There comes a time in every powerlifter’s career when they decide they need a belt. Not just any belt will do; no, it must be a belt with serious functionality. Perhaps the best type of powerlifting belt, a lever belt, would be the perfect belt for many. It’s just as secure as a prong belt but allows the user to tighten and loosen it in less than a second.
Brands like Anderson Powerlifting, Inzer, and SBD offer lever belts for many different lifters. Maybe you are on a tight budget, yet you will only do local meets. Anderson Powerlifting has the best lever belt for you. Or, perhaps your budget is somewhat restrictive, but you want to go to the IPF. Inzer may be better for you in that case. Maybe some of you are even willing to get one of the belts for powerlifting at any cost, in which case SBD has the overall top lever belts. It’s essential to have a belt if you compete, but why even choose a lever belt?
What Are Lever Belts, And Why Are They Essential?
Many lifters who know they need a powerlifting belt are unsure of what kind of belt to get. While some critical specifications, such as width and thickness, need to be considered, another essential factor is whether the belt is a prong belt or a lever belt.
Prong belts work like traditional belts for pants. They have one or two prongs on one end and holes along the other tapered end. The lifter slots the tapered end through the bracket on the prong side and lines the prong or prongs up with the desired hole. Then, the pointed end can be slotted into a leather hoop on the bracket side to keep it out of the way. If this sounds like a lot of steps, it’s because it is, and taking the belt off is a similar experience.
With a lever belt, the lifter simply positions the belt where they want it and shoves the lever to the side, synching it in place. When they are done bracing against the belt after their lift is over, they can grab the lever and pull it outward, and it instantly loosens the belt. Both tightening and loosening a belt are significantly quicker and easier than doing so with a prong belt, and the performance of the two types of belts is considered identical.
Assuming their width and thickness are the same, the lever belt is an easier way to achieve the same thing. Lever belts are often more expensive than similar prong belts. Still, for competitive lifters, the small monetary investment can pay off many times over in seconds saved before and after lifts.
The 8 Best Lever Belts For Powerlifting | Top Lever Belts
Number 8: Pioneer Adjustable Lever Belt
The Pioneer Adjustable Lever can be purchased separately from a belt and can be attached to an existing Pioneer belt and an Inzer or Titan belt. It offers the ability to clasp in 4 different positions. This will allow you to loosen the belt if you move it higher up on the torso or bundle up in the winter. It also allows you to use it at different tightness settings for warm-up and working sets. This belt is approved for use in all powerlifting federations except IPF and affiliated organizations.
Number 7: A7 Pioneer Lever Belt
The A7 Pioneer is an IPF-approved, USAPL, and USPA-compliant belt created through a partnership between A7 and Pioneer. It’s a sleek black belt of incredible quality, leaving no space for unnecessary aesthetic design options. As with most belts on this list, it comes in 10 mm and 13 mm thickness and has the maximum allowed width of 10 cm.
Number 6: Inzer Forever Lever Belt
The Inzer Forever Lever Belt is a great budget option for powerlifters who intend to compete in the IPF or any other federation. Inzer offers incredible customizability with their belts. Unfortunately, only black belts in sizes from S to XXL are kept in stock for quick shipping. Other sizes and colors, including smooth black and many other exciting color choices, are crafted after orders are placed and can take 2 to 3 months to be delivered.
Number 5: Titan Brahma Lever Powerlifting Belt
Titan Support Systems offers many stylish and functional powerlifting belts, such as the Titan Brahma. The Brahma is a 13 mm IPF-approved belt that comes at a mid-range price. While Titan offers many exotic belts, such as snakeskin inset belts and custom embroidered belts, most of these options cost significantly. They provide no practical benefit over a standard Titan Brahma Lever Belt.
Number 4: The Anderson Powerlifting KLA Lever Belt
Anderson Powerlifting offers a 10 cm wide, 10 mm thick double-sided black suede leather belt that compares with even the highest quality belts on this list. It meets all the specifications for USPA and comes at a bargain! The lack of customization options is quickly forgotten when they carry sizes from XS to 5XL. The belt, while far from the flashiest powerlifting belt, may well be the best value for money of any lever belt for people who are not planning to compete in the IPF.
Number 3: STrong Lever Belt
Mark Bell Sling Shot offers an incredible STrong Lever belt. The sleek black belt with red stitching and a debossed STrong logo make this belt stand out without an overly elaborate design. It’s approved for IPF, USAPL, and USPA usage and comes in 13 mm thickness and 10 mm width. Like others on this list, the lack of customization options will go unnoticed by many pragmatists.
Number 2: Rogue Black 13 mm Powerlifting Belt
Rogue Fitness has offered some of the highest quality fitness products for years. This belt is no exception. As the third belt on this list to be made by Pioneer, it’s clear that Pioneer is a premier manufacturer of some of the best lever belts. What this sleek black belt lacks in flashiness and design options, it makes up for in quality and practicality. This belt is IPF approved and fits the design specifications of all other federations.
Number 1 | The SBD Lever Belt
Like the Pioneer Adjustable Lever Belt, the SBD Belt is adjustable. It features a patented gliding lever that allows the belt to be synched at multiple tightnesses. However, this belt is much more expensive than its Pioneer Counterpart and lacks customization options. The belt is USAPL and IPF approved as well as USPA compliant. This means it’s the only genuinely adjustable lever belt on this list which is also approved for all major federations. This would be the optimal belt for a pragmatic powerlifter with significant aspirations, albeit only one with a loose budget.
Why You Should Invest In The Best Lever Belt Possible
You know why lever belts are generally better than prong belts, and you’ve seen some examples of suitable belts. Next, it’s essential to understand why buying the cheapest lever belt you can find is a bad idea. Firstly, it’d be preferable to buy a belt that comes with at least a one-year warranty. This will ensure that you are not liable in the case of a manufacturing or material failure.
Another reason to upgrade the belt you choose may be your powerlifting ambitions. Suppose you are planning to enter meets mandated by the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation). In that case, you must use a belt approved by the federation. Unlike some associations like the USPA (United States Powerlifting Association), the IPF doesn’t simply allow lifters to use any belt with certain specifications. The IPF releases a list that details which belts and brands are permitted for the meets they mandate. If you want to be an IPF lifter, you should buy an IPF belt.
Finally, the durability of your belt is more important than you may realize. Sure, it’s not such a big deal if your powerlifting belt stops working after several weeks or months of use at your local gym. However, what would your reaction be if your belt’s lever broke off of your belt mid-squat at a regional powerlifting meet? This is unlikely to happen with any belt of decent quality. Still, if your belt is the cheapest and lowest quality belt available, that chance is far from zero.