Weight Lifting Belts – How They Work & Do You Need Them

Everybody knows weight lifting belts help you lift more weight but not many people know why this is.

We all see people wearing belts in the gym every day however when should you really be using them and how …. This guide is going to I’ve you everything you need to know.


Weightlifting belts help support the back by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and preventing back hyperextension. Put simply, they give you resistance to push against with your core creating pressure that helps you get through heavy lifts.


By having a correctly fit weightlifting you will have resistance to push against with your core – by using these correctly you will lift more weight!


Do they really work?

YES! That’s why there are power lifters and strong men have competitions with and without belts.

Do strongmen put on a lifting belt during competition’s? YES.

Do powerlifters hit heavier PR’s with weight lifting belt’s? YES.

Put simply, if you wear a weight lifting belt, you will lift more weight.


They are most effective when used for lifts in which the spinal erector muscles work against heavy resistance. 

This pressure creates a rigid core, stabilizing your spine and helping increase your maximum power. This pressure also keeps your spine from collapsing under heavy weight. You can create your own intra-abdominal pressure by breathing in, holding your breath, and pushing out with your stomach muscles, a move called the Valsalva maneuver. The weight belt gives your stomach something to push against, increasing your pressure.


When should you wear a belt?

You can wear a lifting belt during any form of resistance training however this is often frowned up from ‘proper lifters’.

The common school of thought is you shouldn’t wear a belt at all times in the gym, instead you should only wear them during heavy compound lifts such as Squats, Deadlifts and Over-head press. 

I personally use a lifting belt when I really want to go to failure, go for a PR or really max out on a lift. 

However you can wear a belt at any time you want extra back and core support.

Power lifters often always wear a belt since all their working sets are heavy compound lifts.

Bodybuilders getting ready for a show often wear belt at all times to assist with bring in their waist line.

If you are somebody just looking to get in shape, we recommend testing out the above and use the belt when you need core support.


How to fit your lifting belt?

All Elevate lifting belts come with a sizing chart to choose the size you need however once you have a belt how tight should it be fit?

This all depends what you are lifting for …

If you are going for a heavy 1-3 rep max on squats want it as tight as possible. You can literally breathe in and pull the belt in as far as you can comfortably wear it. This should be noticeably tight and not how you would like to wear it for more than 1 heavy lift.


For deadlifts your stomach typically pushes out at the bottom of the lift so you need a little more room to breathe. If the belt is too tight it will actually restrict your movement and prevent you from hitting your max weight. So loosen it up and increase your lifts.


For bodybuilders and those hitting higher reps such as 10+ you may wat it slightly looser still giving you room for those big breaths during long sets. You still want it nice and tight so you have the resistance to push against however if you are wearing the belt for a long period you want it to be comfortable.


I have an injury, will belts work for me?

If you have an injury effecting your gym training or causing you pain during a workout, you must consult a doctor

It is however recognised that gym belts support your back and core as well as preventing future injuries caused from excess back strain.



The best thing to do is test how lifting belts assist your training & how you like to wear them. Belts are a bit like what supplements are to a diet. They really help our however you still have to train!


If you are looking for a new belt check out Elevates comprehensive range of premium lifting belts - SHOP LIFTING BELTS HERE

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