The truth about WEIGHT LIFTING BELTS

  • alex19

    Posts: 1

    Apr 07, 2009 2:15 PM GMT
    Everyone has heard of them, also known as bodybuilding belts, some people use them, some people dont,

    I used it for a while, but then i felt a bit unconfortable with it and sometime it used to leave some marks,

    But what the belt relly for?

    Which are the benefits if it? Its pros and conts?

    Does it relly helps in anything? or it gives you only a false sence of security wich ur mind makes real,

    what are your exepirences and advices,
    what are the myths and tha facts around about this device?
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    Apr 07, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    Well I´ve never used one. i understood that they were to provide support for the lower back to stop strain... but you should use the abdominals for that. Perhaps they are useful at *very* heavy weights.

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    Apr 07, 2009 2:41 PM GMT
    A few years ago I worked in an occupational medicine clinic. At that time, there was no proof that lifting belts reduced occupational back injuries. Employers however still require employees to wear belts.

    Lifting weights in the gym is somewhat a different situation. I heard comments from guys that belts are the greatest thing to they are worthless. Others say there good for making me look cool.

    Here is a link for fitness professionals from the University Of New Mexico Sports Education. Read the article and you can decide for yourself

    http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/weightbelt.html

    I haven't been able to get the URL function to work on some of my postsicon_confused.gif
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Apr 07, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    Weight lifting belts have their place.
    I use one only when lifting max weights - squats, leg press, dead lift, etc. I do not use them otherwise.
    Perhaps it will take pulling a lower back muscle a couple of times before one can truly appreciate the benefits. Mind you, one still needs to keep good form in check - a belt does not take the place of good technique and form when lifting.
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    Apr 07, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
    I've heard that they will make your lower back weaker.
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    Apr 07, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    Mainly there use it to make you aware of the muscles that they are in contact with so that you use those muscles properly when lifting.
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Apr 07, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    twentyfourhourslater saidWeight lifting belts have their place.
    I use one only when lifting max weights - squats, leg press, dead lift, etc. I do not use them otherwise.
    Perhaps it will take pulling a lower back muscle a couple of times before one can truly appreciate the benefits. Mind you, one still needs to keep good form in check - a belt does not take the place of good technique and form when lifting.


    +1 - My trainer only has me belt up when we are doing max lift efforts on squats, dead lift, etc. I agree that it should not be a crutch to make up for bad form and technique.

    Also - welcome to the forums Alex.
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    Apr 07, 2009 5:20 PM GMT
    Those of you who have been viewing me for a while know one of my sayings about bodies, and individuals: if you coddle it, it only makes it weaker. There you go. Strength comes when you walk into, through, and beyond your comfort level. Weight belts, included.

    I never use a weight belt unless I'm moving 1200 on the leg press (I'll also wrap my knees tight too.), ... to keep from blowing out, but, I'm a firm believer in not coddling weak body parts, or people.

    I must confess to using wrist wraps so I can handle must heavier dumbbells and push more blood into my upper arms.

    Most folks will tell you that, for everyday use, lifting aids, aren't needed, and can often hinder your progess, and lead to injury. (I need to start working my forearms harder, and my obliques more.)
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    Apr 07, 2009 6:56 PM GMT
    I've never used lifting belts. To me, they seem restricting and uncomfortable. And they help you cheat a little and allow you to push more weight. Eventually, it will become a crutch and you won't be able to lift without a belt.

    Yeah, I've tweaked my back a few times when I was first starting out. But that was due to bad form and too much weights. But over time, my back developed quite nicely. I can pull heavy weights without a belt, while other guys can't pull the same weight unless they have a belt, strapped on super tight. It's ridiculous.. I don't know how they can even breathe.

    But yeah, unless you're going for a world record 1-rep max, you really don't need a lifting belt. Know your limits and capabilities, and select weights accordingly. If you're feeling a little strong that day, add a few more pounds to the bar and then ask someone to spot you.

    As for straps, I don't use them either. I like to develop my grip strength both directly with forearm/grip exercises and indirectly from other exercises. Forearms are probably more neglected than legs. I see way too many guys at the gym with nice upper bodies, but with skinny legs and toothpick forearms. icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 07, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    All this time I thought people were wearing a corset.
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    Apr 15, 2009 7:06 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidMainly there use it to make you aware of the muscles that they are in contact with so that you use those muscles properly when lifting.


    Exactly right, Alpha. They don't actually support your lower back, they just make you aware of the lower back and abdominal musculature and remind you to engage your core when doing things like squats or deadlifts.

    I don't personally use them, but ... I kind of a nazi about form anyway. :-p
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    Apr 15, 2009 8:13 PM GMT
    oh god...i have a bad visual of someone wearing a weight belt at my gym a few weeks ago.

    Thin average-looking guy, actually rather skinny, wearing this tight stretchy shirt, which made his arms looking even smaller than they were. He comes onto the floor with his weight belt on, with his shirt pushed up. so i'm seeing his weight belt, wide band of white skin (he definitely hadn't seen the sun in awhile) and his shirt pushed all the way up. Oh, and he's just doing arm exercises!

    OK, if you were doing squats or pressing some really heavy weights, i could understand the belt, but only doing 20# bicep curls?

    And he asked my trainer a question about gloves, but he couldn't answer because this guy would not shut up! HeI spent 3 minutes going "yeah, but..." and not getting a word in. And I'm trying not to burst out laughing.

    haven't seen him since, maybe he's going at another time