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There are not that many types of belts. We can classify them by material, thickness, size, and maybe a few other factors. Today’s article focuses on choosing the size of a lifting belt, with the most common options being 3, 4, or 6 inches.
It’s important to know that these numbers represent the width of a belt, most often measured in the back area because there are belts that have a smaller width in the front.
Picking one of these three will determine how well the belt will perform according to your needs and goals, so it is quite important to know a few things about each one before you rush to get the first belt you see on the internet.
Let’s start with the most popular type of belt, the 4-inch one that is also the standard for manufacturers, the easiest to find, and the one that it’s suitable for most people. That’s because a width of 4 inches is not quite a lot, but at the same time, it is more than enough to provide the necessary support.
Also, this type of belt is the most common in the world of powerlifting, where most approved belts have a width of 4 inches, but there are also exceptions that we are going to talk about later.
4-inch belts are also great because they are produced in many different styles and it is easy to find a buyer if you want to resell them.
Who Are The 4-inch Belts For?
As mentioned earlier, 4-inch belts are suitable for most people. If you do not have a really small torso, and just want a normal belt, this is the most logical choice.
Afterward, the thickness and the material will influence how good the belt will be for certain activities, but that’s another story. Bigger individuals can also benefit from wearing a 4-inch belt instead of a smaller one.
Pros And Cons
- easiest to find and resell
- suitable for most people
- most common in the powerlifting world
- might create discomfort for short torso individuals
For the first category of belts, we chose Inzer Forever, a really popular belt in the industry, with incredible feedback over the years.
Now we can move on to the second type, which is the one with a width of 3 inches. These are much harder to find because the demand is lower compared to the previous model.
Purchasing this model if you have a very small torso is probably a smart idea, as the small size will prevent the belt from digging into the ribs and hips. Another advantage is that a 3-inch belt will help you maintain a better arch during the bench press. That is a simple trick often used by bench press specialists.
Previously, it was mentioned that most competition-approved belts are 4 inches wide, but there are a few exceptions. One of these belts is Rogue 3’’ Ohio, which is one of the few of this size approved by IPF.
Who Are The 3-inch Belts For?
Athletes with a small torso and women have the most reasons to try this smaller belt, but in general, anyone who finds a normal 4-inch model uncomfortable could try this option. If you are really serious about bench pressing, you might consider investing in a 3-inch belt for this purpose, but this is not a very common scenario.
Pros And Cons
- great for people with a short torso
- usually a little cheaper
- great for bench pressing
- not so many options to choose from
One of the few 3-inch competition-approved belts seems the smartest choice for this category. The Rogue 3’’ Ohio, a smaller version of the original Ohio model, is a 10mm thick belt with irreproachable quality.
The measurement refers to the back of the belt because these models always have a smaller width in the front area. This is due to the fact that a width of 6 inches would be too large for the abdominal area, therefore the belt would be impossible to use.
Due to their shape, they are quite comfortable, but in terms of support, 6-inch belts are not the best. A belt with a uniform width is superior when it comes to the level of support it provides, but the thickness plays a very important role as well.
Who Are The 6-inch Belts For?
You might consider purchasing one of these if you are a recreational lifter and want some extra support for moderate training, but keep in mind that there are brands that produce some quality 6-inch belts. These are usually more expensive, but also more supportive.
Pros And Cons
- good for moderate training
- not the best choice when it comes to support
Since the first two belts are made of leather, we tried to diversify our list by adding a nylon product. The Steel Sweat 6-inch nylon belt is versatile and provides decent support while managing to stay comfortable.
3-inch vs 4-inch vs 6-inch Lifting Belt - Final Thoughts
Picking the right size for your belt is crucial for its effectiveness. Moreover, choosing the wrong belt might make it uncomfortable or inefficient, therefore doing a little research before purchasing a product will increase the chances of making the right choice, which will eventually lead to improved training performance.