Powerlifting is a sport that is growing in popularity by the day. Just like a host of other sports, powerlifting requires specific equipment for you to be able to complete this sport.
That being said, there are some points along the way where you can change between different types of equipment.
In powerlifting, one of the points where you have a choice in terms of what equipment you choose is the belt. In particular, two types of belts are often popular favorites among those who power lift, and they are the lever and prong belt.
There are some similarities and some differences between the two types of belts which can make it very difficult to determine which belt is the best. Both are commonly used by professional powerlifters and so it is primarily down to personal preference.
That being said, there are some pros and cons to both which can help you decide which is the best. We’ll be taking a look at these reasons in this guide and compare both the lever and the prong belt to determine which one is the best.
If you haven’t got the time to read this entire guide, that’s okay because we’re giving you our recommendations right here. Despite the fact that they are slightly more expensive, we would recommend the lever belt if you are stuck between the two. Both options are great, but personally, we believe that the lever belt beats the prong belt.
We’ll take a deeper look at these reasons further on in this guide, but let’s quickly look at the main reasons that have led us to this decision. The main reason that we have chosen the lever belt is that it is easier to use than the prong belt.
The prong belt is prone to catching and can be rather fiddly to put on, whereas the lever belt is much simpler. Powerlifting requires you to mentally “get in the zone” and something as simple as your belt catching can be enough to knock you out of that zone, which is why we would recommend the lever belt if you need a belt in a hurry.
What is a Lever Belt?
Before we compare the two types, let’s quickly take a look at what each type is, starting with the lever belt. The lever belt is a type of exercise equipment that is specifically designed for powerlifting.
It provides rigid support to the back and stomach, allowing the person doing the powerlifting to do so without damaging their body. Lever belts are the easier option to use as they can be secured with a single hand, which is their main selling point.
What is a Prong Belt?
But what about the prong belt? Well, the prong belt completes pretty much the same job as a lever belt. It provides solid support to the back and stomach area, allowing the wearer to safely lift heavyweights.
The primary difference between the two types of belts is the way that it is secured. While the lever belt only requires a single hand to secure it, the prong belt is a lot more fiddly as the buckle must go through the prongs to secure the belt in place.
So now that we know what the lever and prong belts are, let’s take a look at the main differences you should consider between the two.
Things to Consider
As we have already established, there are some key differences between the lever and prong belt which can help people decide which is the best for them. These factors that you should consider are ease of use, quality, adjustment, tightness, and price.
Ease of Use
The first major difference that we will look at between the two types of belts is the ease of use. We have mentioned it briefly already, but the lever belt is definitely the easiest to use out of the two options.
However, ease of use is not the be-all and end-all, so let’s take a look at the differences in usability between the lever belt and the prong belt.
We briefly mentioned earlier how both belts open and close, but let’s take a deeper look. The lever belt is clearly the easiest of the two as it can be easily fastened and unfastened with the simple move of a hand.
Whereas the prong belt is a lot more fiddly, requiring at least two hands to open and fasten it. Some people prefer the fiddliness of the prong belt as it gives the impression that the belt is more securely fastened.
But for some people, the fiddliness of the prong belt immediately before you have to power lift is enough to put them off purchasing a belt of this type. So in terms of ease of use, the lever belt is clearly the winner.
The next thing you need to consider before purchasing a belt is the quality of its design and build. As you will probably expect, the quality of the belt isn’t so much a concern depending on the type of belt that you purchase and more so concern about the specific product that you choose.
Neither the lever nor the prong belt has a better quality of build, but it is very important that you consider quality when making a purchase.
As you will know by looking at both lever and prong belts, these pieces of equipment are usually quite costly to buy. When you are spending that amount of money on something, you expect it to last, and most powerlifting belts are designed so that they can withstand damage and last for years to come.
Unfortunately, to get a belt that will last for a long time you will have to spend significantly more money.
This can be annoying but it really is a case of spending money now so that you don’t have to later on, so the decision is yours. Either buy a more expensive belt safe in the knowledge that it will last or go for a cheaper option knowing that you will have to replace it a little way down the line.
Another very important thing that you need to consider when purchasing a powerlifting belt is its ability to be adjusted. Everybody is a different size and no belt will fit all, but some options are easier to adjust than others.
In particular, prong belts tend to be easier to adjust than lever belts due to their buckle design, but let’s take a deeper look at how you adjust both the lever and prong belt.
Both the lever and the prong belt have the ability to be adjusted depending on your personal preference.
Lever belts are adjusted on the first time that you wear them and then they will remain at that tightness for the rest of the time that you use it. To adjust this tightness you will need a screwdriver and this is quite a potchy job.
In contrast, the prong belt can be adjusted every time that you use it. All you need to do is wear the belt tighter or looser by using a tighter or looser hole with the buckle. So before you decide which belt to purchase, you should consider how often you will want to adjust it before buying.
The next thing you should consider before buying is tightness. We briefly mentioned tightness when we looked at the last point, but let’s take a further look at why you should consider this when buying a powerlifting belt.
On a basic level, the lever belt will normally be the tighter option rather than the prong belt due to its design. Once locked into a tightness, the lever belt will remain like that, whereas the prong belt is altered more regularly and this can impact its tightness.
This will be more important to some people than others, as not all powerlifters like their belts to be incredibly tight. Of course, all belts will have to be a certain level of tightness for them to be able to complete their job, but some people prefer a little bit of room between them and their belts.
You want to be able to breathe comfortably in your belt, so you shouldn’t pull it too tightly. However, a lot of people choose to wear their belt very tight so that they feel secure when lifting large amounts, if you are one of these people then a lever belt is the better option.
Finally, you need to consider the price of the belt that you are purchasing. We spoke about this briefly earlier, and established that both types of belts are fairly costly if you choose a durable option.
Cost is relative and as is the case in many different products, with powerlifting belts you are paying for the quality. The costs of a powerlifting belt might seem high when you consider the fact that it is simply a belt, but this piece of equipment plays an essential part in keeping you safe when powerlifting, so it is definitely worth the cost.
Out of the two options, you generally tend to see that lever belts are slightly more expensive than prong belts.
This is mainly due to the design differences between the two and the costs of producing these belts. While we have stated that price is something that you should consider when purchasing a powerlifting belt, this shouldn’t be the driving force behind your final choice.
While the cost should be a contributing factor to your decision, you shouldn’t buy a powerlifting belt simply because it is cheap. Even Though we have stated that lever belts tend to be more expensive, you may see objections to this rule, which is why you should consider the different factors when making a decision more so than the price.
Our top choice out of the lever belts that are currently on the market is the Hawk Sports 10mm Black Lever Belt.
Our top choice out of the prong belts currently available on the market is the Stoic Thick 10mm Single Prong Belt.
Which is the Best?
Now that we have taken a look at what lever and prong belts are, as well as the major differences between the two types, it is now time for us to try and decide which option is the best.
Due to the many similarities between the two, and the great features that they both offer, this is very difficult to do.
But we have to give the top spot to the lever belt. This was a hard decision to come to as both the lever belt and the prong belts are excellent options. The primary reason behind this decision is the ease of use that a lever belt offers.
The majority of people who powerlift have to get into the appropriate headspace in order to channel the energy that allows them to lift that weight.
Your belt is one of the last things that you put on before lifting weight, and so the chances are that you will already be in that headspace when you attach your belt. The fiddliness of the prong belt could be enough to knock you out of that appropriate mindset, which is why for us the lever belt holds the top spot.
However, there are a lot of reasons why people choose the prong belt, and so you should not ignore this option. The prong belt is easier to adjust, making it a great option if you regularly wear different types of clothes to exercise or powerlift immediately after food or at different times of the day.
It is also a brilliant option if you like a bit of room in your belt. While all powerlifting belts require a certain level of tightness to your body, prong belts give you the ability to loosen the belt if you feel you are struggling to breathe easily at its current level of tightness.
So while we think that the lever belt is the better option, it might not be the right one for you.
If you are struggling to decide which powerlifting belt that you should purchase and need one in a hurry, we would always recommend the lever belt. However, due to the cost of these belts, we definitely recommend weighing up your options before you make a purchase.
In short, deciding which powerlifting belt is the right option for you can be tricky. Especially when you consider how great both the lever belt and the prong belt are.
But if you want someone to decide for you, we would recommend purchasing the lever belt as it is easier to put on, ensuring that your belt doesn’t cause any distractions.