T Nation

Have a 4" Belt, But Feel Like I Need a 3''

Pretty much nailed it in the description.

I have a 4 in Inzer belt that has been great for over head pressing and heavy power shrugs. I am not currently doing those movements in my new program (PH3) and have found that while my belt is great for squats, it pulls and pinches me out of position in my deadlift. As it stands, I’m quite confident that I’m stronger without it while deadlifting because of the awkward position I get in.

I’ve tried placing it in different places as well. A little lower was murder, a little higher actually felt better, but still not optimal. I am 5’10" and have a long torso, so I’m not sure why the 4 in belt is messing me up. It may be that my bottom rib is pretty close to the top of my hip bone…

Does it sound like I’d benefit from a 3 in belt? Possibly 2.5?

Ever consider having someone close the belt for you so the buckle is in back? It really helps it stay out of the way. Lots of folks do that on deadlift. Give it a whirl.

Have you tried loosening it for deadlifts?


It’s not that the buckle gets in the way; it’s more like it pulls my arms out of position at the bottom (and I’ve tried positioning it a slew of different ways).


I have released the tightness quite a bit, and never really liked it tight to begin with. Perhaps when it comes to deads I could refrain from buckling it at all (I have a lever Inzer belt), and just letting it stay where it stays.

The main concern, of course, is whether I need to dish out another 100 bucks for a quality belt. The one I have is great for OHP and Squats, but is clearly not helping my deadlift. At times, I have to wear the belt so high that it’s around the bottom of my sternum and surrounding the rib cage. Took that bit from Stan Efferding and George Leeman.

If it is impeding your pulling I figure you have two options:

  1. Buy a narrower belt for deadlifting; and

  2. Get good at deadlifting without a belt

Well, I am pretty damn good at deadlifting without a belt, but was hoping to get a little more out of them once going beyond 85%. For now, I’ll have to ditch it on those tough sets and wait for another belt to come in. Thanks, guys.

I have a TON of experience with exactly what you are referring to. Inzer 4" lever belt (13mm), testing belt positioning, and George Leeman experience.

I know exactly what you are talking about with this belt. I’ve tried multiple things over the past year. For me, the belt restricts me from getting low enough to start the pull, when I wear it in a normal position. When I wear it in the leeman position, high, I can pull the bar up to my knees without even trying, but I have back injuries in the past, so I cant’ finish past the knees (physical pain without a belt). You definitely feel way restricted when the belt is high, but I also know it needs to be much looser when it is high.

When it is low, basically on the hip bone, it slides up when you drop down into position.

When it is mid belly, it restricts you from bending down to grab the bar.

My solution was a new belt. But, here is how I came to that conclusion. I purchased a very cheap Amazon leather belt, one that is 2" in front, 4 in back. This allowed the tightness I need on my lower back, with the small front which didn’t restrict positioning at all. But, it’s cheap, and stretches. Next I started using my Ratchet belt I’ve had for a while. This thing is great. it’s thinner, more flexible, yet you can crank it down to really give support.

So, for me, my conclusion wasn’t the lever is the problem, nor the 4" of the belt, but the 13mm of the belt and the inability for it to bend at all was my problem. My ratchet belt is like 10mm, and you can fold it in half, yet it is strong as hell and doesn’t not stretch. For me, I wear it about as low as I can go, just above my butt (again, for back injury purposes), and I crank it down as tight as I can possibly get it. If I don’t, then my back twinges about mid pull and I get injured, pretty much every time.

For you, I suggest doing something similar.

Fast forward to 1:15, that will show you everything I tried on my deads with the belts. I suggest doin the same, video taping each lift, and comparing what is best for you. My form is shit in these videos as I was on the Leeman training at the time, and he pushes his form onto you, which just doesn’ work for me, so ignore the form, but pay attention to the ways I try the belts.

I have two belts not on purpose, one I bought was one notch from being too small I use it for deadlift cause I like the belt lower. For squats I use my new belt thats big enough to fit higher up

You told me to disregard the form, but I notice that everything looks cleaner without the belt! And that’s exactly what I feel going on with my deads using my belt. I can see where it prevents you from getting into position and it forces your arms out of position (especially in the eccentric portion). I’m glad you responded. I’m sure now that the belt is too thick. Much thanks.

I had this exact same problem and I didn’t go super heavy or wear a belt for a long time because of it. Then I went to a PL seminar and one of the hosts made a suggestion to wear the belt up high around the solar plexus area and lower lats in the back. I tried it and it worked very well for me. It allows me to get really tight with a lot of intra-abdominal pressure and to have perfect form because it isn’t hindering the flexibility in my hips and lower back. I hit an easy 600 in a meet lifting this way. So try wearing it up high.