Let me guess, you’ve been using that Grizzly belt you bought at Big 5 for a few months now. It was an easy decision because that Grizzly belt only cost you $25.00. Except, now you regret every penny as the thin layer of not leather material is starting to rip apart. You’re not sure if it’s safe to even wear while hitting squats because who knows what might happen if that thing busts off mid squat with a few plates on your back. Did that dialogue seem a little too detailed? That was me a few years back. Been there done that.
Whether you have a belt or you’re borrowing one from the gym, this is a post to give you a little insight into picking a belt. Specifically, this post is about why you should buy a lever belt. Chances are, you’ve looked at the many different belts out there and don’t know what the difference is. Now a belt is going to depend a lot on your own preference. As much as I love the lever belt, I don’t think it’s ideal for everyone.
The width of the belt is going to be pretty standard, but I prefer belts that are the same width all the way around. I think the ones that taper down to be more narrow seem to compromise at the curvature and rip. You don’t need it to be narrow in the front. It’s better to have it wider in the front so when you inhale and flex/press your abdomen you have more surface area to press against with your core.
The lever is probably the biggest variation across the different belts. The lever is super easy to engage and disengage. Unlike prongs, where if your belt is really tight then it could be a struggle to get the prongs out. However, as simple as a lever belt is it does have a restriction. If you want to adjust the belt you have to do some serious manual labor to get it off. It requires you to unscrew the mechanism. So I’ve recommended to people that are losing weight or that fluctuate a lot in the abdomen area to get a two prong belt instead. Because then you can adjust it over time with a variation of different lengths.
There is a compromise of easy to use and variability. The lever belt is easy to use but doesn’t vary in immediate adjustments. The lever belt is always consistent and you can get that same size every time. Looking back, since I’ve bought the belt I have only adjusted it once!
If you do go with a lever belt or any belt that’s thick keep in mind it’s going to probably hurt the first few times. As it starts to wear in though it’s perfect. If you’re interested in lever belt I wouldn’t worry about getting a brand name one like Inzer Belt. They are pricy and I bought an off brand one that has lasted me years now. Just take a look around and see what you can find.