Weightlifting belts are a training tool that has a place in any athletes training. Similar to lifting shoes, knee sleeves, and other wrist wraps, a lifting belt can be used to increase stability during heavy training.
Weightlifting belts work to increase intra-abdominal pressure which, through the Vasalva manauvuer can help to stabilize the core and increase rigidity under load.
In sports like Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, and CrossFit (as well as in general training for fitness and sports performance) belts can be used in both training and competition, sometimes producing slight increases in maximal strength outputs.
In this article we will review one style of lifting belt, made specifically for the sport of Olympic weightlifting (due to the design and fit), made by Ikarus Athletics.
4” Tapered Leather Olympic Weightlifting Belt
Before we get started, I want to make it clear that I am not receiving any kickback or compensation for this review post. I was given a leather custom belt to try out and train in, and am now confident I can give my 100% authentic review of this belt...so here we go.
This belt is made of leather, with a suede interior and thick stitching. The buckle is secure but low profile, made of metal.
I was able to design the color of the interior suede, interior and exterior stitching, and even the color of the outside leather (literally had so many options). I was then able to send over my logo and let Raymond know what words I wanted printed in it. I choose to stick with the black and white scheme, as I’m a classic kinda man (plus, it goes with anything 🤣).
I got a medium belt, which ran true to size based on their sizing charts. I’m about 88kg and just under 6 foot tall, with a smaller waist (I wear 33” waist pants). The tapered belt helps you get the fit centered, which will result in the buckle being slightly offset (to the right) so that the barbell doesn’t brush up against it as you pull.
I’ve only had it for about a month, but have put in about 15 hard training sessions in it (look at previous posts). I have even had some of my team athletes wear it and give it a go, and I have no doubt it will hold up.
Comfort is huge, as I used to not use leather belts because they just didn’t move well with my body in the clean. I stopped wearing belts in the snatch, so I will still need to see how this feels if I choose to belt again with snatches. Right out of the bag, the leather was soft and broken in, yet still had a new leather durability to it. The tapered fit is right on, and doesn’t catch any skin (belly rolls 😶) as I move through my training.
This leather tapered belt, fully customized with color options AND custom logo/branding/name runs $150, which for someone who trains seriously and understands that a solid leather belt can last you your entire career, is a steal. The fact you can add some flair makes it even sweeter.
I was super impressed by the looks, feel, fit, and now durability of this belt. While a belt and shoes don’t necessarily make the lifter, they do have a rightful spot next to hard work, consistent effort, and an unwavering will to crush kilos. I highly recommend this belt, and am really happy I was able to collaborate with Ikarus Athletics.