ALL ABOUT THE BELT I get lots of questions about my belt. So today’s post is a Q&A on belts!
WHY USE A BELT? A belt allows for a harder abdominal contraction as it provides a proprioceptive cue to the abs. Think about which you can push harder against - a pillow or a wall? The wall because it provides a resistance to push against. You can brace your abs harder when you can get tactile feedback from the belt than you can get beltless. The harder you brace your abs the better you support the spine (and consequently the load) during the lift.
ISN’T THR PURPOSE OF A BELT TO PROTECT YOUR BACK? Sort of. But it’s not actually the belt that does the protecting. It’s the fact that with a belt you can squeeze your abs tighter and create a more ridgid torso that supports the spine. The belt doesn’t directly support your torso, it indirectly supports it by providing feedback to your abs to tighten and make it a rigid cylinder.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A BELT? If you are at all serious about lifting heavy you would likely benefit from a belt. However, it’s not mandatory. There are plenty of really strong lifters who lift beltless. But, if you have been lifting heavier weights for a couple months and plan to keep trying to progress it’s worth considering the investment. Plus, many brands take months to get shipped to you, so as a newish heavy lifter by the time it arrives at your house you will likely be ready.
DOES A BELT MAKE YOU WEAKER? Using a belt will not magically allow you to lift more weight. You still have to brace your abs and do the work to move the load. It simply gives your body a external cue to allow for a better ab brace. So, no. 😉
WHAT BELT DO I USE? I have a 4-inch @inzer_official 1 prong belt. I love it and recommend it, but just be warned shipping takes, like, 7 weeks 😳 I ordered a 3-inch belt from Best Belts which my coach suggested specifically for my deadlift, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Whether you go with a 3 or 4-inch belt depends on your size and torso length. Many women, especially if you are shorter, will do better with a 3-inch. Most guys and taller women may prefer a 4-inch.
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Deadlift: 235 lb x 5