Grizzly Lifting Belt Review: Pros, Cons, Is It Worth It?

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grizzly lifting belt review

Grizzly is one of the best fitness brands. Throughout the past 25 years, they’ve been providing high-quality gear that doesn’t break the bank.

Today, I’m reviewing the Grizzly lifting belt. With a full leather construction, this belt is supposed to provide sturdy support. However, because it’s only 7mm thick, this isn’t going to be enough support for heavy lifting as most other lifting belts come in 10-12mm thickness.  Therefore, you should only buy it if you are a beginner lifter looking for general back support, not a serious powerlifter or bodybuilder.

Later in this article, I’ll recommend a bunch of alternative options that should suit different needs.

But before we start, let’s quickly see what’s good and what needs improvement in this belt.

Pros

  • Available in two widths: 4” and 6”
  • Padded with comfortable materials
  • The tapered design suits most dynamic movements

Cons

  • Not approved for competitions
  • Questionable durability
  • Limited weight capacity

Recommended For

  • Beginner lifters who want value “comfort” over “performance” (some of the thicker belts can dig into your side and be somewhat uncomfortable even though you can lift more weight with them)
  • Budget-conscious consumers

Not Recommended For

  • Powerlifters or those looking to lift maximally
  • Those who prefer a “lever” style belt (if you don’t know what this is, then it’s not a concern for you)

Things to Consider Before Buying a Lifting Belt

you should consider your intended use before buying a lifting belt

Before buying a lifting belt, you should consider your intended use: Are you interested in powerlifting or weightlifting?

If you’re planning to focus on powerlifting only, get a 4-inch leather belt with a thickness of 10 mm. You can also get a 13mm model if you are a bigger person or want to lift heavier weights.

If you want to incorporate Olympic weightlifting workouts into your training, you should get a belt that substitutes leather with flexible nylon. Even though this will feel more comfortable, it’ll also be less supportive.  However, you need the flexibility in exercises like the snatch and clean and jerk.

If you’re planning to participate in professional competitions, bear in mind that you won’t be allowed to participate unless your gear is approved by the organizing federation. 

Grizzly Lifting Belt: Detailed Review

detailed review grizzly lifting belt

In this section, I’ll start discussing everything related to this belt to help you decide whether it suits your needs or not.

Design and Build Quality

The Grizzly belt features a full leather construction. The outer layer is made of top-grain black leather, which looks quite nice. The inner layer is made of split-grain leather, which grants a pretty nice comfortable feeling. Lastly, the middle layer is constructed from full-grain leather, which is responsible for the belt’s general rigidity.

All in all, the three layers amount to a total of 7.4mm. As you might already know, most lifting belts feature a thickness of 10 or 13 mm. So the Grizzly belt may not be the best option to get if you’re planning to lift heavy.

Width

Grizzly designs this belt with a tapered width: It measures 4 inches over the back, and it shrinks down to about 3 inches on the front. If you don’t think that 4 inches would be enough, you can opt for the 6-inch alternative.

Thanks to that tapered design, you can perform all sorts of dynamic workouts, such as snatches and cleans, without having to endure that painful chafing and digging into your hips and ribs.

However, having only 3 inches at the front may not be ideal. For me, I like to have at least 4 inches to press my abs against. That wider area is essential for developing proper bracing and breathing.

Durability

The three leather layers are held together with double stitching that spans across the whole belt. The metal buckle is secured in place with a total of four rivets.

Even though this construction seems robust, it’s anything but! The outer leather frays, cracks, and fads, not to mention the numerous scuffs. Some reviewers reported that the whole belt was completely ripped in less than a month. Others said the rivets snapped off within three months.

Does this mean that the Grizzly belt is a waste of money? Not necessarily.

If you go to the gym once in a blue moon to lift only light weights, this belt will probably hold up pretty well. The fact that it’s 3 times cheaper than most belts makes it incredibly valuable for people who aren’t that serious about lifting.

Sizing and Fit

To measure yourself for this belt, grab a cloth tape measure, and wrap it around your abdomen at the level of your belly button. Don’t suck in your stomach or tighten your abs, or else you’ll get a poorly fitted belt.

After getting your girth measurement, pick a suitable size from the following table:

SizeMeasurement
Small23–32 inches
Medium28–37 inches
Large33–42 inches
X-Large38–47 inches
XX-Large45–52 inches

What About the Overlapping Measurements?

When choosing a size, try to pick the one with the largest leeway above and below your measurement.

For example, if you have a 39-inch waist, you can technically use both the Large and X-Large belts.

If you get an X-Large version, you’ll have to pull the belt as hard as you can to put the double-prong in one of the last holes. This will inadvertently leave a long slack, which might get in your way when you deadlift.

If you pick the Large size, you can place the prongs almost in the middle. This way, you can tighten or loosen the belt whenever you want.

Is It True to Size?

The Grizzly belt seems to run a bit smaller than expected. Some reviewers said they had to request a replacement because they received a too small belt or one with insufficient slack.

Approval for Competitions

Can you wear the Grizzly belt for professional competitions? No. Why? Well, to answer that question, we need to review the technical rules set by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF).

IPF & USAPL Technical Specifications

1. The lifting belt can be constructed from leather or vinyl.

2. It can’t be wider than 4 inches, nor thicker than 13 mm.

3. Laminations are allowed, either by suede or leather.

4. Any lamination must be securely attached to the belt, either by stitches or rivets.

5. The belt shouldn’t enclose any paddings.

6. It can tighten with a single prong, double prongs, or a lever buckle

7. The tongue loop should be placed within 25 cm from the belt’s end.

The Grizzly belt clearly breaks the 5th rule since it features a thick compressible pad over the back.

But even if it didn’t break any rules, it would still be prohibited for professional use because Grizzly isn’t an accredited manufacturer.

As a side note, I’ve written separate posts detailing everything you need to know about the ideal gear for the IPF, USAPL, and USPA competitions.

Alternatives You Can Buy Instead of the Grizzly Lifting Belt

alternatives you can buy instead of the grizzly lifting belt

As I said earlier, the Grizzly belt won’t live up to your needs if you’re a serious lifter who goes to the gym every other day. Here are my top recommended alternatives:

1.   Rogue Echo 10mm Lifting Belt 

If you don’t mind investing a few dollars more, the Rogue Echo belt should be an ideal pick and is still considered a budget option.

Unlike Grizzly, this belt is made from high-quality leather that will hold up for years. Plus, it’s 10mm thick, which can support extreme weights.

Since it complies with the technical requirements of the IPF, you can use it for professional competitions.

How It Compares to the Grizzly Lifting Belt

  • Made from thicker leather
  • Approved for competitions
  • Tightens with a single-prong buckle
  • Slightly more expensive

2.   Inzer Forever Lever Belt

If money isn’t an issue, you should definitely invest in an Inzer Forever belt. I’ve been using this bad boy for about 13 years now, and it’s still as good as new! And of course, you can use it for competitions.

How It Compares to the Grizzly Lifting Belt

  • Features a solid build
  • Covered with a lifetime guarantee
  • Available with a prong and a lever
  • Available in two thicknesses: 10mm and 13mm

3.   Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt

If you’re not fond of the leather rigidity, you can opt for a flexible nylon belt. In that category, it’s hard to find something better than the Schiek 2004 belt. It features an anatomical design that provides optimal support, two layers of velcro for better stability, and a hassle-free closure system that saves time and effort.

How It Compares to the Grizzly Lifting Belt

  • Made of nylon
  • Feels more comfortable
  • More durable
  • A bit more expensive

Fancy more alternatives? Check out my separate post on the 10 best powerlifting belts.

The Final Word

What do I think about the Grizzly lifting belt? It’s an average option that suits recreational lifters. The comfort factor and ultra-budget price are two of its best perks.

If you lift heavy weights on a constant basis, you can get the Rogue Echo belt for a few more dollars. It’s sturdy, comfortable, and approved for competitions.

Click here to check out the latest price of the Grizzly belt on Amazon. 

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