Guide To Choosing The Right Weight Lifting Belt For Big Guys

Powerlifting Belt

Guide To Choosing The Right Weight Lifting Belt For Big Guys

Weight lifting is a journey of strength, endurance, and determination. Finding the right gym gear can sometimes be a challenge for those who fall into the “big guys” category. This is especially when it comes to weight lifting belts for big guys.

A good belt can enhance performance, support your back, and reduce the risk of injury. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one? Don’t worry, as our guide is designed to help big guys select the best large weight lifting belt for their training needs.

How Do Big Guys Choose The Correct Weightlifting Belt?

Belt Size and Width

For larger athletes, the size and width of the belt are crucial factors. The width of the belt refers to how tall the belt is on your back, and it typically ranges from 4 inches for general lifting to 6 inches for those with longer torsos.

For individuals of larger build, a 4-inch width is often deemed optimal. This width is the maximum permitted in powerlifting competitions and is chosen by 99% of the athletes. A wider belt also provides extensive coverage and support for the midsection during intense workouts, irrespective of competition participation.

Measure your midsection where you plan to wear the belt (usually around the navel) to ensure you get a size that fits well and offers adequate coverage without hindering your movement or comfort.

Thickness and Material

The thickness of the belt contributes significantly to the support it offers. Belts typically range from 10mm to 13mm in thickness. Thicker belts offer more support, which is beneficial for heavy lifts, but they can also be more rigid and require a break-in period. 

For larger individuals, leather lifting belts are recommended due to their durability and superior support for heavy lifting. While fabric belts offer more flexibility, they fall short in terms of support and durability when compared to leather options.


Leather remains the top choice for durability and support during heavy lifting sessions. Softer leather and nylon belts might seem appealing, especially to those who are just starting or are significantly overweight. However, they are less suited for high-intensity exercises like squats and deadlifts involving heavy weights.

Personal Comfort and Fit

Ultimately, plus size weight lifting belts for big guys should feel comfortable and secure. It should fit snugly around your waist without pinching or digging into your sides. When trying on belts, simulate some lifting movements to ensure the belt doesn’t shift and remains supportive without restricting your breathing or movements.

Read Reviews and Get Recommendations

Before making a final decision, we recommend that you read reviews and ask for recommendations from fellow lifters, especially those of a similar size. This can provide valuable insights into how a belt performs under real-world conditions and whether it’s suited to your needs.

Choosing the Right Waist Size

Selecting plus-size weight lifting belts that fit well around your midsection is crucial, with XL, XXL, and 3XL sizes typically being the most suitable. Sizing can vary by brand, but generally:

  • XL weight lifting belt covers waist sizes from 36-38 inches up to 46 inches
  • 2XL weight lifting belt fits 39-41 inches up to 48 inches
  • 3XL weight lifting belt accommodates 42-43 inches up to 52 inches

Always verify sizing with the manufacturer before making a purchase.

Key Considerations for Selecting a Lifting Belt Tailored to Specific Exercises and Lifts

Selecting the right lifting belt is crucial, especially for larger individuals, and the decision largely hinges on their current fitness level and preferred training regimen.

For seasoned powerlifters who frequently handle substantial weights, solid midsection support is vital for peak performance and minimising the risk of injury. In these cases, a conventional lifting belt is the ideal choice. Key factors to consider include durability, width, and material, ensuring the belt meets the demands of heavy lifting.

On the other hand, newcomers to weightlifting, particularly those of larger build, may not initially need the same level of rigidity in a lifting belt. New lifters often find that a traditional 10 or 13 mm thick belt can be more challenging to use and may not be as beneficial early on in their training journey.

For people who are just starting out, a lifting belt made from softer materials, such as flexible leather or woven fabric, might be more appropriate. These belts offer necessary support to the midsection while being less restrictive, making them versatile enough for a wide range of gym activities beyond just the most intense compound lifts like squats and deadlifts.

It’s also worth noting that a more flexible belt can help acclimate new lifters to the sensation of wearing support during their workouts, easing the transition to more rigid belts as their lifting capacity increases. Additionally, considering the width and closure system of the belt can further ensure a comfortable fit and effective support for various types of exercises and lifting techniques.

A Guide to Effectively Utilising a Lifting Belt for Larger Individuals

Step 1: Finding the Perfect Fit

Begin by encircling your waist with the large weight lifting belt, starting at your belly button. Adjust its position according to your comfort and the exercise you’re performing.

For instance, positioning it directly over the belly button might suit squats well. On the other hand, a slightly elevated placement could be better for deadlifts, ensuring it doesn’t interfere with your form.

Step 2: Achieving the Ideal Tightness

After positioning the belt, secure it snugly around your waist. It should be tight enough to allow for a full breath, enabling you to expand your abdomen against the belt, which helps in stabilising your core.

Avoid over-tightening by pulling in your stomach. This can lead to discomfort and potentially hinder your performance rather than enhance it.

Step 3: Exercising

With the belt securely in place, prepare for your exercise. Inhale deeply through your mouth, expand your abdomen against the belt, and contract your abdominal muscles. This bracing technique should be maintained throughout your movement. Exhale towards the completion of your movement, ensuring to keep the core engaged for maximum support.

Incorporating these steps not only enhances your lifting technique but also significantly reduces the risk of injury, making your workout session both efficient and safe. 


Choosing the correct weight lifting belt is a critical decision for “big guys” in their fitness journey, offering not just enhanced performance but also vital support and protection against injuries.

Remember, the goal is to enhance your lifting experience, ensuring every session is productive, safe, and aligned with your fitness goals. As you progress in your weight lifting journey, the right belt will become an invaluable tool in your arsenal. Choose wisely, lift safely, and let your belt be a testament to your commitment to strength and health.

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