Looking to get stronger? There’s an
app lifting belt for that.
Weirdly, lifting belts have a goodand a bad rep. I say ‘weirdly’ because those in the know will tell you exactly how beneficial they can be for building strength...when used correctly.
See, when it comes to anything in life - be it learning to cook, learning how to land more dates or building one’s strength - we need to get greedy and use all the aids that are available to help us on our way.
When it comes to getting stronger, the math is simple: You need to lift heavier. In order to do this, there will come a time when you really need to use a lifting belt. Note that I said ‘there will come a time’...that doesn’t mean you use one all the time!
In this article, I’m going to take a look further at when and why you need to use a lifting belt for weight training, before discussinghowto use one properly.
Some people are skeptical about lifting belts:
“Bro, they just make itseem like you’re stronger than you are. They’re for wussy’s. Real men don’t need belts.”
Hmm, that’skindanot true, though.
A lifting belt isn’t going to turn you into Iron Man without you having to lift a finger. Instead, a lifting belt is more scientific than supernatural; it helps to tighten and squeeze your core muscles harder so that you’re better able to lift heavy weights. It doesn’t so much as directly support your torso as it indirectly provides communication to your core so that it makes itself as tight as possible.
Moreover, by increasing anterior pressure, a lifting belt helps to stabilise your spine. This ensures support and helps to prevent injury. A lifting belt also stabilises yourentiremidsection.
However, for a belt to offer enough support, it needs to be 3-4” wide like the Beast Gear PowerBelt. The PowerBelt belt is also 10mm thick, which provides optimum support.
If the belt is only two inches wide or less, it won’t be very supportive. If it’s 5”+, it probably won’t fit properly. Meanwhile, for a lifting belt to be effective its material needs to be nice and firm - suede and leather will do nicely, thank you very much.
There’ll still be some douchebags who comment on your Instagram pics to tell you, you’re cheating by using a belt, of course. But screw ‘em. You and I know better.
When you’re asking a lot of your mid and lower back, you should definitely consider using a lifting belt.
For example, if you’re doing any of the following:
These are the workouts you should use a belt for. But you also need to know …
You can stride into the gym wearing your belt, and stride out again with it still on like the badass that you are. It’s up to you.
However, if you’re planning to use the belt as a crutch, it’s a good idea to pick certain weights or certain positions in your workout to add the belt in.
Moreover, it’s good practice not to becometoo dependent on it. As such, you could pick specific training days where you use the lifting belt and specific days where you don’t use it.
A good practice is to put your lifting belt early on in your workout so that your core focus for the session is on your top sets.
It’s also a good idea to use your belt whenever the going gets a bit hairy. When it’s getting tough out there, consider belting up.
There are a couple of different types of lifting belts and they vary in fasteners, width, and thickness. Here are the different types of lifting belts and their benefits:
Single Prong - This lifting built is super easy to use; easy to put on and easy to get off.
Double Prong - It’s similar to the single prong but can be more robust and secure, like our PowerBelt. For my money, it’s the ultimate all-round belt.
Lever Belts - This is the easiest lifting belt to put on. On the flip side, it’s also the hardest to adjust whenever you’re performing a different movement. FYI a new movement might demand a different tightness. At which point, you’ll need to take the whole belt apart.
Velcro - These lifting belts are easy enough to put on and remove, but they’re not always so secure. However they do have their place, and many people do get on very well with them.
Now that you’re more in the know about how to use a lifting belt, there’s one last thing before we go - how to use it. Note that I said ‘use’; not ‘wear’. It’s an item of equipment; not a fashion accessory!
Positioning it beneath one’s gut makes the belt more “comfortable,” but it’s bad practice. A lifting belt needs to be neither too loose nor too tight, and it needs to brace your abdominal wall. Optimise its tightness so that it limits your braced abdominal position - but only slightly. This will ensure maximum effectiveness. A rule of thumb is to see if you canonly justfit your hand in between the belt and your belly. If you can, you’re good to go. If it’s too easy to slide your hand in - tighten it. Too difficult? - loosen it.
In short, you put the belt on, brace your core and push into it.
All in all, hopefully, you’re now clearer aboutwhy you should use a lifting belt andhowto use one.
If you’re still not convinced, just keep these two lines in mind: To become stronger, you’re gonna need to lift heavier.
And there will come a time when the only way you can do that is by using a belt.
So invest in a belt, use it - and get lifting.
Beast mode baby, yeah?
Pick up the Beast Gear PowerBelt here, and remember...BEAST YOUR GOALS