radical thoughts blog




Okay, so you wanna lift big? But can your core handle it? One of the most vital parts of getting a good compound lift, is the ability to remain braced. Without a strong enough core, the likelihood of you getting that lift aren’t looking so great.


Wearing a belt is one way to help protect your core and lower back from wavering when going for a heavier lift. It keeps you braced. No brainer, right?

We’d argue against that.

Here’s why:

If you can’t hold your brace, should you be lifting it anyway? We aren’t saying belts are a waste of time, or you shouldn’t ever use them. They have their place. What we’re saying is, get better at that lift, get a stronger brace, then try the big lift. The Radical Coaches are all about moving well and effectively (if you haven’t read our Mastery Over Intensity blog, now would be a good time to do that). Putting a belt over a bad lift is like putting a plaster over a fractured wrist. If you don’t treat the problem properly, it’s probably just going to get worse.

If you’re using a belt, every time you lift, for every movement (if you’re wearing your belt for bicep curls, take a good look at yourself in the mirror), then it’s doubtful you’re practicing your brace. It’s not going to be used to the larger loads. You’re always going to need a belt. Imagine how much better you would do if you took the time to practice the movement and increase the load at an appropriate pace. Your overall performance is going to rapidly increase, across the board! These movements and strength gains are transferable. You might not get the same result if you aren’t practicing that. Regularly. And well.

So the next time you belt up for your warm up or working set, remember these points and ask yourself, to belt or not to belt?