T Nation

Never Touched Weight Belt

I’ve been training for a year and have never ever touched a weight belt. I was always anti-belt for the obvious reasons touched upon in articles, etc. What I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to is whether or not going beltless for heavy squats and deadlifts is safe. I’ve been fine thusfar but I’m not sure if I’ve been lucky. Basically, family and friend’s bickering about it has caused me to question my ways. And, of course a bunch of threads along the lines of “deadlift injury=numbness” don’t help. FWIW, I’ve a deadlift goal of raw 405@155 by my 16th bday so it’s not like we’re talking about using a belt for 135 or something. Another question: So, a lift can still be called “raw” using a belt?
Anyways, I still rather not use one but if deemed necessary, I’d rather not risk my back. Paranoid?

Some people think “raw” means no belt, some people think raw means you can use a belt. Honestly who gives a fuck? Set your own goals and beat them.

[quote]muscleshark wrote:
I’ve been training for a year and have never ever touched a weight belt. I was always anti-belt for the obvious reasons touched upon in articles, etc. What I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to is whether or not going beltless for heavy squats and deadlifts is safe. I’ve been fine thusfar but I’m not sure if I’ve been lucky. Basically, family and friend’s bickering about it has caused me to question my ways. And, of course a bunch of threads along the lines of “deadlift injury=numbness” don’t help. FWIW, I’ve a deadlift goal of raw 405@155 by my 16th bday so it’s not like we’re talking about using a belt for 135 or something. Another question: So, a lift can still be called “raw” using a belt?
Anyways, I still rather not use one but if deemed necessary, I’d rather not risk my back. Paranoid?[/quote]

The raw Pl feds allow a belt, so I guess it’s raw enough. I just decided to start using a belt the past week or so. I reached 455 without a belt without any problems, but didn’t really want to go much higher without it, though I’m sure a lot of people have done much higher without the belt.

Hadnt used a belt in over ten years. Did two weeks ago while warming up for a DL PR pull on a measly 495. HATED IT, felt wrong. went on to pull 610 no belt which by no means is incredible but a PR for me.

If Im going to use a belt in the future Ill have to train for it. I like it without right now as thats how Ive trained by low back core etc is strong from it.

I see no problem in the use Of a belt for max attempts I think excessive use can lead to weaknesses.

Is it okay not to use one for max attempts?

I feel better and perform better using a belt for max attempts on deads, squats and especially overhead pressing. Otherwise, it stays in the gym bag.

I use a belt some workouts and others I don’t.

For me it all depends on how I’m feeling. I definitely think that the core muscles have to work harder when not using a belt but if my core muscles are already tired, from a previous workout or just from pushing heavy weights I like to use a belt to help focus the workout onto my legs (or whatever muscle I am working on)

[quote]muscleshark wrote:
I’ve been training for a year and have never ever touched a weight belt. I was always anti-belt for the obvious reasons touched upon in articles, etc. What I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to is whether or not going beltless for heavy squats and deadlifts is safe. I’ve been fine thusfar but I’m not sure if I’ve been lucky. Basically, family and friend’s bickering about it has caused me to question my ways. And, of course a bunch of threads along the lines of “deadlift injury=numbness” don’t help. FWIW, I’ve a deadlift goal of raw 405@155 by my 16th bday so it’s not like we’re talking about using a belt for 135 or something. Another question: So, a lift can still be called “raw” using a belt?
Anyways, I still rather not use one but if deemed necessary, I’d rather not risk my back. Paranoid?[/quote]

There is no need for a belt. If your back is going to get injured from poor form or over training, it will, regardless of you wearing a belt or not.

I do not consider lifting in a belt raw either.

Hey you know what I am about 14 years elder to you, One thing I have learned above all else?

Fuck the belt.

I grew overly dependant on it at your age. I am happy and proud to see a beautiful goal like 4 hundo Plus at 16 .

Work your lower back and abs . Kick the crap outta that goal and move forward.

Best o luck .

Asad

By starting belt-less and building up over the years you will develop your own belt of muscle. If I ever was to attempt a max squat I may consider a belt due to a minor tweak I feel in my lower back when I squat heavy, but I wouldn’t want or need one for a max deadlift.

D

A belt probably won’t prevent injury. Nor will it make your core “weaker”.

All it does for me on DL’s is give me that extra bit of confidence to pull heavy.

On squats however I’m postive it gives me 15+kg

Oh as for that other thread you mentioned, i’m fairly sure it was a midback injury, nothing a belt could done in that case!

Thanks for the replies, guys. I was just asking along the lines of safety. That’s good to know. If I’m going to get injured, the belt’s not going to prevent it. Guess I won’t have to worry about using a belt at all. :slight_smile:

All the belt does for me is help me push against something. My torso keeps itself in place.

When powerlifting, why wouldn’t you use everything to help you put more weight on the bar. I understand, oh I want to do it raw, but then why not take advantage of the things you can use. That’s like me playing football and me not wanting to wear pads and cleats.

[quote]muscleshark wrote:
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was just asking along the lines of safety. That’s good to know. If I’m going to get injured, the belt’s not going to prevent it. Guess I won’t have to worry about using a belt at all. :)[/quote]

you also wont use as much weight as you could on your deadlift, squat or numerous other exercises. So you also wont have to worry about getting as strong as you otherwise would :wink:

[quote]Chris Adams wrote:
All the belt does for me is help me push against something. My torso keeps itself in place.

When powerlifting, why wouldn’t you use everything to help you put more weight on the bar. I understand, oh I want to do it raw, but then why not take advantage of the things you can use. That’s like me playing football and me not wanting to wear pads and cleats.[/quote]

Sorry bro aside from the cleats bad analogy pads in football if anything restrict your performance make you slower, the game harder, run not as fast, throw not as far but protect you.

Where as lets say EVERYTHING in powerlifting if you choose to use it DOES aid performance, doesnt always protect you more, the use of a belt all the time could lead to a weaker core than if you went sans belt and built the musculature to support your self. etc…

I say you like it use it but dont kid yourself in that its simply for protection and dont use it as a crutch but and aid.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
muscleshark wrote:
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was just asking along the lines of safety. That’s good to know. If I’m going to get injured, the belt’s not going to prevent it. Guess I won’t have to worry about using a belt at all. :slight_smile:

you also wont use as much weight as you could on your deadlift, squat or numerous other exercises. So you also wont have to worry about getting as strong as you otherwise would ;-)[/quote]

Once again have to call bullshit here. Ill use my measley DL PR last week. Put on a belt and struggled with 5 plates. took the damn belt off and easily pulled 6 then went up from there to get a new PR.

Its all on getting used to the training. The belt felt like shit felt restrictive Im not nused to nit and was bale to pull over 100lbs more sans belt.

Just my take. I may use a belt in the future not against it but will for sure have to train with one a bit more often but wont do so and risk the loss of the core base ive beagn to build

[quote]Phill wrote:
KBCThird wrote:
muscleshark wrote:
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was just asking along the lines of safety. That’s good to know. If I’m going to get injured, the belt’s not going to prevent it. Guess I won’t have to worry about using a belt at all. :slight_smile:

you also wont use as much weight as you could on your deadlift, squat or numerous other exercises. So you also wont have to worry about getting as strong as you otherwise would :wink:

Once again have to call bullshit here. Ill use my measley DL PR last week. Put on a belt and struggled with 5 plates. took the damn belt off and easily pulled 6 then went up from there to get a new PR.

Its all on getting used to the training. The belt felt like shit felt restrictive Im not nused to nit and was bale to pull over 100lbs more sans belt.

Just my take. I may use a belt in the future not against it but will for sure have to train with one a bit more often but wont do so and risk the loss of the core base ive beagn to build
[/quote]

I can totally understand where you’re coming from phill, but I have to presume that IF you took a little while (and I dont know if a little while means a week or 10 weeks) to get used to the belt, having something to push your already strong abs against would strengthen you even more. just my opinion

incidentally, did you use a thick powerlifting belt? those can be a real pain in the neck to use the first time. For some exercises I just use a thin little scheik belt I have, anything thin would probably do the trick. might be worht a shot?

A belt can serve a purpose for keeping your back healthy, but you do not have to worry about it as long as you keep your back flat. Many powerlifters use a belt to help with there lifts. In doing so, they breath into there belly and push there ab muscles into the belt. This is used to strengthen the core.

I’ve never liked these comments about a belt making your core “weaker”.

Weaker than what exactly?? I know some smart arse will say “weaker than if you hadn’t used a belt” but just bare with me for a minute.

Say you squat 400lbs without a belt. Then maybe 8-10 weeks later you squat 500 WITH a belt. Does this mean core is gonna get weaker cos your training with a belt?

[quote]KBCThird wrote:

I can totally understand where you’re coming from phill, but I have to presume that IF you took a little while (and I dont know if a little while means a week or 10 weeks) to get used to the belt, having something to push your already strong abs against would strengthen you even more. just my opinion

incidentally, did you use a thick powerlifting belt? those can be a real pain in the neck to use the first time. For some exercises I just use a thin little scheik belt I have, anything thin would probably do the trick. might be worht a shot?[/quote]

On #1 I tend to agree. I think it may but also feel I have benefitted from NOT using a belt and Ill be damned if it wasnt about the most uncomfortable thing ive attempted to change training wise is in some.

#2 I agree here as well and used a thick powerlifting belt used it the weak prior on squats didnt get a real carry over but it felt OK I can it its use on maw attempts. It however verged on painfull and put me in a very aweward position/form on the DL.

All around Im in agreement and a belt various one are in my furture I will be testing the use But feel i will get greatest benefit from Not using them on most of the work and may happen ton be a beltless puller?? we’ll see,

Thanks for keeping it a discusssion and not a childish pissing match.
Phill