Choosing the right powerlifting belt can seem confusing, but Inzer helps to make things simple. Known for their high quality approach to crafting powerlifting equipment, Inzer Advance Designs is an extremely popular brand among serious lifters and strength athletes.
While Inzer belts are pricey, they are worth it–and we explain exactly why in this article.
But with so many options available in both size and style, simply knowing that an Inzer belt is a good, solid choice is just the beginning.
The following is PACKED full of information and will help you narrow down on the specific type of Inzer belt that is right for YOU.
What’s an Inzer Belt?
Inzer is a powerlifting gear company that sells a variety of powerlifting and workout accessories and equipment. Even better, almost all of their gear is approved by popular competition federations like the USAPL and IPF. As a retailer, the company has built a reputation for providing quality made products that are designed for extended use and high performance.
As you’re probably already aware, an Inzer belt is simply a powerlifting belt made by Inzer, available in three designs:
- single prong
- double prong
Why Should I Use an Inzer Weightlifting Belt… Or Any Powerlifting Belt At All?
If you are looking for an Inzer belt, you probably already know just how effective using a belt can be. The purpose is simple: helping athletes, mostly powerlifters, improve performance and gains.
But many lifters don’t understand the physical mechanics behind why a belt can help lift more weight. In simplest terms, the belt delivers a way for lifters to increase training volume and intensity by providing extra intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) during squats and deadlifts (and even presses to a certain extent).
IAP basically refers to the pressure that builds in the abdominal cavity due to inhaled air.
There are four very clear-cut benefits:
- According to research, using a belt to build IAP has been found to reduce injury to spinal discs during lifting.
- Wearing a belt lends itself to an increase in hip extension torque (which allows you to exert more force), and gives you the ability to lift more weight.
- Studies show that volume (in this case the amount of weight you can lift) has a dose-response relationship with muscular hypertrophy, meaning that the more you lift, the more you gain in strength and muscle bulk.
- Lastly, one small-known benefit revolves around proprioception. Ben Pollack is a legendary powerlifter that talks about this for belts specifically–using as belt serves as a kinesthetic cue for keeping your abs tight and activating your core (which you absolutely should be doing on all lifts).
Adding more IAP has an indirect impact on strength and muscle training, because lifters can increase weight and workout more.
In layman terms, using a belt will help keep you safe, and also provide a compounding training benefit that will build over time to make a noticeable difference in the amount of strength and muscle gained.
Anyone familiar with the concept of compounding interest understands this:
Even if using a belt just helps you 1% throughout the course of a powerlifting workout, that small percentage compounds over time to make a monumental difference over the course of an entire training macrocycle (if you don’t know about micro, meso, and macro-cycles, you really should–click here).
But remember, using a belt is not a way to skirt on technique. Proper form is the best way to avoid injury with heavy weights.
Powerlifters Mike Bell and Silent Mike dive into the question…should you use a weightlifting belt?
Weightlifting belts have been shown to increase blood pressure, so certain people with health conditions should consult their physician before using them or performing the Valsalva maneuver.
Also, the body has the natural ability to create, harness, and increase IAP, so overuse of the belt is not recommended. In other words, don’t be the person that wears a belt for every single exercise (you know those guys…) on every single set.
Here’s another video by Alan Thrall discussing the question: when should you wear a lifting belt?
How to Use an Inzer Powerlifting Belt
Like all weightlifting equipment and gear, it’s important to understand how to property use a belt to avoid unnecessary injury.
Since the primary purpose of the belt is to create IAP, to use the belt effectively, the idea is to create a band around your midsection that will ‘brace’ the abdominal area during lifts and increase the pressure.
Most athletes are taught to inhale during the eccentric portion of an exercise, and exhale on the concentric part, like when you breathe out during the contraction part of a curl. However, when lifting heavy weight, holding your breath actually allows you to lift more weight. This method of holding a deep breath and contracting the abs is technically called the Valsalva maneuver.
Putting the Belt On
When you are ready to actually put the belt on, there are several key steps that will help you lift more.
- Put the belt on so it isn’t too tight or too loose following the guidelines listed above
- Blow out all air from your torso–you should be forcefully exhaling and squeezing to get every last drop of air out of your stomach
- Bring your rib cage “down” and your shoulders “back” (your hips should be under your body–aka no hyper-extending of the lower back)
This video with powerlifting legend Chris Duffin explains exactly what it means to “draw” the rib cage “down”:
- Slowly inhale without moving your positioning–you will begin to build lots of pressure in your stomach which will provide a rigid frame for you to lift
- Begin lifting
A few things to remember when putting on the belt:
- Bring your rib cage down before taking in a breath of air to complete the lift
- When in the relaxed position, make sure to have room for your fingers (but not your full hand) between the belt and your body–the belt should be tight, but not so tight that you can’t breathe in a full breath of air
Positioning the Belt
Having the belt too tight or in the wrong place will actually negate the entire reason for using it.
When it comes to positioning, there are currently two schools of thought:
- Wearing the belt low (common)
- Wearing the belt high (rare)
Most lifters will find that wearing the belt low (around the belly button) will provide the most benefit. However, some larger lifters may find that a high-belt position allows them to get into better positioning.
George Leeman is one powerlifter who uses a high belt position. He breaks it down in his video:
However, belt positioning doesn’t just stop there.
While belt position doesn’t come into play much for sumo deadlifts, it does for conventional pulls. There are three options for conventional pulling:
- Wear the belt high
- Use a weightlifting belt or wearing an Inzer powerlifting belt backwards (so the buckle is behind you)
- Use a 10mm belt instead of 13mm (explained in detail below)
If you are one of the rare lifters who likes to use a high belt position, problem solved. However, if you’re like most lifters, you prefer a low belt position. And using a low belt position can become all but impossible on conventional deadlifts–the belt buckle just gets in the way and disrupts proper setup form.
The easiest solution is a weightlifting belt that is tapered. The tapered design in front makes it possible to wear the belt in a low position on conventional deadlifts.
Luckily, Inzer even creates a tapered belt for this very reason! It’s called the “Forever Bodybuilding Tapered Buckle”.
Alternatively, you can turn around your inzer belt so the buckle is in the back (though this can be difficult while lifting solo).
Next up is tightness–an area many lifters get wrong.
You do not want the belt to be pressed tightly against your abdomen. Instead, you want a bit of space (enough to fit a few fingers between the belt and your stomach). Then, when you are actually lifting, you are able to take a big breath of air in and push out against the belt (when it’s worn too tightly, this isn’t possible).
Play around with the belt positioning and tightness to get a feel for it.
Inzer Belt Styles and Options
Like all sports equipment, there are various styles, colors, sizes, and options available for powerlifting belts. Navigating the basics just requires a little research.
Keep these factors in mind when choosing a belt for powerlifting:
- It should be as thick as possible, while still abiding by regulation rules (USAPL and IPF-approved)
- It should have equal width all around (unless you plan on using a weightlifting belt for conventional deadlifts)
- Belts should have a high quality fastener to secure it
- It should be made from high quality leather
Luckily, picking an Inzer belt solves the last three automatically. They are widely known throughout the strength community for their durability over the course of years of heavy lifting and abuse.
Prongs, Velcro, or Lever Fasteners: How Do They Stack Up?
Let’s just get this out of the way…a velcro belt is not a piece of equipment that a serious lifter would waste money purchasing. Many professionals wear them underneath their leather belt, but for getting the support needed for lifting heavy weight, they aren’t practical or useful.
There are two types of prong belts:
The concept behind a double-pronged belt is that it distributes the support more evenly, which makes it less likely to fail.
In practice, a double-prong belt is largely pointless and only recommended for equipped lifters deadlifting and squatting in the high hundreds and thousands. By purchasing the best weight lifting belt for deadlifts with a single prong (aka Inzer), it is highly unlikely that it will fail under stress.
Lever belts are an entirely different animal, which we explain in detail more below.
Inzer Prong Belt
Inzer offers a variety of prong belts, both single and double. Although they are pricey, it is the belt that many people recommend because it will last for a lifetime.
They are crafted from a solid thickness of ‘exclusive’ leather, which like all good leather products, will eventually be ‘broken in’ to conform to your specific body. Also, the edges aren’t rounded, which ensures the surface area is the true width of the belt.
The buckle prongs and roller are steel, and Inzer generally provides a number of extra holes to make the belt easy to fit. It is also made with rivets, to provide extra durability and strength.
Authors note: I have personally had a single-prong Inzer forever belt for over 5 years, and it’s still going strong.
Inzer Double Prong Belt
Many lifters find the double prong belts tedious and difficult to wear. While an extra prong may not seem like a deal-breaker, the extra few seconds to put it on each time add up over the course of a lifetime of use.
The choice between double prong and single prong really boils down to personal preference, but as mentioned above, using a double-prong is largely pointless unless you are lifting a lot of weight.
Inzer Belt Sizes—Finding the Right Inzer Belt Sizing
There are different size options for each Inzer belt. The following table shows the waist sizes for single and double prong forever belts.
Inzer Single and Double Prong Forever Belt
|Belt Size||Waist Size|
|X Small||25-27 inches|
|X Large||40-43 inches|
|XX Large||44-48 inches|
|XXX Large||49-52 inches|
|XXXX Large||53-57 inches|
|XXXXX Large||58-62 inches|
Inzer Lever Belt (Inzer Forever Lever Belt – 13mm and 10mm)
Inzer offers a lever belt that many lifters really like. Lever belts do away with bothersome prongs by using a lever system to open and lock the belt closed.
The lever and can be loosened with a quick flick. Truly, the best features of a lever belt is the ability to put it on and off, quickly. The lever mechanism itself is a patented design of Inzer’s.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to this method.
- Ease of use—once the lever is set, taking the belt on and off is a snap (no more struggling while huffing and puffing after a set of intense deadlifts)
- The parts of the lever can break—but replacement parts are always available
- Can be tedious to make adjustments—you have to use a tool to adjust the size
Fortunately, these difficulties can be overcome and Inzer has done an excellent job finding the balance between strength and convenience.
With that said, many experienced lifters eventually find themselves purchasing both a lever and a prong belt–using the prong belt for reliability and lever belt for convenience.
Inzer Forever Lever Belt Review Video
Inzer Lever Belt Sizing
There are two sizing options for the Forever lever belt. The 10mm width belt has a broader range of sizes, while the 13mm belt starts at medium.
Inzer Lever Belt (10mm)
|Belt Size||Waist Size|
|X Small||22-25 inches|
|X Large||39-42 inches|
|2X Large||43-46 inches|
|3X Large||47-50 inches|
|4X Large||51-54 inches|
|5X Large||55-58 inches|
Inzer Lever Belt (13mm)
|X Large||39-42 inches|
|2X Large||43-46 inches|
|3X Large||47-50 inches|
|4X Large||51-54 inches|
|5X Large||55-58 inches|
How to Determine the Best Inzer Belt Thickness
Which leads to a very great question…
10mm vs 13mm powerlifting belt…what thickness is best?
From a strictly performance perspective, since the purpose of the belt is to create a wall of support around your abs, many people recommend using the 13mm thickness. The stiffer the belt, the more power it has to deliver the most IAP.
With that said, many choose to use a 10mm belt during training and then switch to a 13mm for competition. The purpose of this is simple: train harder than you compete. By using a 10mm belt during your training cycle, switching to a 13mm on meet day will give you a huge boost of confidence.
Lastly, some find that using a 10mm belt on deadlifts allows for better setup form (it’s easier to get into position with a 10mm belt than with a thicker 13mm one).
It is important to note that 13mm is the maximum thickness allowed in most powerlifting competitions.
Inzer 13mm Belt
Since a quality belt will last for years and years, the 13mm thickness is a must for anyone who wants to compete. Inzer belts are typically approved gear for a number of lifting federations, but always check the rules to make sure (click here to check your federation).
It is important to note, however, that some people are bothered by a 13mm size belt for conventional deadlifts, and instead prefer 10mm. It really depends on your personal preference, but the more surface area you can create with the belt, the more IAP pressure you’ll be able to maximize for your gains (the bigger the better).
Point blank: if you aren’t sure which thickness to choose and plan on competing, go with a 13mm.
Inzer 10mm Belt
The 10mm belt is commonly used for two reasons:
- Used during training to prepare for a meet (and then switch to a 13mm during competition)
- Used during conventional deadlifts for better form
It is also a common choice for women and lighter weight class lifters (165 and below), who don’t feel comfortable with the stiffer 13mm belt. As always, ensuring that form is perfect is a crucial part of safe and efficient powerlifting, so anything that irritates or causes sloppy form is not only inefficient but can also lead to injury.
Bottom line: consider a 10mm belt if you plan to use it for training reasons, are a woman or lighter lifter, or are looking to get an advantage and lift more on conventional deadlifts.
Inzer Belt Reviews
Before making a purchase, it’s always a good idea to read about the experiences other people have had with the same product.
Although the price of an Inzer belt is a little higher than some other brands, the quality makes it an excellent value. In fact, some reviewers think it’s the sort of gear that you can almost “write into your will” because it will literally last your entire life.
Most users rate the quality of Inzer belts highly and recommend them to others.
Below are just a few comments and reviews gathered from around the web:
- Inzer lever belts are extremely convenient to put on and take off—no wrenching the prong to take it off
- The leather smells ‘delicious’ right out of the box
- 10mm is a great size to use for narrow-stance squatting
- Stiff for good support, but take a while to break in the real leather
- High quality fasteners and craftsmanship
- Solid leather construction (not multiple ‘plies’ fused together)
- Massive rivets and more rows of stitching than brands like Pioneer
- Lots of colors to choose from
- Finished with top quality suede for comfort
- Guaranteed forever! In fact, all Inzer forever belts have that promise
- Lever models can be difficult if you undergo changes in body composition, because you have to re-size the belt manually. The same is true for lifters who wear the belt in slightly different positions for the squat and deadlift
- Pricier than Texas powerlifting belts and other known powerlifting brands
- Long shipping times—expect to wait anywhere from 10 days to 10 weeks for the shipment
- Sizes are limited in specific products
When comparing Inzer belts vs. weightlifting belts in general, such as SBD, Sling Shot, Titan or another brand, it’s important to remember the purpose of the belt. In order to build strength and muscle, the belt needs to function in a specific way.
This comparison takes a while to watch but compares Inzer to other brands on the market and breaks them down, one by one:
Inzer Belt Colors (White and Silver Grey are VERY Popular)
Inzer belts come in the standard black (and if you don’t want to wait an extra-long time, that’s always a good choice), but lifters can choose from a list of colors to match their personal style and preference:
- Maroon & silver grey
- Navy blue
- Royal blue
- Sky blue
- Forest green
- Dark brown
If you’re feeling patriotic, there is also a red, white & blue color option.
Breaking in Your Belt
Until the leather is ‘broken in’ the belt will be very stiff. While the best way to break in the belt is obviously to wear it, there is a simple method that can help speed up the process.
Roll the belt in the “opposite” direction (against the grain) and then use a vice grip to hold it in position. Do this when you aren’t working out will speed up the break-in process tremendously.
Since it is a leather product, there are softeners you can buy. However, this is NOT recommended–using leather softeners completely defeats the purpose of utilizing a powerlifting belt made out of out of supportive, stiff leather.
But once you break it in, your Inzer belt will last for years to come!