Build your own natural “weight belt” and get ripped – http://athleanx.com/x/built-belt
If you rely too heavily on using a weightlifting belt in your training you could be causing a major weakening of the most important core muscle you have; the transverse abdominis. In this video, I show you two reasons why you should try to not use a weight belt in your workouts if you are trying to get your strongest abs and most aesthetically pleasing.
The first thing to realize is that there are several different types of weight belts. There are velcro belts, powerlifting belts and bodybuilding belts (the latter two which are generally made out of leather). The belt, if worn, should never be cinched too tight on the waist as this will prevent you from being able to push into it using the increased intra abdominal pressure that you should be doing to benefit from the belt.
That said, I highly discourage the use of the belt unless there are extenuating circumstances. One of these is if you have a history of back pain or past surgeries. For instance, if you have had a lumber fusion, discectomy, etc and have been laid up from your training for awhile, you may want or need to wear a belt to help you ease your way back into your workouts. That said, you must concurrently work on developing the strength of your core while weaning from the belt.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a competitive power lift you might also benefit from wearing a belt. There is no denying the fact that the belt will help you to increase your strength, albeit it small, on your big lifts by providing a stable surface from which your core can push off and leverage against. When the difference between first and third place could be a matter of just pounds, you can see how this could hold a potentially huge benefit for competitive powerlifters.
That said, in almost all other instances you would benefit from dropping the weight just slightly to allow you to lift a weight that you can handle while still being heavy and challenging. The reason for this is that when wearing the weightlifting belt you are actually teaching your abs to distend instead of cinch down during contraction. This creates a rather ugly distended belly that you will likely not be happy about and is easily preventable with an attention to contracting the transverse abdominis during your ab exercises.
The second issue is that over time, your body learns to rely on the external crutch rather than by stimulating your own internal weight belt to do its job. This will cause weakening from disuse. That is something you don’t want to happen especially when you realize that you will not be able to count on your weight belt to provide spinal stability at all times. At some point you will have to take it off.
It is reasons like this that make it obvious to see that in order to get a strong core you have to train for a strong core. You cannot simply wear something to provide your body with a short term fix to a long term weakness. If you want to plug all weaknesses you may have in your body and develop a strong, ripped physique from head to toe, go to http://athleanx.com and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
For more videos on how to build a strong core and the best ways to flatten your belly without wearing a tight weight belt, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24