

Yea…I have begun to REALLY appreciate joint, core muscle and “stabilizer” muscle stength and stability…(note: I rememeber an excellent point made by someone on the Forum once that ALL muscles serve as stabalizers at one point. I use the term “stabilizers” to indicate those muscle that help maintain “tight” and correct posture during Deads, Squats, Cleans, Snatches, Standing Presses, etc.)…

I use it on deadlifts, squats, power cleans, and, just to keep me honest, on bentover rows. As a little aside, there’s some jackass at my gym that wears one for everything. The other day, he kept it on while he was doing cable crunches on the pressdown machine. Even the old ladies were making fun of him…

I’m only using my belt when the weather is nice and I’m outside dragging my sled. But I use it as more of a harness than anything else. I flip the fat side around and place that against my abs and hook the sled strap around the narrow side. It just feels better that way and I seem to be able to work my legs better without restricting my breathing too much.

I would think that a dipping belt would work better for the sled than a regular belt. Just my thoughts.

I only use a belt on the last 2 or 3 sets of a max effort squat/deadlift day.

Maybe, put if there is ever any slack in the line, it could fall off. Also, I’ve got a weightlifting belt, but don’t have a dip belt.

I never use a belt anymore, on any exercise. I just don’t see the point. When I first started lifting I didn’t have one (because of the cost). Then someone gave me one for Christmas and I started using it…and I remember that it made my obliques sore the following day! Weird. Anyway, I kept using one more or less out of habit, but when I travelled and so on didn’t have one with me and so didn’t use one during some periods of time. It has never made a difference in my workouts. And now, after having been totally belt-free for about four years, I’ve finally reached one of my goals: a 315 parallel squat. This is my all-time, only-did-it-once, about-popped-my-eyeballs-out-of-my-head best (although I expect to get it fairly frequently in the future, thanks to the lingering good effects of the Growth Surge Program -thanks T-Mag!), and I was beltless. No problems.

I’ve got to agree with char-dawg. I have not used one for 3-4 years. That being said, I do not max anymore, either, but doing triples is fine.

I no longer use one. I strengthened my core so i do not need it. Just go slow, keep your form. if you can’t keep your form you are using to much weight.

I use it occasionally to remind me to keep good form–no humpback bent over rows etc. Again, I want to lift more wt. because of MY EFFORTS, not some belt or ace bandage.