Necessity of a Belt

I’m 5’8, 165lbs and have been training for 4 years. I’ve never used a belt before, but as I’m now approaching a 400lb squat and 500lb DL, I’m wondering whether or not I should buy one. My reasoning for not using one up until now is that I figure if Ben Johnson, a man who squatted over 600lbs at my bodyweight, didn’t use a belt, then I probably don’t need one.


when you start lifting the kind of weight you are talking about, not using supportive gear such as a belt seems dumb. If it will keep you from getting injured, why not use it? If you are putting up numbers like that, a belt is not going to make your abs or lower back weaker, only provide much needed support.

Necessary? Not really. If your abs and back are up to snuff, it won’t make much of a difference. Fred Hatfield squatted 1014 with his belt uncinched at a loose setting.

That being said, wearing a reasonably loose belt isn’t going to hurt your core strength, and will provide some support if you start to lose form, will keep your back warm, and give you some form cues.

So it’s a good thing, but not necessary if your abs and back are strong.


Nope. I only wear mine when I get ready for contest. I start using one 10-12 weeks out, only to get used to it, so I can squeeze the most weight as possible.


What belt? Lifting with belt…interesting lift…?

I fractured my L2 back in the day…and ever since then to keep my core tight and strengthen the core Ive never used a belt except for when I was competing…if you dont compete and have good form, Id say its okay to squat without it…I dont squat huge numbers anymore, but I can do butt to floor with 405 for reps and could probably squeeze out 500+ without a belt and not worry.

Maybe its a head thing for me thinking it keeps my abs strong, but I dont use a belt anymore squatting, cleaning(can still hang clean 335 on a good day), or deadlifting(500 for reps).