I've read and believe that a belt gives your abs something to press against. Therefore increasing the amount of intra abdominal pressure. As a result there is increased core/lower back/ab support (as opposed to not wearing a belt). This is how I believe Rippetoe explains it, this is how I've seen others explain it.
How do you know when do you need one? I am of the opinion that you need one when you are squatting or deadlifting heavy enough that you feel you need the extra support. And I am of the opinion that when it will be needed will be different for everyone.
Rippetoe also explains that the whole idea that your core or abs strengthen harder/faster/better without a belt as opposed to with a belt is untrue.
I'm just explaining what I've read and what my opinion is. I use the belt on my heavy squat and deadlift sets because it makes sense to me to do so. It may or may not be the same for someone else.
"The fastest way to get strong muscles is also the fastest way to make them bigger. We know what works best to make them strong in the shortest time possible. If you want to get big, do the thing that makes them strong." - Marc Rippetoe
Zdravko Veselin Gaeta
I am not a powerlifter nor am I a bodybuilder. I just want to be big and strong.
Last edited by BigJosh; 12-28-2011 at 09:18 PM.