When to start wearing a belt?

tricks79

Active member
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#21
I will toss out one fun fact, having 2 herniated discs right now the belt does help me reduce pain. But it does in the exact way you would expect, increase abdominal pressure, and thus stabilize the spine more.

I've heard some pros comment that they try and go as high as they can beltless, cause then when they put the belt on they feel like superman and the next lift feels easy. Partially a mental thing .
 

zenmonky

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#22
i dont pl any more but when i did at 182: i tried to get proper warmed up without belt to build stability. i found at around 350-400 id start to feel wobbly and compression on my spine. then i used the belt for about 3 or less reps a set before i got to the workout. same as knee wraps, not competition tight but enough to increase pressure in knee. like it was keeping fluid in the knee so it wouldnt grind. when i gave up pl, i sold my fancy ratchet belt. i dont think pressing into your guts that hard is good for you.
 

mt666tm

mmm doughnuts
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#23
A guy I work with got a hernia from squatting less weight than I do and he needed surgery to fix it. I bought a belt after talking with him and I wear it all the time. For what its worth I am doing 10 reps or so at 365lb and I can do this without a belt just fine, but better safe than sorry. I can push more but with a questionable back and ankle I rarely go higher these days.

I did 405 for 5 last winter just to feel it out, but my lower back did not like that one bit.

I wear Asics Noosa-FAST 2 runners when I train (blue w. yellow/black camo). They breathe really well and are minimal with a great flat profile.
 

animal-inside

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#24
A guy I work with got a hernia from squatting less weight than I do and he needed surgery to fix it. I bought a belt after talking with him and I wear it all the time. For what its worth I am doing 10 reps or so at 365lb and I can do this without a belt just fine, but better safe than sorry. I can push more but with a questionable back and ankle I rarely go higher these days.

I did 405 for 5 last winter just to feel it out, but my lower back did not like that one bit.

I wear Asics Noosa-FAST 2 runners when I train (blue w. yellow/black camo). They breathe really well and are minimal with a great flat profile.

I'd bet the guy you work with wasn't using good form.

You see so many ppl in the gyms who have terrible form. period... Its all about the weight to these ppl so proper form is never ever learned. Learning proper form requires a LOT of lifting below your heavy working weights.

What I think is even worse is seeing someone have great form, but then once in awhile they want to really lift heavy, then their form goes out the window and they get hurt.


When I was being trained by iron addict he was very insistant that his clients do not go less then 4reps. I recall him saying he was OK with a very select client doing 2-3 rep sets, but is was a tiny number of ppl. He never pushed 1rep max ever... I can't remmebr what his reasons were, but he was big on not hurting yourself for any gain ever lol... Guessing this and the fact that in general form falls apart with those low rep max lifts.

form form form in my eyes.
 

Beothuk

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#25
Very interesting the way this convo has turned. I came to the thread just now with the intention of posting a hernia question but from a slightly different perspective than the prevention ya'll are discussing.

I've given this a lot of thought but never really "researched" it.

What do you think about the use of a belt for someone with an inguinal hernia (basically means down near the groin) ? Given that a belt will increase intra-abdominal pressure wouldn't that pressures tend to naturally try to self release through the weak spot? Question applies to both pre and post surgery injuries as I know a few men who have had repair surgery but it still doesn't feel quite right.
Intriguing question indeed and I’m of the opinion that a belt could potentially aggravate a pre existing hernia condition definitely pre surgery not to sure about post surgery though. Interested to hear if anyone has a inguinal hernia and still continues to wear a belt.

I felt like I was having symptoms of an inguinal hernia so I stopped using belts and the condition improved but it can’t state for certain that is was a hernia beginning to form or just groin aggravation.
 

Englishmustard

Bollocks!
Trusted Member
#26
Good advice.. I'll add

If your starting to feel the lower back in squats and the such, your lower back could probably be the limiting muscle in the movement and therefore it is going to feel like it hurts or is umfortable first in the muscles your using. Your issue could just be a weak lower back that you need to work on strengthening for a bit before hitting those numbers which cause the discomfort.

Personally, I have tried wearing a belt 2 times in my life. Once when I was 16 and didn't know any better. Thought it was part of being a lifter lol... And I tried one again when I was about 30 beause I wanted more support in my squats. I used the belt for a couple work outs in both cases. In the first care, it was stolen from my gym.. And when I was 30 I stopped using after a couple lifts because it wasn't comfrotable and I also thought "why use a belt when I don't need the support".. My thoughts are, by using a belt (too much), you could cause your body to be underdeveloped in a way. The belt releives some core muscles of their duty in a lift. This in my eyes isn't ideal. I can see the benefit of a belt on your 1 or two heaviest working sets, but any more then that I think your robbing your core of developement. Let your body develope in unison.

A belt works by increasing your abdominal pressure inside. This causes your core to be stiffer in a way. This makes your core not want to bend as much and therefore makes it easier for you to suport the weight with your core.

Elbow wraps I think work by making it difficult to fully bend your elbows. So as you lower the bar in a press, the wraps dont let your elbows bend in as easily therefore they are resisting some of the weight.. so they work slightly different then a belt.

A belt won't do fuck all for back pumps imo.... Thats the dbol I'm guessing. Huge guys get back pumps all the time from just holding themselves up.. I don't think your in this category though.


I don't like knee wraps either. I was taught they secure your knee cap in place too much during a movement which can cause damage. A knee cap is supposed to slide up and down through a knee bend. I know many disagree with this, but I did my personal training course through a top trainer and he taught us not to use them for those reasons.

I am a big pusher of using wrist wraps for pulling movements. Your grip strength will always limit your working weights on pulling movements when you beome more advanced. I know some guys will stick to no wraps as much as possible and only use them in their heaviest pulling movements, these guys generally have very well developed forearms. I use my wraps too much and it does show in my forearms compared to upper arms.
I’m not actually on dbol. I said in the parentheses that I wasn’t currently on it. That’s why I couldn’t decide whether it was just a natural back pump or general back pain.
Also understand not to use it as a crutch fulltime. That’s why I’ve been hesitant for all these years to start using one. It’s just now my numbers are getting somewhat respectable past the layman, maybe I should start?
I don’t think I have a weak lower back. I’ve been deadlifting 315 with relative ease for a few years, 405 for a couple reps. But maybe my job is having an effect on it too.
So many things!
 

Cog

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#27
I’m not actually on dbol. I said in the parentheses that I wasn’t currently on it. That’s why I couldn’t decide whether it was just a natural back pump or general back pain.
Also understand not to use it as a crutch fulltime. That’s why I’ve been hesitant for all these years to start using one. It’s just now my numbers are getting somewhat respectable past the layman, maybe I should start?
I don’t think I have a weak lower back. I’ve been deadlifting 315 with relative ease for a few years, 405 for a couple reps. But maybe my job is having an effect on it too.
So many things!
Your back could be experiencing residual fatigue from your work.There was a guy Jersey on CBB,hockey player,he started squatting with no belt just drawing in his abs.He began by doing vacuums,and after a period of time he was able to do partial vacs all day.He became very strong in his midsection.
 

Englishmustard

Bollocks!
Trusted Member
#28
Your back could be experiencing residual fatigue from your work.There was a guy Jersey on CBB,hockey player,he started squatting with no belt just drawing in his abs.He began by doing vacuums,and after a period of time he was able to do partial vacs all day.He became very strong in his midsection.
Maybe I’ll give that a go.
 

Cog

Well-known member
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#29
Maybe I’ll give that a go.
The reason I say this,is although the belt allows you to pressurize your midsection,your midsection is still in a slightly distended position.Somebody can have an extremely strong midsection,and a doctor performing an operation on this person may note a thick wall of muscle,but their midsection will still be somewhat bigger...
 

animal-inside

Well-known member
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#30
I’m not actually on dbol. I said in the parentheses that I wasn’t currently on it. That’s why I couldn’t decide whether it was just a natural back pump or general back pain.
Also understand not to use it as a crutch fulltime. That’s why I’ve been hesitant for all these years to start using one. It’s just now my numbers are getting somewhat respectable past the layman, maybe I should start?
I don’t think I have a weak lower back. I’ve been deadlifting 315 with relative ease for a few years, 405 for a couple reps. But maybe my job is having an effect on it too.
So many things!
Sorry, my bad.. I mis read your post.

Whats your weight? Just wondering if your lower back is under strain holding you up.

I dont know how to explain it, but to me its easy to tell between a pump or a pain. You're going to have to figure out which one it is before resolving your issue.

Do you get back pumps in the gym easily?

You could still have a weak lower back despite those numbers. You could be compensating with other muscles or yoru form to get those good numbers.

You could also have a muscle imbalance.... There was a day I didn't do any hamstring work because I hyper extended my knee and tore my PCL.. hamstring work was very painfull when I went back to the gym so I just stopped. Truthfully it was a welcome excuse to not do hammy's (I was 18).. I suffered a couple muscle tears in my hamstrings in the next 4 or 5 years because I continued to squat huge amounts of weight, but never hit my hammy's directly. Who would ever think you could high rep 405 squats but have a muslce imbalance with the hamstring. Essentially I'd do a huge forcuefull movement with my legs such as sprinting or jumping and my hammstring would tear.


Anyways, I think you need to narrow down what type of pain your experience in order to address it.

If you have health insurance it would take 1 visit to a good physiotherapist to narrow down your pain and get some exercises to resolve your issue. Its difficult to help you via on line compared to what a in person visit woudl do for you
 

German89

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#31
I'm just subbing to this so I can give it a read later
 
#32
I would err on the side of the a belt and learning to use it past a certain weight, when you get to sets of reps it helps the lower back from breaking down and flexing. You could do a lot of things wrong in the squat, but lower back & abdomen is the most vulnerable usually, all it is is the spine and organs, intestines, abs, whereas the other parts you have the rib cage, and of course the legs and hips are more solid, harder to hurt....so the belt also helps connects the ribs through to the hips through the abdomen and gives you a more solid link, and supports the lower spine with its pressure and from behind
 

Cog

Well-known member
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#33
I would err on the side of the a belt and learning to use it past a certain weight, when you get to sets of reps it helps the lower back from breaking down and flexing. You could do a lot of things wrong in the squat, but lower back & abdomen is the most vulnerable usually, all it is is the spine and organs, intestines, abs, whereas the other parts you have the rib cage, and of course the legs and hips are more solid, harder to hurt....so the belt also helps connects the ribs through to the hips through the abdomen and gives you a more solid link, and supports the lower spine with its pressure and from behind
I kind of agree since he has not been previously working hard on his squat.But he gets some Ab work at work.Weighted hypers are fairly safe.
 
#35
I kind of agree since he has not been previously working hard on his squat.But he gets some Ab work at work.Weighted hypers are fairly safe.
That's a great thing to bring up, back extensions are excellent assistance, I did them for a long time and just worked up slowly from torso weight only, they also help with the glutes and hams, almost seemed like it helped recovery sometimes. Never went excessively heavy, just get up to a weight that works to keep helping things along and keeps your back feeling good
 

Treneth

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#36
I've never used a belt, like havent even put one around my waist let alone lifted with one, been thinking about it lately not sure if the ol interweb is influencing people but I just keep seeing more and more ppl then ever before using them and guys of all shapes and sizes lifting all different weights using a belt. It almost appears it's just the thing to do nowadays.

Personally I feel i don't lift heavy enough to need a belt, I have no back injuries or anything going on that may require me to modify a squat or dead. I'm only about 5pounds heavier and 2inch in height then you, though I been slacking lately and not the strongest I've been I wasn't using a belt deadlifting 500lbx2 or squating 350x2. Yesterday I did a few sets of deads 405x5 and I just feel at that weight if I need a belt maybe I weakness in other areas I need to work on. Just my opinion and like I said I swear everyone is using them nowadays so really what do I know lol
 
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