Great post, as always Kenny.
I personally don't own a belt. I've squatted just about 2.25x b/w and pulled just less than 3x b/w with no belt.
I have used one before, and especially love it for squats - definitely helps. I found it awkward with deadlifts, though. I also found it encouraged me to round. However, I've literally had 4-5 sessions using a belt so never had a chance to get used to it. What also threw me off on the deadlifts was having to get my air before i went down to the bar vs getting my air when i'm down at the bar, but I know that could be trained, too.
I think if you don't max out a lot, which I don't, then you don't need one. If I maxed out regularly or done competitions I would definitely use one, both to add more weight to bar and also for protection in the unlikely event of buckling.
Also, I need to be a smart a$$ here, can't help myself,
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
Hollie Evette (national powerlifing champion and strength coach) wrote an article on how the legs never are fully trained in squats.
Weak Link In The Chain
The weak link in the chain is the lower back (core strength). The core gives out long before the legs do.
Evette's article examined exercises that minimized the core involvement. Thus, allowing you to overload the legs.
This just sounds familiar.... The lower back being the limiting factor in squats and therefore not effectively overloading the legs? Can't think where i've read this before.
-cough cough- Boyle - cough-
I may have this wrong but, I think the Bulgarians thought of this decades ago and used heavy step ups. I can't remember where I read this article, will try and find it.