There's no reason not to wear a belt.
It's really a matter of personal preference.
I started using a belt at around 335. This lasted about 4 weeks, then I ditched it.
It just added another variable that I didn't want to worry about. I couldn't adjust it to the same tightness from workout to workout, so It was hard to be consistent.
I might start using one again if I'm absolutely stuck for too long, but until that happens, no belt.
I have a long torso, am middle-aged, and have a history of back problems.
I use a belt for any squat of 135+ and deadlift of 225+.
My abs and obliques are still getting a darn good workout, and it gives me confidence to take on bigger weights.
I don't care if I look silly belting up for such light weights.
I'm repping more than 2xBW for reps without a belt on squats and probably a 2.5xBW no belt max. Not a raw nazi though, just couldn't afford a good one. =(
I had my low-bar squat up to 265lbs (not great, but still had LP left) and I started wearing a belt at work sets of 225lbs or so. Coach switched me to high-bar so I wear a belt for the work sets on those now. Same goes for front squats. I also wear one when I press or jerk from the rack. If it reminds me to stay tight with a heavy load I see no issue with it.
I got one to help me with lower back problems. I think it's in the book to use one if you need it, and if in doubt then do. I think that's good advice. If you are progressing, have no back injuries, and aren't competing, I'd probably just continue on beltless. If it aint broke don't fix it and all that.
Well I decided to try it on yesterday's worksets at 382.5 and it felt great. Since there's no real downside to wearing it I'll just continue to use it. Thanks for all replys on is thread.
Originally Posted by elVarouza
Apart from quick warmup sets, always use the belt. It increases the contraction of your abdominals (which strengthens them), it increases trunk stability and support, increases power transfer to the bar, and it allows you to lift heavier weights. I don't understand how some vehemently oppose the use of a belt during lifting, must be an evolution of the whole new ultra-super-squeaky-raw lifting.
Since the OP's (by the way nice squats, man) questions is settled, I have one more. I started doing ramped 5x5 for my squats, trying to increase twice per week (or at least make rep progress if I only get one or two at a certain weight). I've been belting up for only the top set. Just curious as to when others bring the belt in on ramped sets. I have found that the penultimate set (~90% of the top set) of 5 is quite difficult beltless.
I do so when the weight on the bar is close to BW.
Originally Posted by RussB