Squats, Wraps, and Belts

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    Squats, Wraps, and Belts


    Hi all. I've been lifting about a year and a half, so I'm still a bit of a noob.

    I've taken my sqaut from working with reps at 185 lbs to reps at 315 lbs.

    I don't have any back or knee problems, and I'd like to keep it that way.

    When do you think it is wise to start using knee wraps and/or belts? In highschool our coaches made us a use belt for everything.

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    if you are doing real squats (ie at least to parallel) for reps at 315 after lifting for a year, that is pretty impressive.

    my question is: what is your GOAL?

    powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, aesthetics, functional strength for other endeavors, etc.

    depending on your answer to that question, the utility of belts and wraps would differ

    goals defines means

    however, as a general statement, i recommend using a belt on sets where you are using over 85% of max or so.

    as for wraps? that depends. you cannot even use (any decently tight) wraps, if you are squatting OLer style (ass to grass), so again... it depends.
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    i wouldnt hesitate to use either of the two. Really, what are you losing with using a belt? Some lower back strength? You can always work on that on its own. Knee wraps? Unless I hear a medical reason why not to use these two objects, I would use them to aid injury prevention. But do keep their use to heavy sets. (btw, I feel the same way about straps).
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    I haven't used a belt in well over a year, and never have used wraps. However, I believe it all depends on old/new injuries, and how much weight you are using, like jjjd talked about.

    Some people rely too much on belts at times. There are those who wear them from the time they walk into the gym, while they are on the eliptical, until the walk out to their car to leave.

    I believe it's very important to build your core abdominals to be able to lift heavy and not injure yourself later on.
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    I wear a belt for heavy squats and push my abs outwards into the belt. Give it a try and you will feel much more stable. You shouldn't need to worry about it affecting your core strength if you do lots of ab work and good mornings for your back. I wear knee wraps when ever my knees get sore or if I'm going for a max effort attempt. I don't wear them on front squats because I can't seem to use as much weight with them on that movement.
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    i wear a belt because it keeps my back from getting sore
    and i wear wraps when i go heavy because my knees feel weak at the top part of the rep when going heavy... not a fun feeling...

    I too just 1.5 years ago was working out with 185lbs and jumped up to 355lbs (while using) then fell down to about 315lbs for 8 reps max, normally i do volume with 315 at 6 reps or 225 at 10 reps... i get funny looks when doing 315, i'm not a big guy at all but was born with soccer-player legs
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    I just recently bought some knee wraps and have always used a belt. I just switched from box squats to free style and my right knee has been pretty achy as of late. I normally only do 3-5 reps and the weight is in the 400-500 range so hopefully the knee wraps keep my knees happy. I am not for sure on how tight you are supposed to have the wraps. Should I wrap them on as tight as possible or just tight enough to feel comfortable?
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    well the tighter you wrap them the more spring you get; which is pretty much cheating... gotta find a nice balance
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    I am currently getting to 575 or so for reps of 8 and I have never used knee wraps...I think im going to start because I am gettin scared now! haha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    well the tighter you wrap them the more spring you get; which is pretty much cheating... gotta find a nice balance
    Last year when I was playing ball one of the strength and conditioning coaches said using a belt was cheating. he said if your abs are in proportion with the rest of your body then a belt should not be needed, though I never found the logic behind this sense I would never rely on my ab muscles to support 500lbs. Anyway, it's always better to be safe then sorry so it's never to late to take extra percaution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by knox
    Last year when I was playing ball one of the strength and conditioning coaches said using a belt was cheating. he said if your abs are in proportion with the rest of your body then a belt should not be needed, though I never found the logic behind this sense I would never rely on my ab muscles to support 500lbs. Anyway, it's always better to be safe then sorry so it's never to late to take extra percaution.
    I am right around the 500mark for squats, it gets a little scary sometimes, i have never used a belt or knee wraps, I have a really strong core, i dont even feel much tension even at that weight, but knee wraps might be nice, my biggest concern is not doing the actual squat, its backing the bar off the rack, taking those baby steps...any suggestions anyone?
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    For 5 rep sets to near failure or heavier, use a belt. For triples or lower near to failure, use knee wraps. Stay safe and you will be able to keep lifting for a long time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by knox
    Last year when I was playing ball one of the strength and conditioning coaches said using a belt was cheating. he said if your abs are in proportion with the rest of your body then a belt should not be needed, though I never found the logic behind this sense I would never rely on my ab muscles to support 500lbs. Anyway, it's always better to be safe then sorry so it's never to late to take extra percaution.
    this is true, I was referring to knee wraps tighten A LOT... it gives you a huge spring effect at the bottom of the rep (imo the most important part of the ROM)
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    I don't know about the rest of you but I don't do squats to train my lower back. So I wear my powerlifting belt. I do Stiff Leg DL, pullthroughs or good mornings for my lower back after my squats.

    A belt used properlly will help prevent injurys so I say use it.
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