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Thread: Belt width,… can even 3 inch be to wide?

  1. #1
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    Default Belt width,… can even 3 inch be to wide?

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    Hello everyone.

    I can‘t come to a conclusion on this for myself, therefore I would like to have some input.

    Until recently I used a 4“ Nylon Belt from 2Pood Performance. Never had an issue with it getting loose or something. Maybe because I wasn‘t moving weights heavy enough.

    With this 4 inch belt, all the exercises were ok, except the Deadlift. It pinched into my belly on the lower side of the belt. So, as I remembered Rips recommendation on a 3 inch belt, I ordered the Starting Strength belt.

    Everything was fine. Until I bruised a floating rib (my guess) on the right side doing Deadlifts.

    There are several Discussions on this Forum regarding that, which I already read. And I watched Rays Video „How does a weightlifting belt help you in the Gym?“, and numerous others.

    But I still have some questions.


    The belts mid should be positioned roughly on the belly button. If I do so, it sits perfectly fine on my gut, and on the side its just above my hip bones. So everything is fine.
    If I close the belt tight, it starts to get tricky. I tried to measure the distance between my hip bones and the lowest point of the rib cage on my sides, and it‘s only 2.6 inches max.

    Is this possible? I mean; if this is the case, 3 inch would be to wide for me, right? Should the belt sit underneath the floating ribs, or is it ok for them to push against the belt? I guess, I lost a bit of form during the Deadlift, and the tight fitting belt pushed the rib a bit upwards. I didn‘t feel anything whilst training. It only started to hurt that evening.

  2. #2
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    Try a 2-inch belt and see what happens.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Rip.

    My idea was quite the same. As I‘m living in Germany, there‘s not much stuff to find within the European Union. I couldn‘t find anything below 2.3 inch, so I went with such a belt.
    Doesn‘t make a big difference to the 3 inch Starting Strength belt. So I‘ll return that belt.

    I thought about cutting my Starting Strength belt down to 2 inch,… but without being absolutely sure that this is the right way, I won‘t do it.

    Finished the Training today with a 4 inch belt. My bruised Rib hurt the least that way.


    Game Plan so far is to continue Training with the 4 inch belt and the 3 inch, depending on what feels better.

  4. #4
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    You can’t cut a three-inch belt down by hand. You will ruin it.

    Have you thought about simply tilting the belt so that it rides lower in front?

  5. #5
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    You could try just a normal leather belt, like you’d use for jeans. They are a bout 1.5 inches. It’ll do the job, and they are cheap like borscht.

  6. #6
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    They will also break, like borscht.

  7. #7
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    @Satch12879

    I asked a friend of mine, Shoemaker. She said, since there‘s no Seam on the edge, I could use a sharp scalpel and cut alongside a metal ruler. Or I could give it to her.
    But thanks for the warnings.

  8. #8
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    I use one of those suede 3" belts and it works well. I do however have a small bruise from the same thing the OP is dealing with and always seems to be the deadlift movement that causes it. It's just a bruise...I just assume its because I'm still a bony puke.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.T View Post
    I use one of those suede 3" belts and it works well. I do however have a small bruise from the same thing the OP is dealing with and always seems to be the deadlift movement that causes it. It's just a bruise...I just assume its because I'm still a bony puke.
    Are you (and the OP, for that matter) wearing your belt at the same hole for all your lifts?

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    I have to update my Training Log in the Forum. But to give an update on my Situation in this Thread; trained the last week and this week. I reduced the weights, and went up each Training day.

    I used a belt starting with the last warm up Set. Right now, I can inhale and brace as hard as possible, and don‘t feel anything at all. During Work-Sets with a belt it‘s a bit different. With the 3“ belt, it makes problems as soon as I have it tight enough. I can use the 4“ belt way tighter than the 3“ without feeling the ribs. I wouldn‘t even call it a Pain. It‘s just a nagging feeling. But as I‘m concerned not to make it worse again, I‘ll continue this way.

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