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When do you put on the belt?

I've always trained beltless for the past two years that I have been lifting seriously. Now that my lifts have progressed enough that I'm actually thinking about competing in next years novice powerlifting meet, I bought a cheapo belt made by Bulls and am experimenting on it.

For the squat, I found the belt to be of no significant help for me. I basically can lift the same with or without it. For the deadlift, I seem to get more out of the belt, than in the squat. I don't think I lift heavy enough in the bench to warrant using one. LOL. :D

People knowledgeable in the subject seems to be divided on the issue. You've got pro belt experts such as Charles Staley and Joe Defranco who is actually a belt-convert, so to speak. They state that the abdominals get a great workout by pushing out on the belt during maximal lifts. On the other side of the fence, you have Paul Carter and others who view the belt as a crutch.

Now this thread is not about whether or not I should wear one. I've decided that I will be using a belt, not because of the reasons stated by the experts, but by the simple fact that if I'm going to compete with one, then I better train with one. I find that there is a change in the way I squat and deadlift with the belt, and without it. I'll do myself a favor and simplify stuff by just eliminating the said change in form and exercise setup deviation.

Now the question is when do I use it? I've always put on the belt only on my last set in my ME day. Should I use it more often, say when I get to 3 plates on each side and up? I would really love to hear Mr Eddie Torres and the Zest gang on this. I plan on lifting more than 6 plates on each side in the hopefully not so distant future, in which these guys are the experts.

Oh and of course, the prerequisite lift figures.

Squat: 385lb (did 4 weeks ago, i think I can do more now)
Bench: 305lb (did last week, grinding it out kind of rep)
Deadlift: 455lb (did 4 weeks ago, was quite easy, i think i had 30 to 40 more pounds in me)

Oh and even if you don't lift more than 6 plates on each side, I would still love to hear your opinion on it. :)
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Comments

  • You're one strong dude. How many years did it take you to progress at this level? I would also want to venture into powerlifting in the future.

    If you don't mind, what's your current weight and where do you train by the way?
  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    just my 2 cents..

    when you're already lifting past 95% of your 1rm and you plan to do more than 3 reps total ( be it singles or doubles) you can try puting on a belt..

    I still believe in training without a belt as much as possible but if you're gonna compete in powerlifting, then training with the belt every now and then is not a bad idea so you can practice learning how to use the belt to your advantage

    I remember a year and a half ago, I did 300 raw and then tried putting a belt on, 315 felt even easier than the 300 I did a few minutes before that...
  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    archer, he trains at eclipse shaw
  • ^300 on squat or DL?
  • You're one strong dude. How many years did it take you to progress at this level? I would also want to venture into powerlifting in the future.

    If you don't mind, what's your current weight and where do you train by the way?

    I seriously dont think I'm strong, yet. I'm basically just below the 3-4-5 plate range now. I know teenagers putting up numbers like mine. When I get to the 4-5-6 plate range, then maybe I'll consider myself of above average strength. ;)

    I've lifted back in college but that was mostly just fooling around. I only started lifting seriously about two years ago, around August 2008 I think. My weight also has to do with me lifting those numbers, cause I'm a fatass. LOL. My weight ranges from 211 to 225, depending on how much carb I take in the weekends. :D Oh and I train in Eclipse.
  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    ^300 on squat or DL?

    that was a 300 squat...

    maybe next time I test my weights I'll try to deadlift using a belt and see the difference
  • blakedaddy wrote: »
    just my 2 cents..

    when you're already lifting past 95% of your 1rm and you plan to do more than 3 reps total ( be it singles or doubles) you can try puting on a belt..

    I still believe in training without a belt as much as possible but if you're gonna compete in powerlifting, then training with the belt every now and then is not a bad idea so you can practice learning how to use the belt to your advantage

    I remember a year and a half ago, I did 300 raw and then tried putting a belt on, 315 felt even easier than the 300 I did a few minutes before that...

    Sounds a lot like what I was thinking. High rep squatting and deadlifting really pumps up my lower back sometimes leading to form degradation. My reaaaally long torso only aggravates that problem. :lol:
  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    ^ you'll be surprised how easy it is to squat or deadlift when you move to singles or doubles...
  • KEITH22-
    I pretty much have the same comments as blakedaddy concerning belt usage, though some lifters are more "conservative" and might use it for reps as high as 85 % or even 80 % for various reasons (some low back discomfort, etc..) .

    As for your not feeling a difference when squatting with or without a belt, i suspect its one or a combination of the ff reasons:

    1) Weight may not be heavy enough for your core muscles capabilities. You might have relatively stronger core/stabilizer muscles than your prime mover muscles (main squat muscles) for the squat

    2) You may have not been hard or tight enough (formwise), yes, a belt helps, but you still do the lifting. Some people use a belt and just kinda "relax" their body thinking the belt will automatically do a lot of the work for them. You still need to exert maximum effort in keeping your form as best you can even with a belt on.

    3) Belt may not have been on tight enough (tightness helps increase Intra-abdominal pressure, which helps stabilize spine). A tight belt may reach a point of real discomfort even before you actually lift the weight, thats normal.

    Are you using a powerlifting belt (equal width all around), or a standard gym/weightlifting belt (wide in the back and narrow in front)?

    When using a standard gym belt, i turn it around (wide part in front and narrow part in the back) since there has been research that belts that support the abdomen, rather than the spine is what increases Intra-abdominal pressure.
  • patrickt wrote: »
    KEITH22-
    I pretty much have the same comments as blakedaddy concerning belt usage, though some lifters are more "conservative" and might use it for reps as high as 85 % or even 80 % for various reasons (some low back discomfort, etc..) .

    As for your not feeling a difference when squatting with or without a belt, i suspect its one or a combination of the ff reasons:

    1) Weight may not be heavy enough for your core muscles capabilities. You might have relatively stronger core/stabilizer muscles than your prime mover muscles (main squat muscles) for the squat

    2) You may have not been hard or tight enough (formwise), yes, a belt helps, but you still do the lifting. Some people use a belt and just kinda "relax" their body thinking the belt will automatically do a lot of the work for them. You still need to exert maximum effort in keeping your form as best you can even with a belt on.

    3) Belt may not have been on tight enough (tightness helps increase Intra-abdominal pressure, which helps stabilize spine). A tight belt may reach a point of real discomfort even before you actually lift the weight, thats normal.

    Are you using a powerlifting belt (equal width all around), or a standard gym/weightlifting belt (wide in the back and narrow in front)?

    When using a standard gym belt, i turn it around (wide part in front and narrow part in the back) since there has been research that belts that support the abdomen, rather than the spine is what increases Intra-abdominal pressure.

    patrickct,

    1. I sure hope so. :)

    2. I think I was tight enough since as I have said, I've trained beltless for the last two years, and that includes all my max effort days. Although I'll be more mindful about keeping tight next time.

    3. As I have mentioned, I just bought the cheapo belt form bulls, meaning it is the weightlifting type with the narrower front part. Will try your suggestion on my next ME day. As for tightness, I'll try to tighten it up more next time and see how it goes.

    Oh BTW, do you know where I can get those powerlifting type belts?
  • Keith 22-
    When you decide to use the regular gym belt really tight with the wider part in front, you may need someone else to buckle up the belt since its hard or nearly impossible to do it yourself reaching behind.

    Take note that it might feel weird and maybe restrictive when doing deadlifts,since depending on the actual width of the wide part of the belt, it would reach your lower ribs already.

    I think you can buy a powerlifting belt from Eddie Torres, why dont you pm him.
  • patrickt wrote: »
    Keith 22-
    When you decide to use the regular gym belt really tight with the wider part in front, you may need someone else to buckle up the belt since its hard or nearly impossible to do it yourself reaching behind.

    Take note that it might feel weird and maybe restrictive when doing deadlifts,since depending on the actual width of the wide part of the belt, it would reach your lower ribs already.

    I think you can buy a powerlifting belt from Eddie Torres, why dont you pm him.

    LOL! Yeah, that would be quite a feat, I dont think anyone in the powerlifting world is that flexible. :D Thanks for the tips man, ill keep that in mind. I got Eddie's number from Coach Nilo of Eclipse, I'll contact him soon. Thanks again.
  • keith22 wrote: »
    I've always trained beltless for the past two years that I have been lifting seriously. Now that my lifts have progressed enough that I'm actually thinking about competing in next years novice powerlifting meet, I bought a cheapo belt made by Bulls and am experimenting on it.

    For the squat, I found the belt to be of no significant help for me. I basically can lift the same with or without it. For the deadlift, I seem to get more out of the belt, than in the squat. I don't think I lift heavy enough in the bench to warrant using one. LOL. :D

    People knowledgeable in the subject seems to be divided on the issue. You've got pro belt experts such as Charles Staley and Joe Defranco who is actually a belt-convert, so to speak. They state that the abdominals get a great workout by pushing out on the belt during maximal lifts. On the other side of the fence, you have Paul Carter and others who view the belt as a crutch.

    Now this thread is not about whether or not I should wear one. I've decided that I will be using a belt, not because of the reasons stated by the experts, but by the simple fact that if I'm going to compete with one, then I better train with one. I find that there is a change in the way I squat and deadlift with the belt, and without it. I'll do myself a favor and simplify stuff by just eliminating the said change in form and exercise setup deviation.

    Now the question is when do I use it? I've always put on the belt only on my last set in my ME day. Should I use it more often, say when I get to 3 plates on each side and up? I would really love to hear Mr Eddie Torres and the Zest gang on this. I plan on lifting more than 6 plates on each side in the hopefully not so distant future, in which these guys are the experts.

    Oh and of course, the prerequisite lift figures.

    Squat: 385lb (did 4 weeks ago, i think I can do more now)
    Bench: 305lb (did last week, grinding it out kind of rep)
    Deadlift: 455lb (did 4 weeks ago, was quite easy, i think i had 30 to 40 more pounds in me)

    Oh and even if you don't lift more than 6 plates on each side, I would still love to hear your opinion on it. :)
    Keith22,
    Unless there is discomfort in the lower back when you squat, you generally don’t need to wear a belt unless you are somewhere at 80 or 90% of your raw full squat max (or theoretical max). A smaller/lighter lifter would generally want to use a belt at a lower percentage while a bigger lifter could go higher percentages before using a belt because the heavier lifter would already have more support in the midsection (generally). You are around my weight so that may be why you feel the belt is not as helpful. But the belt will help you when you do 1RM. The belt is a crutch if you use it on light weights.

    In the late 1990’s, i have tried to max out w/o a belt. I only got around 95% of my belted max. For ME, you may or may not (if there is no discomfort) wear a belt as long as you log it w/ that info. But i suggest to wear a belt for ME to really push your legs to the max.

    Your lifts are decent. I think you can do pretty good in the novice competition – most probably win the gold medal there. You should hit 5 x 45 pound plates per side soon.
  • Keith22,
    Unless there is discomfort in the lower back when you squat, you generally don’t need to wear a belt unless you are somewhere at 80 or 90% of your raw full squat max (or theoretical max). A smaller/lighter lifter would generally want to use a belt at a lower percentage while a bigger lifter could go higher percentages before using a belt because the heavier lifter would already have more support in the midsection (generally). You are around my weight so that may be why you feel the belt is not as helpful. But the belt will help you when you do 1RM. The belt is a crutch if you use it on light weights.

    In the late 1990’s, i have tried to max out w/o a belt. I only got around 95% of my belted max. For ME, you may or may not (if there is no discomfort) wear a belt as long as you log it w/ that info. But i suggest to wear a belt for ME to really push your legs to the max.

    Your lifts are decent. I think you can do pretty good in the novice competition – most probably win the gold medal there. You should hit 5 x 45 pound plates per side soon.

    That is very encouraging especially coming from you sir. Oh and if its ok, I asked for your number from Coach Nilo of Eclipse Mabini, I'd like to inquire about powerlifting equipments that you carry. I would also like to train in Zest at least once or twice a week since I definitely need help on assessing the weakpoints in my lifts. I've mostly just researched the training methodologies I used and pestered Mr Joseph Ang whenever he trains in Eclipse for my training questions. LOL. It would be a big deal for me if you or any of your staff can help me with getting strong(er). Hope to run in to you in Zest in the very near future.
  • keith22 wrote: »
    I've always trained beltless for the past two years that I have been lifting seriously. Now that my lifts have progressed enough that I'm actually thinking about competing in next years novice powerlifting meet, I bought a cheapo belt made by Bulls and am experimenting on it.

    For the squat, I found the belt to be of no significant help for me. I basically can lift the same with or without it. For the deadlift, I seem to get more out of the belt, than in the squat. I don't think I lift heavy enough in the bench to warrant using one. LOL. :D

    People knowledgeable in the subject seems to be divided on the issue. You've got pro belt experts such as Charles Staley and Joe Defranco who is actually a belt-convert, so to speak. They state that the abdominals get a great workout by pushing out on the belt during maximal lifts. On the other side of the fence, you have Paul Carter and others who view the belt as a crutch.

    Now this thread is not about whether or not I should wear one. I've decided that I will be using a belt, not because of the reasons stated by the experts, but by the simple fact that if I'm going to compete with one, then I better train with one. I find that there is a change in the way I squat and deadlift with the belt, and without it. I'll do myself a favor and simplify stuff by just eliminating the said change in form and exercise setup deviation.

    Now the question is when do I use it? I've always put on the belt only on my last set in my ME day. Should I use it more often, say when I get to 3 plates on each side and up? I would really love to hear Mr Eddie Torres and the Zest gang on this. I plan on lifting more than 6 plates on each side in the hopefully not so distant future, in which these guys are the experts.

    Oh and of course, the prerequisite lift figures.

    Squat: 385lb (did 4 weeks ago, i think I can do more now)
    Bench: 305lb (did last week, grinding it out kind of rep)
    Deadlift: 455lb (did 4 weeks ago, was quite easy, i think i had 30 to 40 more pounds in me)

    Oh and even if you don't lift more than 6 plates on each side, I would still love to hear your opinion on it. :)

    when you're tad sensitive, i think you should wear a belt. 305lb of bench ain't too bad if you're "grinding" it out with your ego and your belt on the line.. gotta keep that arc on yer back now, yeah? *okay*
  • when you're tad sensitive, i think you should wear a belt. 305lb of bench ain't too bad if you're "grinding" it out with your ego and your belt on the line.. gotta keep that arc on yer back now, yeah? *okay*

    can't let it go eh? now who's sensitive? :lol:
  • keith0, i've been meaning to post on yer thread. it's only now that it make sense.

    get off your high horse sometimes and train with me. i know i can learn something from you.. you're a geek for crying out loud!

    go keith0 go keith0 GO!!!
  • my usage of belt (double buckle leather 5")

    only when:
    last heavy set of DL or BBrows or Tbar rows
    last heavy set of standing or seated BB/DB shoulder press
    triple/quad drop db delt lat raises

    other than that, belt stays inside the gym bag




    peace
  • F-A SoldierF-A Soldier PEx Rookie ⭐
    I've a gold's gym one but I haven't used it in so long LOL.
  • I've a gold's gym one but I haven't used it in so long LOL.

    me and keith0 will have a good use of that. you should send it to either of us.

    i'm serious, soulja boy. :naughty:
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