T Nation

Weight Belt Usage

I was recently in the gym doing a 5x5 reg park inspired program and already in 2 weeks I feel like im getting great results.

The other day I was squatting and saw an old weight belt in the corner so I picked it up and my squat weight jumped up like 25lbs and I felt alot better in the squat, form and strength wise.

A few questions though

Can the weight belt be used for deadlifts as well?

And will the belt take away from training the lower back?

belts should only be used for maxing.

The point of a belt is to protect your back, the whole point of training is to actually be able to lift that weight for reps unassisted.

If you use a belt when squatting and deading its makes your back the weak link, which to me is unacceptable.

Alot of so called “bodybuilders” will wear belts all the time to avoid placing any stress on their lower backs or obliques, in an effort to keep their waists small.

I could punch them in the stomachs and they would fold like a bitch, Id rather have my 34-35 inch waist and thick obliques.

Yes, the belt takes away from training the lower back.

Use only for max or near-max attempts.

What are your training goals, are you training for a sport, powerlifting, strong man? There seems to be some misunderstanding of the weight belt beginning on this thread

What are your training goals, are you training for a sport, powerlifting, strong man? There seems to be some misunderstanding of the weight belt beginning on this thread

[quote]bearcat1485 wrote:
There seems to be some misunderstanding of the weight belt beginning on this thread[/quote]

Please elaborate.

He asked if the belt took away from the training of the back, presumably his goals include a stronger back.

I see the belt as like a helmet. Belt or no belt, you need a strong lower back to pull heavy. From my experience, if my core is fully engaged and my form is perfect, the belt provides little to no assistance. However, if I do slip up a bit, the belt is there to save me from hurting myself by preventing me from going into horrendous form.

Just my 2 cents.

Hilarious thread…

Of course there’s nooooooo way you could possibly get your back stronger wearing a belt. I mean if you squat goes from 300lb in a belt to 400lb in a belt your back hasn’t gotten stronger. It’s gotten weaker right???

Look up “assistance/supplemental work” it’s great for using to strengthen the areas that directly contribute to increasing lifts, but you can train the muscles without actually doing the lift :o

I don’t use a belt for the majority of my work. Why? Because I’m lazy and it’s a hassle. That’s the only reason.
If you want to use it, fine. I can assure you that when you squat 600 and pull 700 in a belt you’ll have stronger abs and back than most people. Just do what works for you.
There’s 600+ benchers that wrap their wrists on everything 220+. Hell, Andy Bolton has squatted 1200 and wraps his knees from 135 on. (pulled from EliteFTS knee wrap article, Marc Bartley: “I learned this from Andy Bolton who is a pretty good squatter and wraps from 135 lbs on.”)

[quote]Hanley wrote:
Hilarious thread…

Of course there’s nooooooo way you could possibly get your back stronger wearing a belt. I mean if you squat goes from 300lb in a belt to 400lb in a belt your back hasn’t gotten stronger. It’s gotten weaker right???
[/quote]

Yes, but my aura of smugness is much stronger when I squat 300lbs without a belt.

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
Hanley wrote:
Hilarious thread…

Of course there’s nooooooo way you could possibly get your back stronger wearing a belt. I mean if you squat goes from 300lb in a belt to 400lb in a belt your back hasn’t gotten stronger. It’s gotten weaker right???

Yes, but my aura of smugness is much stronger when I squat 300lbs without a belt.[/quote]

Yeah I suppose… you’d be such a cheated for getting 100lb carryover out of a belt!

I see this place continues to get more ludicrous by the day.

If you’re pushing out against a belt on squats like you’re supposed to, there’s no way your ‘core’ is getting bypassed during excercises.

[quote]SkateDC wrote:
I was recently in the gym doing a 5x5 reg park inspired program and already in 2 weeks I feel like im getting great results.

The other day I was squatting and saw an old weight belt in the corner so I picked it up and my squat weight jumped up like 25lbs and I felt alot better in the squat, form and strength wise.

A few questions though

Can the weight belt be used for deadlifts as well?

And will the belt take away from training the lower back?[/quote]

To answer your questions:

-You can use a belt for deadlifts. However, I wouldn’t recommend using one until you get close to your max. Before then, you are not helping yourself grow.

-The only thing that can take anything away from training the lower back is NOT training the lower back. If you become a member of, what I like to call, the “Bench and Biceps Club” (Guys that do nothing but bench press and curl 3-5 times a week - Believe me, the membership is HUGE!) then you are going to take away from training the lower back. Since you said you were squatting, I assume you are not a member.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
johnnytang24 wrote:
Hanley wrote:
Hilarious thread…

Of course there’s nooooooo way you could possibly get your back stronger wearing a belt. I mean if you squat goes from 300lb in a belt to 400lb in a belt your back hasn’t gotten stronger. It’s gotten weaker right???

Yes, but my aura of smugness is much stronger when I squat 300lbs without a belt.

Yeah I suppose… you’d be such a cheated for getting 100lb carryover out of a belt!
[/quote]

Link for one of these belts?

Perhaps Johnnytang24 was being sarcastic…if not; unless you weigh 150lbs or are doing reps of 15 or more per set-there is no reason to be ‘smug’ about 320lbs. Belt or not.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Hanley wrote:
johnnytang24 wrote:
Hanley wrote:
Hilarious thread…

Of course there’s nooooooo way you could possibly get your back stronger wearing a belt. I mean if you squat goes from 300lb in a belt to 400lb in a belt your back hasn’t gotten stronger. It’s gotten weaker right???

Yes, but my aura of smugness is much stronger when I squat 300lbs without a belt.

Yeah I suppose… you’d be such a cheated for getting 100lb carryover out of a belt!

Link for one of these belts?
[/quote]

I was just being a little bit sarcastic… if he puts 100lb onto his “belted” squat, you can be damn sure his lower back and abs have gotten stronger too and he might have put 50-75lb onto his beltless squat too, perhaps more if he’d been training his core hard.

Your opinion may differ, but in the absence of a conflicting researched position, I will take the advice of Dr Stuart McGill found here:

It’s more complicated than “you will get stronger with a belt or without a belt”. It’s not like I am incapable of drawing such an obvious conclusion on my own - but thanks for the vote of support

Well he is new, so it can all be for preference. Take the bench for example. You go to max at 300lbs and get stuck half way up. You could integrate ways to break the plateau through board presses and extensive tricep work, or since the lifter uis young, they can just lift through the max even with the sticky point.

That being said, he is a fairly new lifter, so hes going to get stronger regardless. And when it comes to competing, if he does compete, there isnt a single fed that DOESNT allow belts. However, I do think at a certain point a person should train without a belt, it will eventually catch up in my opinion

[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
Your opinion may differ, but in the absence of a conflicting researched position, I will take the advice of Dr Stuart McGill found here:

It’s more complicated than “you will get stronger with a belt or without a belt”. It’s not like I am incapable of drawing such an obvious conclusion on my own - but thanks for the vote of support

[/quote]

I am a fan of Dr. McGill, am familiar with his work and would agree that a belt should not be used for the majority of training. That said-This is a Strength Sports Forum, and as such Strength Athletes ‘when appropriate’ use the “tools of the trade”. Belts, wraps, chalk, etc. You mentioned belts are O.K. for maximum lifts in a post prior to the one I’m quoting above. Dr. McGill’s objections to belts are based on his belief that a belt alters the firing patterns(I tend to agree).

During a maximum attempt on ‘money’ movements would be when you would want to alter firing patterns the least. Think about that! The reason it’s called training is because you are doing exactly that. So you are suggesting that the best approach is to train/teach your body to perform a movement in one manner and then when you intend to place the greatest demand on yourself-do something (in this case-wear a belt)on purpose that changes the feel of the lift, not to mention alter the firing patterns. That just doesn’t make sense-even to Dr McGill.

It’s not any more complicated than this…the belt is tool, if misused they lead to injury(just like a chainsaw), if someone doesn’t understand how a tool works-leave that work to those that do.