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More Belt Questions

Good afternoon, powerlifters.

I’m not a competitive powerlifter, just a big guy working on getting in better shape with lots of squats and deadlifts. I’ve been doing barbell work since September of 2013 and have never used a lifting belt. I’m beginning to get moderately strong, with my best lifts currently sitting at a 545 conventional DL and a 405x4 low-bar squat.

I’d like to hear the opinions of those who move lots of iron on a few specific questions. I should also mention that I am not experiencing any problems with my current style of beltless training. I am just looking for the opinions of those with more experience than I have.

  1. Would continuing with beltless training pose any safety risks as I continue to move more iron? I have every intention of getting as strong as I can, and I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that I’ll be slapping another set of plates on my big lifts in the next couple of years.

  2. Could I expect a significant increase on my lifts if I were to begin using a belt?

  3. Am I leaving any overall health benefit on the table by lifting beltless? Could I reasonably expect to get an overall better workout in with a belt?

  4. Does beltless training at max effort sets offer any notable advantages for the non-competitive lifter?

  5. Should I just buy a damn belt and see if I like it?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:

  1. Would continuing with beltless training pose any safety risks as I continue to move more iron? I have every intention of getting as strong as I can, and I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that I’ll be slapping another set of plates on my big lifts in the next couple of years.[/quote]

Plenty of people train heavy without a belt but I take the route of having XXX pounds on my back is not the time to be training / worrying about the core. Belt up and take advantage of the positive benefits of wearing the belt. If for nothing else, longevity in lifting. FWIW You can use it for a dip belt / belt squat / pull up belt too with a length of chain and a carabiner.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
2) Could I expect a significant increase on my lifts if I were to begin using a belt?[/quote]

If I use the belt as it’s intended I typically can triple what I can 1rm. I know guys who don’t get shit out of a belt tho and I know guys who can’t seem to lift shit without it. I think it’s a mental game with some folks and the ability to “properly” use it.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
3) Am I leaving any overall health benefit on the table by lifting beltless? Could I reasonably expect to get an overall better workout in with a belt?[/quote]
I believe you are. why not use every tool to your advantage? Why limit your squatting / deadlifting gains by your core? Belt up, make gravity your bitch and work the core after you smash PR’s.
EDIT - When wearing a belt, if I lean / round over, the belt digs into my ribs. The belt helps keep me more upright and keeps me in a better position to move more weight. More weight = more awesome. CAn I do it without the belt, certainly but the belt is that friendly reminder to keep my shit in check.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
4) Does beltless training at max effort sets offer any notable advantages for the non-competitive lifter?[/quote]

I am of the opinion that regardless of what you can squat beltless, you will be able to squat more with a belt. I don’t care how bulletproof your core is. If beltless was “optimal” then the raw competitions would go beltless 100%. People wear belts for a reason. Those reasons have been well laid out for the past 50 years. You have to decide if that tool is worth your time. I believe you will find that it IS. I’m not saying be the guy who rocks the belt from the time he enters the gym till he hits the showers but a belt will serve you well.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
5) Should I just buy a damn belt and see if I like it?[/quote]

Yes. Get a single prong 13 or 10 mm belt. Either will be great and will last a very long time, assuming you don’t abuse the shit out of it and or outgrow it. On that note, one can add more hole to a belt and make it smaller but no one can add length to a belt. On the break in issue, I have an INZER 13mm forever belt. I can almost crack it like a bullwhip. Supple as hell but supportive as it was new. I have a great “break in” method that I do with all my belts. Simply wearing one till it breaks in is dumb IMHO. and that would take waaaay too long.

EDIT to further explain the awesomeness of belting up = My buddy who does MMA. This guy is one of those guys who does ab work like a fiend. This guy can do some of that “Hannibal for king” shit. (The guy who does all the sick playground strength feats on youtube.) He also is able to take kicks to the midsection to show off his core strength. The point I’m trying to make is this guy does NOT slouch on ab work.
Same guy squatting give me shit for using a belt, calls it my crutch. I finally talk him into trying it instead of running his cocksucker. After coaching him on how to properly use the belt, dude smashes a squat PR and on the DL is able to rep his old PR. He now owns his own belt and has been made a believer.

Thanks for the feedback StrengthDawg.

I wonder if I am a 6 plate deadlifter and 5 plate squatter with a belt. Only one way to find out, I suppose.

WAT??

That means if you squat 315 beltless you can jump your squat to 945 with a belt???

Either that’s a typo or you’re a wizard.

[quote]Haldor wrote:

WAT??

That means if you squat 315 beltless you can jump your squat to 945 with a belt???

Either that’s a typo or you’re a wizard.[/quote]
Pretty sure he means that if he loads his beltless 1RM, he can squat it for a triple if he’s wearing a belt.

[quote]Haldor wrote:

WAT??

That means if you squat 315 beltless you can jump your squat to 945 with a belt???

Either that’s a typo or you’re a wizard.[/quote]

He obviously meant if he can squat x for one rep without a belt than he can squat 3 times with a belt…

[quote]Haldor wrote:

WAT??

That means if you squat 315 beltless you can jump your squat to 945 with a belt???

Either that’s a typo or you’re a wizard.[/quote]

BRO do you even fucking lift? Learn the lingo man. Powerlifters hit singles, doubles and triples. Maybe you’ve had too much Crown Royal and aren’t thinking clearly :slight_smile:

^^…This is smartassery man… ^^ in case your smartassery meter is also drunk :slight_smile:

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
On the break in issue, I have an INZER 13mm forever belt. I can almost crack it like a bullwhip. Supple as hell but supportive as it was new. I have a great “break in” method that I do with all my belts. [/quote]

Explain? I’m probablty going to end up getting a leather belt soon to replace the £15 velcro fastening piece of crap I’ve been using for 3 years.

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
On the break in issue, I have an INZER 13mm forever belt. I can almost crack it like a bullwhip. Supple as hell but supportive as it was new. I have a great “break in” method that I do with all my belts. [/quote]

Explain? I’m probablty going to end up getting a leather belt soon to replace the Ã?£15 velcro fastening piece of crap I’ve been using for 3 years.[/quote]

Sure, basically place the belt ends together & place the belt on the floor. Step on the middle where it forms a loop of sorts. Flatten it out. Then roll the belt away from you a few inches. Step down again. Do this the length of the belt. Flip over, repaet the process. After a few times the belt will limber up enough where you can step on the “loop” but roll your foot back and forth. This motion will limber up the belt quickly. You do this until the belt is as supple as you want it to be. 20-30 min is all it took me. I made a video and can post it later, once I get off work if you’d like.

I’ve been training seriously for a few years. The first couple years I never used a belt, but six months ago I decided to give it a shot since others I trained with seemed to benefit a lot from using one.

I immediately saw a benefit in my squats both in increased pounds and in feeling more stable. However, I could never get comfortable deadlifting with a belt. I thought maybe I just wasn’t used to it so I gave it six months and tried four different types of belts, positioning the belt higher or lower on my torso, different degrees of tightness, and just about anything else I could figure to make it more comfortable and useful but it never seemed to work for me. Not only did it not add anything but I was actually moving less weight with a belt.

I decided to ditch the belt and immediately hit a new 3 rep PR on deadlift, so at this point I’ve given up on the belt to deadlift.

So the short version is that it seems to help most people lift more weight but the only way to really know is to try it out for yourself.

For what it’s worth I do compete and I wear a belt for squatting but don’t for bench and deadlift. I think our strength is relatively comparable as my max deadlift (beltless) is 565 and my max squat (belted) is 470 at 216 BW.

I am aware of the terminology I just didn’t think of that because of the way that sentence is structured…anyway, this isn’t an English language forum. Carry on.

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
On the break in issue, I have an INZER 13mm forever belt. I can almost crack it like a bullwhip. Supple as hell but supportive as it was new. I have a great “break in” method that I do with all my belts. [/quote]

Explain? I’m probablty going to end up getting a leather belt soon to replace the Ã??Ã?£15 velcro fastening piece of crap I’ve been using for 3 years.[/quote]

Sure, basically place the belt ends together & place the belt on the floor. Step on the middle where it forms a loop of sorts. Flatten it out. Then roll the belt away from you a few inches. Step down again. Do this the length of the belt. Flip over, repaet the process. After a few times the belt will limber up enough where you can step on the “loop” but roll your foot back and forth. This motion will limber up the belt quickly. You do this until the belt is as supple as you want it to be. 20-30 min is all it took me. I made a video and can post it later, once I get off work if you’d like. [/quote]

Thanks :slight_smile: I think I get it from your description