Zach Even-Esh

How To Increase Your Squat AND Should You Wear A Belt?


Monday is national bench press day. Or is it?

For those who understand the ticket to gaining size and strength is in their commitment to the SQUAT, Monday is a day to SQUAT.

Here are a few critical tips to ensure you squat correctly, squat safely and don’t get caught with weak legs.

As my old Wrestling Coach told me in the gym one day…..

“You wanna get as a big as a house…. You gotta build the foundation!”

Coach Harold would crush his legs and I remember him doing over 10 sets of squats per workout, split between back squats and front squats. I remember him doing 315 for front squats for reps when he only weighed around 145 lbs.

Check out these Squat tips and then get to work. You can only read and learn so much, eventually, you gotta get yourself under the bar!

1) Should you use a weight belt when squatting?

The belts I used back in the day when I was squatting 455 is WAY thinner and different than the belts of today.

My thoughts on the belt…..

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2) How to squat correctly, how to set the spine properly when squatting?

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Got questions on squats?

Drop a comment below and I’ll answer!

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11 Responses to How To Increase Your Squat AND Should You Wear A Belt?

  1. Frank says:

    Good point made about the use of belts. I use one for my heaviest sets of doubles or singles.
    Also, your points on training the muscles to hold the correct position were right on target.

    • Zach says:

      BIG Frank, truth, brotha. The belt helps at the heaviest weight, but NO excuse to keep that core / trunk strong as all hell!

  2. John says:

    What’s the benefit of zercher squats? I posted Q on AskZach on the members forum.

  3. Haha, Zach I would’ve thought that Monday was bench day for most people. Looks like you and I are on the same page. I love implementing squats and deads on Monday. Your coach was right. If you want to get as big as a house you do need a strong foundation! Thanks again for sharing Zach.

  4. Sven says:

    this is how you refuel yr car the russian way:


  5. Logan says:

    Good article, but the way I understood belt use (heard this from 70s Big) was that it’s main purpose is to actually make you stronger, in that when you fill your belly with air you push against the belt thus working your abs harder, making those muscles stronger. Over time, your unbelted squat will be bigger if you used a belt than if you didn’t because you have a stronger torso. Just my thoughts.

    • Zach says:

      Logan, MOST people don’t understand how to push their abs against the belt to develop their abs

      A stronger squat happens from building your legs, back and abs stronger

      The belt gives that extra supportive feeling BUT my point is peeps often use the belt as a crutch, when the ultimate way to strengthen your abs is NOT through a belt, but through direct ab work and stability work such as overhead work, etc.

  6. I am like Zach, I have not used a training belf since 20 years. I do heavy leg training on a Monday, and never use a belt.Before i start any exercise, i use proper form first before i do the lifting movements. I have trained and conditioned my body to not need a belt.

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Zach Even-Esh is an Author, Founder of The Underground Strength Gym & Creator of The Underground Strength Coach Certification.

Zach's inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach's Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It's Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it's Your Turn!

Zach Even-Esh