T Nation

Wearing a Belt Long Term?

Lately I’ve been wondering, how much of a difference in strength/size gains does wearing a belt actually give you?? I know you can lift alot more with a belt, but does some of the strength carry over to your deadlift when your doing it without the belt?? Does it help you get past plateaus?? Reason I ask is because right now I can just barely pull 365 for 2-3 reps; whereas, a friend of mine can do 385 for 6-8 reps, belted. Up until this point, I’ve never worn a belt, while my friend has been wearing a belt ever since he began deadlifting past 275. We both weigh around 185.

Show his numbers unbelted for a truer comparison. But I worry about your friend doing a PR unbelted if he is used to be belted. You are seriously neglecting your core and stabilizer muscles by using a belt.

Don’t use a belt to get past plateaus.

How to be Back Strong and Beltless �?? Part 1

How to be Back Strong and Beltless �?? Part 2

How to be Back Strong and Beltless �?? Part 3

Part 3, should be a mandatory read if your going to move from Belt to Beltless.

A belt is in my opinion best used as protective gear in a situation exposing the lifter to potential difficulties usually at a reigning limit. In the absence of back issues not mentioned here, a belt should in this view not be needed in a rep range of 6-8 taking place well below such a limit (the implication being that if the lifter’s form is in danger of breaking down at that amount, then the final reps shouldn’t be attempted anyway), but rather in approaching the limit through a max attempt or close to it.

My advice is then not to put on a belt just to lift more for higher-rep sets. Put it on when you test the envelope (after testing how to use the belt itself). If you do decide to go with a belt, try to keep it off until your real work sets (premised here as in a lower rep range than 6-8).

The Top 10 Deadlifting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Mistake #7: Training with multiple reps

In my totally non professional and biases opinion. I think belts should only be used if your a competitive lifter who needs the feel of both belted and unbelted to maximize performance, otherwise, lose the belt.