Should I Use Belts?
In Competitive strength sports—powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting belts have a role to play. This sport is all about hoisting the maximum amount of weights in the given lifts. The necessity of wearing a belt becomes paramount when you need to lift heavy weights. Moreover, Ian King, famous strength coach, says that belts also have a role to play in bodybuilding by raising the limiting factor of the assistance muscle(e.g. failure of the lower back in the squat), therefore theoretically allowing a greater overload on the prime movers (the muscle responsible for the bulk of the work).
There is, however, a downside of the belt. Ian King says, “For athletes who need to improve the ability to contract their abdominals inwards, the belts are counter-productive. An athlete may want to possess the skill of being able to recruit the abdominal muscles in a corset like manner – pulling them inwards, stabilizing the pelvis and lower back. Also as Pavel Tsatouline asserts, “The function of your abs is to do the belt’s job of containing and maximizing the intra-abdominal pressure.”
“Coach, should I use belts now? You have many times said to use a belt when you want squat or deadlift heavy.” It allures, however, to use belts, for you can lift heavier weights. Now after several years of training I contradict my views. My sports physiotherapist who treats my injuries endorses my new outlook.
Life to me is a marathon not a sprint. Moreover, leading a fitness lifestyle has to be thought in the long term. My answer now is NO. Don’t use the belt.