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Is it always necessary to wear a weight belt?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I have a simple question, but one that I debate with my friends quite often. Is it always necessary to wear a weight belt?

A: To be honest, when I was younger, which means from about ages 20 to 30, I wore a belt for every set of every exercise from the start to the end of every workout. I convinced myself that I did it so that my lower back would always be protected and my stomach would never protrude due to heavy breathing. Looking back, however, I know the reason I wore a belt—even when lying down to bench-press: because it looked cool. Cinch a belt tight enough, and it can make the Michelin Man look as if he has an X-frame!

These days I rarely wear a belt and only do it during heavy, low-rep sets of overhead-pressing movements, bent rows and squats. I’ve learned to keep my core tight without the aid of a belt and recommend that you do the same. Since I stopped wearing a belt (for the most part), not only has my waist remained just as small, but my abdominals have become thicker and far more prominent as well. Plus, I have discovered that my lower-back injuries show up to bother me far less often.


Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at

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