We recently received a question from Laura asking if we had a specific brand or type of belt we recommend. They come in fairly standard widths and thicknesses, but if you plan to compete, it would be prudent to check the equipment requirements of your federation. Laura will be competing in a NASA meet and they allow belts with a maximum width of 4 inches and maximum thickness of 13mm. The rest is a matter of personal preference and there are several options.
Missy uses a lever belt. It is nice because it’s much easier to tighten and loosen than a buckle belt. The only drawback is its adjustability. In order to change the size you have to use a screwdriver and move the lever bracket. This isn’t an issue for someone who maintains a pretty consistent weight/ size, but if you tend to bloat or are planning on some fluctuation, it is a little more labor intensive to change the size. Missy loves her belt, but has said it takes some practice using the lever and learning how to close it without smashing your fingers.
The rest of us use a single prong buckle belt. Double prong buckles are available, but they are harder to get closed, so we’ve avoided them. The favorite shared group belt is fairly thin (~6.5mm) and well broken in which makes it easy to get on and off. It’s been in the gym for some time, but we think it came from Elitefts. Suzanne, Lizz and I all have relatively new belts. Suzanne has a 10mm lovely purple belt from Inzer; Lizz has a 10mm pretty pink belt from Lifting Large; and my funky two-toned 13mm belt came from Titan.
It can take some time to break in a new belt and make it comfortable. There are some tips to speed up the break in process such as: run it through the dishwasher; keep it rolled up and under several heavy weights or a piece of gym equipment; or roll it up and run over it with your car (we haven’t tried that one). Personally, I think wearing it and sweating in it has made the most difference, which just takes time.
Good luck in your meet Laura! We hope this has helped with your belt buying decision.
We are always excited to hear about what you want to see or questions that you have. Please send them to TheMissFitsLex@gmail.com