T Nation

Should I Use a Belt?


#1

I was told that if I want to have a strong core I should not wear a belt when I do squats and deadlifts. Now I hurt my back at work (herniated disc lumbar-5)and I haven't be able to do any workouts for a week due to the pain. I like doing squats and deadlifts but I'm afraid that I will get hurt. Sould I wear a belt? I heard that if you use the belt the abs will get weak and that your body core won't get strong. I don't want to get a weak core but I also don't want to get hurt again. thanks for any advise.


#2

i would say that if you're fresh off of an injury to use one. i'll use the belt for a month or 2 then i'll go a few months without it. you can use more weight with a belt so your poundages will go down. the majority of my squats and deads are beltless.


#3

You should get your injury checked/fixed first. Then, once you are okay, go back to doing squats and deads. Start out light and build up so you don't injure yourself again. Skip the belt.


#4

I wouldn't use the belt...I actually don't use a belt for anything, even on max days...In your situation I would suggest just starting out light, real light, and then see how it feels...Slowly increase the weight if there are no problems.


#5

thanks guys...I got 1 more week of therapy (hopefully) then I will start to workout again. I'm going to have to start light without a belt. I was on my 3rd week of ABBH-1 and I was already seen some muscle/strengh improvement. DO you think this will be a good program for someone coming back from a lower back injury? I really like this ABBH-1 and I'm planning to do 5 of Chad Waterbury's programs ....thnx again


#6

This might not be the most popular response, but I would suggest avoiding regular squats and deadlifts for a while, or at least avoiding rep ranges in those movements of less than 15. I'm all for heavy lower body lifting, but a herniated disc? Not something to fuck with.

If I were training you, I'd have you focusing on single leg work (step-ups, single leg squats, lunges) where there was much less chance of lumbar flexion (which would aggravate disc herniation)and not a lot of axial loading of the spine in general. Lots of core work, isometrics, etc. until your back was more or less pain free for a few weeks. Then introduce squats/DL variations in higher rep ranges WITHOUT belt support. I'd save a CW program for when you were more healthy.


#7

I would wait for a Dr's clearance on the back, then come back w/out a belt, but extremely light at first.