How to choose the best powerlifting belt
A belt is a big decision. It is not something we buy often so make sure the powerlifting you get is the best powerlifting belt for you. It’s a minefield out there so this article will take you through your options and what might be the best choice for you when it comes to picking a powerlifting belt.
Make sure it is approved.
For certain federations you might need a belt that is on an approved list. Meaning that you can only wear equipment that is on a pre agreed list. This means if you buy a powerlifting belt that isn’t on this list it might not be allowed in powerlifting competitions. One federation that has a list like this is the IPF and their list can be found here.
Lever or Prong Powerlifting Belt?
There is a difference between the two. But what are they?
The prong belt can give a lot of easy adjustments as the belt itself is designed to adjust at least 1 inch increments without having to do any massive work on the belt itself (some lever belts need adjusting with a screwdriver for the buckle. Pioneer A7 belts have the added benefit of having ½ inch staggered holes meaning you can wear your belt at the exact tightness that you need it at.
The lever belt is ultimate convenience, if your bodyweight doesn’t fluctuate too much. You can ratchet it on and off in one swift movement and your belt is always going to have the same amount of tightness. Consistency and support is what you are going to get with a lever. HOWEVER they can be a little more rigid and your belt tightness might vary depending on your bodyweight. Things like bodyweight, amount of clothing you are wearing and the time of day might all effect how the powerlifting belt feels as you brace into it. If you fluctuate A LOT bodyweight wise, you might be better suited with a prong powerlifting belt.
10mm or 13mm Belt Thickness?
This can also be a key decision when picking a powerlifting belt. It needs to be comfortable but have maximal support. This can all be down to preference when it comes to powerlifting belt thickness, but it is good to know what you are looking for.
10mm belts are going to be extremely comfortable and easy fitting. A lot of lighter lifters as well as women tend to feedback that they love this option, as it’s the perfect blend of support, comfort and functionality. A lot of other lifters also like this belt for deadlifts as you get the added comfort when reaching and bracing towards the bar.
13mm belts are meant for the maximum amount of support but can be a little less comfortable, especially if you are in the lighter weight classes. This thickness is most commonly purchased when looking for a more rigid and sturdy belt, and the maximum support allowed by federations such as the IPF (and most other federations).
10 and 13mm belts can be available in both prong and lever fit, so have a look around and make sure you buy the belt that is most suited for you. Whether it’s a 10mm, 13mm or a lever or prong!