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  1. #1
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    Belt Squats As Opposed To Leg Presses

    I had to screenshot the topic question I had because of the server acting up...

    http://imgur.com/a/7XfekkI

    Any insight/thoughts on this exercise selection replacement is appreciated.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 12-02-2020 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Customizing the routine to fit me and my means.
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    That should be fine. I cannot imagine that would screw up a program overall.
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    I've completely written off leg press machines as useless compared to owning belt squat machine, so that seems like a viable substitute IMO. The only thing that would eventually change my mind is if there were long term studies that showed belt squat machines did damage to your hips because of the load position, otherwise I see no advantage to owning a leg press or using it in a routine.
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    I've never done a belt squat so I can't comment on how posterior chain involved the movement is. If the purpose on workout B day is to focus more on deadlifts I'd think that leg presses would be more quad isolating and wouldn't let the glutes/hams get too involved so you can expend more energy on deadlifts.
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    Personally I think it's difficult to compare them, in the same way as it's difficult to compare individual leg presses, belt squat or any leg machine for that matter, they're all going to work to some degree.

    I'm more interested in the design and bio-mechanical efficiency of the individual machine, I recently replaced my Watson Pendulum squat with a panatta Power Squat, the bio-mechanics of the Pendulum unit did not suit my knees, however the Power squat is a very good fit for me , both units are well engineered, it's just my preference
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    I like doing deadlifts (1st) and belt squats (2nd) on the same day but I've never done leg presses so I can't speak to that aspect of the question.

    Back squats and deadlifts on the same day were too fatiguing for me and I couldn't give max effort to whatever came second.

    All YMMV, of course.
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    Thanks for the replies on this, I'm gonna put belt squats in there second to deadlifts and build the routine tailored to my own liking while not straying away from common sense.

    Just to update this, I tested out belt squats after deadlifts and it feels damn good hitting legs with it in that order, so I'm gonna go with it.
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    Rows Could've Saved Jack Camarija's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I like doing deadlifts (1st) and belt squats (2nd) on the same day
    ^^

    I read somewhere that anything that worked on spinal decompression should go towards the end of the routine rather than the beginning. The explanation revolved around spinal decompression works to rehydrate your discs, and putting pressure on your discs after they've been rehydrated can pose additional risks to your spine health. I can't speak to whether or not that's true, but if I perform belt squats or reverse hypers I always leave them towards the end of my workouts now, or at least after any of the heavy exercises.

    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Thanks for the replies on this, I'm gonna put belt squats in there second to deadlifts and build the routine tailored to my own liking while not straying away from common sense.

    Just to update this, I tested out belt squats after deadlifts and it feels damn good hitting legs with it in that order, so I'm gonna go with it.
    Nice! I'm a fan of that combo too!! GL GL
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    ^^

    I read somewhere that anything that worked on spinal decompression should go towards the end of the routine rather than the beginning. The explanation revolved around spinal decompression works to rehydrate your discs, and putting pressure on your discs after they've been rehydrated can pose additional risks to your spine health. I can't speak to whether or not that's true, but if I perform belt squats or reverse hypers I always leave them towards the end of my workouts now, or at least after any of the heavy exercises.
    I'm inclined to agree with that theory, which is why I program pullups or hanging knee raises at the end of my leg session for decompression.
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    Bonus question/opinions, I have the plate loaded seated leverage row machine and a cable low row. I know this is subjective to each individual, but if one was pitted up against another and you could only choose one to program in which would you choose and why?
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    Rows Could've Saved Jack Camarija's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Bonus question/opinions, I have the plate loaded seated leverage row machine and a cable low row. I know this is subjective to each individual, but if one was pitted up against another and you could only choose one to program in which would you choose and why?
    Depends on your programming, but this kind of stuck with me:

    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    Seated rows with the elbows tucked train the shoulder extension function of the lats (as do chin-ups), wide grip pull-ups train the shoulder adduction function of the lats. I think wide grip pull-ups offer more variety when combined with elbows tucked seated rows. Chin-ups combined with elbows flared rows (wide grip, bar pulled to pec level etc) is also a suitable combination, you'll be missing out on a shoulder adduction movement but it's not a big deal.
    I'm a fan of these types of combinations:

    Vertical Pull (Pronate Grip)
    +
    Horizontal Pull (Neutral or Supinate Grip Elbows Tucked) <- could go with cable low row here
    +
    One Arm Face Pull


    Vertical Pull (Neutral or Supinate Grip)
    +
    Horizontal Pull (Pronate Grip Elbows Flared) <- could go with leverage row here
    +
    One Arm Face Pull

    **If i could only choose one, I'd go with the leverage row (I like the Hammer Strength ISO Mid Row). Both types of horizontal pulls feel great on the leverage row, whereas only the neutral/supinate horizontal pulls feel great on the cable row. Plus I prefer giving my lower back a break when I'm rowing.
    Last edited by Camarija; 12-05-2020 at 11:36 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    Depends on your programming, but this kind of stuck with me:



    I'm a fan of these types of combinations:

    Vertical Pull (Pronate Grip)
    +
    Horizontal Pull (Neutral or Supinate Grip Elbows Tucked) <- could go with cable low row here
    +
    One Arm Face Pull


    Vertical Pull (Neutral or Supinate Grip)
    +
    Horizontal Pull (Pronate Grip Elbows Flared) <- could go with leverage row here
    +
    One Arm Face Pull

    **If i could only choose one, I'd go with the leverage row (I like the Hammer Strength ISO Mid Row). Both types of horizontal pulls feel great on the leverage row, whereas only the neutral/supinate horizontal pulls feel great on the cable row. Plus I prefer giving my lower back a break when I'm rowing.
    Camarija,

    Very helpful and well thought out post right here, I'm basically gonna be running The Viking's Bare Bones full body routine in a way, but programming to my own needs and movement preferences (where need be). Here's a link to the program...

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=172565211

    Where I would change it is instead of the lat pulldowns I'd do pull ups on days A and C to decompress the spine towards the end and chin ups on day B, also on day B where it mentions Tbar rows, or cable rows, that's where I would replace with the seated Mid Row which also has the ISO capabilities and a few multiple grip options. Here's a picture of the Mid Row I have...

    http://imgur.com/a/YKvONrH

    Other than the above and the belt squat being in the routine, it would be nice to find a spot for dips on days A and C (to go along with the skullcrushers/curls superset on day B), but that would make the pull and push ratio unfavorable with all the pressing done those days.

    Any other thoughts, insight and critiques welcomed.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I like doing deadlifts (1st) and belt squats (2nd) on the same day but I've never done leg presses so I can't speak to that aspect of the question.

    Back squats and deadlifts on the same day were too fatiguing for me and I couldn't give max effort to whatever came second.

    All YMMV, of course.
    I do this all the time. Belt squat is a great way to add leg volume/workload that's not overly taxing on CNS or posterior chain. I also find it has a lot more carryover/relevance to the backsquat than a leg press (not saying one can ignore the backsquat though, that's never a good idea).
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Any other thoughts, insight and critiques welcomed.
    Hey, that row reminds me of Maluket's custom Strength Inc row! Very cool!!

    I'm a bit familiar with Vikings routines. They're all up there in terms of number of exercises and volume per day. I think the way Viking balanced it is by including more isolation exercises that carry less fatigue, otherwise the cumulative fatigue would probably set you back.

    It looks like all of the pulldowns/pullups are already towards the end. Day B has straight arm pulldowns which carries less fatigue than chin-ups, probably for a good reason. Day B rows look like they're supposed to be the row variant with elbows tucked, neutral or supinate grip.

    If you want to put dips in there somewhere, you could switch out a horizontal pressing compound, for example Bench Press.

    Overall it looks like a fun routine that gives you maximum exercise variety, only drawback I can see is that it would take me maybe 4+ hours to finish one of these sessions now with all the warm ups to work up to working weight. I know it comes reccomended, so if you like it, go for it brother!
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    Hey, that row reminds me of Maluket's custom Strength Inc row! Very cool!!
    That's the one! A few years back I read Maluket's review on his Mid Row and that's where I found out about Strength Inc. Mine's a bit updated with a few small extra features that Steve added to it.

    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    It looks like all of the pulldowns/pullups are already towards the end. Day B has straight arm pulldowns which carries less fatigue than chin-ups, probably for a good reason. Day B rows look like they're supposed to be the row variant with elbows tucked, neutral or supinate grip.
    Sounds good as far as straight arm pulldowns are concerned, actually some of my lifting equipment is out in the garage (the pull up/chin up bar being one of them) and my cables, DBs and machines are indoors and with the New England winter approaching us over here, there's no argument there as far as giving up chin ups on Day B to go inside and complete the rest of the workout there earlier lol.

    I would've liked to have found an excuse to utilize my Mid Row in the mix however, not that I have a problem with low rows, it's just more fun using the leverage version...might still rock with it and see how it works for me, worse comes to worse I could always switch back to low cable rows.

    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    If you want to put dips in there somewhere, you could switch out a horizontal pressing compound, for example Bench Press
    I'll probably keep dips eliminated from it as is despite it being one of my top triceps movements, mainly because I don't want the pairing to look too much like Stronglifts lol.

    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    Overall it looks like a fun routine that gives you maximum exercise variety, only drawback I can see is that it would take me maybe 4+ hours to finish one of these sessions now with all the warm ups to work up to working weight. I know it comes reccomended, so if you like it, go for it brother!
    Thanks, due to time efficiency and the schedule of my work, full body routines have always seem to work best for me over the years...although I do see where the cons lie in them as well having to modify some things so your warm ups to working sets aren't for hours on end.

    What kind of caught my attention to this routine was the twice a week OHPs and much more variety to keep it from being on the brink of boredom over time.

    I guess there's pros and cons to any routine, but I'll keep this one going for a while until it becomes unreasonable lol.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 12-06-2020 at 04:12 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    I would've liked to have found an excuse to utilize my Mid Row
    You totally can!! Use those inside vertical grips, I prefer one arm at a time pulling with my elbows in to really feel the muscle belly of the lats.

    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Thanks, due to time efficiency and the schedule of my work, full body routines have always seem to work best for me over the years.
    I'm a fan of full body routines as well, but I go 4x a week full body Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday

    I'm toying around with a 4 day full body for 2021, but I'm still figuring out the fatigue management part by looking through templates from RTS, Barbell Medicine, and Calgary Barbell. The exercise selection should look something like this:

    Monday:
    Squat
    Bench + Face Pull
    Mid Row (Pronate Grip)
    Decline Ab Crunch

    Tuesday:
    Deadlift
    Incline Bench + Face Pull
    High Row
    French Press
    Bicep Curl

    Thursday:
    Leg Press
    Reverse Hyper
    Mid Row (Neutral Grip)
    Dip
    Decline Ab Crunch

    Friday:
    Trap Bar Deadlift
    Belt Squat
    Incline Bench + Face Pull
    Pull Up
    French Press
    Bicep Curl

    **I don't really share your love of OHP lol, I did it this year for the OHP Cult Thread
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    You totally can!! Use those inside vertical grips, I prefer one arm at a time pulling with my elbows in to really feel the muscle belly of the lats.
    Sounds like a plan and I agree, the unilateral arms are the highlight of this machine and the exact reason I wanted to incorporate it in. The only thing I kind of wish I didn't add to the Mid Row at the time was the steel band pegs...they're ok, but where they were placed (underneath the weight pins) means that they impede a few inches of potential plates being added on, not a big deal as there's plenty of sleeve space, but I might take a sawzall to those one day perhaps lol.



    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    I'm a fan of full body routines as well, but I go 4x a week full body Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday

    I'm toying around with a 4 day full body for 2021, but I'm still figuring out the fatigue management part by looking through templates from RTS, Barbell Medicine, and Calgary Barbell. The exercise selection should look something like this:

    Monday:
    Squat
    Bench + Face Pull
    Mid Row (Pronate Grip)
    Decline Ab Crunch

    Tuesday:
    Deadlift
    Incline Bench + Face Pull
    High Row
    French Press
    Bicep Curl

    Thursday:
    Leg Press
    Reverse Hyper
    Mid Row (Neutral Grip)
    Dip
    Decline Ab Crunch

    Friday:
    Trap Bar Deadlift
    Belt Squat
    Incline Bench + Face Pull
    Pull Up
    French Press
    Bicep Curl

    **I don't really share your love of OHP lol, I did it this year for the OHP Cult Thread
    That's a great way to cut some of the time invested into full body routines while evenly dispersing them throughout the week, I may have to look into something like that soon by adding the extra day. It's cool too because you get more flexibility to throw in some bodybuilding movements as well...good to see the trapbar getting some attention too considering it gets dumped on a lot for some assinine reason (I'm of the camp that like trapbars and considers it a worthy functional movement for both strength, health and longevity).

    As far as OHP it's one of those movements I should invest more time into which was the partial appeal and getting the leniency to press from different dimensional angles (flat, incline and vertical) and even the choice to stagger in seated DB OHP on one of the days should cover a lot of strength and aesthetic standards.
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    Kind of off topic from the thread, but relevant as well. If anyone has trouble here and there with a detailed post going through and all you typed disappeared, get the app Clipboard Manager and it saves all your previously deleted/override copy and paste text so that you don't have to re-type things from scratch.

    A few times I was in a POed rampage from losing a detailed review post for the time invested in it lol, so I looked to see if there was anyway to retrieve the previous stuff and found and started using this app and think it would give others some peace of mind on here as well.
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    Just to add to this, I'm gonna program the Dead-Squat Bar deadlift as the first movement on Day B and also will use it for shrugs within the same workout (I just setup my trap bar station in the basement).

    Whether the all too common debate sways more towards quad involvement for some, or the research on the similarities to others...

    https://www.strongerbyscience.com/trap-bar-deadlifts/

    The Dead-Squat Bar incorporated in combination with belt squats sounds like a winning team to me on Day B.

    Edit: Here's the setup in the corner, nothing fancy but effective none the less and even more of a reward due to the fact that Day B the only movement I'll need to do outside is belt squats, the rest can be completed indoors (not pictured, but off to the side is the weight tree with plates, the Mid Row and 45 Degree Hyper)...

    http://imgur.com/a/YvcoOGu

    Eventually I'll cut additional strips of stall mats to cover the length of the sleeves on the Dead-Squat Bar, but for now that will suffice. I'll also move the bookshelf out of the way too.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 12-09-2020 at 10:00 AM.
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    Definitely belt squats over a leg press

    Have lower back issues, only used a belt squat a few times at specialist gyms, but always felt nice to use and always got in a nice deep squat (very niche piece for commercial gyms), but definitely the belt squat based on 2 things, the decompression benefits as listed by others above, but the greater range of motion in the movement too. Would love to own one, but they're expensive and take up a heap of space, but if you've got the space, absolutely get one. I just do back extension variations on my adjustable bench like dolphin kicks to keep the back as strong as possible, but will likely buy a hyperextension unit next year (GHDs a bit big for my setup)

    I'd have a hack squat, or one of them Powertec style leg sleds over a conventional 45 degree leg press too, greater range of motion too there.
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    Figured I'd update this thread with an additional question, I'm thinking about finally getting an SSB some time soon (either Crepinsek's SSB, or EFS SS Yoke) and from what I've heard over the years, it shifts the emphasis over to quads more somewhat similar to a front squat, would this type of bar be another good option to throw in for Day B to replace leg press, or does it still put a lot of pressure on the spine like the way a regular squats can?

    The reason I ask the question is because this type of bar might be easier to rotate in and load up quicker setting up, also perhaps more fun of a movement...obviously it's no big deal banging out belt squats and I have been doing those since running this routine, but figured I'd see what others thought on the placement of it.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Figured I'd update this thread with an additional question, I'm thinking about finally getting an SSB some time soon (either Crepinsek's SSB, or EFS SS Yoke) and from what I've heard over the years, it shifts the emphasis over to quads more somewhat similar to a front squat, would this type of bar be another good option to throw in for Day B to replace leg press, or does it still put a lot of pressure on the spine like the way a regular squats can?

    The reason I ask the question is because this type of bar might be easier to rotate in and load up quicker setting up, also perhaps more fun of a movement...obviously it's no big deal banging out belt squats and I have been doing those since running this routine, but figured I'd see what others thought on the placement of it.
    I think a SSB is more of a shoulder saver than a spine saver.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I think a SSB is more of a shoulder saver than a spine saver.
    Yes, I bought my SsB because of shoulder issues and it enabled me to be able to continue squatting, but a back saver?.

    The SSB does load the weight over or in front of the body's centre line, so it requires the lifter to really arch, so good form is essential, I doubt it's going to take the load off the spine, but if it improves the lifters form it may help strengthen the lower back and that's no bad thing.
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    Thanks fellas, I should emphasize that my back is fine thankfully, but was wondering if including that in would be more like traditional squatting 3 days a week rather than giving the back a break on the second day with emphasis on quads, so yous both answered my question I'll keep belt squats in there rather than SSB squats if I land up getting one.
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    Speaking of, it's back in stock......

    https://www.titan.fitness/strength/s...ne/400666.html
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Speaking of, it's back in stock......

    https://www.titan.fitness/strength/s...ne/400666.html
    That sold out fast! Glad I didn't snooze on it.
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    Originally Posted by BiGx5MurF View Post
    That sold out fast! Glad I didn't snooze on it.
    Fantastic machine, I'd highly recommend picking up either a 1/2" rubber mat for the top or a pair of these while they are on clearance. Not a huge fan of the diamond plate top, mats give you the ability to go barefoot which is nice.

    https://www.titan.fitness/strength/s...ck/400493.html

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...n?cm_vc=-10005
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Fantastic machine, I'd highly recommend picking up either a 1/2" rubber mat for the top or a pair of these while they are on clearance. Not a huge fan of the diamond plate top, mats give you the ability to go barefoot which is nice.

    https://www.titan.fitness/strength/s...ck/400493.html

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...n?cm_vc=-10005
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. My gym's in my office, so, not sure anyone's going to be using anything bare foot. I do have worries of how deep you can squat with this thing before plates hit the floor, especially considering everyone's who's going to be sharing the machine with me is female, and most are vertically challenged.
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    Originally Posted by BiGx5MurF View Post
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. My gym's in my office, so, not sure anyone's going to be using anything bare foot. I do have worries of how deep you can squat with this thing before plates hit the floor, especially considering everyone's who's going to be sharing the machine with me is female, and most are vertically challenged.
    The Titan rubber squares are fantastic then, with belt squat machines just 1-2" can make a world of difference so I'd go ahead and place your order. You won't regret it...
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    As someone who hasn't used a belt squat before, do you have to maintain the same form and technique that you would squatting under a barbell? Or is it like a leg press/machine where these particulars aren't as strict?
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