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  1. #1
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Belt or NO Belt for low rep DL and Squats

    I need some help making a decision whether or not to get a lifting belt. I am not a power lifter, but have been doing some triples on DLs and Squats. I kind of tweaked my lower back on Monday, with a very slow DL that I should have dropped. Does anyone think a belt is necessary, even when using good form for lower rep work. I would rather not use one, but I can't decide if it would be a good decision to start using one only on my low rep sets. The various articles I have read seem pretty mixed, I don't have a history of any significant back injuries or hernias. I have defatted enough now I would likely get one made if I get one...
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  2. #2
    Registered User Galactus's Avatar
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    Personal preference. I haven't used one in over 10 years. I think if the weights you use are going up slowly, your body is getting accustomed to the weight over time. Like my deadlift has gone up like 30 pounds over the last year, so my body has had plenty of time to adjust. Guys who compete though may make an attempt on the 3rd try that is 20-40 lbs more than anything they've used recently or ever for a PR attempt. At that point, any safety gear is a plus IMO.
    Bench 335 x 4, 375 x 1
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  3. #3
    Lanky Brit Richie71's Avatar
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    I used to be terrible for wearing it for all overhead presses and rows, along with squats and deads. I found most of my back problems though were lack of hamstring, hip and quad flexibility causing excessive arching. As I improved that, my back became more stable.

    Now, I wouldn't squat heavy without one, but will squat light and deep without one. I wore one to deadlift but will try that without next.
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  4. #4
    Not afraid of food! EB68's Avatar
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    I stopped using mine as I felt I depended on it too much. Without the belt I always keep the core tight through out the lift, but I had gotten lazy with the belt and would catch myself with a relaxed core too often. YMMV.
    Eric

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    Registered User bradandblake's Avatar
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    I only use it when going heavy, otherwise no. Its just for safety IMO.
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    Registered User Jtbny's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    I need some help making a decision whether or not to get a lifting belt. I am not a power lifter, but have been doing some triples on DLs and Squats. I kind of tweaked my lower back on Monday, with a very slow DL that I should have dropped. Does anyone think a belt is necessary, even when using good form for lower rep work. I would rather not use one, but I can't decide if it would be a good decision to start using one only on my low rep sets. The various articles I have read seem pretty mixed, I don't have a history of any significant back injuries or hernias. I have defatted enough now I would likely get one made if I get one...
    Necessary? No. It's nice to have if you learn how to actually use it. Wearing a belt won't by itself protect you against injuries. They sure and hell won't lift the weight for you.

    If you think it will help, even mentally knowing you are wearing it, than get one. Just make sure it's not a silly Velcro one.
    ☻/
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  7. #7
    Registered User usersignup2's Avatar
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    for my heavy days on squats, I wear the belt for every set after the first warm-up set. I like to maintain a consistent set-up pattern progressing to the heaviest sets so that includes strapping on the belt.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input all, I think I am going to continue with no belt and just be more careful with low rep sets. I do need to work on flexibility and core work more as well. The money I save on not buying a made to order lifting belt can go towards new shirts, hats and pants when I get hyooge.

    Galactus - that was a hell of a storm we had last night, thought my house got struck by lighting, I'm in the western burbs.
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  9. #9
    Carnigen Lipocide stacked hammerfelt's Avatar
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    The belt is not a safety device. It's purpose is to be able to lift more weight.
    Love
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  10. #10
    Registered User naturalguy's Avatar
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    A belt can be a helpful tool in your toolbox if used correctly
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  11. #11
    Registered User smblkolds's Avatar
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    It IS an individual matter. Personally I use it from 135 up these days. 20 years ago I would "belt" starting at 225. At 46 I've noticed that, for me, its better to be on the safe side. Things seem to get pulled and strained more easily now. Also, if I get stuck I drop it or while squatting I will lower it to the safety bars. No more "Grinding" reps.
    Tom
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  12. #12
    Hiding otter mode raynerd's Avatar
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    I wear a belt on heavy squats and deads. Warmup without and belt up when I start getting heavier. It helps keep my core tight by forcing my abs into it during the lift. Haven't even tried going heavy without it though, and probably never will lol
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  13. #13
    Registered User skinny2buff6's Avatar
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    Belt hands down. Usually on sets of 5.. I won't use it for the first two sets.

    The rest YESSS I love having a belt. Even though I can likely do the same amount of weight without one, it increases your mental and muscle awareness. Wearing the belt helps me concentrate on my form and worry less about causing an injury to myself.
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  14. #14
    Registered User randymiscer's Avatar
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    I use belt on last sets or 1rm
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    Banned ACSZZ1988's Avatar
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    I only use it when I'm at or around my max. I would get one if you intend to continue increasing your lifts and taking lifting seriously.
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    Banned Phattso's Avatar
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    I use a belt for my Squat working sets. Not for anything else.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    If I do end up getting a belt it would only be used for my heavy sets (4 or less planned reps). Does it become instinctual to use a vasalvo without and distend your belly into the belt when it's on. I really don't want to need a "crutch" but I can see how more focus could be on the lift with rather than keeping the core tight.

    I'm trying to lift heavy for me on a cut, I have not been pushing for PRs but my method of progression has been getting me to lower and lower reps on the big 3.
    Last edited by Plateauplower; 05-21-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Leigh07's Avatar
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    As members have put, I use a belt on my heavy work sets only.
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  19. #19
    Hiding otter mode raynerd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    If I do end up getting a belt it would only be used for my heavy sets (4 or less planned reps). Does it become instinctual to use a vasalvo without and distend your belly into the belt when it's on. I really don't want to need a "crutch" but I can see how more focus could be on the lift with rather than keeping the core tight.

    I'm trying to lift heavy for me on a cut, I have not been pushing for PRs but my method of progression has been getting me to lower and lower reps on the big 3.
    I dunno, I don't look at it as a crutch. I trained without one for quite some time until I hurt my back lifting. To me, It just feels safer. I have read that wearing a belt will still allow activation of the core and your core strength will still be adequately worked when wearing it. It definitely does boost my confidence on a heavy lift, so there is some mental aspect there for sure.
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  20. #20
    Has new batteries! DuracellBunny's Avatar
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    Last time I used a belt was in 1995.
    Screw nature; my body will do what I DAMN WELL tell it to do!

    The only dangerous thing about an exercise is the person doing it.

    They had the technology to rebuild me. They made me better, stronger, faster......
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  21. #21
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    I respect everyone's opinion that has commented. I might order a custom 4" non-tapered from bestbelts. If I order it's going to take a while to get made and if up I decide to use it for low rep sets great, if not at least I can use as another fatness gauge on a slow bulk, as I doubt it will stretch much. My back hurts like a SOB right now because I was too stupid to abandon a DL, and I doubt it won't be the last time it happens. Thanks again all.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by hammerfelt View Post
    The belt is not a safety device. It's purpose is to be able to lift more weight.
    I don't notice a difference that I can lift more weight. I just notice my back doesn't hurt as much.
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  23. #23
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    From the perspective of someone who can't lift all that much but has read way more than anyone should on the subject, here is my opinion:

    You likely tweaked your back due to poor form. You say it was a slow pull that you should have dropped, my guess is that you probably inadvertently curved your lower back (however slightly). The belt won't give you good form. If your form is bad without a belt it will still be bad with a belt.

    I don't know how much you were pulling, but I don't see a reason that anyone pulling 3-4 plates or less should need a belt.

    Again, I am not experienced at all with those kinds of weights, but I tend to side with the idea that form should be addressed instead of adding a belt (assuming form is the culprit).
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  24. #24
    close enough isn't! hmmmm16417's Avatar
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    I tried a belt with squats a few weeks ago when I felt like it was getting too heavy and my back was feeling tired.....did not like it. Very uncomfortable and I think it hurt more than helped. No belt for me
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  25. #25
    Bulking! Clintw1976's Avatar
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    I wear a belt on heavy squats. I find it helps me lift more weight with the added support.
    Trying to add muscle! BULK I think the term is....................SLOWLY!


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  26. #26
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TubbyDad View Post
    From the perspective of someone who can't lift all that much but has read way more than anyone should on the subject, here is my opinion:

    You likely tweaked your back due to poor form. You say it was a slow pull that you should have dropped, my guess is that you probably inadvertently curved your lower back (however slightly). The belt won't give you good form. If your form is bad without a belt it will still be bad with a belt.

    I don't know how much you were pulling, but I don't see a reason that anyone pulling 3-4 plates or less should need a belt.

    Again, I am not experienced at all with those kinds of weights, but I tend to side with the idea that form should be addressed instead of adding a belt (assuming form is the culprit).
    Seriously dude, no offense but I read stuff too. I see a lot of input from you on a lot of threads, I'm really looking for input from guys that walk the walk. I don't think your "reading" is any different from what I've already looked at but thanks.
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    Sith Apprentice TubbyDad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    Seriously dude, no offense but I read stuff too. I see a lot of input from you on a lot of threads, I'm really looking for input from guys that walk the walk. I don't think your "reading" is any different from what I've already looked at but thanks.
    No offense taken, it's why I heavily prefaced it with the fact that I have no actual experience.
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  28. #28
    Registered User Silentpoet's Avatar
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    Belt up more for a squat than deadlift. I use an inzer lever belt. For squats I use the lever and crank it down on my top sets. For the deadlift I don't crank the lever. Even on heavier rack pulls cranking the lever hurts my pull. On the squat it make me feel much more stable to crank it down.
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  29. #29
    Registered User Jtbny's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Silentpoet View Post
    Belt up more for a squat than deadlift. I use an inzer lever belt. For squats I use the lever and crank it down on my top sets. For the deadlift I don't crank the lever. Even on heavier rack pulls cranking the lever hurts my pull. On the squat it make me feel much more stable to crank it down.
    I think this is common for many people. Was for me too until I started wearing the belt higher on deads than squat.
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by Jtbny View Post
    I think this is common for many people. Was for me too until I started wearing the belt higher on deads than squat.
    I really don't feel like I need it for squats at all. It's easier for me to pull the bar down tight into my traps and tighten up my core. Deads are where I feel like I'm less able to focus on core. Usually because I'm focusing leg and hip drive (I do have pretty bad hip and hamstring flexibility)...I strained my back trying to lockout, all focus was on getting hip thrust and shoulders back...I really doubt a belt would have prevented it honestly, I was just in a bad position long enough to give my lower back a workload it wasn't ready for...but going forward I can see it happening again and it kind of screwed up my session today, trying not to aggravate it further (which apparently I did).
    Last edited by Plateauplower; 05-21-2014 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Add my lack off flex.
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