Most of you probably know that I had a major back surgery about 10 years ago. I had a disc that ruptured and was protruding, causing me pain, and eventually loss of sensation in my leg. It was no fun. Consequently, I have always been VERY wary about lifting heavy weights. That’s why I value proper form over heavier weights and faster times. That is also why I wear a belt when the weight gets heavy.
Some will argue that a belt promotes bad form. Or make the abs weaker because they do not have to stabilize as much. My stance is this: wearing a weightlifting belt while executing proper form will help to minimize injuries. I like Kelly Starrett’s take on this: “If your belt is keeping you from just dog sh*t position, that’s a problem. Right? If it’s so heavy that the belt reinforces your good technique, then that’s a good thing.”
Here’s an article from Breaking Muscle that elaborates on these thoughts.
If I’ve convinced you, you can pick up a belt at any sporting good store or website. I put mine on when the weight gets heavy. How heavy is “heavy”? I don’t know. Whatever feels heavy to you. That’s around 70% for me. Could be more or less for you.