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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Approved By Coach
Leather powerlifting belts are often used by professional athletes and amateurs during the workout and competitions. However, everybody can benefit from such belts in day-to-day sessions in the gym if the routine includes compound movements.
Whether you are an athlete or just someone who wants to try all the benefits of the 10 mm or 13 mm belt, you might still hesitate between these two helpful gym accessories. Well, not to worry, we’re here to help you! Here, we’ll compare 13 mm vs 10 mm belts, explain the difference between them, and discuss their pros and cons.
- 1 What Is A Lifting Belt, And How Does It Work?
- 2 Differences Between 10 mm And 13 mm Belts
- 3 What Size Weight Lifting Belt Do I Need?
What Is A Lifting Belt, And How Does It Work?
A lifting belt is designed to increase contractions in the abdominal and other muscles around the core, plus, it holds the skeleton in place during the lift. In other words, a sturdy leather belt provides something to brace against. When you breathe in deeply, it increases the pressure in the core, and the belt doesn’t let your abdomen expand. It translates to a lift and feels like you have a strong chain running through your body.
In addition, both the 10 mm vs 13 mm belt can become an effective reminder to keep the spine in the correct position.
When To Use It?
Powerlifting belts are more useful for intermediate and advanced lifters rather than for beginners. Obviously, these gym accessories must be used wisely and only when there’s a heavy load on the spine, and you really need extra support. Wear it when you perform squats, deadlifts, strict presses, and the various Olympic lifts. Once you introduce it to your training, don’t wear it all the time – go beltless until your last, heavy working set.
When Not To Use It?
Although weightlifting belts are really helpful for experienced lifters, there are several cases when you don’t really need this item:
If you hit machine weights all session long, you don’t need a weightlifting belt. Even sportsmen performing bodyweight movements or dumbbell conditioning don’t find much benefit with a belt. The belt is only helpful when you move large amounts of weight on a barbell, deadlift, squat, push press, etc.
You mustn’t use a belt if you have problems with blood pressure, hernias, and any old traumas. But if you still feel like using a belt, consult your doctor to adapt training with this accessory to your health conditions.
Beginners do not need a belt while training for a few weeks or months. First, they should learn to create the right amount of tension in the core to do lifts safely without a belt.
10 Mm Powerlifting Belt Overview
A 10 mm powerlifting belt is probably the most popular in the powerlifting world. The reason for that is because it’s versatile and can be used for almost any kind of exercise while providing great support.
The Pros & Cons Of The 10 mm Weight Lifting Belt
13 Mm Powerlifting Belt Overview
Usually, a 13 mm powerlifting belt is used by bigger guys, however, it doesn’t mean that people with an average weight won’t benefit from this accessory. The main advantage of the 13 mm belt is the perfect support it provides due to the improved size and thickness.
The Pros & Cons Of The 13 mm Weight Lifting Belt
Differences Between 10 mm And 13 mm Belts
The time needed to break-in the belt
Whichever weightlifting belt you choose, it needs some time to conform to your body. This accessory may feel more or less rigid depending on the brand. However, a 10 mm weight lifting belt is much easier to break-in than a 13 mm one.
The comfort level
In terms of comfort, a 10 mm belt is a true winner in the 10 mm vs 13 mm belt dilemma. That is because it’s more compact and allows better mobility than a 13 mm belt.
A 13 mm weight lifting belt provides superior support, making it the right choice for the elite level. However, it might feel less comfortable than a 10 mm belt in some situations, e.g., getting into a starting position for deadlifts.
Of course, when it comes to 10 mm vs 13 mm belt, the price also matters. In general, a 13 mm belt is more expensive than a 10 mm one. However, it depends on the brand.
What Size Weight Lifting Belt Do I Need?
So all and all, both 10 mm and 13 mm weight lifting belts are great accessories for lifters. And whichever you choose, depends on your fitness level and goals.
If you need a more versatile and flexible belt that you can keep on through the training for every lift, a 10 mm powerlifting belt will be right for you. On the other hand, a 13 mm weightlifting belt is recommended for those who have significant strength training experience, or for those who are heavier in body weight (more than 230lbs).
So hopefully we’ve helped you learn more about the main difference between 10 mm vs 13 mm belt and whichever best works for your fitness goals. So good luck on your fitness journey, and feel free to let us know how it goes!