I was recently asked why I don’t use a weight belt or gloves at the gym. When I was younger, I used to wear both, but I think it was more for the cool feeling than any real practical thing. Although, because I was pulling some serious weight, the gloves may have prevented some calluses, and maybe the belt supported my back. But really, I doubt there was much benefit.
My philosophy today is quite simple, if you need gloves and a belt to pull any amount of weight, then you should lower the amount of weight. You might think you look cooler throwing up a ridiculous number of pounds, but if you need a belt to do it, are you really doing it?
Mind you, if a doctor has recommended that you use a weight belt for whatever reason, listen to your doctor and don’t pay mind to me. I’m speaking to the general population here. Under the assumption that you have no real injuries and or physical limitations.
For the past two years since I got serious about my training, I have not worn a belt or any gloves when I lift weights. Yesterday, we were doing multi joint movements, squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows, with no support equipment, and I feel just fine.
Mind you, the weight we were throwing around was not super heavy, but it was enough resistance to stimulate the muscles. I covered how much weight one should lift in a prior article that you can read. But in a nutshell, you don’t need to toss around massive amounts of weight to get stronger and healthier.
Are gloves and belts useful? Honestly, I don’t really know the scientific answer to that. I don’t know that I experienced any real benefit from them, so I’d rather use my funds for something else, like totally unnecessary yet cool Zumba gear! LOL. Maybe my hands were less callused, but I can’t say that they are absolutely necessary. At the end of the day, if you can’t lift the weight without some support, go lighter.