I started working out about a year ago and somehow got the thought in my mind that I didn’t need equipment of any kind to get strong. In fact, I was told by someone long ago that training with equipment created crutches and weak points so as a result I never used them.
However, I recently decided it is time to take my training to the next level and order a Beast genetics lever belt from ER Canada. Using a belt to increase my 1 rep max in the squat and deadlift isn’t going to be an option if I want to become a competitive powerlifter. I am going to have to invest time learning how to use this piece of equipment. I have been deadlifting and squatting raw – without a belt or wraps – for over a year now and my results are starting to plateau. I did some research and here is what I have learned.
A belt is not just supportive it can actually add weight to the lift. Some competitive powerlifters claim it can add as much as 50 to 100 lbs to your squat and deadlift depending on the person. I am not sure if it would add that much to my lifts; however, if a belt could add even 20 to 30 lbs to my max in these lifts I wouldn’t complain.
I also learned that a powerlifting belt needs to be thick in the front. Many belts sold in athletic stores sell a cheap version of a weightlifting belt that tappers off in the front. This is a supportive belt and won’t add much weight to any type of lift.
A powerlifting belt is wide in the front where extra width is needed as your abs push out against the front of the belt creating inward pressure that stabilizes the lower back keeping the torso straight.
I accidentally bought this type of belt at Walmart a while back thinking it would be a great starter belt and it was uncomfortable; it slid up my back and was completely useless. I ended up ordering a Beast Genetics lever belt online that is IPF approved and is 4″ in width at the front of the belt.
I am going to use this belt on all major lifts until I become proficient using it. From what I understand it is a piece of equipment that needs to be learned through practice and just having it on isn’t enough.
The lifts that I will start out with will be front squat, low bar back squat, and conventional deadlift. I look forward to it and am expecting to surpass all my current PRs in these exercises in the near future as I continue to progress with a belt.