Heres why—and how—you should add this new piece of equipment to your fitness arsenal.
A weight belt is a training tool that doesn’t get enough love these days. And I’m not talking about a belt you wear to protect your back. I mean adding weight to your waist for the following four classic muscle-builders, which you can see me demonstrate in this video:
1. Weighted chinup
2. Weighted dip
3. Belt squat
4. Weighted donkey calf raise
If you can do 10+ reps on chinups and dips, then you need to start adding some additional load to your body to build more muscle and strength in lower rep ranges.
Doing 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps of weighted chins and dips with 2 to 3 minutes of rest between sets is one of the best ways to beef up your entire upper body and allow you to do even more reps at just your bodyweight.
Try adding in one of these strength sessions each week and expect some serious gains!
But a weight belt isn’t reserved for just the strong or insanely fit. Take the belt squat, for example. By wearing a weight belt around your waist while squatting, you unload the spine and put all of the stress on your legs.
This is great for people with back or upper-body injuries who still want to load up their squats. It’s also easier to recover from and makes for a great accessory move after hitting heavy barbell squats or deads.
Keep in mind that you will have to stand on a couple of stable steps or boxes to allow for full range of motion with the plates dangling between your legs. Try doing 3 to 5 sets of 15 to 20 reps with only a minute rest between sets (or go one minute on, one minute off if you prefer a time-based protocol) as a great finisher on leg day.
You’ll get an insane quad pump and burn fat like crazy.
In addition, no leg day is complete without some dedicated calf work. Calf machines can be hard to come by, and you’d be more likely to find a unicorn than a donkey calf raise machine at your local gym.
But donkey calf raises, where you hinge at your hips while performing them, are an awesome and underutilized calves builder. This is because it provides both a unique body angle and a maximal stretch at the ankle and knee joint.
You can expect some serious soreness with this bad boy and it can spur new growth to what is a notoriously stubborn muscle group. Try 3 to 5 sets of 20 to 25 reps with only a minute rest between sets.