T Nation

Wearing a Belt

Normally I just use a belt when doing deadlifts or squats for 1-3 reps.

However, one guy at the gym advocated using a belt all the time. Prevents back injuries. I noticed many bodybuilders use a belt all through their workouts, for example Dexter Jackson and Ronnie Coleman and probably many more.

Your thoughts on this?

I only wear a belt when going heavy and doing exercises when my back is in a compromising position…

other than those times, I never wear a belt

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Normally I just use a belt when doing deadlifts or squats for 1-3 reps.

However, one guy at the gym advocated using a belt all the time. Prevents back injuries. I noticed many bodybuilders use a belt all through their workouts, for example Dexter Jackson and Ronnie Coleman and probably many more.

Your thoughts on this?[/quote]

My goal with squats and deads is to work as many muscles as possible as hard has possible, which includes the “core” (sorry for that word). I don’t like the idea of wearing a belt except for maybe a 1RM (which I rarely do). And since I am not at the level of Ronnie Coleman or Dexter Jackson, I try not to compare my methods to them. I also don’t want to create any crutches like, “I forgot my belt, now I can’t do deads.” Anyway, just my $.02

I really do not believe that a belt is going to prevent an injury if you put yourself in a position to be injuered.

Also if a belt could be the difference for someone between injuring themselves or not they need to reexamine how you train.

I own one. I use it mainly for hanging dumbbells on my power hooks for weighted dips.

You don’t need a belt even for a 1RM in my opinion. It’s all a matter of what you condition yourself for. If you work into it and condition yourself properly you can go all the way down to a 1RM without a belt. I compete in raw powerlifting and I don’t wear a belt and have had no problems other than having very thick abdominals.

That’s the last thing a bodybuilder would want so that is why you may see a lot of bodybuilders wearing belts all the time among other reasons.

It’s not very popular to not wear a belt even in raw powerlifting and you don’t see many people doing it, but it’s all a matter of what you want and what you like.

I dont recommend wearing a belt…every time you squat or deadlift your “core” muscles are working isometrically to stabilize your trunk…With that being said, as you increase your intensity with the exercise the intensity on your core muscles is increased also…your want a proportionate increase in isometric strength to concentric and essentric strength in terms of the exercise…so i would recommend not using a belt unless you are going to attempt an intensity heavier than your 1RM

Oh boy…

If you have 500+ pounds on your back doing squats…you’d better buckle up. The compound force on your lower back, plus the range of motion that you should be doing, breaking parallel, would almost require it. The stress on the “core” could be to great.

Now…you might not be slinging that much slag, but if you’re move serious weight then I would suggest wearing the belt. Generally I don’t wear a belt. I don’t know about Coleman or anyone wearing theirs all the time. However, on my “heavy” lifts, I am going to start wearing a belt…if only for 1 or 2 sets.

My lower back is starting to take a beating, and I’m looking forward to the assitance.

[quote]d.lammers wrote:
I dont recommend wearing a belt…every time you squat or deadlift your “core” muscles are working isometrically to stabilize your trunk…With that being said, as you increase your intensity with the exercise the intensity on your core muscles is increased also…your want a proportionate increase in isometric strength to concentric and essentric strength in terms of the exercise…so i would recommend not using a belt unless you are going to attempt an intensity heavier than your 1RM[/quote]

There have been EMG studies that have shown that wearing a belt actually INCREASES the activation of the “core” muscles. That means they are working to a greater degree. If you think about it, the whole idea that a piece of leather wrapped around your waist is robbing your “core” muscles of any work is kind of ridiculous when you consider the sort of load that those muscles are under.

Does wrapping leather around your forearm increase your ability to hold onto something while simultaneously robbing those muscles of their isometric power? No. Were not talking about a 3 ply squat suit here, were talking about a 6 inch wide piece of leather. Thats it.

I imagine that this myth was started by the same skinny fucks who yell about maintaining proper form when they see guys lifting 3 times as much as they do with somewhat looser form.

“He just squatted 600 lbs!”

“Yeah, well, he was wearing a belt, so it doesnt count, he wasnt using his core. Im going to go do some leg extensions and swiss ball crunches.”

do you want straps with that?
i use neither…i also am not deadlifting 500lbs…maybe thats why?

Well if we need to point out pros I know Arnold avoided lifting gear of all sorts except for the very occasional use of a belt. Guys who wear belts all the time as gym fashion accessories are, in many cases, guys who don’t even lift for legs.

Reserve the belt for times when you know you need to keep your back straight for safety but are worried that the weight you are using could potentially break the own internal weight belt you’ve made by flexing your spinal erectors. Sounds like right now you’re using the belt appropriately.

I also think the belt is appropriate for heavy bench in order to keep you from making a super arch.