T Nation

Weight Belt Controversy

Ok guys, I’m sure this has been discussed before but I’d like some fresh opinions. After looking through the “Diablo barbell” and “Stones and Tires” threads I am not sure what to think. I was under the impression that one should only use them when going heavy on squats/deadlifts, such as 80% of 1RM or more. When should one use a weight belt?

There is a difference between wearing a belt and using a belt. I wear a belt when I have my briefs or suit on, just tight enough to keep them in the right place. When I’m maxing out, I’ll use the belt, tighten it up as much as I can. At least that’s how I see it.

never use a belt, even when maxing. Like if i worked for a moving company i’d prolly use one for work, but never lifting. If ur abs cant handle it then lower the weight, using a blet KILLS functional strength derived from squats.

The popular opinion that was out there for so long was that a weight belt would prevent back injuries. It finally came to light that this wasn’t true.

The pictures refered to are of powerlifters and strongman training. The nature of this training requires a belt for different reasons.

I also wear my belt when I have briefs/squat suit/bench shirt on to keep them in place. The belt is just tight enough to keep the gear in place for most weights.

All-in-all, it’s really a personal preference. Some will argue that wearing will not build core stability. Some use a belt all the time. Find what works for you and your training and go from there.

-Think less, lift more.

If you are a powerlifter or strongman dexslave’s arguement does not apply to you. Belts should be used when you feel it is appropriate. Go by how you feel, but you need to avoid two things in my opinion: 1) Becoming dependent on the belt and 2) Using the belt so sparingly that when it comes to competition time you don’t know how to place it, how tight it needs to be, etc in order to get optimal performance out of it.

A belt is like any other piece of gear; it takes practice to master and should be incorporated into training, but not all of the time.

[quote]dexslave wrote:
never use a belt, even when maxing. Like if i worked for a moving company i’d prolly use one for work, but never lifting. If ur abs cant handle it then lower the weight, using a blet KILLS functional strength derived from squats.[/quote]

What is your max squat? I bet you have never truly maxed your squat. If your goals were to squat the most weight possible I think your opinion would be different. A properly used belt can add pounds to a max squat. Using a belt does not give you an excuse to not train your abs and low back.

when i squat wearing a belt its not tight until i push and flex my abs hard against it i think its called intra abdominal pressure correct me if im wrong on that but to do that your core cannot be weak throw on a belt and push your abs as hard as you can against it statically with bar on your back or while deadlifting it takes some core strength i also dont think powerlifters use a belt as a crutch either the westside guys use it on the dynmaic effort day but when they warm up for max effort day they dont put it on until they feel its needed…i got that bit of info from watching their training videos…for me put it on when i get to 70-80 percent on max effort and always wear it on dynmaic day but loosely i never wear it on supplemental and assistance excercises

I haven’t used a belt for over 20 years, even when maxing out on squats and deadlift. It all depends what you’re used/conditioned to do. If you think it helps you in the training, well, use one. To each his own.

I don’t use a belt until 10 weeks prior to powerlifting contest. The only reason is to get used to the discomfort and to learn to maximize its benefits (yes it adds pounds). During my offseason, I don’t wear one and I do work up to triples and singles (greater than 90% of 1rep max). Training without the belt is great for building core strength. The only reason to use one is if you need to learn how to use it for contest. Otherwise, I would NEVER use it.

beef

I agree with beef. If you do a lifting sport, then wear it as part of that. Otherwise, whats the point? You just place a weak link in a chain thta is capable of lifting more that that weak link.

Also, if you play a sport, there is no reason to wear one ever.