Weightlifting belts have been a staple in the weight room for many years, especially for athletic populations. They are extremely popular in power lifting and often used in Olympic lifting as well. The main reason they are used is to increase intra-abdominal pressure, forming a strong core that supports and stabilizes the inter-vertebral disks.
This can be done without a belt, as your abdominal wall and lower back push on the spine to stabilize it, but the belt offers something to push against to better activate those muscles, therefore improving the stabilization and support.
Gopher Performance offers two belts that are both very beneficial, albeit in a few different ways.
Fortify Nylon Weightlifting Belts
The Fortify Nylon Weightlifting Belt is awesome for anyone from beginner to advanced lifter. The material is appropriate for its versatile use, but, unlike other models I have seen, not overly thick. It offers enough pressure to understand how to use the belt to drive against and create pressure within.
Great for athletes of all skill levels, its nylon construction is more comfortable, fits better, and can be used for more dynamic lifts, such as the clean or snatch. The Velcro is very strong and allows for a precision fit. It also offers a quick, easy release for running through a circuit or AMRAP-style cross-training workout.
If you are an experienced lifter moving heavy weight, you want this 13 mm thick leather belt. It is strong, durable, and can handle huge amounts of pressure. The leather and metal construction will have a very long life if treated correctly, and the steel roller buckle remains tight under even the most thoracic pressure. The belt itself features more holes than others, so you can find a more customized fit.
The Fortify Leather Weightlifting Belt will take longer to break in than the nylon belt, but once properly broken in you will find it comfortable and dependable. Overall, it’s a strong belt that will be very beneficial for experienced lifters who will use a belt often and need it for heavy weights.
Weightlifting belts are beneficial during full body movements like the squat, deadlift, bent over row, clean, overhead press, and more. I think you’ll be more than satisfied with either of these two great options offered by Gopher Performance.
The nylon belt is comfortable, offers a supportive fit, and great for new lifters and dynamic exercises. The Leather belt is extremely strong and durable, offering a lot of support. In the end individual comfort and personal preference will dictate much of the decision on the specific belt you use.
The 2009 Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year, Jeff is in his 16th year at Winona State University as Strength and Conditioning/ Director of Fitness. He is responsible for 10 Division II teams. Previously he was the head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports at Iowa State University, an assistant at the University of Memphis, and an assistant at the US Olympic training center in Colorado. Reinardy was part of two men’s basketball national championships in three appearances, numerous conference championships, and several individual national champions at both the Division I and II levels. He also holds club coach and sports performance certifications through USA Weightlifting, and is the former ADFPA American Squat record holder in the 148 weight class and four Minnesota state ADFPA championships.