Should you wear a belt when you train?

There are differing views of the value of wearing weight belts in training. Many of these views seems to lack logic. Once again the problem is that many of these views come from those who don’t do a lot of lifting themselves.

I believe that a lifting belt has 3 main purposes:
– lower back safety;
– allows you to lift more weight probably because it increase abdominal pressure;
– increases lifter confidence which should also lead to more weight lifted.

Opponents of the belt will tell you a lot of things such as it promotes bad technique and will make injuries more serve. I have not seen any scientific research to support this and my practical experience over the last 20 years is quite the opposite.

I encourage limited use of a belt. This means reserving it for heavy movements such as deadlifts, squats, good mornings and rows. I will also put it on when I am attempting a new PR in benching movements but this is probably more of a psychological thing.

I believe that the benefits of using a belt outweigh any negatives. You should always use good technique and reserve the belt for those big poundages. I tend to put my belt on at about the 50% mark (50% of my top set). Some will save it until they near their max. The important thing is to do what works for you.

So by all means use a belt. Anything which enables you to lift more weight has got to be a good thing.

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