2

votes

Weightlifting Belt - Usage v Non Usage

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 01, 2012 at 4:33 AM

Hi All, Crossfitter with a strength bias. Have been belting up for anything in the 1-3RM range and not using a belt with anything over 5's. Use of most lifts, deads, squats, press and heavy o-lifts. Would like to know your experience on usage and any studies or anecdotes support the use/non use of a belt in relation to strength and core strength.

Thanks PHers

9bd33dab06ad6696b1b6a06aed818f05

(659)

on September 17, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Muzammal you sneaky mammal

Medium avatar

(19479)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I never lift with a belt for essentially the same reasons listed above. If you are looking to put up the biggest 'number' you can, then a belt and other gear (wraps, bench shirts, etc.) will definitely help get you there. If you are looking for practical, functional strength based on what your body can and cannot do, don't use a belt. Remember that your core musculature IS your weightlifting belt. Make it stronger instead of propping it up and making it weaker!

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on February 01, 2012
at 04:49 AM

Check out some of the stuff Rippetoe has written on belts. His philosophy is, if it is a tool that makes you stronger (which it is), then use it. When you take the belt off you'll still be stronger than if you were to have been training without the belt.

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7 Answers

best answer

7
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on February 01, 2012
at 05:05 AM

I'm a strength-based crossfitter and very amateur oly weightlifter. I never use belts, straps, or wraps for any lifts, even 1RMs. I figure that my main goal is to get stronger not to lift more weight. It may be true that a belt may help you get stronger, but I still think you'll do better in the long run without it. If you can't hit a heavy front squat because you're core is collapsing, wearing the belt won't help make your core stronger. It may help you lift more weight and make your posterior chain stronger, but you still have the weak link in the core and I'd focus getting stronger there.

It all depends on what your goal is. If you want to get stronger, then you have to work on your weak links. If you want to lift more weight, then you use something to support your weak links.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I never lift with a belt for essentially the same reasons listed above. If you are looking to put up the biggest 'number' you can, then a belt and other gear (wraps, bench shirts, etc.) will definitely help get you there. If you are looking for practical, functional strength based on what your body can and cannot do, don't use a belt. Remember that your core musculature IS your weightlifting belt. Make it stronger instead of propping it up and making it weaker!

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 01, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Lovin' the ronniecoleman tag... YEAH BUDDAY! BOOOOM!

I stopped wearing a belt about 2 years ago, when I decided to stop competing in Strongman and focus more on the quick lifts as well as highland games throwing. Since I can't wear a belt in those lifts (too restrictive), I decided that I would ultimately "practice how I play" and ditch the belt.

My "strength" lifts (squat/dead) went down, but my quick lifts went up because I was no longer using a belt for my supporting lifts.

Every once in awhile I get a little nostalgic for accessory backwork such as heavy shrugs, and I will wear a belt for those as I tend to go pretty heavy on them, and because of that there is significant room for error. But for my pulls, my squats, my cleans and snatches, I'm beltless and happy.

Two weeks ago I walked 80 feet with a 700lbs superyoke when deciding to train with some of my old strongman pals. I wore shorts, t-shirt, and vibrams. It was much more challenging than when I used to wear a rehband neoprene back brace with a big heavy inzer belt over it, knee sleeves, hightop vans laced so tight my toes were numb, etc... but I know I'm MUCH stronger now... there is no way I could have hit 700 without a belt even when I was regularly going 900+lbs in that event with all the equipment.

3
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on February 24, 2012
at 01:10 PM

I used to lift both with and without supportive gear. What eventually sunk into my head was that I was going for amazing functional strength.

I did not want to be dependent on a belt for greater strength, I wanted to just be stronger.

My thought was that if I practiced with a weight belt, then I would be habituated to it and when was out in the world without it, then I stood a greater chance of damaging myself.

I am much stronger in many extended and unbalanced positions now! And that seems a better preparation for the real world.

2
0e2772604bdb3627525b42d77340538b

on February 01, 2012
at 02:23 PM

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 01, 2012
at 08:54 AM

I got two hernias from heavy lifting without a belt years ago, and they still flare up if I do Deadlifts of Squats without a belt. The following night it feels like someone sticks a knife in my rectum (!) and twists. It's more painful than it sounds, and not nearly as funny.

YMMV, but I'd advise against lifting without a belt.

-1
F24b4d91fc33485ca232fcaa225f1ebe

on September 16, 2012
at 05:30 PM

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9bd33dab06ad6696b1b6a06aed818f05

(659)

on September 17, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Muzammal you sneaky mammal

-1
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(78467)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:37 PM

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