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Old 03-20-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Belts: When to use, Why to use, Should you use.

A weight lifting belt is a completely alien concept to me. I have no idea when/why to use it or even if I should be using it. Please, enlighten me.

Just a note for where I'm lifting. I don't have any PRs, but my current working weight is 230 lbs (5x5) for Squats and 325 lbs (5x5) for DL.

Last edited by Gengaeldelse; 03-20-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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I think they should be used on near max effort lifts no matter the skill level. With that being said, if you are in the beginner or even into the intermediate stage you should do a good bit of work without one to continue to develop strength in the core and back.

Even now I do a good bit of back off sets without my belt to work areas that might be lacking from the use of the belt.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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This read may be of some interest:


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Old 03-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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I only use them in competitions or in training sessions where I want to exactly replicate competitions.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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I don't even own a belt. I've pulled up to 500lb with no extra stuff, just me and my chucks. I'm probably going to get one soon because I'm moving into geared lifting, but I think you have a ton of room for growth before you need to worry about anything other than moving as much weight with the best form you can.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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I own knee wraps but haven't used them yet, don't own a belt and not sure if I'd like one or not. Is it a guarantee that your lifts would increase? Only thing I've used so far is versa grips and I hardly use them to be honest.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:33 AM   #7
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If its for a strength sport then get one and use it often. Make sure your still bracingyoit core and do plenty of lifting over the year without. What jb said really.

If your not into a strength sport its not as big an issue. However if your interested in adding a few kgs to your squat and other lifts then go for it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:16 AM   #8
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I'm guilty of not having used a belt in a few years. Not sure if I would have made more improvements with it, it's one of those things you'll never know how the other route would have been.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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I like to use a belt on my heavy (low rep) squat sets. I don't wear it very tight and probably do not get anything extra out of it in terms of extra weight lifted. But I do like it for helping to keep my form solid when the weights get heavier. Wearing it kind of loosely, not sloppy but not cinched down, really forces me to drive my abdominals into it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I agree with the use it when you get close to a maximum weight or rep crowd. I think it does give you a boost, even if it is only mental or is a form cue as OR mentions. ( I use a belt on max benching for that very reason as I doubt it does anything to bench at my level of lifting).

Only thing I would add is in my opinion it also provides a bit of safety when it gets hairy on a really heavy lift. I believe it can keep you from a low back injury you if you are pushing the envelop and get into a bad position on a squat or deadlift or even an OH lift. I don't know for a fact that is true, but I believe it.

My max with a belt and my max without one go pretty much hand in hand. What was 100% a couple months ago is 90% now and I don't "need" the belt on that same weight anymore is what I mean by that.
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