Lifting Belt: Suggestions and Sizing

Despite lifting for quite some time, I’ve never used a lifting belt. I’ve been battling lower back stiffness and soreness as I’ve increased my workload. Thinking it’s time to try one.


  1. I’m assuming a 4" leather belt is the best option? I’m looking at the Ohio Lifting Belt from Rogue. Other suggestions? Would a 3" be better since I’m 5’8" 175?
  2. For fit, I typically wear size 32" pants, and from sizing it looks like either a M or L would work (I know the belt measurements are different than waist sizes of pants). Is it better to go with the slightly larger one, or stick with the medium?

Any other considerations?

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IMO, 4” all the way around. A single hole buckle. Go thicker rather than thinner.

Try some belts for the length you need.


Pioneer is having a sale right now! Today and tomorrow is 20% off.

I have a 13mm single-prong Pioneer belt.

  • 13mm is a little much for me. Others tend to disagree, and they’re likely right, but I would prefer a 10mm. I squat mid 400s and deadlift low 500, for reference, and tend to train a bit more bodybuilding.

  • I’m 5’10” and totally agree 4” is the way to go.

  • I like single prong way more than double - that’s a keeper.

  • The pioneer cut is awesome - I can put the belt right where I want depending on lift, how fat I am, and how many sweatshirts I wear.

  • Folks tend to love the ease of a lever, but I like to adjust; Pioneer now has a lever with small adjustments built in.

All that said, I’d buy a stock 10mm 4” V2 PAL from Pioneer (which is currently 20% off). I’d get the one with the American flag dye on the back, because I’m a peacock and you gotta let me fly.


The “sharp” edges of new belts tend to hurt until they are broken in. Don’t be a sissy. Gut through a little pain. Neatsfoot oil can be used to soften the belt some.

I never spared any money buying a belt. I had a python covered belt, then a personalized suede covered belt. Both were over $100 in the ‘80’s.

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Take a legit waist measurement: pant size is a hip measurement unless you wear your pants like an old man


I agree about

Single Prong
Size Medium (based on the Rogue chart)

Pioneer (or I guess General Leathercraft?) belts are awesome, and the Pioneer hole spacing is great. Although I’m sure Rogue is legit too.

I think 10mm is plenty, especially for a a guy who has lifted so long without a belt, who isn’t looking to compete in powerlifting, and who will probably use it for more stuff than just squat/deads.


That would be me. I don’t wear my pants top on my hips. And neither did I wear my lifting belt around my hips.

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You were around when that was the style

And we were a less fat people

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My girlfriend has a 3 inch Pioneer, and it’s solid and “for real.” Just like a 4", only scaled down. She’s 5’7" and she likes it.

But I feel like it might be easy for a man to “outgrow” it. Or like be like “wow, a belt is a lot cooler and less BS than I expected, now I wish I got the 4”.

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Just did that. At my navel it’s 35", but where my wife said my “true waist” is was 33" (which was a bit higher up). But she is basing that on women’s clothing, so probably not too useful here.

Puts me in the “medium” range on most belts I’ve looked at.

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I may actually be talking myself into getting a 10” while it’s on sale. You guys are the worst

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Now that is a WIDE belt!


Just know that the top of the lifting belt will be higher on your waist than any belt you have ever worn. Much higher

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What’s the point of flying all over the place and working so hard if you can’t splurge every once in awhile.

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I got a 4-inch, 13 mm Rogue Lever Belt two weeks ago. It’s my first time lifting with a belt and I’m still figuring it out, but I’m happy with it so far.

It’s new and definitely bites like @RT_Nomad suggested, but the initial bruising and the soreness on my obliques were nothing compared to the support it gives, particularly during deadlifts.

Edit: I’m 5’7", about 190, and I got the large. I immediately had to drill holes to cinch it tighter—I found I like it tighter for deadlifts and press compared to squats. But maybe it’s better to have the bigger size: given the lack of room at the end, adding holes to go smaller was easier than if I had had to go bigger.


Haha! Whoops! 10mm.

Sold! It’s on its way.


I have a 13mm Pioneer lever belt, and I love it. Had an Inzer double prong belt and a Pioneer cut prong belt previously, but dropped weight and had to get a new one.

IMO, the PAL lever belt that Pioneer does is my best belt to date. I can still adjust up to a few inches without using a screwdriver or anything, definitely more than enough variance to allow for bloat, +- 15lb weight change, and higher or lower belt placement. The lever is strong and quick, and it honestly just feels a little bad ass to flip open a lever belt after a top set lol


Thanks for all the advice. I just ordered the Pioneer 4" BLACK V2 PAL 10MM on sale for $111.99. I also ordered their gymnast gloves as well, since they’re on sale and the ones I have need replacing.

I was between the Pioneer and Rogue, but with the sale (thanks for pointing that out @TrainForPain) I decided to go with the Pioneer.


I got the same belt as you, but the American flag one. Did we just become best friends?

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It does appear we may be having a moment here.

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