Originally Posted by Weston Nichols
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?
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.