T Nation

When to Use a Belt?


#1

At what point in the training progression does not wearing a lifting belt become stupid/downright dangerous? I'm thinking mainly about squats. My current worksets are 167.5kg/370ish lbs (2x5, 1x5+ LP) currently beltless, in proper shoes.....


#2

[quote]slog wrote:
At what point in the training progression does not wearing a lifting belt become stupid/downright dangerous? I’m thinking mainly about squats. My current worksets are 167.5kg/370ish lbs (2x5, 1x5+ LP) currently beltless, in proper shoes…[/quote]

It depends on how bad your form breaks down. I have a certain weight in the squat and pull that I put on a belt regardless of how I feel that day.

My best squat is 405, and I put on a belt for anything 315 and up. My best pull is 500, and I put on a belt for anything 365 and up. I don’t base it on the numbers themselves, it’s just a “feel” thing.

You have to find your own points for each lift where you feel that bit of form breakdown and need some support from the belt.

Jim always says there is no medal awarded for being beltless. Be safe with it and live to train another day.


#3

What Joey said - I don’t quite understand the bravado of being “beltless”. You don’t get an award for not wearing a belt. Just be smart, keep your middle strong and safe.


#4

Thanks for the replies. I certainly wasn’t trying to make out that squatting beltless was the preserve of tough guys. In my mind, a belt would allow me to squat a bit heavier than I am at this moment in time, but if i’m not going for a PR, or competing, is there anything to be gained in terms of training effect by belting up to go that bit heavier?


#5

[quote]slog wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I certainly wasn’t trying to make out that squatting beltless was the preserve of tough guys. In my mind, a belt would allow me to squat a bit heavier than I am at this moment in time, but if i’m not going for a PR, or competing, is there anything to be gained in terms of training effect by belting up to go that bit heavier?[/quote]

It’s not really a question of competing or going for a PR when I use a belt. I use it for added support so that my training life can go well into my 40s and beyond. I do lift more with the belt, which is an added benefit. Who doesn’t want to lift more, especially since “RAWWWW” lifters haven’t banished belts yet. Belt up, save your back, lift more. What’s not to love?


#6

id say save the belt for the “heavy” balls out top sets of the day. at least thats what i do,


#7

If your technique is solid why wait until top sets? If you are doing what you should be with your abs/ low back both in training and while performing the lift the belt only helps. Besides - I been lifting for a while and I still need a couple of sets to get right with my belt during any given work out. Putting it on only for the last set feels awkward.