When it comes to serious lifting, the choice of a lifting belt is as crucial as the workout itself. One of the dilemmas many lifters face is deciding between a 10mm and a 13mm belt. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of each, helping you make an informed decision tailored to your lifting style and preferences.
Understanding Belt Thickness
Lifting belts come in various thicknesses, each catering to different needs. A 10mm belt offers flexibility and comfort, ideal for certain exercises. On the other hand, a 13mm belt provides robust support, especially during heavy lifts. Understanding the pros and cons of each thickness is essential for choosing the right belt for your routine.
Advantages of 10mm Belts:
- A 10mm lifting belt is generally more flexible compared to thicker options, allowing for a greater range of motion. This is beneficial for exercises that involve bending and twisting, making it suitable for activities like Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit.
- Due to their slimmer profile, 10mm belts are often lighter than their thicker counterparts. This can be advantageous for individuals who prioritize agility and freedom of movement during their workouts.
- Many users find 10mm belts more comfortable, especially during dynamic exercises. The reduced thickness may feel less restrictive and may be preferred by individuals with smaller frames or those who find thicker belts cumbersome.
- The flexibility of a 10mm belt makes it versatile for various exercises. Whether you're performing squats, deadlifts, or other compound movements, the belt can provide support without hindering your ability to move.
Limitations of 10mm Belts:
Less Stiffness and Support:
- Compared to thicker belts, 10mm belts offer less rigidity and may provide slightly less support, especially during extremely heavy lifts. This makes them less suitable for powerlifters who require maximum stability for maximal lifts.
- Some powerlifting competitions have specific requirements for belt thickness. If you're planning to compete in powerlifting, you should check the regulations, as a 10mm belt may not meet the thickness criteria.
- The choice between a 10mm and a thicker belt often comes down to personal preference. While some individuals appreciate the flexibility of a 10mm belt, others may prefer the additional stability provided by a thicker option, depending on their workout style and goals.
Specificity for Certain Lifts:
- For certain powerlifting movements where maximum support is crucial, such as heavy squats and deadlifts, a 10mm belt might not offer the same level of support as a thicker belt.
In summary, a 10mm lifting belt is a versatile option suitable for a wide range of exercises, particularly those involving dynamic movements. While it may have limitations in terms of maximum support for extremely heavy lifts, it can be an excellent choice for individuals who value flexibility and comfort in their lifting routine. The suitability of a 10mm belt depends on your specific goals, preferences, and the nature of your workouts
Advantages of 13mm Belts:
- A 13mm lifting belt offers maximum rigidity and stability, making it ideal for powerlifters and those engaging in heavy, maximal lifts. The thickness provides robust support to the lower back and core during exercises like squats and deadlifts.
- Thicker belts are designed to distribute pressure more evenly across the abdomen, offering enhanced intra-abdominal support. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals lifting extremely heavy weights.
- Many powerlifting competitions have specific regulations regarding the thickness of lifting belts. A 13mm belt often meets these requirements, making it suitable for competitive powerlifters.
- Thicker belts, such as the 13mm option, are often more durable and withstand heavy use over an extended period. This durability is valuable for those engaging in regular and intense strength training.
Limitations of 13mm Belts:
- The increased thickness of a 13mm belt can limit flexibility compared to thinner options. This may be a consideration for individuals who perform dynamic movements or exercises that require a wide range of motion.
Weight and Comfort:
- Thicker belts tend to be heavier, which can be a factor for some users. While the added weight contributes to stability, it may feel cumbersome for those who prioritize a lighter lifting accessory. Comfort can be subjective, and some users may find a thinner belt more comfortable during certain activities.
- Transitioning to a 13mm belt may require an adaptation period, especially if you're accustomed to using a thinner belt or no belt at all. It's essential to allow your body to adjust to the increased support and rigidity.
Not Universally Preferred:
- Thicker belts are not universally preferred for all types of strength training. Some individuals may find the level of support provided by a 13mm belt unnecessary for their specific workout goals or may prefer the flexibility offered by a thinner belt.
In summary, a 13mm lifting belt is a powerhouse for stability and support, particularly in powerlifting scenarios involving heavy loads. However, individuals should carefully consider their specific training needs, preferences, and the nature of their exercises before opting for a thicker belt.
Consideration for Lifting Style
The type of lifting you engage in matters when choosing a belt. Powerlifters may lean towards the sturdier 13mm option, while Olympic lifters might prefer the flexibility offered by a 10mm belt but in summary:
Nature of Lifts: Consider the primary lifts in your routine. If you focus on heavy squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, especially in a controlled powerlifting style, a 13mm belt may provide the necessary support. If your routine involves a mix of dynamic movements, a 10mm belt could be more versatile.
Competition Goals: If you have aspirations for powerlifting competitions, be aware of the regulations regarding belt thickness. Many competitions have specific rules, and a 13mm belt may be required or preferred.
Personal Comfort: Ultimately, your comfort with the belt is essential. Some individuals may find the additional support of a 13mm belt comforting during heavy lifts, while others may prefer the flexibility and lighter feel of a 10mm belt.
So Which Is Better?
The choice between a 13mm and a 10mm lifting belt ultimately depends on your specific needs, lifting style, and personal preferences. Each thickness has its advantages, and what may be considered "better" varies from person to person. Here are some factors to consider:
When a 13mm Belt might be better:
Heavy Powerlifting: If your primary focus is on heavy powerlifting movements like squats and deadlifts, a 13mm belt is often preferred. The increased thickness provides maximum support and stability during these controlled and intense lifts.
Competition Requirements: If you plan to compete in powerlifting competitions, check the regulations regarding belt thickness. Many competitions have specific rules, and a 13mm belt may be required or advantageous for meeting those standards.
Controlled Movements: If you prefer slow, controlled movements during your lifts, the stiffness of a 13mm belt can aid in maintaining proper form and reducing the risk of injury.
When a 10mm Belt might be better:
Dynamic Movements: If your lifting style involves dynamic movements, such as those in CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting, a 10mm belt is often more suitable. Its flexibility allows for a greater range of motion during quick and explosive lifts.
Versatility: A 10mm belt is versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises. If your routine includes a mix of strength and conditioning activities, a 10mm belt provides a good balance of support without sacrificing agility.
Comfort during Longer Workouts: The lighter and more flexible nature of a 10mm belt can enhance comfort during longer workout sessions that involve continuous and varied movements.
Recommended Lifting Belt
Now that you know more about lifting belts and whether to opt for the 13mm or 10mm lifting belt, check out our range of lifting belts!
The classic SBD Belt. A high quality 13mm lever belt featuring a patented gliding lever, providing the adjustability of a prong belt with the ease and tightness of a lever belt.
Ideal for sizing up or down whenever you need during training sessions and competitions. Perfect for beginners or seasoned lifters.
The 10mm lever belt is constructed using two different cuts of hide to allow the belt to retain support while moulding to your waist.
Featuring a low profile buckle - along with rounded edges and corners - to minimise any obstruction or discomfort from contact between the legs and the belt.
In the realm of 10mm vs. 13mm lifting belts, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Consider your lifting style, comfort preferences, and long-term goals. This blog has equipped you with the knowledge to make an informed decision, ensuring your lifting belt is as tailored to your needs as your workout routine!
Can I use a 10mm belt for lifting? Yes, many lifters find 10mm belts sufficient, especially if they prioritize flexibility.
Do 13mm belts restrict movement during exercises? While they offer robust support, 13mm belts can limit movement, making them more suitable for certain types of lifts.
Are leather belts better than synthetic ones? It depends on personal preference. Leather offers durability, while synthetic materials provide flexibility.
Can a lifting belt prevent injuries? A lifting belt can provide support, but proper form and technique are crucial for injury prevention.