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Weston Nichols
12-01-2008, 05:54 PM
Do you guys wear belts when squatting or doing olympic lifts? Are they necessary and when do you think you need/want them?

And could you recommendations for a good one?

Thanks

Weston

Matt Edwards
12-01-2008, 07:27 PM
Personally, I only wear a belt when going for a 1-3RM on deadlift for safety purposes. I live on the fact that not wearing a belt when squatting or O-Lifting will simply strenghten my core even more.

Joe Hart
12-01-2008, 08:57 PM
I wear a belt when I am north of 90% on my squats. I don't clean a whole buttload (compared to my squats) yet so I don't really wear one for OLY lifts. I did notice that I got a little more out of squats with a belt.. From what I have read I think it is more personal preference than anything. They don't cost that much. Give it a swing and see what you think.

Allen Yeh
12-02-2008, 05:04 AM
Do you guys wear belts when squatting or doing olympic lifts? Are they necessary and when do you think you need/want them?

And could you recommendations for a good one?

Thanks

Weston

I've yet to use one recently for either but Dave Van Skike had recommended:

http://www.cathletics.com/forum/showpost.php?p=39569&postcount=304

Another link here:
http://www.cathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2797&highlight=belt

I was going to ask for one from my brother for Christmas but he already bought my gift at one of the Black Friday sales, D'oh!

Dave Van Skike
12-02-2008, 10:24 AM
Do you guys wear belts when squatting or doing olympic lifts? Are they necessary and when do you think you need/want them?

And could you recommendations for a good one?

Thanks

Weston

always wear a belt it's safer!, never wear a belt it's not paleo!

it depends on your philosophy and your intent. here's a really long explanation of what I do and a number of folks I train around.

Belts, wraps, sleeves, straps, wrist tape, tacky, chalk and shoes are all "supportive" gear. To varying degrees they will allow you to lift more or push beyond your non-supported limits. Also to varying degrees you need to learn how to use them. the way a powerlifter uses a belt is much different than the way your average joeblow or UPS worker uses a belt.

Knowing when and where use your gear takes time. Old time PL guys like Ed Coan would do a ton of no belt squatting and pulling in the off season to build up their base strength even though they could and would always compete with a belt.

Stuff that's basic comfort, like shoes. I always wear. I don't see a benfit to not wearing them for any lift. I always use chalk becuase it's disgusting not to.

I wear knee sleeves for all squats becuase my knees not entirley stock equipment. I can squat fine without them and lose nothing in terms of top end load when I don't, but feel like I'm taking care of my investments.

I wear wrist wraps and a heavy leather belt for most of my squatting and pressing work sets. I do this because it allows me to push the total amount (intensity and volume) can squat and press. It also allows me to squat and press twice a week with only modest amounts of back and wrist pain.

For front squats I'll usually go without a belt because, for me, it's just an accessory lift that makes you stronger, but for big attempts I'll wear a belt for safety and to push myself.

for Zercher squats I never, ever wear a belt. Zerchers are about torque and core stabilty adn a great introduciton to round(ish) back lifting. I want to allow myself to feel my back round on a zercher..so, no belt.

For most strongman movements I am constantly trying to figure out if a belt helps or not, it changes from day to day and lift to lift...it always helps with carries, rarely with tire and or stones.

for Oly lifts and their ilk I rarely wear a belt. first, I am weak in these movements and don't really need the extra support and/or distraction. If I was any good at these, I'd be tempted to wear a belt for max attempts but that's something to learn.

supportive gear is a tool, it's worth owning and worth taking the time work with it so you know exactly how and when to use it to meet your goals.

Dan Heaney
12-02-2008, 10:41 AM
Heavy front and back sq and C&J I do

Brian Lawyer
12-02-2008, 12:09 PM
I quit using the belt all together and have never felt better. I had back problems all the time when using a belt.

I actually strapped on a belt the other day to do a heavy set of deadlifts but it felt so foreign to me that I took it off and did my workout without it. I need to get used to the belt again and I was going to try incorporating it into some 1 rep maxes to see if it helps my PR's.

Gant Grimes
12-02-2008, 12:12 PM
Great post, Dave. I agree with every bit of it (not that it matters, since I don't have as much knowledge, nor do I do much with Zerchers).

I strap in (with a mildly loose velcro belt) when I'm doing work sets of 5 or fewer in the squat and deadlift. I use knee sleeves when doing OLY and sleeves or loose wraps when I'm squatting. It's not tight enough to be much of an aid, but for some reason, it keeps my knees worn and pain free. That means a lot on high mileage equipment.

Haven't tried wrist wraps, but I will now that you mentioned them. I hurt my wrist in July, and it's still not right (very crunchy sounding), and it's holding back my OLY stuff. Thanks for that tip.

Like Dave said, even if you don't use equipment every day, you should learn to use it and learn how it works. I left my belt on once during a CF Total. I squatting and left it on very loosely while warming up the press (not enough for support, just tight enough so it didn't fall off). On my opening press, the belt flew off (remember, velcro). That's quite a bit of abdominal pressure and expansion.

Using a belt does not give you permission to let your trunk go to hell or use bad form.

Many don't use or advocate wearing a belt. Most here probably don't. Greg E. doesn't, and he's made some good, lengthy posts about it. Search for them.

You'll also hear from the functional fitness crowd that will tell you that wearing a belt (or shoes even) will make your core weak and leave you unprepared for the harsh urban jungle. If you believe this, please purchase the strongest belt you can find and hang yourself with it.

Brian Lawyer
12-02-2008, 12:26 PM
I didn't read the whole thread above but I should clarify that the belt I am talking about using is 4"-5" wide of about 1/4" - 1/2" thick leather all the way around front to back. Those leather belts that taper down in the front are just silly not to mention they aren't even that thick. After a few uses the leather becomes very flexible. Velcro, I'm not sure about.

Allen Yeh
12-02-2008, 12:28 PM
You'll also hear from the functional fitness crowd that will tell you that wearing a belt (or shoes even) will make your core weak and leave you unprepared for the harsh urban jungle. If you believe this, please purchase the strongest belt you can find and hang yourself with it.


:eek:


What you mean it doesn't make your core weak?!??!?

Weston Nichols
12-02-2008, 02:18 PM
Thanks for all the info. I did a few searches and couldn't find any of greg's posts about belt usage? Could anyone put up a link to them if you know know where they are?

Thanks

Weston

Gant Grimes
12-02-2008, 02:23 PM
:eek:


What you mean it doesn't make your core weak?!??!?

I know, man, I know.

Unlike the neck rings worn by some African and Asian cultures, the belt will not cause you to flop over and die when removed.

Thanks for all the info. I did a few searches and couldn't find any of greg's posts about belt usage? Could anyone put up a link to them if you know know where they are?

Thanks

Weston

Crossfit forums.

Greg Everett
12-03-2008, 11:08 AM
Weston -

My opinion on belts is pretty simple - if you lift very heavy weights, at some point, you will probably use a belt. I think use should be reserved to only the heaviest lifts, e.g. 85-90% and above, depending on the situation. Personally I will throw one one when I'm squatting or jerking at 90% + or so, but very rarely use on to deadlift unless it's extremely heavy (which I hardly ever do anyway).

Brian Lawyer
12-13-2008, 09:30 AM
Weston -
Personally I will throw one one when I'm squatting or jerking at 90% + or so, but very rarely use on to deadlift unless it's extremely heavy (which I hardly ever do anyway).

Based on Greg's advice, I thought I would try wearing a belt for C&J. I've felt a little wobbly through my core during the heavy jerks. I thought a belt might help add some stability. The problem was as I was cleaning the weight the bar caught on my belt buckle.

Is there a special type of belt for O'Lifting? Mine apparently is to thick. It's about 4" wide w/ 1/4" thick leather all the way around.

Or am I supposed to turn my belt around backwards so buckle doesn't catch in front?